Are you stuck on the essay? It is not uncommon to create an essay draft and find that it isn’t the personal and powerful statement that you had hoped for. If you have reached that stage, here are a few things that should help:


Dig deeper and spend some time reflecting on what makes you who you are. Consider how you might communicate that in your essay. Keep in mind that you need to be showing rather than telling the reader what you want him or her to learn about you.

Next, think of something you do, or something that matters to you, that you thought at first was too minor. While an idea may seem trivial for an essay in school, it can be a great one here. Because your goal here is to draft a personal statement that will capture attention.

Review your draft again and ask yourself if it is too broad (and likely dull). Taking on too big a topic is a trap students easily fall into. Choose an interesting element of that original story and make it the focus. Provide rich detail that will engage the reader and help you stand out in that reader’s mind.

Looking for a simple test of whether your essay is personal enough? It should be something only you could write!


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