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Does anyone have any tips for writing college essays and personal statements?

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5 answers

G. Mark’s Answer

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Share your personal experiences. All of us have feelings that depict what we want, but we often don't share what we are. These are the driving forces of what we will do in life. Conveying our experiences and how we are motivated will tell others what we are likely to achieve. Let your examiners see from your essay what drives you. If you're forthcoming on what's inside you, you can't go wrong.

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G. Mark’s Answer

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Personal statements and essays intended to get an idea for what sort of character and motivation you have should do exactly that. You should frame personal experiences in a way that conveys what drives you and, by extension, what will drive your actions in the future. The better you can give the reader a feeling for what kind of person you are and the more compelling you can be, the better for you and for the intended audience. In reviewing cover letters, I get to fill in the holes that a dry and factual resume alone cannot cover. I've also found that a more personal essay is often better at conveying what's going on "under the hood", so to speak, of a candidate than even a phone call or face to face meeting. The reason is that some folks are simply intimidated by personal encounters that are intended to "judge" them in that one crucial meeting, and don't always provide a faithful representation of their character. An essay is your opportunity to shine as your best and true self. So take advantage of it.

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Phoebe’s Answer

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Personal statements are just that personal!
However, the drive behind personal statements is to see the connection between what they are looking for and you. How do you resonate with their big picture? How do your interests, drive, purpose relates to what they want? Talk about your experiences, skills that match with their values. Nail it to what they believe in. And sure enough, they will not miss the connection!
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Ricky’s Answer

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First, research the school which you are applying for as well as the program. Read the mission statement of this school and take notes on your research. Next, figure out the top three qualities which this school values and focus on those values within yourself. For example, if the school's mission statement has to do with creating a community which respects one another, then provide information in your statement regarding these traits within yourself. Lastly, use examples from your real life and do not just SAY how talented you are, also SHOW with a short example from real life.


  • State why you are a good candidate based on how your values align with that schools.

Good Luck and have fun with it!

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Richard’s Answer

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You want to tailor it to you and to the school as much as possible. If it is not unique to the school/person combo, the essay will not be as strong as it might otherwise be. Also, make sure to insert your values and ambitions as much as possible!
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