Applying to university is a rigorous process. Between test-taking, recommendations, and paperwork, there are a lot of boxes to check. And of course, there’s your personal essay. Most universities require at least one personal essay in their applications, if not more than one. Use these four tips to great a great university application essay.
Write from the heart
A great personal essay is exactly that: personal. Spend a lot of time searching your heart and personal experience for a topic that is meaningful to you. Was there an experience you had as a child that shaped your future? Was there a moment where you were able to clearly discern your ideal career path? Think about your life and its major events – what can be translated into a personal essay? A personal essay should ultimately reveal more about you, and why you are an excellent candidate for your program of choice. Consider your career path and field of study, and how you can create a personal connection to why you want to pursue them.
If you’re truly stumped for ideas, you can always look up a free essay or two to help give you some inspiration. However, your university application essay needs to be 100 percent original and unique to you.
Go through revisions
Truly great work takes multiple drafts. Take a first pass as your personal statement, just to get your thoughts and ideas down on paper. Then take some time away from your statement, and come back and revisit it a short time later to revise and expand. You may come up with another idea or supporting example that will make your essay even stronger. You owe it to yourself to work on your personal essay for at least a few weeks.
Furthermore, going through your essay multiple times will help you fine tune and correct the content. Grammar and spelling errors are absolutely unacceptable in a university application essay, so you need to edit multiple times to make sure your writing is absolutely pristine.
Consider peer review
To help with grammatical accuracy, as well as creative ideas, consider using peer review to make your essay as strong as possible. Bringing in a third party perspective, especially if it’s a teacher, colleague, or friend, can help give you new ideas and good for thought to make your essay even more compelling and complete.
Work with a professional
There are individuals who specialize in helping prospective university students prepare for application, and make their submission materials as strong as possible. If you can afford it, consider working with a university-prep professional. They will be able to provide insight on what type of personal essays perform best with admissions staff, and point you down the best path to success.
Your university application essay is a pivotal piece of your application packet, and should be taken very seriously. Invest the time in making your personal statement as strong as possible, and your chances of getting into your top university program will increase significantly.