Spring is knocking on the door, and new sessions are about to begin. As universities and colleges across the country look to welcome a fresh batch of students, the need for scholarship essay examples will also rise. It is common knowledge that you cannot get into any reputed institution solely by your academic records. You will need to submit a personal essay to the institutions stating why you will be the best fit from the hundreds of applications they receive.
Personal statements are vital and can be the only thing standing in between you and your dream university. So, if you are losing sleep wondering how to write a personal essay, I am here to address your concerns! Read on for nuggets of the experience that I gathered over the years while evaluating applications.
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Important Tips to Write a Personal Essay
1. Be Thoughtful but Not Fretful
You need to include a lot of stuff while writing a personal essay. You need to list down your academic grades, all the accomplishments, achievements in extracurricular activities, etc. In a nutshell, this is the only time you have control over the personal essay. So, this thought can be overwhelming for many.
But don’t be scared of writing the essay. You should understand that you need to be thoughtful about all the things you want to include. But do not overthink it. The best way to do it without getting fretful is by considering it as a tool to convey your accomplishments. Do not think that this element can make or break your application. Thinking from this angle will surely be disastrous.
2. Highlight the “Personal” Aspects
Since you are writing a personal essay, don’t forget to hog the limelight towards yourself. Let me spill an inside fact – your professors don’t really care even if you are making things up, as long as they are believable, relevant to the course you have applied, and revolve around you. During my stint, I have seen various students making the mistake of submitting well-articulated personal essays, but the content is too generic.
As a result, all those applications get rejected because they don’t really speak about you. So, the best way to make the personal statement unique is by taking inspiration from your own life. You can pick a life event, tweak the narrative to make it more relevant, and write it down. No matter what you choose, ensure that you describe it in detail, and connect how it helps you be the better pick for the program.
If required, look for some definition essay examples on the web to feel inspired.
3. Don’t Guess What the Reader Wants
Do a small exercise on your own. Ask ten of your friends what they want you to write about. You will most definitely get ten different answers from all of them. This is exactly the case while writing personal essays. Don’t keep guessing what the admission board wants to read.
Instead, try to find a topic that excites you. If you are confident writing about a topic, put your heart and soul to make that shine. However, one thing you must remember is that the topic should be relevant to the program. If you are applying for a chemistry course, you certainly cannot write about your passion for football. Most experts advise students to write something they are passionate about because even if you cannot articulate everything accurately, the passion still shows.
4. Tickle the Funny Bone
It is your personal essay, and if you want to add some creativity or be a little funny, go ahead! However, be alert that you are not overreaching. Forced humour is certainly one thing that puts off any reader. So, if humour is your strength, play that card to make the essay shine. If you are not confident about it, never try to fake it.
5. Don’t State the Obvious
You have to include your academic results and transcripts along with your personal essay. You already have to disclose many of the personal details in those documents, like your academic achievements or the awards you have won in sports or quizzes. Do not write about those things again in your personal essay.
This document is a great way to make a gleaming impression in front of the admission panel. Grab this chance with both hands to tell them as many things as possible. Tell them about you beyond the test scores and how your attributes will help you to excel in the course.
6. Ask for Input
You are most likely writing a personal essay for the first time. So, do not fear to bounce off some ideas off your professors, seniors, parents, and even your friends. Your teachers and family members know you better, and they can help you find out what is unique about you. The experience of your seniors can also help you articulate what you want to say clearly and concisely.
However, refrain from asking too much. You should not get too influenced by their ideas since the perception of an eighteen-year-old will never be the same as a forty-year-old. The word choice of your dad or mom will also largely differ from yours. So, if you ask them too much, the paper will sound more like them rather than reflecting your voice. And make no mistake, the experienced eyes of the admission panel members will certainly note these differences.
7. Proofread and Polish
The main purpose of the personal essay is to give insight into your personal life. At the same time, it is also used to demonstrate your superior writing skills. So, treat it like homework, and don’t forget to proofread it before submission. Check thoroughly for any spelling and grammatical mistakes. Ensure you are refining it enough to impress the readers.
Personal essays are certainly a crucial element in your pursuit of getting into your dream university. But do not treat it as a matter of life and death, as that will only put you under more pressure. Follow these seven simple tips, and you will be able to write perfect personal essays in no time.