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Questions about Essays for Top Schools

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Questions about Essays for Top Schools [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2004, 09:00
Linda-

I'm putting together the draft of some of my essays now for the top-10 schools I'm applying to. I have a few questions:

1) Is it good to start some essays out with a story?

Aka - for the Career Goals essay, would it be more eye-catching to start with a paragraph about an interesting project/move/thought than to simply dive right in and say "My short term career goals are xxxxx and my long term career goals are yyyyyy"

I'm debating whether or not this will come across as too casual/flowery instead of direct and to the point.

2) Is it good to cite a few quotes from relevant magazines/books? I'm applying for an entrepreneurship program at certain schools and have some quotes from some successful individuals in the field that I'd like to cite as part of my essays. Is this wise to do?

Thanks.
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Re: Questions about Essays for Top Schools [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2004, 15:00
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jjomalls wrote:
Linda-

I'm putting together the draft of some of my essays now for the top-10 schools I'm applying to. I have a few questions:

1) Is it good to start some essays out with a story?

Aka - for the Career Goals essay, would it be more eye-catching to start with a paragraph about an interesting project/move/thought than to simply dive right in and say "My short term career goals are xxxxx and my long term career goals are yyyyyy"

I'm debating whether or not this will come across as too casual/flowery instead of direct and to the point.

2) Is it good to cite a few quotes from relevant magazines/books? I'm applying for an entrepreneurship program at certain schools and have some quotes from some successful individuals in the field that I'd like to cite as part of my essays. Is this wise to do?

Thanks.


To answer your excellent questions:

1) Stories, anecdotes and examples are among the best openings for essays. Pleasee see the following sample essays for examples:
http://accepted.com/mba/sampessay02.aspx and
http://accepted.com/mba/sampessay03.aspx .

2) One quote can occasionally be an effective opening, BUT collections of quotes take up a lot of room and the adcom wants to read your thoughts and words, not someone else's. Since I have seen quotes used well, I would never say categorically"never use quotes," but I certainly would be cautious about using them.

Good luck!
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Linda Abraham
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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