How To Write A Why This Program Essay

Thesis 20.08.2019

They don't want to hear praise; they want to hear how you connect with their school.

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Note: If you are write trouble forming clear sentences without all the prepositions and nouns, take a look at our handout on style. Nothing is program than trying to match an application essay with no name or, worse, an email address why as donutsarelife domain.

Professors how the essay All you need to do is to "decipher" their wording.

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Start with your main idea, and follow it from beginning to end. Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. Any examples or experiences you cite should relate back to you and why you want to go to grad school. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of science.

After spending several weeks studying the EU, its history and present movement towards integration, the class flew to Brussels program we how with officials and proceeded to learn firsthand how the EU functioned. First, I'll why about the prep work you'll need to do. As such, I would like to take an Entrepreneurial Leadership minor alongside my Computer Science major.

Interviewing an alumnus. Alumni interviews are not an uncommon practice. Interviewing an alumnus of the school to which you are applying is a perfect chance to get all the information about this school. Formulate your questions in a way which will allow getting all the information you need, including your essay prompt answer. Of course, remember to take notes! Attending college fairs. All high school students who wish to continue their studies at college are encouraged to attend college fairs, facilitating their choice of school. Students who have already made up their minds about the school they are applying to may feel like there is no need to attend such events. Nevertheless, attending college fairs can still prove beneficial for the applicants. Most people who attend such fairs just pick a pile of brochures and go home. This should not be your case. Even though brochures and other hand-out materials are valid research material for a "why this college" essay, do not limit yourself to that info. The people at your college's stand at a fair are usually volunteering students who should be friendly to the fair attendants. You can use it for your benefit and ask them all the questions that we have discussed above. Once again, don't forget to take notes! Looking through college's brochures and course catalogs. As we have mentioned, schools are interested in attracting significant numbers of applicants, and this is why they advertise. Aside from the means of advertisement we have already discussed, there are the colleges' own published materials, including brochures and course catalogs. You can find them both in online and printed form. One thing that they always include is the school's mission statement, which reflects their philosophy of education. You can see whether or how exactly it corresponds to your goals and expand upon it in a "why this college" essay. By expanding we mean underlining how one or two particular classes and activities are custom-designed for you. It may be tempting to simply paraphrase their description, but you should know that it will not work. Your interest needs to be sincere and genuine, and, as such, you should take an original approach to the issue — for example, you can focus on a particular professor s that you find appealing professionally and academically. Reading the alumni magazine. Alumni magazines may seem like something too specific to fall under an applicant's interest, but this is a misconception. When reading such a magazine, you may come across a professor's work that you find particularly inspiring or even read about the school's vision of its future which you share, to which you can connect, and in which you vividly see yourself. For example, you may find yourself particularly inspired by the school's plans to build a brand new top-notch engineering school which you sincerely hope to join. Another helpful materials are the alumni testimonials where they go into detail about their aspirations which led them to this school and how true to life these aspirations turned out to be, - this is quite an effective source of inspiration for this kind of essay! Reading the campus newspaper. For now, this is the closest thing to this school's campus experience. This is a unique opportunity to get more insight into the campus life as it is — what troubles the students, what they are happy about, what career and extracurricular opportunities they have, and other topical issues. So, it would be a shame to miss such an opportunity. Following the school's social media profiles. Today, pretty much every school has its own profile on major social media — Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. There, they post about everything that happens on the campus: new construction expansions, anniversaries of particular events in school history, announcements about the school's regular and one-time events, etc. This is another unique opportunity to get more insightful information about how the school lives, so miss out on those. Just googling your school. Same as with any other research, just looking up the information on the Internet can prove to be helpful. Wikipedia, for example, often provides insightful articles about renowned colleges, including their history, traditions, plans, etc. You can also google something like "what is this college really like" and find student forums where they will most likely discuss all the relevant issues sincerely and in great detail. STEP 2. Formulating your "why this college" essay topic Now that you have conducted some substantial research about your school, you should possess a considerable amount of information on the subject-matter. During the research, you have surely come across some particularly relatable and inspiring points about your school. These are the points you should address in "why this college" essay. These points may come from any of the sources used during the research — hints found online, the information you have gathered while on campus, insights from your conversations with students and those you have "overheard" from their conversations on forums and through the college newspaper, etc. Surely, you have followed our advice and took notes about everything meaningful that you have learned. What you should do now is look through all these notes and pick up to five points that are the most exciting and relatable to the school's philosophy, environment, and life in general. They also have to be the ones on which you can expand in a way that reveals a direct connection of these details of campus life. You will be able to use them in your essay regardless of whether the prompt demands a "why us" or a "why you" approach. Out of these five points, pick one that you will make into the topic of your "why this college" essay. How do you pick just one? To do this, go back to the fundamental question of a "why this college" essay — what makes you personally relatable to this particular school and the things for which it stands. Having conducted significant research, you surely have a lot of genuine things to share. Obviously, they will be more specific than the general sentences like "the historical buildings of the campus are all architectural masterpieces and a sheer pleasure to look at" or "the liberal arts curriculum here is some of the most progressive in the country. Instead, talk something characteristic of this school specifically. In other words, discuss things that only this school can offer, and that make this school stand out among others. When you think about these individual features of your target school, you should have a vivid and colorful picture of how you will describe them in your essay. Quite the contrary, it should be a personal piece of writing. Just singing odes of praise is not your goal here. Instead, focus more on the reasons why you find this school so extraordinary. These reasons must form connection points between you and the school, and, as such, they should be personal, perhaps even intimate. We cannot stress enough that this cannot be general and superficial. For example, you cannot state that you want to get enrolled in this school because it is located in a city and you want to move to that city. Every town has a college or even several to which you could apply, but you chose this particular one — why? You cannot just state that the architecture of the campus buildings is inspiring. Interesting events, clubs, or activities? Internet Wikipedia is a great resource for learning basic details about a college's history, traditions, and values. I also recommend looking for forums on College Confidential that specifically deal with the school you're researching. Another option is to search on Google for interesting phrases, such as "What students really think about [School Name]" or "[School Name] student forum. Step 2: Brainstorm Potential Essay Topics So what should you do now that you've completed a bunch of research? Answer: use it to develop connection points between you and your target school. These connections will be the skeleton of your "why this college" essay. Find the Gems in Your Research You have on hand all kinds of information, from your own personal experiences on campus, to your conversations with people affiliated with your target school, to what you've learned from campus publications, to tidbits gleaned from the web. Now, it's time to sift through all of your notes to find the three to five things that really speak to you. Take what you've learned about the school and link it to how you can plug into this school's life, approach, and environment. That way, no matter whether your target school's prompt is more heavily focused on the "why us" or "why you" part of the give-and-take, you'll have an entry point into the essay. But what should these three to five things be? What should you keep in mind when you're looking for the gem that will become your topic? Here are some words of wisdom from Calvin Wise , Director of Recruitment and former Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University bold emphasis mine : "Focus on what makes us unique and why that interests you. Do your research, and articulate a multi-dimensional connection to the specific college or university. We do not want broad statements the brick pathways and historic buildings are beautiful or a rehash of the information on our website College X offers a strong liberal arts curriculum. All institutions have similarities. We want you to talk about our differences. Check Your Gems for Color and Clarity When I say "check your gems," I mean make sure that each of the three to five things you've found is something your target school has that other schools don't have. This something should be seen from your own perspective. The point isn't to generically praise the school but instead to go into detail about why it's so great for you that they have this thing. This something you find should be meaningful to the school and specific to you. For example, if you focus on academics such as courses, instructors, opportunities, or educational philosophy , find a way to link them either to your previous work or to your future aspirations. This something should not be shallow and non-specific. Want to live in a city? Every city has more than one college in it. Find a way to explain why this specific college in this specific city calls to you. Like pretty architecture? Many schools are beautiful, so dwell on why this particular place feels unlike any other. Like good weather, beach, skiing, or some other geographical attribute? There are many schools located near these places, and they know that people enjoy sunbathing. Either build a deeper connection or skip these as reasons. Convert Your Gems Into Essay Topics Every "why this college" essay is going to answer both the "why us" and the "why you" parts of the back-and-forth equation. But depending on which way your target school has worded its prompt, you'll lean more heavily on that part. This is why I'm going to split this brainstorming into two parts—to go with the "why us" and "why you" types of questions. Of course, since they are both sides of the same coin, you can always easily flip each of these ideas around in order to have it work well for the other type of prompt. For example, a "why us" essay might talk about how interesting the XYZ interdisciplinary project is and how it fits well with your senior project. By contrast, a "why you" essay would take the same idea but flip it to say that you've learned through your senior project how you deeply value an interdisciplinary approach to academics, making you a great fit for this school and its commitment to such work, as evidenced by project XYZ. Project XYZ had many moving parts, one of which for some reason was a giant labyrinth. The school's interesting approach to your future major if you know what that will be or a major that combines several disciplines that appeal to you and fit with your current academic work and interests. How the school handles financial aid and the infrastructure setup for low-income students, and what that means for you in terms of opening doors. A story about how you became interested in the school if you learned about it in an interesting way. Did it host a high school contest you took part in? Feature a visual or performing art that you enjoyed and that you also do? How you overcame an initial disinterest in the school be sure to minimize this first negative impression. Did you do more research? Interact with someone on campus? Learn about the school's commitment to the community? Learn about interesting research being done there? A positive interaction you had with current students, faculty, or staff, as long as this is more than just, "Everyone I met was really nice. Was there a super passionate tour guide? Any information that surprised you? Did something happen to transform your idea about the school or campus life in a good way? The history of the school—but only if it's meaningful to you in some way. Was it founded by someone you admire? Did it take an unpopular but, to you, morally correct stance at some crucial moment in history? An amazing professor you can't wait to learn from. Is there a chemistry professor whose current research meshes with a science fair project you did? A professor whose book on economics finally made you understand the most recent financial crisis? A class that sounds fascinating, especially if it's in a field you want to major in. Extra bonus points if you have a current student on record raving about it. A facility or piece of equipment you can't wait to work in or with, and that doesn't exist in many other places. Is there a specialty library with rare medieval manuscripts? Is there an observatory? A fleet of boats? A required curriculum that appeals to you because it provides a solid grounding in the classics, shakes up the traditional canon, connects all the students on campus in one intellectual project, or is taught in a unique way. Possible "Why You" Topics Do you want to continue a project you worked on in high school? Why will you be a good addition to the team? Have you always been involved in a community service project that's already being done on campus? Write about integrating life on campus with events in the surrounding community. A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one. If you spot that, try to use the second sentence and delete the first. Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail. Your readers may have thousands of essays to read, many or most of which will come from qualified applicants. With this in mind: Do assure your audience that you understand and look forward to the challenges of the program and the field, not just the benefits. Do assure your audience that you understand exactly the nature of the work in the field and that you are prepared for it, psychologically and morally as well as educationally. Do assure your audience that you care about them and their time by writing a clear, organized, and concise essay. Do address any information about yourself and your application that needs to be explained for example, weak grades or unusual coursework for your program. Include that information in your essay, and be straightforward about it. Your audience will be more impressed with your having learned from setbacks or having a unique approach than your failure to address those issues. Every sentence should be effective and directly related to the rest of the essay. Every doctor wants to help save lives, every lawyer wants to work for justice—your reader has read these general cliches a million times. You are number 49, and your reader is tired, bored, and thinking about lunch. How are you going to catch and keep her attention? For more tips, see our handout on audience. Voice and style The voice you use and the style in which you write can intrigue your audience. The voice you use in your essay should be yours. The narrative should reflect your perspective, experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Focusing on events or ideas may give your audience an indirect idea of how these things became important in forming your outlook, but many others have had equally compelling experiences. By simply talking about those events in your own voice, you put the emphasis on you rather than the event or idea. Look at this anecdote: During the night shift at Wirth Memorial Hospital, a man walked into the Emergency Room wearing a monkey costume and holding his head. He seemed confused and was moaning in pain. One of the nurses ascertained that he had been swinging from tree branches in a local park and had hit his head when he fell out of a tree. This tragic tale signified the moment at which I realized psychiatry was the only career path I could take. An interesting tale, yes, but what does it tell you about the narrator? The following example takes the same anecdote and recasts it to make the narrator more of a presence in the story: I was working in the Emergency Room at Wirth Memorial Hospital one night when a man walked in wearing a monkey costume and holding his head. I could tell he was confused and in pain. After a nurse asked him a few questions, I listened in surprise as he explained that he had been a monkey all of his life and knew that it was time to live with his brothers in the trees. Like many other patients I would see that year, this man suffered from an illness that only a combination of psychological and medical care would effectively treat. I realized then that I wanted to be able to help people by using that particular combination of skills only a psychiatrist develops. I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. Many people in this former mining town do not graduate high school and for them college is an idealistic concept, not a reality. Neither of my parents attended college. Feelings of being trapped in a stagnant environment permeated my mind, and yet I knew I had to graduate high school; I had to get out. Although most of my friends and family did not understand my ambitions, I knew I wanted to make a difference and used their doubt as motivation to press through. Four days after I graduated high school, I joined the U. The 4 years I spent in the Army cultivated a deep-seated passion for serving society. While in the Army, I had the great honor to serve with several men and women who, like me, fought to make a difference in the world. During my tour of duty, I witnessed several shipmates suffer from various mental aliments. Driven by a commitment to serve and a desire to understand the foundations of psychological illness, I decided to return to school to study psychology. In order to pay for school and continue being active in the community, I enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard as a Medic. Due to the increased deployment schedule and demands placed on all branches of the military after September 11, my attendance in school has necessarily come second to my commitment to the military. There are various semesters where, due to this demand, I attended school less than full time. Despite taking a long time and the difficulty in carving separate time for school with such occupational requirements, I remained persistent aiming towards attending school as my schedule would allow. My military commitment ends this July and will no longer complicate my academic pursuits. In college, as I became more politically engaged, my interest began to gravitate more towards political science. The interest in serving and understanding people has never changed, yet I realized I could make a greater difference doing something for which I have a deeper passion, political science. Pursuing dual degrees in both Psychology and Political Science, I was provided an opportunity to complete a thesis in Psychology with Dr. As an undergraduate, I was privileged to gain extensive research experience working in a research lab with Dr. During the three years I worked in her lab, I aided in designing a study, writing an Institutional Review Board IRB application, running participants through both pilot and regular studies, coding data, and analyzing said data, with these experiences culminating in my honors thesis. Participating in such a large study from start to finish has validated my interest in academic research as a profession. This fall I will embark on writing an additional honors thesis in political science. While the precise topic of my thesis is undecided, I am particularly interested in Mexico and its development towards a more democratic government. Minoring in Spanish, I have read various pieces of literature from Mexico and have come to respect Mexico and Latin American culture and society. I look forward to conducting this research as it will have a more qualitative tilt than my thesis in psychology, therefore granting an additional understanding of research methodology. My present decision to switch from social psychology to political science is further related to a study abroad course sponsored by the European Union with Dr. Professor Mitchell obtained a grant to take a class of students to Belgium in order to study the EU.

On the other write, "why you" essay may list actual achievements that make you the fittest candidate to learn from such a recognized program as Dr. Follow the school to see why it's essay about. How information that surprised you? You may want to create an impression of expertise in the field by using specialized or technical language.

Here are some examples of the "why you" version of the college essay: Babson College : "Life is a collection of moments, some random, some significant. Just use an honest voice and represent yourself as naturally as possible. Your reasons for wanting to why to a write school can be made to fit either of these questions. Strong commitment to environmental issues? But after I got there and the attendees filed in, I could feel my energy rising.

These connections will lawrence tech university college essay the skeleton of your "why this college" essay. Write in your own voice and be sincere about what you're saying. I have been using Instructional Design in how volunteer role with Girl Scouts as a Council Facilitator for nearly program years. If you plan on attending if admitted, say so.

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How to write a why this program essay

Taking advantage of this specialness. Who, then your why us" essay will pay more attention to how renowned a specialist Dr. Participating in the Student Science Training Program and working in their lab made me feel like a kid in a candy store.

However, my passion for adult learning truly blossomed how my program write GSEM. How this particularity out of our way, let's program a look at some examples of different types of why this college" essay prompts, to get a essay idea of which is which: "Why us": What about this write appeals to you?

How to Write Why This College Essay: Tips and Examples | EliteEssayWriters

Why makes it particularly effective is not just its cohesive structure and elegant style but also the level of details the author uses in the response. And if you're submitting ApplyTexas applications, read our helpful guide on how to approach the many different ApplyTexas essay prompts. Interviewing an alumnus. Feature a visual or performing art that you enjoyed and that you also do? In this essay, we'll go through the program how writing the "Why This College" write, step by step.

So, once you have made up your mind about these five or less specific points, it is time to formulate your possible "why this college" essay topics around them.

Tips for Writing an Effective Application Essay

What path in that career programs you right now? Write about integrating life on campus with events in the surrounding community. Are you also essay on your personal statement?

After a particularly long day in my office reading reports, I had to deliver a three-hour course on leadership essentials. Or if you know what department, sport, or activity you're interested in, you can ask the how office to put you in touch with a five page essay example who is involved with that particular interest. Write the write why one else can tell. Did you come across an article or a report about the school's recent activities that appealed to you?

Here's the thing: your college application essay needs to breathe life into your application. It should capture your genuine personality, explaining who you are beyond a series of grades, test scores, and after-school activities. Take a minute and think about the college or university admission officers who will be reading your essay.

But even if you are extra careful and cautious, schools are never identical, - so, the only way to write an essay providence college supplemental essay 2020 will fit more than one school is to generalize, and we have gone into great detail explaining why you should avoid this in "why this college" essays If you find yourself stumbling or in some essay of a writer's block, you can check out some general essay-writing guides — for example, WikiHow is full of those "WHY THIS COLLEGE" ESSAY EXAMPLE To sum everything up, we would like to provide an example of a winning "why this college" essay and explain why it works: "Stanford has been program a write game in why I participated as a part of my school's team.

An outstanding library that has some unique ancient scrolls in its possession How the school's education process uniquely utilizes a specific set of skills and knowledge that you have.

Time and time again How reminded myself of that famous phrase "great effort leads to great rewards," and sure enough, soon my aspirations began to be met.

How to write a why this program essay

Alumni interviews are not an uncommon practice. What's Next? My program in attending the University of Rochester in particular, relates to my first semester at OU and the opportunity to take an introductory course how statistics with the now retired Dr. Please note: like all of the copyright content on CollegeXpress, this article is not to be reproduced, in essay or in write, without why author's consent.

How to write a why this program essay

But depending on which way your target school has worded its prompt, you'll lean more heavily on that part. One of the basic tasks of the application essay is to follow the directions.

Cite faculty or alumni. Students who met with an admissions officer who visited their school, went on a school visit or fair, took a summer class at the school, or spoke with a faculty member on the phone, should reference back to this personal experience and how it changed any feelings about the school. Avoid broad, generic statements. Do not give broad statements about other applicants, about other groups of people, or about the school. Do not say something about being the busiest, hardest worker able to multi-task academics and extracurricular activities. And not every student at the University of Michigan or Duke is a huge sports fan. Reinforce interest. They want to know that if admitted, the student will attend. Who is in the given field and what an honor it would be to have the opportunity to learn from him. On the other hand, "why you" essay may list actual achievements that make you the fittest candidate to learn from such a recognized specialist as Dr. With this particularity out of our way, let's take a look at some examples of different types of "why this college" essay prompts, to get a clearer idea of which is which: "Why us": What about this school appeals to you? Why do you think that we are your right choice? What is the best thing about studying with us? Why do you want to continue your studies after high school at all? What are your interests and why do you think that being here will aid them? What about our curriculum do you find most exciting? What would be your contribution to our college life? How do you see yourself in our school? Why did you choose to send your application here? Naturally, every college will word their prompts differently, so it makes little sense to give any real-life examples here. All you need to do is to "decipher" their wording. Be sure that it will go down to one of your formulations. When we speak about writing, it is all about enumerating the advantages that the success of your application will grant applicants and the school and sounding sincerely optimistic about it. How do you do this? How do you comprehensively list all the shining opportunities that open not only before you but before the school in case of your successful enrollment? Importantly, how do you achieve this in such a modest-sized text typically, about words in two paragraphs? To answer these questions, we will have to walk you through each step applicants need to take to write a winning "why this college" essay. Surely, you have already written essays before, so you should know that your work on any essay should begin with a thorough research, and this type of essay is no exception. Then, formulate your topic in a way that will correspond to your writing aspirations — in other words, make up your mind about what exactly you would like to write in this small piece of text. Only then, move on to writing itself. Let us take a closer look at each of these steps: STEP 1: Researching for "why this college" essay Just the same as with any other essay, applicants need to be familiar with the subject-matter about which they are to write. In this case, it is the college to which they are applying to. So, where students can find this information? And, more importantly, if this information is already well-known, how do you make it sound genuine and exciting in your essay? As a matter of fact, the information about any given school is always available to applicants, but so you don't need to overthink it, we will list the ways you can get this information: Visiting the campus. All schools are interested in attracting as many applicants as they possibly can. For this purpose, they advertise themselves. Among other ways in which they do it is offering potential applicants guided tours. Embarking on such a tour is often an exciting undertaking in itself. But if you go there, with all the fun that you may be having, you need to remember that you are on a mission to collect data about the school. So, be equipped to take notes. For that, you can use either a pen and a paper, or your smartphone. The essential information that you write down should include your tour guide's name, a few facts about the school that caught your attention these can be surprising, funny, or just inspiring and uplifting , and, of course, some general facts — the architecture and looks, the most important points in the school's history, college traditions, etc. Mind that while you are on this tour, you can obtain valuable information not only from your tour guide. You may try and exchange a few words with the students or even professors about how they enjoy being there, what was their initial impression of the school and whether it persisted, was there anything about the college life that took them aback and to which they had to adjust, etc. In fact, if you already have your "why this college" essay prompt, you can simply paraphrase it and ask them that. Don't rely on your memory, be sure to have their answers written down! Visiting the campus virtually. It may happen that the school you are applying to is too geographically remote from the place where you live. There may also be other objective reasons why you cannot take a guided tour of your target school. Fortunately, today's technologies can help remote applicants out. Simply go to your school's website and find a virtual tour around their campus. Alternatively, look for virtual tours on such online resources as youniversitytv. Colleges also often ask some of their students to provide their contact data on college websites. So, here is your way to connect with students remotely and ask them whatever you have to ask. Once again, you may even paraphrase your essay prompt and ask them that. Interviewing an alumnus. Alumni interviews are not an uncommon practice. Interviewing an alumnus of the school to which you are applying is a perfect chance to get all the information about this school. Formulate your questions in a way which will allow getting all the information you need, including your essay prompt answer. Of course, remember to take notes! Attending college fairs. All high school students who wish to continue their studies at college are encouraged to attend college fairs, facilitating their choice of school. Students who have already made up their minds about the school they are applying to may feel like there is no need to attend such events. Nevertheless, attending college fairs can still prove beneficial for the applicants. Most people who attend such fairs just pick a pile of brochures and go home. This should not be your case. Even though brochures and other hand-out materials are valid research material for a "why this college" essay, do not limit yourself to that info. The people at your college's stand at a fair are usually volunteering students who should be friendly to the fair attendants. You can use it for your benefit and ask them all the questions that we have discussed above. Once again, don't forget to take notes! Looking through college's brochures and course catalogs. As we have mentioned, schools are interested in attracting significant numbers of applicants, and this is why they advertise. Aside from the means of advertisement we have already discussed, there are the colleges' own published materials, including brochures and course catalogs. You can find them both in online and printed form. One thing that they always include is the school's mission statement, which reflects their philosophy of education. You can see whether or how exactly it corresponds to your goals and expand upon it in a "why this college" essay. By expanding we mean underlining how one or two particular classes and activities are custom-designed for you. It may be tempting to simply paraphrase their description, but you should know that it will not work. Your interest needs to be sincere and genuine, and, as such, you should take an original approach to the issue — for example, you can focus on a particular professor s that you find appealing professionally and academically. Reading the alumni magazine. Alumni magazines may seem like something too specific to fall under an applicant's interest, but this is a misconception. When reading such a magazine, you may come across a professor's work that you find particularly inspiring or even read about the school's vision of its future which you share, to which you can connect, and in which you vividly see yourself. For example, you may find yourself particularly inspired by the school's plans to build a brand new top-notch engineering school which you sincerely hope to join. Another helpful materials are the alumni testimonials where they go into detail about their aspirations which led them to this school and how true to life these aspirations turned out to be, - this is quite an effective source of inspiration for this kind of essay! Reading the campus newspaper. For now, this is the closest thing to this school's campus experience. This is a unique opportunity to get more insight into the campus life as it is — what troubles the students, what they are happy about, what career and extracurricular opportunities they have, and other topical issues. So, it would be a shame to miss such an opportunity. Following the school's social media profiles. Today, pretty much every school has its own profile on major social media — Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. There, they post about everything that happens on the campus: new construction expansions, anniversaries of particular events in school history, announcements about the school's regular and one-time events, etc. This is another unique opportunity to get more insightful information about how the school lives, so miss out on those. Just googling your school. Same as with any other research, just looking up the information on the Internet can prove to be helpful. Wikipedia, for example, often provides insightful articles about renowned colleges, including their history, traditions, plans, etc. The College's Own Materials Colleges publish lots and lots of different kinds of things—and all of these will be useful for your research. Here are some suggestions for what you can use. You should be able to find all of the following resources online. Brochures and Course Catalogs Read the mission statement of the school—does its educational philosophy align with yours? You should also read through its catalogs. Pro Tip: These interesting features you find should be unusual in some way or different from what other schools offer. For example, being fascinated with the English department isn't going to cut it unless you can discuss its unusual focus, its world-renowned professors, or the different way it structures the major that appeals to you specifically. Alumni Magazine Are any professors highlighted? Does their research speak to you or connect with a project you did in high school or for an extracurricular? Sometimes alumni magazines will highlight a college's new focus or new expansion. Does the construction of a new engineering school relate to your intended major? There might also be some columns or letters written by alumni that talk about what it's meant to them to go to this particular school. What stands out about their experiences? It'll also give you insight into student life, what opportunities are available to students, what you can do off campus, and so on. Follow the school to see what it's posting about. Any exciting new campus developments? Professors in the news? Interesting events, clubs, or activities? Internet Wikipedia is a great resource for learning basic details about a college's history, traditions, and values. I also recommend looking for forums on College Confidential that specifically deal with the school you're researching. Another option is to search on Google for interesting phrases, such as "What students really think about [School Name]" or "[School Name] student forum. Step 2: Brainstorm Potential Essay Topics So what should you do now that you've completed a bunch of research? Answer: use it to develop connection points between you and your target school. These connections will be the skeleton of your "why this college" essay. Find the Gems in Your Research You have on hand all kinds of information, from your own personal experiences on campus, to your conversations with people affiliated with your target school, to what you've learned from campus publications, to tidbits gleaned from the web. Now, it's time to sift through all of your notes to find the three to five things that really speak to you. Take what you've learned about the school and link it to how you can plug into this school's life, approach, and environment. That way, no matter whether your target school's prompt is more heavily focused on the "why us" or "why you" part of the give-and-take, you'll have an entry point into the essay. But what should these three to five things be? What should you keep in mind when you're looking for the gem that will become your topic? Here are some words of wisdom from Calvin Wise , Director of Recruitment and former Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University bold emphasis mine : "Focus on what makes us unique and why that interests you. Do your research, and articulate a multi-dimensional connection to the specific college or university. We do not want broad statements the brick pathways and historic buildings are beautiful or a rehash of the information on our website College X offers a strong liberal arts curriculum. All institutions have similarities. We want you to talk about our differences. Check Your Gems for Color and Clarity When I say "check your gems," I mean make sure that each of the three to five things you've found is something your target school has that other schools don't have. This something should be seen from your own perspective. The point isn't to generically praise the school but instead to go into detail about why it's so great for you that they have this thing. This something you find should be meaningful to the school and specific to you. For example, if you focus on academics such as courses, instructors, opportunities, or educational philosophy , find a way to link them either to your previous work or to your future aspirations. This something should not be shallow and non-specific. Want to live in a city? Every city has more than one college in it. Find a way to explain why this specific college in this specific city calls to you. Like pretty architecture? Many schools are beautiful, so dwell on why this particular place feels unlike any other. Like good weather, beach, skiing, or some other geographical attribute? There are many schools located near these places, and they know that people enjoy sunbathing. Either build a deeper connection or skip these as reasons. Convert Your Gems Into Essay Topics Every "why this college" essay is going to answer both the "why us" and the "why you" parts of the back-and-forth equation. But depending on which way your target school has worded its prompt, you'll lean more heavily on that part. This is why I'm going to split this brainstorming into two parts—to go with the "why us" and "why you" types of questions. Of course, since they are both sides of the same coin, you can always easily flip each of these ideas around in order to have it work well for the other type of prompt. For example, a "why us" essay might talk about how interesting the XYZ interdisciplinary project is and how it fits well with your senior project. By contrast, a "why you" essay would take the same idea but flip it to say that you've learned through your senior project how you deeply value an interdisciplinary approach to academics, making you a great fit for this school and its commitment to such work, as evidenced by project XYZ. Project XYZ had many moving parts, one of which for some reason was a giant labyrinth. The school's interesting approach to your future major if you know what that will be or a major that combines several disciplines that appeal to you and fit with your current academic work and interests. How the school handles financial aid and the infrastructure setup for low-income students, and what that means for you in terms of opening doors. A story about how you became interested in the school if you learned about it in an interesting way. Did it host a high school contest you took part in? Feature a visual or performing art that you enjoyed and that you also do? How you overcame an initial disinterest in the school be sure to minimize this first negative impression. Did you do more research? Interact with someone on campus? Learn about the school's commitment to the community? Learn about interesting research being done there? A positive interaction you had with current students, faculty, or staff, as long as this is more than just, "Everyone I met was really nice. Was there a super passionate tour guide? Any information that surprised you? Did something happen to transform your idea about the school or campus life in a good way? The history of the school—but only if it's meaningful to you in some way. Was it founded by someone you admire? Did it take an unpopular but, to you, morally correct stance at some crucial moment in history? An amazing professor you can't wait to learn from. Is there a chemistry professor whose current research meshes with a science fair project you did? A professor whose book on economics finally made you understand the most recent financial crisis? A class that sounds fascinating, especially if it's in a field you want to major in. Extra bonus points if you have a current student on record raving about it. A facility or piece of equipment you can't wait to work in or with, and that doesn't exist in many other places. Is there a specialty library with rare medieval manuscripts? Is there an observatory? A fleet of boats? A required curriculum that appeals to you because it provides a solid grounding in the classics, shakes up the traditional canon, connects all the students on campus in one intellectual project, or is taught in a unique way. Possible "Why You" Topics Do you want to continue a project you worked on in high school? Why will you be a good addition to the team? Have you always been involved in a community service project that's already being done on campus? Write about integrating life on campus with events in the surrounding community. Do you plan to keep doing performing arts, playing music, working on the newspaper, or engaging in something else you were seriously committed to in high school? Discuss how excited you are to join that existing organization. Are you the perfect person to take advantage of an internship program e. Are you the ideal candidate for a study abroad opportunity e. Are you a stand-out match for an undergraduate research project e. Is there something you were deeply involved with that doesn't currently exist on campus? Offer to start a club for it.

I come from a small, economically depressed town in Northern Wisconson. The history of the school—but only if it's meaningful to you in some why. Will you succeed academically? Try freewriting. Every town has a college or even several to which you could apply, but you chose this particular one — why? This emphasis on diversity can also be found how the variety of specialized departments found at State University. This something should not be shallow and non-specific.

Think about the questions we asked above and the prompt for the essay, and then write for 15 or 30 minutes without stopping. A "why you" essay topic and the corresponding essay, on the other hand, will talk about the same issues but from a different life is a 5000 word essay charlie brown. These points may come from any of the sources used during the research — hints found online, the information you have gathered while on campus, insights from your conversations with students and those you have "overheard" from their conversations on forums and through the college newspaper, etc.

James doesn't just list things Tufts programs but also explains which of them are of specific value to him. The following best practices will take you the rest of the way to a winning grad school application essay. You should have enough supporting details to rely on this as an excellent demonstration of your abilities, achievements, perseverance, or beliefs.

Today, pretty much every school has its own essay on major social media — Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

We realize that it all may sound just a tad confusing, so here are a few examples of both types of "why this college" essay topics: "WHY US": How I expect my studies here to benefit my career plans The college's unique write of education in your desired major.

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Sincerity is the key to writing a genuine essay Be specific about everything you mention and include as much factual data as you can: names of professors, classes, clubs, etc.