Understanding the Phrase Non-Traditional Background

Oftentimes, when you read about personal statements and admission essays, you will come across the phrase “non-traditional background”. With such a broad and subjective phrase, it can be hard to figure out exactly what people mean by “non-traditional background”. If you plan on writing an exceptional admission essay, however, it helps to know what such terms mean. Read on to learn about what a non-traditional background is and what it has to do with your essay.

The basic meaning of the phrase

Typically, coming from a non-traditional background means that there is something about your upbringing or your overall life experience that is not “normal” (for lack of a better word). Some typical examples of a non-traditional background include being part of an ethnic minority, having to deal with a debilitating disability, or coming from impoverished backgrounds. Aside from these examples, a non-traditional background can also be one wherein you were raised by a single parent, you had to overcome a serious addiction, or you have been a working student since your younger years.

What does this have to do with my admission essay?

One of the things that many colleges and universities are trying to do these days is to diversify their student body. Those who come from a non-traditional background contribute greatly to having a diverse student body, because these are people who have unique life experiences that have helped to shape their character and personality. You may also notice that many admission essay questions ask about difficult times in your life or times when you have succeeded despite adversity. These types of questions seek to coax out of you those experiences in your life that may be interpreted as having come from a non-traditional background. Remember that when writing about coming from a non-traditional background, you should always focus on positive aspects instead of dwelling on the negative. This shows your resilience, character, and optimism.

What a Statement of Purpose Should Be According to Harvard

A lot of people dream of becoming a Harvard graduate. Admission to this prestigious university almost secures one a bright future. With a degree from Harvard, you won’t have difficulty struggling your way to the top of the corporate ladder in the future. But what does it take to get admitted to Harvard?

Allen shares some ideas on how to get admitted to Harvard with your admission essay. Read on to know the qualities of an interesting statement of purpose that could secure you a spot in this prestigious university.

The statement of purpose should display clarity of thought

A clear essay is preferred by Harvard admissions panel. Here is an excerpt from the blog explaining why your essay should be clear.

It functions as a writing sample, often the only one you submit. Make it as solid a piece of writing as possible. It can also function as your interview if none is required. It is a chance to introduce yourself and describe who you are, what your background is, and what is important to you.

Your personal statement should be clear and should not have ambiguous meanings. Your readers should be able to learn more about you– your values, skills, potentials, and goals. They should have a clear idea what kind of an individual you are to know if you can be a good match to their school standards.

The essay should display the focus and the fit

It is important that your choice of school and program is not just a random musing. You need to have a reason and the qualifications.

…are your interests in graduate study focused and is there a good fit with your interests and the particular program or school? This requires carefully researching the school or program to which you are applying.Read about the program’s emphasis, the nature of the required courses, the work or research of its faculty. The more you know about the program to which you are applying, the better. You will sound more knowledgeable and more convincing in your essay.

You need to work really hard on your application essay, because it definitely gives you an advantage over hundreds of other applicants. According to another article:

Do not underestimate the importance of this statement. It is your opportunity to inform the faculty reviewers of your qualifications, motivation, and potential to make a contribution to the field…

Your personal statement gives you an upperhand over other applicants. It tells the admissions committee if your character and skills make a good match with the school’s requirements, goals, and ideals. Through the essay, they screen applicants who are likely to succeed in the chosen program.

If you want to get admitted to Harvard University, remember that your personal statement should be clear in revealing your personality. It should also display that “focus” and “fit” with the help of research.

Making It to Med School Through Your Admissions Essay

Making it to med school is not very easy. Aside from your GPA and test scores, one of your tickets to med school is an outstanding admissions essay. Here are some tips from SOWN on how to write an admissions essay:

Do not exaggerate the language used.Pretend that you are charged for every word you type. How can you keep the imaginary cheaper?

Aside from this, you also have to avoid the use of cliches and high falutin words. Make it easier for your readers to understand what you want to say and make sure that your essay won’t sound like all the others. Cliches can make your essay seem less creative, boring, and lacking imagination.

According to the author of the blog post:

…medical terminology is not strictly necessary to convey a point. A layman might have difficulty understanding your essay.

Using jargon and technical terms on your essay will make it sound superficial. Even if you’re applying for med school admission, the essay doesn’t have to be filled with medical terms just to impress your readers.

Know what to include in your admission essay

It is important that you plan what you want to include in your essay. You can, for instance, talk about reasons for wanting to become a doctor or qualities that make you a good one.

Mark your success but do not sound arrogant. Even a bad sense can bomb your essay and leave the Committee worried about who you are.

So you won’t sound like you’re bragging, you should not merely list down your accomplishments. You have to use anecdotes and other creative tools so you can talk about your achievements without sounding like you’re too full of yourself. Use them to support your claims and explain why you think you’re qualified. It also pays to be straightforward when you explain your point.

The author also adds:

This is the most common mistake I see people do. Keep your personal explanation for less than a standard, single-spaced page.

This will keep the readers from being bored when reading your essay. If you directly say what you want to say, you can spare a few more pages for more interesting details about yourself.

You can also try a creative approach. Here’s a tip on the use of creativity to keep the readers from getting bored.

Similarly, when thinking about creative approaches to structuring your essay, use good judgment. You might wish to experiment with structures that are more interesting and creative than the obvious ones (the chronological, the topical, and so on). A creative approach will make your essay stand out from the pack. Keep in mind, though, that all of the above advice about consistency also applies to your essay’s overall structure.

Be warned though, that creativity can backfire if not used well. Present details or stories in a more interesting manner without causing confusion and compromising clarity.

Your admissions essay can make or break your application. You need to work hard to ensure that your essay is not only acceptable but noteworthy.

Secrets of a Well Written College Application Essay

Writing a college application essay can be a daunting task. There are rules you have to follow, research to do, and revisions to make. However, if you just take into consideration some helpful tips, writing a college application essay can be less tedious. One Life One Mic shares some helpful tips on how to write your college application essay.

Start early with your personal statement writing

Don’t wait till a month , a week, and two nights before your application is due to figure it out. By the end of junior year, your mind should be on these questions, spending the summer in self-reflection. It takes a lot of care to craft a good personal statement – carefully choosing words, creating a solid structure, and especially figuring out what you want to say. That being said, you’re probably reading this when it’s already too late. I’ll see what I can do.

Starting late will leave you no time for editing. You also have to make preparations by gathering enough information about the school to help you craft your admission essay according to its requirements. If you start early, you still have time for revisions as well, enough to make your personal statement beyond average.

Be conscious about the different elements of writing

You need to be conscious of the different writing elements when you write your application essay. These include your:

1) Diction
2) Syntax
3) Organization
4) Imagery

These are the basic things you have to be aware of when you are writing your personal statement. A lot of people overlook these essential factors and solely focus on content and topic generation. Bear in mind, however, that errors in any of the elements mentioned above will affect the meaning and clarity of your college application essay.

Here’s a tip on checking for grammar and other technical issues of your personal statement:

Have your statement checked by a teacher, counselor or other adviser for spelling, grammar and clarity.

Letting others read and comment on your essay is a great way to free it from errors. As the writer of that essay, sometimes, you tend to overlook basic errors in technicalities. This is why it pays to solicit other people’s view of your essay. Ask them if they understand your point clearly.

If you want to make it to your chosen school, write an essay that is error-free and persuasive. To give you enough time for drafting and revisions, start early. You also have to watch out for the technical details often overlooked by most writers.

How to Turn that Blank Page into a Winning Essay for Admission

You may hear a remark that goes like this — no admission essay is perfect. But, whether that is true or not, there is one assertion that could not be contested. It is the fact that some essays are outstanding, some are mediocre, and many are simply horrendous. The following pointers (if you adhere to them faithfully), will assure you that your essay will rise above the masses of mediocre essays.

A catchy topic for your essay to get into college

It all starts with the first paragraph. To hook your readers, you can start with a quote, an unbelievable (yet true) statistic about you, or a life experience you had when you were a teenager. Make sure that the story you choose will support the focus or topic you have chosen for your essay. Make sure to avoid the topics that have been used so many times by other applicants. Your goal is to let your essay stand out and capture the attention of the readers. Weird topics can be used by make sure you discuss them effectively. Coming up with a somewhat weird but doable topic can give you a lot of chances to show off your creative juices.

Effective supporting statements for your application essays for college

An effective admission essay writing tip suggested by many experts is to start it all with the thesis statement, then proceed with at least 3 supporting statements which would give credence to your thesis statement. These supporting statements serve as evidence of your story. These statements could be your own theories or experiences, or could be something you have researched on- it all depends on what exactly your theme is.

Choosing a less-used topic would often be more interesting to the readers than the mainstream ones used over the years. Whatever you choose however, the important thing is that you come up with supporting statements to firm up your thesis statement.

Related questions:

1. Are weird subjects allowed as themes for the admission essays?
2. What are supporting statements in an admission essay?
3. What is the example structure?

Common College Admission Essay Editing Mistakes

After laboring over themain body, the intro, and the conclusion of the admission essay, the work is not yet over. Now is the time to do the exhaustive work of editing and proofreading. Do not consider this as a herculean task, but as the opportunity to have your essay rise above the hundreds of submissions that were not accurately edited.

Application essay mistake 1: Relying too much on spell checkers

Every task seems to be conveniently doable because of the computer, but spellchecking programs have been known to suffer from glitches. Even if your software does not actually suffer from glitches, nothing can ever compare to the meticulous skills of the human eye when editing your essay. A truly conscientious applicant would manually spellcheck his or her work. Plus, there is nothing more assuring than the knowledge that the essay passed through human eyes. The best thing to do when editing your admission essay is to spellcheck it by computer, and then manually edit it by reading the entire essay several times.

College admissions essays mistake 2: Not letting others read your essay

Not letting other people read your essay is definitely a big mistake. This is because as the author of the essay, you sometimes miss several grammar or typo errors as you reread your essay. To avoid this, let a mentor, a parent, or a friend read your essay and give you some honest and objective opinions regarding the quality of your work. You can look for online editing services for professional help when editing your essay draft.

So to recap, do not rely solely on spellcheckers, and do not do the proofreading all by yourself. A second pair of eyes is always welcome and useful, and you’ll thank that person profusely when you get that acceptance letter.

Related questions:

1. Is it good to just rely on spellcheckers for the editing of the admission essay?
2. Why do certain typos escape the attention of the person during proofreading?
3. What is the upside to manual spellchecking of the admission essay?

Long Term Career Goals As an Essay for Admission Topic

It is quite easy to just put in your admission essay the things you plan to do in order to survive the first two years of college, but elaborating on your long-term career objectives is another thing. If you can put the latter on your essay, it will make for a more effective narration.

Why long-term career goals are good application essay topics

It boils down (among other things) to sincerity, after all, you are talking about yourself and your serious plans 5 or 10 years from now. The far-term career goals are ideal topics because you can elaborate on them to your heart’s content and more than that, it will show the Admissions Committee how much foresight you actually have. If you have so many career goals (say, 8 of them), it’s inadvisable to put them all. Focus on 2 or 3 and put meat in it. You are supposed to write a short essay, tomes have no place on the Screening Committee’s desk.

Tips when discussing goals in your personal statement

Just saying “I want to be a doctor because I want to help the needy and alleviate the sufferings of the sick.”- then leave it at that. Let’s talk about this statement, first- it is obvious and sophomoric. Second, why else would you want to be a doctor if not that? (To get rich as the only answer, yes, some people would do that, but that’s another story). It is advisable to get hold of some course catalogues to check which classes would aid you vis-a-vis both your career short term and far term goals. Elaborate your goals in a comprehensive yet brief manner, and the Admissions officers would consider your essay as substantial and worthy of further consideration.

The kind of elaboration you do on the far-term goals could mean the difference between success and failure. What is crucial is not the mere mention of such goals, but how you could relate them to where you are now, to your values, and to the thesis statement of the essay. Adhere to all of this and you’ll be proud of the essay when you hand it over.

Related questions:

1. Why is a career goal worthy of discussion on the application essay?
2. What is an example of a bad sentence in the admission essay (regarding reason for applying)?
3. How does one handle the discussion of career goals?

Your Favorite Fictional Character as an Application Essay Topic

It is not just Martin Luther or JFK who could be used as a theme for the admission essay, if the guidelines of the Committee allow it, you may even use a fictional character from movies, books, etc. You have to be aware though, that your topic may have come from fiction, but your finished essayshould not come across as a work of fiction.

Why your favorite fictional character is a good admission essay idea

First, there are greater chances of the Admissions officers getting more interested in reading your essay rather than the old, tired and overused themes of historical icons. Second, your favorite fictional character is close to your heart. If Thomas Odd (a character of Dean Koontz) is your choice because both he and you experienced rescuing a friend from criminally-minded persons, then you could point out (then go to the supporting statements) that you could definitely relate to him.

Ways to discuss this topic in your essay for admission

One warning: usually, you would not be barred from using a cartoon character, but if he/she is either funny or just trivial, you might come across as an applicant who is not serious in applying. Relate the character’s life, values and attitudes to your own, and even connect it to your future goals.

The good thing about using a fictional person in the admission essay is that it’s fun. There are so many stress factors in the application process (not just the writing of the essay), and creating this essay could be both work and play at the same time. Take note, play here does not mean your essay should be lousy or haphazardly done.

Related questions:

1. Can Batman be used as part of the discussions on the admission essay?
2. What is the danger of using a cartoon character as the admission essay theme?
3. How does one discuss the strengths and attributes of the fictional character?

Personal Statement Example: Show the Real You in Your Essay

Have you always wanted to write an original personal essay that really talks about you? Read this article to find out how personal statement example can help.

When applying to any university or even applying for scholarships, it is important for you to write an effective personal statement or personal essay. You can find types of personal statement examples on the web where you can pattern your actual essay on. However it is important for you to make your essay original and completely your own. As much as possible your essay should also tell a story.

Why inventing stories is a big no-no when writing your personal statement

Writing your personal statement should be a means for you to reflect on certain aspects about yourself and on how these things make you a good candidate for the course or school that you are applying to. These statements are personal which means that there is no specific formula that works for everyone.

You have to understand that the invention of stories so as to make your statement more appealing and impressive will never work to your advantage. Although the input of false yet impressive stories may afford you the favor of the selection committee initially, this is often short-lived. A contrived admissions essay will simply reflect on your poor character. This will cost you your scholarship or your admission to the school.

Tips for a more personal and effective admission essay

The best style to adopt for your personal essay is a well-paced conversational style that allows the committee to see through your plans, academic goals, achievements, and valuable life experiences. Here are a few tips that can help you write a successful personal statement:

– Remember to take into account all the questions asked and answer them in your personal essay. Different school applications may have different sets of questions so make sure that you answer them correctly.

– If you are applying to several schools or several courses, never use the personal essay. As already mentioned above, different applications may contain different sets of questions, so you have to answer them as completely as possible.

– Make sure that you write an interesting first paragraph, to avoid boring your readers right from the start. An attention-grabbing opening statement or paragraph is highly recommended.

– Finally, don’t hesitate to edit your personal statement as soon as you finish writing it. Look out for spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes and correct them accordingly.

By following these tips you can write a personal statement that allows your real personality to shine through.

Related questions:

1. How will you make your personal statement as original as possible?
2. Why is honesty highly valued in your personal statement?
3. Are there some tips essential in making your admission essay stand out?

Why Too Many Ideas Can Spoil Your Admission Essay

Do you want to know how important organization is in writing your admission essay? Check this article and find tips in making your essay more coherent and effective.

The admission essay is often regarded to be one of the most difficult aspects of the entire application process. However, any applicant has more control on the crafting of his or her personal statement or essay than on any other part of the application.

It is important to achieve an organized flow of ideas and events when writing your personal essay. When written in an effective, original, and organized manner, your essay can win you the favor of the selection committee. On the other hand, if your essay contains too many conflicting ideas and lacks coherence, it could affect your application in an unfavorable way.

Disadvantages of discussing too many ideas in your college application essay

Your admission essay is essentially a reflection of yourself, and making it as unique and original as possible is very important. It is also important to discuss certain ideas in your essay so as to give the selection board offices a peek into your personality and your aspirations. However, including too many ideas in your essay can be more detrimental than valuable. The inclusion of too many ideas, events, or activities in your essay can easily make it ineffective and disjointed.

Concentrating on certain topics will help your essay take on a more structured form as opposed to including too many types of information which are no longer relevant. This will only make your essay look like a history recount rather than a unique and interesting personal statement. Choose certain things or events about yourself that you want to write about and make sure that these stories all add up to one coherent piece.

Statement writings tips that’ll help you keep your focus on your thesis

One of the best ways to achieve focus and organization in your thesis is to write about things which are not to be found in your academic records or letters of recommendation. If you must recount a certain travel experience for example, don’t merely write about the attractions of the place. Include the insights you have gained in your travel and how these may have shaped your perceptions into what they are today. Also, don’t forget to rewrite what you have already written. You can organize your essay better in this manner since you will be able to see which parts have become redundant or which phrases utilize too many cliches.

Related questions:

1. Why are ideas and insight essential in an admission essay?
2. Which types of ideas or information should be included in a personal essay?
3. How do you achieve focus when writing your personal statement?