Tips on How to Discuss Sensitive Themes in Your Admission Essay

When applying to a post-secondary educational institution, one of the most significant admission requirements is the admission essay.  Writing an admission essay is not an easy task, and it seems that the task only becomes more daunting when you have to discuss sensitive themes.  If you have to write about sensitive issues in your personal statement, it is important that you do so with tact, honesty, and sincerity.(1)  You can do better if you can find good examples of personal statement that tackle these kinds of topics.  Here are some good tips:

Examples of personal statement: Be honest but tactful

One of the golden rules when composing your admission essay is to be honest and tactful.  It is important that you get the story and the hardship across to the reader, but do so in a manner that is not offensive or insensitive.  Perhaps the biggest mistake that you can make when writing your admission essay is to fabricate information in an attempt to make your personal statement seem more interesting or compelling.  Take the high road and be honest instead, because admission committees frown upon lies and plagiarism.(2)

Personal statement examples: Don’t try too hard to persuade readers but feed them with positive information

Another mistake that some people make on the admission essay is that they try to hard to persuade the reader about what a terrible or difficult time they had.  Your point isn’t to tell a sob story about your life, but to show that you can focus on the positive aspects despite the numerous challenges that you had to endure.  If you are able to elaborate the positive aspects in your essay, then the reader will be more likley to focus on this side of the story as well.

Examples of personal statements: Focus on what makes you a strong candidate

In line with focusing on the positive, it’s important to talk about why you make a strong candidate as an applicant to the school.  The mark of any great admission essay is when the author is able to express how such sensitive topics and difficult experiences have made them a better person.  Focus on how the character traits, values, and virtues that you have developed through such experience have prepared you to deal with the challenges that you are likely to face in college and beyond.(3)


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