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HOW TO START PERSONAL STATEMENT PROMPT 2
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i would like to apply for law course in university in glasgow and i need to write a personal statment which i don't have a clue how to start, so basicly i need some help with that.Help writing a personal essay (prompt included)?How to write a personal essay for Ryerson's Radio and Television Program?
I just recently found out that my older sister did not die of SIDS but rather she was aborted. My mother however, told me that she died of SIDS because her family has a strict Catholic background. How to write a personal essay for Ryerson's Radio and Television Program?How to write a personal narrative essay?
I'm applying to an academic program at a local high school. In my application, I have to include a personal essay addressing their prompt. They have 10 character traits such as "knowledgab.How to write a personal narrative essay?Writing a personal statement for multiple courses?
I am really really struggling on writing my personal statement. I am not sure on how to start it off. And the other thing that I am having problem is that I haven't done any work experience.but.Writing a personal statement for multiple courses?When writing a personal essay, do I capitalize music genres?
When writing a personal essay, do I capitalize music genres?Is this too personal to write for a college essay?
Is this too personal to write for a college essay?How do i write personal statment for law course?
How do i write personal statment for law course?Struggling with writing my personal for radiography course>.< Really need help>.<?
Struggling with writing my personal for radiography course>.< Really need help>.<?For college applications do you write a personal statement for each course you want to take?
For college applications do you write a personal statement for each course you want to take?
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While it’s not specifically about writing college application essays, a lot of the same advice applies—such as breaking down tasks down into manageable pieces, making tasks achievable and keeping track of time. I’ve also found that if students are taking medication for a condition that affects learning (such as ADHD), that it’s helpful if they’re on the medication when they sit down to write—it can make the process more successful.
Enjoy the article.
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. She is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee. First Impressions tutors are award-winning writers and authors who teach students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. We work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, Skype, FaceTime and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
Are you looking information about how to write your Common Application essay? This is the place to start. I just finished writing a series of posts about the 2016 Common Application essay questions. Each one explains the prompt, examines the keywords and tells you what the colleges are looking for. PLUS you’ll read successful essay topic examples and get lots of ideas about how to approach your own essay.
Here are the links:
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. She is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee. First Impressions tutors are award-winning writers and authors who teach students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. We work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, Skype and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
Not long ago a student called me. His guidance counselor asked him to write his college application essay and he wanted to brainstorm ideas. But then he confessed:
“I don’t even know where to start.”
That’s when I realized I needed to write this post. Because by the time you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to start writing your college application essay personal statement—and have lots of ideas as well.
How Start Writing Your College Application Essay
1. Read Other College Application Essays. Get a feel for college essays by reading samples you can find online and in books. Some schools post their best essays online, including Hamilton College. Tufts , and Johns Hopkins . I especially like Johns Hopkins because you can read comments from their admissions officers, who tell you what they like about each essay.
Tip: Google the schools on your college list and see if they post college admissions essays. A good search term is “ Essays that Worked.”
2. Use What You Read as Inspiration, Not Competition. This comment is for all the students who read sample essays and think they can “never write anything as good.” What makes an essay good is that the author has dug deep and put a part of him or herself directly on the page—it’s honest and written from the heart. That’s exactly what you need to do with your story—be honest and write from your heart. So get inspired, not intimidated.
3. Here Are Three More Things You Can Learn From Reading Essays:
There are lots of ways to structure an essay. An essay can be one story or a series of events; it can take place in one moment or over a longer period of time; it can be told chronologically or out-of-order; it can take place in the past or present tense (Or, if you want to get fancy, both.)
Find an essay or two you like and take a look at how they’re structured. If you find one that inspires you, that may be the structure for you.
Good essays use good writing techniques. Pay special attention to how the writer grabs your attention from the beginning. ( Read 3 Ways to Start an Interesting College Essay. ) Focus on how the writer uses detail to illustrate the story’s look, feel, sound, taste and smell. Then read it out loud. (Yes, really!) I want you to notice that when sentences are different lengths the essay flows better. These are all super writing techniques you can use.
Everybody has a personality. (Okay, almost everybody.) But if your personality’s not in the essay, how’s the college going to get to know you? More important, how will they separate you from the next student, or the next 50 students?
Take this essay personality quiz: When you’re finished reading a sample essay ask yourself these questions: Did you get a sense of the writer’s personality and values? Could you strike up an interesting conversation with this person? Do you think he or she has told you one of the most important things about him or herself? Would the writer make a good college student? You should be able to answer yes to all of those questions. That’s what your essay should do, too.
Now, Make It Work for You!
4. Identify Your Positive Qualities. Are you kind? Compassionate? Determined? One of the best ways to create a unique essay is to showcase your positive qualities. Identifying your positive qualities can often help you find a topic, too.
5. Brainstorm Every Possibility. Get creative! Never set limits on your ideas until you’ve thought of everything.
6. Display Your Passion. What do you love? What do you care about? What motivates you to learn and be curious outside the classroom? Get excited to write about what puts a fire under your feet and you’ll make your college reader excited, too. Passion is contagious!
7. You Don’t Need a Unique Topic, Just a Personal Approach. If you have an original topic, go for it. But the truth is, lots of students are passionate about similar events like travel, family and sports. If that’s the case, you must, must, must find an approach that’s unique to you. How do you do that? Show us the world from your point of view. If you want to write about sports, for instance, don’t write about winning “the big game”—think about why that sport matters to you. One of my students wrote about her love-hate relationship with her workout routine and used it to show her passion for rowing. Your essay should reflect your personality—no one else should be able to write it but you.
8. Be Someone Colleges Want to Accept. Colleges want students they feel will succeed now and far into the future. So show them you’re the person they’re looking for. Have you been through a tough situation? Show you’re resilient. Have you had to make decisions? Show you’re responsible. Write about your curiosity, your courage, your problem-solving skills—whatever is special to you. Get colleges excited in what you care about, and give them a great reason to accept you.
So…put your passion and heart on the page. Present it from your point of view. Show the colleges you’re ready to head into your future.
Now that you know how to start, you’re on your way.
First Impressions tutors teach students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. We work with students around the world.
In this 5 part series I help you figure out which question on the 2016 Common Application essay is right for you.
We’re down to the last one. Whew!
Ready for #5? Let’s do it!Common Application Essay Prompt #5:
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.Is this Prompt for You? Look at the Keywords:
“Accomplishment or Event” … “Transition from Childhood to Adulthood” … “Culture, Community or Family”
Pitfalls to Avoid:
A young woman began dancing before she could tie her shoes. The tradition at her dance studio was that the older dancers mentored the younger ones. As she grew older and became more accomplished, she started teaching the younger students. Now she helps them in the studio and outside of dance. As she has matured, the student has learned what it takes to be a friend and mentor, and is helping continue her dance studio’s tradition.Is this Example Successful? Yes.
We’re done! We’ve covered all the prompts. If you’ve read the blog posts I’ve written on how to answer each question, you should be able to choose the right topic and write an essay that makes you shine. If you have any questions, drop me a line and let me know.
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. She is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee. First Impressions tutors teach students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. We work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, Skype and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
It’s one of a five-part series on how to write the Common Application essay prompts.
Ready for number 4? Let’s do it!Common Application Essay Prompt #4:
Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.Is this Prompt for You? Look at the Keywords:
“Problem you’ve solved or would like to solve” …“Personal importance” …“No matter the scale”Do the Keywords Apply to You?
Colleges like to see how you think, so include your decision-making process. Explain how you came up with a possible solution (Research? Thought? Talking to people?) Identify your solution, or what you might like to see as a solution. Make sure you convey why this topic is meaningful to you. And write a great problem solving essay.
Next time: How to Write Common App prompt #5.
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. She is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee. First Impressions teaches students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. Our tutors are award-winning writers and published authors and work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, video and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
In this 5-part series I help you figure out which 2016 Common Application question is right for you.
Ready for number 3? Let’s do it!Common Application Essay Prompt #3:
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?Is This Prompt for You? Look at the Keywords:
“Challenged a belief or idea” …“Prompted you to act”…”Would you make the same decision again?”When Should You Choose This Essay?
Answer this question ONLY IF:
Colleges are looking for your critical thinking skills. Show them your thought process (the steps you took to make your decision) and then reflect on your experience (which will show them maturity and insight).
Pitfalls to Avoid:
Should you write about religion? You can. I’ve had students who’ve written about different aspects of their spiritual journey, whether it was trying to conform to their parents’ religion or searching for their own truth. But remember the caution: You don’t want to offend your reader. So along with topic choice, consider the tone of your writing. For instance, it’s a lot different to say you felt a need to find your own spiritual path than to say you hated a specific religion and couldn’t wait to get out of there.
Tip from College Admissions Officers: Some admissions officers tell me that many essays about spiritual journeys are starting to sound very similar to them. So if you want to write about your spiritual journey, find an original approach that makes your essay stands out. If it starts to feel generic, dig deeper into who you are and how this topic reflects your values, your ability to problem solve, or your goals. (Give the colleges good reasons to want to admit you.) If you’re not sure it will stand out, switch topics.Example of a Successful Essay Topic:
A student’s elementary school teacher wasn’t a kind woman and picked on many of the children in her class. As a result, the student’s self-esteem suffered and her grades dropped. It took a long time for the student to learn to stand up for herself, but when she finally did she started to excel. In high school, she became a leader and mentor and spoke to teens about how to combat bullying. She taught them the harmful power of words, and how to use words in a positive way. In her essay she explained why she would make the same decision again: “My passion for making a difference stems from my own experiences where negative criticism created a lasting effect on me…Becoming emotionally and physically independent and having the confidence to challenge social norms have become the most powerful tools in my possession.”
Is This Topic Successful? Yes.
Tip: It’s okay to say you wouldn’t make the same decision again. Colleges want to see that you have the maturity and perspective to understand your actions. Just remember—by the end of the essay you should be saying positive things about yourself.
For more information on the Common Application visit their website. They also have a very helpful Facebook page.
Next time: How to Write Common App prompt #4.
For the entire list of 2016 Common App essay prompts click here.
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. She is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee. First Impressions teaches students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. We work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, video and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
And when you look back on that experience, did you learn from it? Or know what you’d do differently the next time around?
Then Common Application Essay prompt #2 may be for you.
In this post, I’ll teach you what you need to know to write Common Application Essay prompt #2 (The lessons we take from failure).
This is the second in my series on how to write the 2016 Common Application essay prompts. Click here to read how to write Prompt 1. Prompt 3 and Prompt 4 .
Are you ready for Common Application Prompt #2? Here we go…Common Application Essay Prompt #2:
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?I s This Prompt for You? Look at the Keywords:
“Lessons”…”Failure” …“Affect you “...”Learn” Do the Keywords Apply to You?
Pitfalls to Avoid:
A student started a snowplow business using his ATV. But the ATV couldn’t plow deep snow, and one night, when eight inches of snow fell, the plow got stuck in his driveway. The student knew his customers were counting on him, so he worked all night to shovel out the ATV. After that, he realized he needed to better serve his customers by upgrading his equipment. Eventually, the student traded his ATV for a truck with a plow, which in turn made his business more successful. He also decided that he wanted to pursue a business career.Is this Topic Successful? Yes.
• All the keywords are addressed. The student told his story, examined how his failure affected him, and then wrote about the positive lessons he learned.
• It also showed thathe had good character (see the next paragraph).
Are You Uncomfortable Discussing Failure?
DON’T BE.Colleges look for character-building stories and problem solving skills.
In fact, Christine Hamilton, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Sacred Heart University, says she sees a lot of failure essays, and that’s okay with her. She learns a lot about the character of incoming students when they write about failure. As the prompt says, the lessons we learn from failure can be “fundamental to later success.“
Think about it—when you get to college you’ll probably face some bumps in the road. You might have a tough class, want to change your major, or even have a roommate that’s not exactly what you expected. And since schools don’t have a crystal ball to see how you’ll handle challenges, they’ll look to see how you’ve dealt with them in the past.
So consider this —if your college essay compares your personality to the types of shoes in your closet (please don’t), schools won’t have a clue about how you’ll manage when the going gets tough. But! If you write about the lessons you learned from failure, you’ll be demonstrating your ability to handle unexpected obstacles. And bingo—the schools will be able to envision how you could successfully handle college and beyond.
CAUTION: Never write about failures that include very risky behavior or anything illegal (such as drugs and underage drinking).
Next time: How to write Common Application essay prompt #3.
For the entire list of 2016 Common Application essay prompts click here .
If you’re not familiar with the Common Application, click here for more info.
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. She is a Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee. First Impressions College Consulting teaches students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. Our tutors are award-winning writers and published authors who work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, video and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
Some schools read tens of thousands of essays a year. So it’s important for your college essay to stand out.
In this series of posts, I’ll give you tips on how your Common Application essay can stand out.
I’ll give you essay examples, too.
First — let’s start with Common Application Essay basics:
Okay, ready? Here we go…Common Application Essay Prompt #1:
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.Is this Prompt for You? Look at the Keywords:
Background — Identity — Interest —Talent — Meaningful —Incomplete without it.Do these Keywords Apply to You?
1. This experience helped shape you in a positive way.
2. If you didn’t tell this story, the admissions committee wouldn’t fully understand you.
3. Your topic doesn’t fit any of the other prompts.
Pitfalls to Avoid:
A high school student was the youngest of three brothers. His brothers were a lot older ( one was in the Marine Corps and one was a teacher). H e was very proud that the example they set for him had helped him become responsible and mature, and wanted to write about it. So he chose the summer they invited him on their cross-country trip—and the night, on their way into Denver, that they found themselves heading into a dangerous storm.
The two older brothers began arguing: One wanted to be safe and stop for the night and the other wanted to make it to their destination on time. The student saw the brothers were at an impasse, so he checked the forecast and radar maps and figured out they could avoid the storm by taking a less direct route to their destination. When they stopped for gas, he got out of the car and presented his solution to each of his brothers. When the brothers voiced their concerns, the student calmly answered all of their questions. Eventually, the brothers agreed to continue to Denver using the longer route. When they got back in the car, they asked him to navigate.
By keeping a level head and then finding the right way to communicate with each of his brothers, the student was able to facilitate a solution that satisfied everyone. He was proud that he helped lead them safely to their destination, and even more so that he lived up to the examples of responsibility and maturity that his brothers had taught him.
Why Does this College Essay Topic Succeed?
A young woman was such an accomplished ballet dancer that she studied with the prestigious Bolshoi ballet in New York. Everyone, including her family, assumed that she’d turn professional. Instead, she decided to become a nutritionist. The student wrote about her love of ballet and how it exposed her to a hidden world of young dancers with eating disorders. Ballet led this student to a new goal: helping dancers stay healthy.
Why Does this College Essay Topic Succeed?
A student enjoyed driving his car. He liked to ride for hours listening to his favorite music and taking twists and turns he didn’t know, just see where he would end up. Sometimes he drove so far that he had to use his GPS to get home.
Why Does this College Essay Topic Fail?
Is Common App prompt 1 a good choice for an original, memorable topic? Absolutely.
Everyone has a background, identity, talent or interest. Brainstorm. See if you can come up with one, two, or three answers to this question. Have fun with it! Be silly, serious, original, provocative. Make connections and see where they take you. You might just arrive at a wonderful, meaningful, and memorable Common Application essay personal statement.
Next time: How to write Common Application essay prompt #2.
For the entire list of 2016 Common App essay prompts click here.
If you’re not familiar with the Common Application , go to their website. They also have a very helpful Facebook page.
Sharon Epstein is owner of First Impressions College Consulting in Redding, Connecticut. A Writers Guild Award-winner and two-time Emmy Award nominee, Sharon lectures extensively on essay writing. First Impressions College Consulting teaches students how to master interview skills, write killer resumes, and transform their goals, dreams and experiences into memorable college application essays. Our tutors are award-winning writers and published authors who work with students everywhere: in-person, by phone, video and email. Visit our website for more info. Connect on Google+. Pinterest and Twitter .
To Disclose or Not to Disclose?
As I a writer, I’ll admit, I’m a bit fixated on essays. So naturally, I wondered whether college application essays are the appropriate place for a student to disclose that he or she has learning differences.
When I asked, admissions officers and college disability professionals all gave me the same answer: it’s not necessary. Although, as one administrator noted, “A lot of students don’t disclose because they have decent grades, but if you’ve had a bad year, you should address it. Parents should call and shop around,” she said, adding, “I don’t want kids to come here and flounder.”
Colleges want to know that the students they admit will be able to work independently —which is why essays are so focused on learning about how students problem solve and how they’ve overcome personal challenges. They’re aware that LD students will be in need of some form of support, such as additional time taking tests or organizational strategies, so LD students also need to show that in addition to meeting this criteria, they’re resilient and know how to successfully self-advocate.
If you do decide to disclose in your application essays, consider the following:
Note: If you decide the essay isn’t the right place for you to disclose a learning difference but you want to address it, use the additional information portion of the Common Application. You don’t need to write an essay for this section; a well-written, straightforward paragraph or two will give the admissions committee the information it needs to fully understand your transcript and background.
Joanna Novins is a professional writer and analyst by training, but the challenges facing students with learning differences is a topic that is near and dear to her heart. She teaches writing to students with learning differences and is the proud parent of a smart, successful, and highly independent college student with a learning difference. Joanna holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is an independent writing consultant fo r First Impressions College Consulting. teaching college essay writing to students of all abilities.
As I write this blog, a Sesame Street song keeps running through my head, “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not the same…”
The third lesson in this series is a lesson as simple as the Sesame Street song. It’s so simple that I almost hesitate to write about it. And yet, it’s a mistake I see made by both seasoned professionals and students.
Connecting Disconnected Ideas
In my experience, people connect disconnected ideas because they have a lot of facts or ideas they’re trying to get down on the page. When you read through your drafts, examine each paragraph carefully. Ask yourself if all of the ideas or sentences in the paragraph have a common theme. If they don’t, to paraphrase the Sesame Street song, remove the ideas that are not like the other ones. If they do have a common theme, double-check your introductory sentence. Make sure it’s consistent with your common theme. If it isn’t, or you’re having trouble coming up with a first line, the problem may be that you have too many unconnected ideas in your paragraph.
At this point, you may be thinking, I’m an experienced writer, I know how to group “like” things together. But take a look at the following sentences:
If they sound correct to you, consider them more closely. Unless Vlahos is the president of Strawberry Land, his fondness for ice cream has nothing to do with his office. Stringer’s age has nothing to do with his interests. Similarly, Chen’s vocation has nothing to do with his age.
There are a couple of reasons for these all-too-common, disconnected connections:
Don’t fear the short sentence…exploit it!
Yes, I said it in my previous blog. and I’ll say it again, short sentences can be powerful. Admittedly, the examples I used were of important information summarized concisely for maximum impact, i.e. I shot the sheriff.
So what do you do if the information, by itself, has minimal impact?
Try changing up your verbs, adding an adverb, or a qualifier:
Words like “obsess” and “sneak” add tone to the writing. In this case, since they’re my choices, you’re also getting a sense of my voice as a writer. The choices you make will allow you to set the tone of your essay and showcase your voice as a writer.
A final word of warning: Beware the Ands
A good way to catch disconnected ideas is to look closely at your sentences with the word “and” as you’re editing. Ask yourself the following questions:
With over two decades of writing experience for the Central Intelligence Agency and the commercial fiction market, multi-published author Joanna Novins understand the importance of hooking the reader with the first line. She also understands the importance of telling a great story, whether it’s about manufacturing solid propellant missiles, happily-ever-after, or how to present yourself. She has extensive experience working with writers of differing skill levels, from senior intelligence analysts and published authors to aspiring authors and high school students. Joanna holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was awarded a bachelor’s degree with honors in history from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
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Welcome! I'm a Writers Guild Award Winner and Two-Time Emmy Nominee for writing who teaches people around the world how to write memorable college, prep and grad school essays, write outstanding resumes, and succeed at college and job interviews. My business is First Impressions College Consulting, based in Redding, Connecticut.Contact Me SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG Categories