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How to Write a Killer Admissions Essay

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Denise Shekerjian

on 2 October 2018

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Transcript of How to Write a Killer Admissions Essay

What's next?
Step 2: Think
What makes a good story?
What happened in this story?
How to find a great topic?
How to Write a Killer
Admissions Essay

Learning Differences?
Language, word choice
Voice, tone



All writing is . . .
Throat clearing
Humor or Slang
Mental health
Attempts to impress
Admit it . . .
you want to know more.
The Story Only You Can Tell
What allows you to feel at home in the world?
What needs healing?
Bottom Line / Recap
Tell a story -- single focus.
Dig deep = meaningful, original.
Think deeply; write simply.
Open strong
3 part structure
Harmonize tone, language, imagery.
Be positive.
Problems make the best stories.
The mundane is more interesting than the fabulous.
Edit until nothing more to add or take away.
Read. Breathe. Relax.
Something go Sideways?
How significant?
What to say?
When to say it?

Odd formats
What to say?
When to say it?
What to avoid?
Cute, clever
Tell the Story Only You can Tell
Think deeply; write simply.

If they knew you . . .
What's the question?
Personal essay
Build, don't repeat.
Clear Narrative
Beginning, middle, and end.
About something.
Memorable & interesting
"Just tell the god damn story."
What's your content?
Who are you?
How to structure your story.
1. Begin with your narrative.
Opening line. Vivid. Gripping.
Coherence and relevance
2. Intellectual experience with your field and goals
Journey as a scholar
3. Your fit with the particular institution.
Why you will excell.
Close: humility, gratitude.
Something go sideways?
Choose wisely.
What makes a good story?
1. Clear narrative
2. Clear fit
3. Strong writing
Is it a good story?
Interesting + Authentic + Specific
What about . . . ?
1. one idea, grab, tell, backstory
2. intellectual experience with it
3. fit, close, tie a bow
Common things
Big subjects
Excessive altruism
Adulation of mentor
Love letters
Pick me!
How significant?
How much to say?
Where to say it?
Watch your tone!
and . . .
What's it about?
Denise 802 598 0271
Step 1: Read
Step 3: Write. Anything all.
Interests well defined
Smart: NSF grant, conferences, Japanese
Interesting tidbits
"Just tell the god damn story."
Brick by brick
educate, entertain, connect
The province of joy
Illegal, inappropriate
Initmate, personal
Full transcript