Tuesday, May 27, 2014

College Applications: The Personal Essay

how to write personal essay

Almost all, if not all, college applications require a personal essay.

Students: listen up!

This is your chance to let the admissions officers get to know you. Tell them something about yourself that they cannot glean from your application, transcript, or resume.

Admissions officers read thousands of essays. Please give them something interesting that most of the other applicants didn't already say.

Some comments made by admissions officers at our recent college visit:

"I don't want to read another essay about 'how this mission trip changed my life'."

"I don't want to read about Katniss Everdeen. I saw the movie, y'all."

"I don't want to read an essay that regurgitates your resume."

This is a personal essay. An essay about you. What makes you tick? What motivates you? How do you overcome difficulties?

Some essay requirements include a prompt, but the essay is still about you.

Can you practice writing a personal essay?
Of course you can!

I found a website that will walk you through the process of creating a personal essay that will be uniquely you.

Students, your next summer assignment: Follow the steps from the College Essay Guy for creating college application essays that will be ready to tweak when you need them.

(While you are at the website, read some of his advice about SAT essays. He says what I try to tell the students in my SAT Essay class. )

Parents: even if your high school/middle school students are not quite ready to apply to college, the personal essay exercises would be good practice for them.

This is what my two high school students will be working on this summer. Who is joining them?


college admission essay said...

I would like to say to those entering the college admissions world this year, the Common Application is used by over 550 member colleges. CA5 is composed of a main application, containing the same information as the University of California application: personal, school, activities, honors, along with a 250-650 word main essay addressing

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