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PERSONAL INSIGHT QUESTIONS

How you can paint a full picture in 350 words

 
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SHOW DON'T TELL

We hear this phrase a lot when starting college applications but what does it even mean?! Let's translate:

Don't list out what you have done but tell us how it impacted you!

BE ACTIVE

"First I...Second I...Third I...Finally I..." you hate writing papers like this so why would you write something you hate?


Show them you've got personality with choosing active words. "This led me to...I then dived into...I plunged...I swept forward...I finally knelt..."

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GET EMOTIONAL

Got a heart of stone? Not for this essay!

Show them how important major points in your life are to you through emotional appeal. For example:

"My studies became a loving hug I could fall into easily...."

"Sociology led my mind around our city with such a tender hand..."

"If I could chose my heart beat it would follow my violin..."

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF

Getting frustrated with writing about yourself? Don't worry, me too.


First, take a look at your awards and extracurricular table (again) and highlight the top two things in each section you spend the most time on.


Then pick two or three of those items from any section. Is there a theme like leadership, community, perseverance, or something you feel you can speak to?

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USE THE WRITING SERVICES PROVIDED

Your high school tutoring center or community college writing center is a great place to start after you feel like you can't possibly edit your writing down anymore.


The truth is that we're all biased towards our own stories, especially if it involves ourselves at raw moments. Know that the advisors aren't trying to pick at your life for faults but at your essay as a separate body of work - it is not personal.

SAY IT OUT LOUD!

Read your essay out loud, if something is grammatically incorrect or you're missing a word you'll catch it!

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THIS ISN'T A SOLO MISSION

Partner up! It may be embarrassing or make you feel self conscious about your writing to share with others but sometimes it is exactly what you need.

Allowing other people to read your essays will allow you to ask them questions like, "what type of person does my essay say I am to you?" 

Additionally, if you're working with a friend they might remind you of a story that fits your prompt better than the one you initially used.