Personal Essay Checklist

Personal Essay Checklist-28
We have reviewed thousands of personal statements and know what it takes to get into the top programs.

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I probably don’t need to tell you that writing a great personal statement is HUGE.

Sure, your grades are the first thing the college admissions guys look at when considering your application.

I realized that I had to take control of my own life and make positive steps to change.

Otherwise, I would become as dull and lifeless as the hotel at which I now worked.

Admissions officers can have a sense of humor too, and, when used appropriately, humor can make you stand out.

However, don't make being funny one of your top goals in your college essay. Sometimes it helps to take a break from your work and come back in a few days.Admitting shortcomings is a sign of maturity and intelligence, so there is no need to portray yourself as a superhero; they will see through it. Self-exploration can be fun, but don't procrastinate on the actual writing.You don't want to rush or be up against a tight deadline; it will affect your work. Sometimes creating an outline for your essay can help you get started.It will also help you organize your thoughts and develop a framework. Be conscious of any length limits, and, if the topic is provided for you, analyze the question carefully.You want to be aware of everything they ask and answer everything thoroughly. Don't use big words just for the sake of using big words. Remember, this essay is about you, so use words you normally use.You could say: In the summer of 2011, myself and 32 additional volunteers participated in an initiative that aimed to retrofit the houses that were seriously damaged during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.In total, we helped 55 families to upgrade their homes and strengthen them against future natural disasters.Review what you've written and make sure it still makes sense and conveys what you want it to. Sometimes you need to write a couple of drafts to get your essay right where you want it. No matter how good your essay, if people can't read your handwriting they won't appreciate the work. You want to make sure you've used proper spelling, grammar and punctuation, so ask an expert to proofread your essay. Ask your friends and family to read your essay and tell you what they think.Be open to suggestions and ways to improve it, even if this means going back to the drawing board. You want to edit your essay down to what is important. Think about the strengths and interests you would most like colleges to know about you. Try to avoid cliché topics like "winning a big game," taking a trip or even dealing with a death, these will not help your application stand out from the group. Be thoughtful in both your topic choice and the tone of your writing.Colleges look for students who have dealt with adversity, have overcome challenges and continue to grow from their experience.


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