How To Write Personal Essays

How To Write Personal Essays-57
Regardless of whether or not one of your applications will be submitted to Vanderbilt, we would like to offer you a few nuggets of the expertise we have acquired working with students and evaluating applications over years. Over the next several weeks, we will be posting lists of tips concerning various pieces of the application that we hope will make this process a little less overwhelming for all of you. Each of us has some exciting story to tell our friends, or particular experience to share with others.

Regardless of whether or not one of your applications will be submitted to Vanderbilt, we would like to offer you a few nuggets of the expertise we have acquired working with students and evaluating applications over years. Over the next several weeks, we will be posting lists of tips concerning various pieces of the application that we hope will make this process a little less overwhelming for all of you. Each of us has some exciting story to tell our friends, or particular experience to share with others.Don’t forget that the essay is a craft, it takes careful thought and editing to make it worthy for the reader.

Any element of confession should be brief and blunt.

Objecting to something that the majority of people support is a good way to demonstrate idiosyncrasy.

Your point of view is shaped by your experiences, your personality, and your writing style.

You are constantly revealing yourself to the reader.

By revealing your limits to the reader you can move beyond them.

Most times you will end up discussing something you would never have attempted from the start.Classes are back in session, the leaves are falling off the trees, and most of our counselors have departed for the two-month marathon of flights, high school visits, and college fairs that we call travel season.In addition, thousands of high school seniors across the country have begun the process of filling out college applications.You need to be aware of your prejudices and reveal them to the reader: doing so will help give the essay a conscience.The reader wants to see your point of view – what you think and why you think it.A personal essay wants the essayist’s considered reflections, whether they relate or not. You write your way into it, letting one thing lead to another, never knowing where you are going or how you will end.This fragmentary nature makes it ideal for writing about and during times of transition and confusion. Only by writing the words will you start to discover what it is you are writing about. Common themes include: relationships (family, friends, lovers), childhood, travel, nature, isolation, hobbies, idleness, illness, writing, and mortality.You must give the reader your utmost intelligence and understanding.The best way to convince the reader of your sincerity is to reveal your potential for insincerity. Being honest on the page is hard, but if you can do it the reader will recognize and respect it. Keep questioning yourself until you find the limits of your understanding.As a personal essayist, if you can find a new angle from which to look at a stale topic you will be making it fresh.This is good both for the essayist and the readers because it keep everyone interested and questioning. Passion is great but not when it blinds you from being able to see the faults as well as the merits. If you present an essay that is too self-aggrandizing or self-hating then you risk losing the reader.

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