Monday, August 17, 2015

College Application Essays: Think Inside *Your* Box

Your personal statement fills out your college application. It is your opportunity to present yourself as a thinking and feeling person, rather than simply a high school transcript and list of activities. In the essay, you can display your writing, critical thinking and analysis skills. It is your chance to stand out and show the admissions officers who you are as a person.

And that's not easy to do. Your instinct might be to think outside the box and write something wacky, but instead, you should think inside your own box. That is to say, write the essay in your own voice.

You are different from your peers because of your experiences and how you've woven them together. Instead of thinking outside of the metaphorical box, let the reader into your mind.

I know, that sounds really vague. Good advice, but how to pin it down into a series of words, sentences and paragraphs? Think about written communication you have with friends. Even without hearing their voices or reading their names, you can probably recognize each person's distinct way of choosing words and putting them together. That's all to say that you recognize their written voice.

In your personal essay, work on creating your own individual voice. No, don't use internet shorthand as you write, but think about your own way of seeing the world and how you usually transcribe that into words. And write that. Write your own personal response to the question. Finally, edit and revise those words to make sure that they are as precise and concise as possible.

Looking for more individualized guidance as you work on your personal statement for college applications? I'm available to work with you as a private writing coach. Click through for more information. You might also be interested in these earlier posts about writing your personal statement

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