CONNECT TO YOUR STORY
Step 5 – Draft
Do you have a core idea and write authentically with a vision?
Writing is a process. It takes time and it takes a plan.
Each time you work on a draft of your essay, decide what you want to accomplish.
Example: On this pass, I want to focus on the way this experience changed me.
Then, write expansively on that idea. Don’t hold back.
Use your energy in a creative and productive way. This method encourages you to
build your essay, draft-by-draft.
When you hit roadblocks, stop and take notice. Figure out what needs to be solved.
Once you have a working draft, make sure that your essay covers all the necessary
points. Refer back to your outline.
As a gentle reminder, this is not an essay for English class. It’s not for a grade – it
has a completely different purpose. You are helping the colleges get to know you
as a person, and not just as a high school student.
Personal stories are like gold when it comes to writing college essays. Trust the
images, words and phrases that are authentic to you!
Consider the personal qualities your essay conveys. For example, does the
experience you write about show that you are resilient? Curious? Creative?
Those are great qualities to have as a college student. But remember to "show",
not "tell." (See Step One for a review of show vs. tell.)
Review. Personal statements allow you to be reflective, thoughtful and inspired
about the direction of your life. Commit to the vision you want to share and
enjoy the process of self-discovery.