Saturday, June 4, 2011

THE TEN GOLDEN RULES FOR WRITING A WINNING ESSAY



Writing an essay is itself is an art. People may be good in their language, they can talk and communicate effectively, however, writing an essay on a particular subject requires certain practice and guidelines.
The essay should be catchy. The essay is meant for the reader. By reading the first few lines itself, a reader can come to a conclusion that the essay has been written in a good form and it is worth reading.
A lot of guidelines are available through various forums like meetings, seminars and website in regard to presentation of a  good essay and the necessary credentials an essay should possess.
In this article some of the points for writing a winning essay has been given in the form of ten golden rules and the points will be definitely useful for the readers towards improving their writing skills
Have a good story: A well thought out story about why the subject chosen makes sense is a fundamental part of any good application. A good story makes an application stand out by tying in personal background/experiences, personality traits and future plans into one compelling and integrated picture
Be consistent: The need to be consistent across various parts of the application, and across all the essays, is closely related to the earlier point. Inconsistencies breed doubt and should be avoided at all costs
Think holistically: It is a good idea to first step back and list out all the essays a school requires before starting work on any particular one. This will help you distribute all the experiences and qualities that need to be showcased
Personalise the essays: Schools prefer to maximize acceptance rates by extending offers to those students who are more likely to accept. Since students generally apply to several schools, essays help schools identify students who are genuinely excited about their programme. Therefore, selectively referencing some aspects of the school(history, programme reputation, professors, clubs) works well.
Demonstrate muted confidence: While it is very important to come across as a confident person, it is equally important to avoid appearing arrogant and/or over-confident. Avoid using superlatives unless absolutely necessary. It is often a good idea to lead readers into making obvious conclusions about your abilities rather than explicitly stating them
Showcase: don’t catalogue – achievements . Essays should be viewed as a trophy case to highlight experiences and qualities that will distinguish your application from that of others. Avoid listing every little positive fact about yourself
Use clear and simple structure: With an ever-increasing number of applications to cover, reviewers barely spend a few minutes on each individual essay. Well-structured thoughts make it easy for a reviewer to understand and grasp the contents of an essay quickly. It is therefore important to group related ideas and sequence them logically
Respect word limits: Word limits should be strictly followed. Although hard to practiced, economy of words is a golden rule to follow when writing essays. Reviewers appreciate concise, yet complete answers
Use an active voice and avoid silly mistakes: Use the active voice throughout your essays to bring them to life. Typographical errors should be aggressively avoided. Have someone else review your work, as it is easier for an outsider to catch mechanical errors than it would be for you
Start early: It is very easy to underestimate the work associated with writing essays. Plan ahead and leave sufficient time before deadlines to work on the essays. It is often helpful to begin organizing your thoughts around typical questions very early on (several months in advance) so you can refine and perfect what you are going to write

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