Writing a 500 word essay for your business school application can seem a daunting task, but don’t be cowed. While it is important to write a clear, concise essay, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the process; after all, the essay is only one part of your application, and, while it is vital, it is best that you don’t spend all of your energy stressing over what exactly to write. Here are some simple steps, which will hopefully help you to write a focused, powerful essay without too much stress.
Know Exactly What is Required of You
The first and most important step is understanding what is required. Many business schools have several questions to choose from; therefore, you should take the time to print out your application’s prompt, and peruse that prompt thoroughly. Once you are comfortable with the prompt’s questions, you can then start brainstorming ideas that answer the prompt.
Just Sit Down and Write
After you’ve taken the time to read and understand the prompt, sit down and write a list of your brainstormed ideas. Think about your ideas carefully, and choose an idea that will best fit with the question asked of you. If, for example, you are asked to divulge a personal or professional experience — and how you have grown and learned from that experience –don’t go overboard. Often, applicants will talk about experiences like winning awards, TV appearances, or going an exciting vacation trip, in the hopes that they can impress upon an admissions committee that they are “unique”. Instead, choose an experience that that closely ties in with your goal. If you want to be accepted into a certain business school, talk about an experience that has, directly or indirectly, led to your wanting to go to that business school.
Write a Simple Introduction
Many applicants make the mistake of thinking that they have to write a gripping introduction, which often leads to a long-winded, overwritten introduction that is more clumsy than elegant. Keep your introduction simple. A short, interesting introduction can be more intriguing than a long, bloated one. Be direct, and don’t ramble on in your introduction, so that you won’t lose the interest of your audience. Keep your writing sharp and to the point.
Don’t Be Afraid to Rewrite
So you’ve finished writing your essay. Now it’s time to rewrite it. First drafts are excellent for getting your thoughts down, but it is best to spend some time reworking your first draft to gut out any grammatical errors and poorly constructed sentences. One good method of rewriting your first draft is to leave it alone for a day or two, then you can come back and look at your draft with new eyes. This method will allow you to spot errors you might not have noticed before.
Get Someone Else to Read Your Essay
After you have finished rewriting and have a final draft, allow someone else to read it. Take your draft to a friend or a classmate, and let them tell you what they think. If you have access to an on-campus Writing Center, make use of it — a Writing Center can review your essay for free, and give you some professional pointers about your writing.
Evaluate Your Essay with the Rest of Your Application
Make certain that you see how your essay fits with the rest of your application. Are there application questions that you haven’t answered? Perhaps you can fit them in your essay.
Once you are sure that you’ve written your essay to the best of your ability, don’t stress over it any longer. Business schools are looking to see who you are, and if their school is a good fit for you. So long as you’ve shown them who you are in your essay, you have done everything you can, and there is nothing to worry about.
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