Wednesday, January 18, 2012

US University Essays and Mistakes

Students are often stumped when they hear about essays. Essays are an integral part of the US admission process and nearly all Schools pay extreme importance to it. Most importantly, essays allow you to put forth your thoughts, compensate for any irregularities or downsides during your academic studies and / or work.

Some non-typical mistakes that students make while considering to submit quality essays are listed here:
  1. Reviewing sample essays: When you start reading others' work (generally online), remember that 1000s of others are also reviewing the same. You will begin to lack originality. Essays must be right from your thoughts, past experiences and future plans (goals). You will invariably end up losing too much time if you start reading others' essays. Further, you will keep comparing your completed essays with what's available in the market and it sure will present more dilemmas whether your work's come out better than others'. Keep it natural. Then edit them, proof-check them. As long as it matches to what you are thinking, go ahead and submit them. You want to end up in a class of students and lecturers who understand you!
  2. Stubbornness on reducing the size: Academic essays generally come with a word limit (eg. not more than 500 words). You do not have to essentially consume all the words. It's tempting, but you can do away with this thought as long as you feel your essay is clear and to the point. It always happens that discarding information that you've written is painful and the art of writing well is to know what to remove. Never hesitate discarding useless or repetitive information
  3. Picking from personal statement / SOP: Often students end up writing a personal statement (statement of intent, statement of purpose). Essay questions are formed in a way where answers are required to be your own, unique in it's own way and requires clearly answering the question raised. Picking everything from your personal statement does not help. You may end up not answering the main question at all. Justify writing each essay separately
  4. Procrastinating writing difficult essays: Delaying writing the most difficult essays is foolish. Rather, once you finish the most difficult ones, the others (lesser engaging or difficult essays) become automatically easier and run with a flow
  5. Displaying weaknesses: Students are often hesitant in displaying weaknesses. The best is to accept them and write about them. If you have not paid attention (ever) to what your weaknesses are, take time to evaluate and assess them. It's best to tell the school (where you will be studying) about what you've come to learn
  6. Flowery Language: No. Keep them simple. Reduce the size of the sentences after you've written your essay. Writing rosy words don't help and by far does not raise your chance of getting through with admission. Essays that are simple, to the point and natural are winning
Really your target should be to end up in a school which accepts you the way you are and changes you for the better rather than anticipating that you are an Einstein and talks about the Physics that you helped evolve that changed the world! The word's 'natural'--stick to it!

1 comment:

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