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Discover your strengths with a personal statement for college

❶Instead of trying to game the system, focus on the things that get you excited.

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If you ask a hundred different admissions counselors what their favorite kind of essay is, you will likely get a hundred different answers. Trying to figure out what topic will get us most excited is like trying to guess which outfits the judges of Project Runway are going to like the most — no matter how many times we watch, Heidi always manages to confound.

Instead of trying to game the system, focus on the things that get you excited. If nothing else, I promise that passion will show through. If your creativity is what sets you apart from your peers, let that innovation guide the structure and content of the essay.

Figure out what your personal strengths are, and stick with them. We know that there is more to you than just test scores and leadership roles, so tell us more!

Ask for input but not too much. Your parents, friends, guidance counselors, coaches, and teachers are great people to bounce ideas off of for your essay. They know how unique and spectacular you are, and they can help you decide how to articulate it. Edit, proof, polish, and breathe. Beyond gaining insight into your personal psyche, the purpose of the essay is also to showcase your written communication skills.

Treat this essay just like any class assignment — write it early, proof and revise, keep an eagle eye out for spelling and grammatical errors, and make sure it is presented in a clean and polished way. Because of our holistic selection process , no student will be denied based on one element of his or her application; this includes typos. Pedro Bale November 30th, thanks it helped me write a good essay Stella Aldrin July 22nd, Thanks for the informative tips on short essay writing.

Tuneer Chakraborty January 20th, Hello, I am applying to a liberal arts college and am sort of stuck up on the essay. Should I or should I not mention these Jay Watson January 27th, Your essay should help to give better, deeper insight into you as a person.

Kevin April 25th, Great tips! Jay Watson September 6th, Thank you for your question. But using too many of these ready-made expressions runs the risk of clouding out your own voice and replacing it with something expected and boring.

We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. I have always loved riding in cars. As I grew, and graduated into the shotgun seat, it became natural and enjoyable to look out the window. Seeing my world passing by through that smudged glass, I would daydream what I could do with it.

In elementary school, I already knew my career path: I was going to be Emperor of the World. While I sat in the car and watched the miles pass by, I developed the plan for my empire.

I reasoned that, for the world to run smoothly, it would have to look presentable. I would assign people, aptly named Fixer-Uppers, to fix everything that needed fixing. That old man down the street with chipping paint on his house would have a fresh coat in no time. The boy who accidentally tossed his Frisbee onto the roof of the school would get it back. The big pothole on Elm Street that my mother managed to hit every single day on the way to school would be filled-in.

It made perfect sense! I was like a ten-year-old FDR. I always pictured a Fixer-Upper as a smiling man in an orange T-Shirt. Maybe instead, a Fixer-Upper could be a tall girl with a deep love for Yankee Candles.

Maybe it could be me. Bridget the Fixer-Upper will be slightly different than the imaginary one who paints houses and fetches Frisbees. I was lucky enough to discover what I am passionate about when I was a freshman in high school. On my first day, I learned that it was for developmentally-disabled students. To be honest, I was really nervous. Long story short, I got hooked. Three years have passed helping out in APE and eventually becoming a teacher in the Applied Behavior Analysis summer program.

I love working with the students and watching them progress. Instead, I told him I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. A BCBA helps develop learning plans for students with autism and other disabilities.

Basically, I would get to do what I love for the rest of my life. He laughed and told me that it was a nice change that a seventeen-year-old knew so specifically what she wanted to do. I smiled, thanked him, and left.

But it occurred to me that, while my desired occupation was decided, my true goal in life was still to become a Fixer-Upper. My childhood self would appreciate that. Bridget takes a somewhat different approach than Stephen, but her essay is just as detailed and engaging. The essay is arranged chronologically. Bridget starts each paragraph with a clear signpost of where we are in time:.

I wanted to become a board-certified behavior analyst. It helps that the metaphor is a very clear one: Every childhood Fixer-Upper ever. Ask your parents to explain the back row to you.

This essay uses many techniques that make Bridget sound genuine and make the reader feel like we already know her. The second technique is the way Bridget coins her own terms, carrying them through the whole essay. It would be easy enough to simply describe the people she imagined in childhood as helpers or assistants, and to simply say that as a child she wanted to rule the world.

The third technique is to use sentences of varying length, syntax, and structure. However, at key moments, Bridget emphasizes that the reader needs to sit up and pay attention by switching to short, colloquial, differently punctuated, and sometimes fragmented sentences. The last key moment that gets the small-sentence treatment is the emotional crux of the essay.

As we watch Bridget go from nervously trying to help disabled students to falling in love with this specialty field, she undercuts the potential sappiness of the moment by relying on changed-up sentence length and slang: The best essays convey emotions just as clearly as this image. Explain the car connection better. It would be great to either connect this into the essay more, or to take it out altogether and create more space for something else.

It would take the focus off of her and possibly read as offensive or condescending. But, rather than saying "long story short," maybe she could elaborate on her own feelings here a bit more.

What is it about this kind of teaching that she loves? What is she hoping to bring to the lives of her future clients? How can you use this discussion to better your own college essay? Here are some suggestions for ways to use this resource effectively.

Make a note whenever you find an essay or part of an essay that you think was particularly well-written, and think about what you like about it. Colleges want to know if you struggled with a serious issue that affected your high school record , so make sure to indicate any relevant circumstances on your application.

Want to write the perfect college application essay? Get professional help from PrepScholar. Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up.

Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now: These prompts are generally pretty open ended and can be approached in a lot of different ways. Nonetheless, most questions fall into a few main categories. These questions are both common and tricky. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it.

If this sounds like you, then please share your story. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: Describe how you express your creative side. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. A lot of prompts deal with how you solve problems or how you cope with failure. The key to these types of questions is to identify a real problem or failure not a success in disguise and show how you adapted and grew from addressing the issue.

How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? Essay questions about diversity are designed to help admissions committees understand how you interact with people who are different from you.

What prompted your thinking? Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience. This type of prompt asks about what you want to do in the future: Some schools also ask for supplementary essays along these lines.

Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extracurricular activities might help you achieve your goals. Please describe how you have prepared for your intended major, including your readiness to succeed in your upper-division courses once you enroll at the university. The most common style of supplemental essay is the "Why us? There are thousands of universities and colleges. Please share with us why you are choosing to apply to Chapman.

How did you first learn about Rice University and what motivated you to apply? More selective schools often have supplemental essays with stranger or more unique questions. The word floccinaucinihilipilification is the act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant or of having no value.

Or what do you hope to? You need to use your subject to show something deeper about yourself. Look at the prompts above: Whatever topic you pick, you must be able to specifically address how or why it matters to you. Say a student, Will, was writing about the mall Santa in response to Common App prompt number 2 the one about failure:

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Tips to help you in the college admissions process. Skip to navigation Other Resources for College Essay Writing. Writing the Personal Statement Check out the University of California at Berkeley’s guide to writing the personal statement. Application Tips: Tackling the Personal Essay.

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Personal statement — an essay you write to show a college admissions committee who you are and why you deserve to be admitted to their school. It's worth noting that, unlike "college essay," this term is used for application essays for graduate school as well.

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Our personal statement writing service is here to help you out Unlike with a high school essay or college research paper, students are not given a second chance when it comes to submitting a personal statement for graduate school. How to Write your Personal Statement in 4 Easy Steps The Fastweb Team. August 05, The Fastweb Team simplifies writing your personal statement for college applications in four easy steps. Follow these steps to make writing your personal statement easier than you ever thought possible. 7 Tips on Writing an Effective Essay;