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Best Personal Essay Writing/Brainstorming Advice?


I'm a rising senior who is planning on studying mechanical engineering in college. With most college applications opening in a couple of days, I am very worried about the fact that I don't have a personal statement essay yet. I have been working on a basic outline for one the past few days, but it's not at all developed and I'm struggling a lot with writing it and think I want to change my topic. What's the best way to brainstorm ideas for what to write my personal statement essay about? How should I plan it out once I have my topic picked? How do I make sure that the college admissions officers will learn what I want them to learn about me through my essay? How do I make it good enough for schools like UMich, Duke, Northeastern, Northwestern, and Georgia Tech?

(Please feel free to add additional advice even if someone else has already answered the question)


1 answer

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So collegevine has great tools including but not limited to blog ( essay peer review under essay tab essay tips also under essay tab and there is a livestream hosted by CV regularly concerning essays (under livestream tab)

With those tools mentioned try looking at the common app prompts and see which you feel most strongly about. Then think of a time that fits that criteria but make sure to answer the prompt and provide personal insight not just anecdotes.

Hope this helps and comment if you need clarification.

This is good advice... also if you're doing engineering, I'd advise leaving the topic of engineering for the supplemental essays UNLESS you have a family or life circumstance (like infrastructure issues, or watching a hurricane wreak havoc). Make your personal statement about YOU.