Coming up with a graduate admission essay when applying to schools with the most competitive graduate programs in the US is a challenging yet exciting task. Applying to top grad schools means that you have to come with exemplary grades, excellent recommendations from trusted professors from your old school, as well as the best admission essay that you can possibly write.
While you may no longer have control of your school records and what it says about your academic performance there, or whether or not you like the recommendation given by a favorite professor, you can still give your image a boost with a well-written graduate admission essay. Different graduate schools for various specialties may have specific requirements for their graduate school applicants, but they more or less look for the same thing when screening prospective graduate students.
Tips for making an impressive admission essay for graduate school
Typical questions you need to address when you write a graduate school admission essay include brief points about your education, past experiences that influenced your decisions to choose your desired field of study, and specific examples that show the skills and traits that will serve you well as you continue your studies.
Being specific with your examples is one of the most important things you can do with your admission essay. Being specific will help you keep your essay personal and will make your piece interesting to read. Graduate school admission panels are not looking for serious, technical essays because essays like these usually constitute the couple of other essays that they have already read in the past. Personal experiences make you unique. Use them to make an essay that your admission officers have not read before.
Answer the questions given.
Answering the questions put forth in the application requirements is one of the most important tasks involved in writing a graduate school admission essay. Answering possible questions about discrepancies in your record and perhaps perceived weaknesses can also be done in the admissions essay. Just make sure to keep it short and avoid sounding defensive by emphasizing what you have learned from your failures and other negative occurrences in your life.
Proofread and edit your work.
Most experts say that even those with previous experience in professional writing need to have their grammar and spelling checked by others. Proofreading your essay can be made more effective if it is seen by fresh eyes, especially those of professional editors. This is your admission essay after all, so you would want it to be as impressive as possible. However, you should limit the number of people whom you ask for feedback on your essay. You easily run the risk of submitting an essay that is a collaboration of many people rather than an essay that reflects who you are.
Proofreading is also the best way to look at your formatting and do edits as necessary. While the kind of paper used or the proper use of margins can never replace the substance of the essay, they can help make an already well-written essay look more presentable.