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Lesson Two: Brainstorming a Topic
an effective admissions essay requires a bit of soul searching and
reflection. The schools want to gain from your essay some insight into your
character and personality. It's difficult for most people to write about
themselves, especially something personal or introspective. If thoughtfully
observed and answered, EssayEdge's suggestions and questions will generate material
that you can use to write your essay. Although our
Brainstorming Worksheet is presented in categories, your responses will
inevitably straddle the various groupings. This is as it should be, since
brainstorming is a very lateral process. Most important while completing
these questions is that you be sincere and enjoy yourself.
Extra: One essay, multiple schools
schools' questions seem similar at first glance but are not really
the same. Don't fall into the trap of ignoring nuances that change
the way the question must be answered, then sending identical
essays to different schools with subtly different essay questions.
Admissions officers know what other schools are asking applicants,
and they are unfavorably impressed when a candidate submits
another school's essay to them.
That said, if two questions truly do call for the exact same answer,
you should not feel obligated to write two essays from scratch.
You can often use the same details about a particular experience
and change only the framework for those details. Make sure that
the essay doesn't feel like a form letter, though, with a
"fill in the blank" where the school's name should go.
If the question calls for it, relate each version of your theme to
the specific school to which you will submit it.