The personal statement is a huge component of college applications. Essay and Coalition Application Essay are examples of personal statements. They are asking themselves: do you write about something truly unique? obscure your message, and it's hard to understand what you actually mean. No college application is complete without the personal essay, which can be Shared by admissions staff, these essays stand out, they say, I know who cross that bridge daily do so with no thought of the creek below. Tags: college admissions, college applications, colleges, students, education. This handout will help you write and revise the personal statement required by many Because the application essay can have a critical effect upon your progress If you don't do what they ask, the reader may wonder if you will be able to Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail.
What do they mean by personal essay on applications - you were
Current inventory: thirty-two note pads, ten packs of Pilot G-2 pens, and pure willpower.
I come from a long line of list-makers. It shows up on both sides of my family, so by the time this trait reached my generation, it hit a peak. I’m a first-rate lister.
My chronic list-making tendencies began in fourth grade when I begged for a white board and a set of Expo markers for Christmas. I started creating daily color-coordinated to-do lists replete with little checkmark boxes, and fun facts for my family to enjoy—perhaps to compensate for the fact that my large white board reigned over the kitchen space.
And, while I’ve retired the white board, I still stick with a note pad. I keep a note pad by the telephone, one on the counter, and of course, one in my backpack—some of them have new app ideas, some of them have new book ideas, maybe there’s even a revolution in there somewhere.
As far as habits go, it’s not a bad one to have.
A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression. With every contraction of my brain, every output of overflowing postulations, every idea my imagination rapidly hurls at me, those thoughts that had been unconscious suddenly surface at the touch of pen to paper. A thought, which is in so many ways intangible, is absolutely tangible on paper. And I like that thought—that our words can have resonance.
Because I’m not just a list-maker. Words and how they shape our reality have been a driving force in my life…
As a writer, I am constantly constructing reality. Writing on a page has a physicality: each word by itself could seem mundane and even unimaginative, but the way I choose to arrange them on the page makes them meaningful. Someone reads them, and now my words exist in the world as their own object.
As a debater, I edit on paper, I write on paper, I read on paper. And when I voice the words, and put them into the world, someone’s perception is changed, for better or for worse.
As an artist, I spin my words into portraits of people, landscapes of nature, even cartoons of fantastical polka dotted critters. My loose-leaf pages are a sanctuary from the rigors of “productivity,” and each doodle represents the language of my dreams and imagination.
Words build bridges. But the words that make up my lists aren’t just any words—they’re filled with “do, complete, finish, be.” They harness energy and incite action, give me answers and direction. They serve to connect the me I am—a tad disorganized, spontaneous, a little confused, and very overwhelmed—with the me I aspire to be. I can rely on them. Although the course of my life is most likely going to be transient, jumbled, and complex, covered in a tangle of corrections, with contradicting figures sprawled all over, lists will always keep me grounded.
There is something wonderful about a physical pen with graceful ink in my control that a handwritten list can solely provide, and that I will not grow out of. Lists go hand in hand with refreshing walks and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning: they are always there for me, to be read or put away or kept tucked away in a drawer or pocket—within reach.
Best of all, lists have a way of clarifying things: You can’t really mess around with a 3 by 5 note pad; you have to get to the absolute essence of an idea. In that moment between thinking a thing and writing it down, a shift takes place. Once I’ve got it down on paper, it’s going to happen.
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Why This Essay Worked:
It includes some great one-liners. Here are just a couple: “A list is the keeper of spontaneous expression,” “Words build bridges,” and “Once I’ve got it down on paper, it’s going to happen.” The pacing of this essay is excellent and that’s because the author varies her sentence structure. No paragraph is too dense or excessively wordy. Long sentences are balanced out by short, quippy insights. This give and take of short and long keeps the piece flowing smoothly. Not only is the content great, but it’s also not tiring to read. The “flow” of the essay is something you’ll want to pay attention to, especially when you’re revising.
It harnesses the power of a great throughline. This piece is what we would call a montage essay. Have a look at our blog post on Montage Structure for all the details on this. In short though, a montage essay is one that uses a common theme, event, object, or interest to tie together a bunch of different parts of an applicant’s life. In this case, the idea of making lists is what connects everything. It’s brilliant because it allows the author to cover disparate topics in a coherent and unique way. If you feel like you don’t have a specific moment or narrative to talk about, that’s okay. This essay is a great example of how you can structure your piece.
It emphasizes not only what the author thinks about but also how she thinks. Sometimes students think that writing a personal statement is about cramming as much information as possible about themselves into the 650 word count. In reality, it’s more just about giving your reader a distinct sense of who you are and what keeps you up at night. Although this author briefly mentions her interest in writing and debate, the majority of the essay is mostly just her nerding out about lists and the power of a good doodle. While that might not seem like a topic with enough substance, the way she writes about it reveals so much about personal values. We see that she’s creative, adventurous, artistic, reflective, expressive, and imaginative. She doesn’t need to explicitly talk about what clubs she’s in or what classes she’s taken for us to see that. Let this be an example of how expansive the idea of a personal statement can be and how much creative liberty you can take in choosing your topic.