Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Personal Essay

Writing a good essay is not an easy task, but if you manage to be convincing, it will well complement your application. It takes time and hard work. Many applicants might be tempted to plagiarize. Big mistake! The essay can be perfect in terms of cohesion and language, but it does not answer the specified topic you are supposed to compose on as mentioned in some applications.

 It’s worth trying to write your own statement. Making an attempt is challenging and rewarding. To be successful, you need to know the specific requirements of the college you want to go to. Mostly, applications require almost the same type of essay.

 Nevertheless, some colleges request an autobiographical statement, others provide firm guidelines. You should use your creativity to tailor it to match the programme, to demonstrate how your abilities match the college programme. Avoid writing a generic essay.

  The length of the essay differs from 500 words to 1,500, from on-page essay to a two-page personal statement. If you have more than one page, number them and write your name on each of them. Use the type of font that makes your essay readable (Bookman or Times New Roman, Arial). Use no more than a 12-point size font or smaller than a 10-point size. Use the one inch standard margins.

  General Tips

 When writing a personal statement, there are two aspects you have to pay attention to:
  - the content As you are selling yourself, make sure to draw the reader’s attention from the first sentences. Don’t be vague, avoid clichés. Emphasize concrete situations and the practical applications of your skills and abilities. Give the reader a picture of yourself: your achievements as a student, your practical skills, strengths, personality qualities.
  - the writing Avoid misspellings, punctuation and grammar mistakes. Don’t use informal language. Don’t use “big” words, don’t be pompous. Keep your sentences simple and to the point to avoid leaving the impression you are a show-off. A personal statement’s function is not only to give the reader an idea of who you are as a person and as a student, but it must also show your analytical, organizational, and writing skills among others; it’s your marketing message to the admissions committee.

  In the next post you’ll read about:
 1.Why in most cases the essay is the most important part of the college application?
 2.What are the common mistakes you can make?
 3.What does a common statement consist of?
 4.Dos and Don’ts

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