119: How to Improve Your Personal Statement in 20 Minutes

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SHOW NOTES

This episode represents part four of four in my epic mini-series with Tutor Ted and in this one I share what steps to take to turn your essay from “just okay” to “great.” Specifically, though, I share:

  • What I believe the qualities of a great college essay are
  • An example essay that demonstrates those four qualities
  • A step-by-step process for bringing more of each of those qualities into your essay
  • Lots of examples for all the qualities I discuss
  • Even (get this) a step-by-step process for how to make your reader cry
  • Finally, some advice to parents and teachers offering essay feedback

FYI: You’ll hear Ted’s voice at the start, not mine, since he was interviewing me for this one. Enjoy.

PLAY-BY-PLAY

Qualities in a great college essay [1:05]
The hard part about writing a great college essay [1:26]
An overview of the four qualities of a great college essay, according to Ethan [2:23]
An example personal statement that demonstrates these qualities [5:23] 
How to make your decent essay better [11:38]
An example of how the example personal statement could better show her values [13:30]
How vulnerability can make your essay stronger [15:49]
Three examples of vulnerability in student essays [16:30]
Why be vulnerable in an essay? [17:40]
How to find your own unresolvable conflicts [19:28]
One great way to be vulnerable [21:25]
How to bring insight into your personal statement [22:33]
An example of insight in a student essay [22:50]
Three steps to improving your craft [25:20]
A step-by-step process for making your reader cry [28:05]
A quick word of advice to parents and teachers offering essay feedback [30:20

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