An admission report is different from the type of essay a student would write for a class because it is both personal and persuasive. Unlike most academic essays, which discourage the inclusion of the writer's personal life, and unlike most personal essays, which present a situation or individual rather than defend or explain an action, the goal of admission essays is to both effectively describe the applicant so that he or she is memorable and unique and to persuade the institution that the applicant is worthy of admission.
There are two general types of admission essays. The first type is written in response to a specific prompt or question set forth by the institution. The second is a document in which the applicant is instructed to describe his or her reasons for wishing to attend the institution or program and explain why he or she is qualified. These essays will look different in final form; however, there are two imperatives when writing either type: (1) it must be flawless in its presentation and (2) it must set the applicant apart from other applicants.
First, some advice regarding presentation. Remember that the person reading the article is likely reading dozens or even hundreds of admission reports from similarly qualified applicants. That means that little mistakes matter, and can accumulate to hurt the overall score. Grammar, spelling, and formatting should be perfect. Enlist the assistance of a friend, teacher, or writing center to check over the report during various phases of the writing process.
If the article is in response to a specific prompt issued by the institution, be sure to adequately address every aspect of that prompt or question. Failing to touch on all parts of the prompt will make the applicant appear careless. If the article is a general report detailing the applicant's desire and qualifications for admission to the program, it should equally address both of those points.
Now, a few words regarding the second admission essay imperative. Remember again that person is reading dozens or hundreds of essays. If that reader is going to remember an applicant, that applicant must distinguish him- or herself from other applicants. Whether it is an admission essay for college, graduate school, law school, or a specific program within such an institution, admission essays are likely the only component of an application that allows the individual to be more than his or her grades and distinctions. The admission essay is the opportunity for the applicant to emerge as an individual rather than a pile of transcripts and recommendations. In the effort of being unique, be honest, sincere, and candid. Don't state the obvious. If the admission essay is for medical school, the applicant should not write an entire essay about wanting to go to medical school because he or she wants to help others. Hopefully, all medical school applicants want to go to medical school because they want to help others. Dig deeper than that, and be sincere and honest. Being real will make an essay stand out.
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