How Long Are Personal Essays For College

How Long Are Personal Essays For College-55
The voice you use should be approachable as well as intelligent.This essay is not the place to stun your reader with ten prepositional phrases (“the goal of my study of the field of law in the winter of my discontent can best be understood by the gathering of more information about my youth”) and thirty nouns (“the research and study of the motivation behind my insights into the field of dentistry contains many pitfalls and disappointments but even more joy and enlightenment”) per sentence.Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail.

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You may want to start by just getting something—anything—on paper. Think about the questions we asked above and the prompt for the essay, and then write for 15 or 30 minutes without stopping.

What do you want your audience to know after reading your essay? Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, organization, or anything else. For help getting started, see our handout on brainstorming. Find the most relevant, memorable, concrete statements and focus in on them.

(Note: If you are having trouble forming clear sentences without all the prepositions and nouns, take a look at our handout on style.) You may want to create an impression of expertise in the field by using specialized or technical language.

But beware of this unless you really know what you are doing—a mistake will look twice as ignorant as not knowing the terms in the first place.

A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one.

If you spot that, try to use the second sentence and delete the first.

Your readers may have thousands of essays to read, many or most of which will come from qualified applicants.

This essay may be your best opportunity to communicate with the decision makers in the application process, and you don’t want to bore them, offend them, or make them feel you are wasting their time.

The essay may take two forms: This is a hard essay to write.

It’s probably much more personal than any of the papers you have written for class because it’s about you, not World War II or planaria.

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