How to write an essay

An essay may be somewhat similar to a motivational letter and it should be not less than 250 words. Attempt to write 650 or a little more if possible, where you will explain:

  • Your story, if you feel that your interest or talent is meaningful and would make the application complete
  • The lessons taken from failures, incidents
  • Times when a belief has been challenged and how did you come to the decision, if that is the case
  • Problem-solving capabilities, include a story that provides significant intellectual challenges
  • An accomplishment, or event that has made you feel you entered adulthood
  • Explain how you strived to overcome and accomplish something that is very important to you.
  • Times of leadership in your family or your community. Not only for a school project – although there can be very interesting and meaningful such cases. 

*Suggestion: focus more on deep, personal reflections!

Be concise, and do not overdo or overwrite. It is important to keep a short but meaningful story or theme. There are going to be many essays for the admissions officers to read, and you should not strive to make the essay long, therefore strain their patience!

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  • You should always keep honesty first – when writing. Don’t make yourself seem more than what you are. You don’t have to be the winner at You should always go for the truth and present your reasons accordingly.
  • Be an individual and go on the lookout for the reasons why you feel you stand out. Think about what could make you stand out in relation to your peers. Try to present the way you think in all that you say/write.
  • Be coherent, focus on one point of view. Don’t try to say everything at once and seem disintegrated, scattered or distracted. Most importantly, avoid superficiality. Be also coherent and do not allow your writing to resonate with the rest of your application
  • Be accurate in your spelling, punctuation, and sentence completion and formation. Be as clear and precise as you can. You should not do without proofreading. Name spells and do not attempt to direct to them like you do to your friends. Check the language and be humble!
  • Be vivid by providing details to your story and help the reader understand the settings. Use names or invent and make it more alive and real for the reader.
  • Showing that you want to make the reader appreciate your story is not a bad thing. We all know why you are writing this essay in the first place. But don’t try too hard, or be too much in their face. Your tone and arguments should fall into this nature! This may have a lot to do with how you are perceived in class and in communication with your classmates or in other kinds of discussions or hang outs. Community is valued, and you want to be part of it!
  • Humor is something that depends completely on the perceiver. Try to be mindful of this detail and avoid too much humor in your essay – you never know what kind of reaction you may get. It is important to keep it more subtle.
  • One very important factor is bringing controversial points of view in your argument. But also do not pretend to have the final truth or say in everything! Give reasons to your arguments and consider different perspectives. Diversity of mind is very important to admission officers!
  • Be smart – you are supposed to show your intelligence as this is the place where intelligence is sought-after and is a very vital part of your essay. It matters to show why a specific subject interests you as well as explaining your reasons and what exactly turns your mind on towards higher seeking quality and intelligence. And most importantly, look for the most diverse perspectives!
  • If you are going to ask a question – avoid asking questions that can easily be found. Instead, focus on questions that really engage in giving an answer and that go deeper and profoundly far from the ones easy to find. It will show how much you have researched about the university in matter!
  • Find an adult to read the final draft of your essay, to ask questions, and/or add input. You might miss naïve or small things which should not go unrecognized! Because you have written the essay, it makes it hard to spot things that do not fit very well! Or there could be things you forgot that might make the story more unique!
  • You should be careful not to represent any negative events that put an emphasis on your negative characteristics or outlook. Be always drawn towards positive outlooks and try to be coherent. Also, do not mention your too high-standing personality traits or anything similar!
  • One of the most important things that the admissions officers are looking to find through your admission essay is whether you can actually write and how much they can get to know you through your writing. So pay attention to details and the tone you use to portray yourself!
  • Do not attempt too stylized, or too academic, rigid or formal writing styles. Combine and find a middle ground, but avoid staying at one end of a writing style all the time! Do not try too hard or use extreme words, neither.
  • Don’t refer to yourself in the third person – be passionate and be yourself!
  • Do not focus on a flashback writing type of essay, as if you are writing from the future right back to your past and as if your admission in this specific university has made you earn the Nobel prize, yet!
  • Be more creative! Write about what matters to you, not necessarily only to please the university.
  • Read other success stories – they might influence you in a good way and give you ideas if for a while you feel stuck and cannot decide how to start your essay!
  • Do not exaggerate – keep it to a nice humble level!
  • Don’t procrastinate or write within a day! Allow yourself time to get back to your essay until everything falls into place and you are really happy with the end result!

*Note: Guidance is valid for all letters!

In all of the letters mentioned above, avoid plagiarizing, clichés, childhood experiences, religious motivations, and altruistic motivations. The verb -to be- and its forms are advised to be left out of your writing in order to allow you to make a more eloquent letter. Also avoid a mechanical, machine-like voice of writing, or bureaucratic voice, or poetic voice! There are online services like  WritePro.net, where people can write essay samples for you!

Always focus on showing why you are the right person to be accepted rather than telling! Show your intellectual motivations!  If you notice that you are telling – substitute it with showing your intellectual motivations, rather than only admit that you are motivated!

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