Turn these aspects into positives. For example, you may want to go to a program in a particular location because it is a place that you know very well and have ties to, or because there is a need in your field there. Again, doing research on the program may reveal ways to legitimate even your most superficial and selfish reasons for applying. What details or anecdotes would help your reader understand you? What makes you special? What motivates or interests you?
Do you have special skills, like leadership, management, research, or communication? Why would the members of the program want to choose you over other applicants? Be honest with yourself and write down your ideas. If you are having trouble, ask a friend or relative to make a list of your strengths or unique qualities that you plan to read on your own and not argue about immediately.
Now, write a draft This is a hard essay to write. You may want to start by just getting something—anything—on paper. Try freewriting. Think about the questions we asked above and the prompt for the essay, and then write for 15 or 30 minutes without stopping.
What do you want your audience to know after reading your essay? What do you want them to feel? Just get out the ideas you have. For help getting started, see our handout on brainstorming. Find the most relevant, memorable, concrete statements and focus in on them.
Find what is specific to you about the ideas that generated those platitudes and express them more directly. Just make sure that you replace the generalizations with examples as you revise. A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one.
If you spot that, try to use the second sentence and delete the first. Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail.
Your readers may have thousands of essays to read, many or most of which will come from qualified applicants. With this in mind: Do assure your audience that you understand and look forward to the challenges of the program and the field, not just the benefits. Do assure your audience that you understand exactly the nature of the work in the field and that you are prepared for it, psychologically and morally as well as educationally.
Do assure your audience that you care about them and their time by writing a clear, organized, and concise essay. Do address any information about yourself and your application that needs to be explained for example, weak grades or unusual coursework for your program.
Include that information in your essay, and be straightforward about it. And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother. However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores.
I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter. In the third paragraph she takes off a hundred miles an hour… in the wrong direction. What does that mean? She pursues her want instead of her need.
However, a simple walk on a hiking trail behind my house made me open my own eyes to the truth. Over the years, everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades. As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth.
Before I could resolve my guilt, I had to broaden my perspective of the world as well as my responsibilities to my fellow humans. She realizes she needs perspective. But how? See next paragraph Volunteering at a cancer treatment center has helped me discover my path. When I see patients trapped in not only the hospital but also a moment in time by their diseases, I talk to them. For six hours a day, three times a week, Ivana is surrounded by IV stands, empty walls, and busy nurses that quietly yet constantly remind her of her breast cancer.
I need only to smile and say hello to see her brighten up as life returns to her face. Upon our first meeting, she opened up about her two sons, her hometown, and her knitting group--no mention of her disease. Without even standing up, the three of us—Ivana, me, and my grandmother--had taken a walk together.
That pride has confirmed and reinvigorated my love for science. I felt more alive, more engaged, in that lab than I have anywhere else, and I am committed to returning. I have always dreamed of science but since that summer, since my experiment, I have dreamed only of the future. To me, medical science is the future and through it I seek another, permanent, opportunity to follow my passion.
After all, to follow your passion is, literally, a dream come true. In addition to its use of clear, demonstrative language, there is one thing that makes this an effective essay: focus. Indeed, notice that, although the question is broad, the answer is narrow.
This is crucial. It can be easy to wax poetic on a topic and, in the process, take on too much. This emphasis gives the reader the opportunity to learn who the writer is on his terms and makes it a truly compelling application essay. Find your school with our USA School Search College Essay Three The winter of my seventh grade year, my alcoholic mother entered a psychiatric unit for an attempted suicide. Mom survived, but I would never forget visiting her at the ward or the complete confusion I felt about her attempt to end her life.
Today I realize that this experience greatly influenced my professional ambition as well as my personal identity. While early on my professional ambitions were aimed towards the mental health field, later experiences have redirected me towards a career in academia.
I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Neither of my parents attended college. Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out. Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through.
Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U. The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society. While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world.
During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology. In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic.
Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time.
Lack of other girls in classes and clubs IV. College search a. Dive into college studies b. Campus visit and trip to lab c. Student-faculty research? Tie back into being a little girl Step Four: The Essay Once you are satisfied with your essay in outline format, begin writing! My mother entered my bedroom and immediately scrunched up her face in disgust. What is that smell? I had been discovered. Twelve-year-old me was sitting at my desk when she came in.
One such sample just happened to be a chicken liver or maybe it was a kidney I plucked out of the giblet packet when Mom was making dinner.
Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail. For tips on putting this advice to good use, see our handout on getting feedback.
Indeed, having the intellectual keenness to absorb every ounce of knowledge presented through my time in the IB program, I know that I can contribute to State University as it continues to cultivate a scholarly climate that encourages intellectual curiosity. When you are finished writing, you need to make sure that your essay still adheres to the prompt. Before you start writing Because the application essay can have a critical effect upon your progress toward a career, you should spend significantly more time, thought, and effort on it than its typically brief length would suggest.
When I see patients trapped in not only the hospital but also a moment in time by their diseases, I talk to them. Get to know your prompt Ease yourself into the essay-writing process. I would stay up hours past my bedtime with my eye pressed to the eyepiece, keeping detailed records and sketches of everything I found in a notebook.
We have tons—tons— here , including lots of real-world examples!