Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on:
• Substantive self-reflection.
• Use of specifics, examples, and anecdotes.
• Willingness to reveal your thought processes and feelings.
So start your writing process with self-knowledge. You don’t have to search the internet or a large library. Start with your experiences and your dreams. Search your head and your heart. That is where the substance of a good personal statement is stored.
Then use anecdotes, specifics, and examples to reveal what’s in your heart and show that your dreams are grounded in experience. Good examples can bring your essays to life and engage the reader.
At the same time, recognize that essays with only examples and anecdotes don’t reveal your thought processes and consequently are also superficial. Make sure you balance your stories with insight and analysis.
Avoid Fatal Flaw #1: Bring your essays to life with self-reflection and astute use of examples balanced by analysis.
This tip is an excerpt from Five Fatal Flaws: Eliminate the 5 Most Common Flaws in your Application Essays and Personal Statements. To view the entire free special report, please click here.
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This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of Accepted.com.