Presentation on theme: "Writing the Essay Thoughts and Suggestions. You sit down to write the essay. The cursor taps his foot on the screen. The lines on the paper blur together."— Presentation transcript:
You sit down to write the essay. The cursor taps his foot on the screen. The lines on the paper blur together. Write your personal statement in 500 words or less, the prompts reads. What can you possibly write? This workshop isn’t about topics – it’s about techniques. Whatever your topic might be, it must come from you.
Do Essays Matter? Yes. Often, they’re used to lift applicants out of a similar pool of candidates.
What shouldn’t you do? McEssays Five paragraph essays Disney essays Blue soup essays Essays that have died in committee
What should you do? Distinguish yourself by being yourself. Tell them who you are. Be descriptive and specific. Add imagery. Breathe life into the essay. Be consise. Tighten up your language. Use your own voice.
The structure of the essay Well, there is no structure. That would be boring for the admissions officers around the country. Yet there are a few things all good essays have in common: Start with a hook. Convince your reader to keep reading. Write about a specific person, experience, or issue – avoid generalizations. End it well. Get someone to read it and ask if it feels ‘finished.’ Don’t trail off, but stay strong until the finish.
Put yourself in their shoes Imagine this. Your application is spread out across the desk (or more likely, the screen) of an Admissions Dean. They just finished the essay. They have 35 more to read today – and thousands to read before the Reading Period is over. Did they love it? You can’t know, really. Ask yourself this instead: do you love it?
Topics It’s not about the topic – it’s about the technique. There is NOT a magical topic out there – there is not even a preferred topic. It doesn’t exist.