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Writing Your Personal Essay

 

Purpose of the Essay
Applying to college is very competitive and a good essay can mean the difference between being accepted or not.

The personal essay or statement should provide focus to your entire applications package and bring to light your strongest assets. It's the only part of the application package where you have the freedom to sell yourself to the college - why should they accept you over the other applicants. This is the opportunity to show your personality and convince the admissions department as to why they should select you to attend their college.

When several applicants are very similar, a poignant essay can put you your application into the acceptance pile!

Focus of the Essay
A good essay will have a focus or theme. This is the core concept of what you want to communicate about yourself in the personal essay.

A theme is based on your background, achievements and personality. To get clarity on what your theme might be, list all of your strengths and decide on which ones are your best. An essay with a well thought out, clearly communicated theme summarizing your strengths will give you a tremendous advantage over the other applicants.

In other words, don't simply answer the question but identify what you want to communicate about yourself when answering the essay question. And make sure that the answer relates to why they should accept you into the program you are applying to. For example, talking about the entrepreneurial skills you learnt from starting your own lawn care business is highly relevant to applying to business school.

The Structure of an Essay
As with any written document, before your start writing your essay you should prepare an outline. The sections of the outline should flow logically and build your case according to the theme you've already identified. The outline helps to confirm the order of information so that thoughts aren't presented randomly, but each paragraph builds on the previous paragraph.

Regardless of your theme or writing style, your essay will likely have four main sections:

  • an introductory paragraph will set the tone and style of your personal essay and introduce your theme
  • the second paragraph of the essay will provide supporting evidence as to your theme

  • the third paragraph will build on the second paragraph and provide more detail or examples of your theme
  • finally, the last paragraph will provide the conclusion by reiterating your points in a summary manner and why you would be a good student for their college


  • With a well structured outline, writing the first draft of your essay will be much easier. Once you have a first draft completed, check to make sure all your points are included, there isn't any repetition or contradictions, your writing style is consistent and the tone is appropriate.

    All Good Essays Require Polish
    Finally, don't forgot to proof, fine tune and polish your final essay before submitting. Don't' be surprised if you spend just as much time fine tuning and polishing your essay as you did to write the first draft.

    As part of finishing your essay, you should always have someone else read it. A fresh pair of eyes and someone with strong grammatical skills can do wonders to create not just a good essay, but an exceptional essay.

    If you want to hire a professional writer to prepare your essay, check out these sites:

    http://www.essayedge.com
    http://www.admissionsessays.com

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