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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Personalize Your Admission Essay-By Writing About Someone Else
Arguably, one of the hardest parts of the admissions process is simply digging into the admission essay. Any writer, at almost any level will tell you that the most gut-wrenching stage of authoring is, well, starting. It might go something like this. You open up your computer. Click the Word icon. Stare at the white screen for awhile. Write and re-write a word. Delete it. Check Facebook. Get lost on the Internet. Repeat.

The universities are generally pretty explicit about what they're looking for in an admissions essay. The problem is that their terms are usually far too general. "Tell us about yourself". Most essay prompts are a variation on the same question and talking about yourself is difficult. For a start, the breadth of information you have to draw from is a little too broad.

You probably know a lot about yourself. But which of it is relevant? Or interesting?

By focusing your essay on someone other than you, you can demonstrate your abilities of observation. If you evaluate your subject well, you'll deftly show your reader how skilled you are at being introspective. You may even be able to prove that you can listen, without being burdened by the filter of your own biases. After all, truly understanding someone or something else means stepping outside of our own comfort zones.

Don't believe me? Next time you're stuck, pick a person, animal, place or subject that has some strong moral value for you. Then start writing about it. Anything about it. You may be surprised at where the creative flow leads.

At the very least, you won't be staring at a blank white screen.


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