Sunday, November 8, 2009

Final Tip--Appearance of Personal Essay

The first impression that your essay will make on the reader is its appearance. To start, the paper should be white and at least 20 pound weight. It really isn't necessary to use cotton content nor does it need a watermark.

For an optimum visual impact, implement the following:

1. In the upper right corner of the header, type your name and your student ID#. As a precaution to identity theft, do NOT use your social security number.

2. On the center of the page, type Personal Essay.

3. Set your left and right margins at one inch.

4. Use full justification--it looks neat and visually pleasing.

5. Unless directed to double space, I prefer 1.5 spacing.

6. Keep spacing between paragraphs at 1.5, but indent each paragraph.

7. Use a tailored font such as Times New Roman or Arial. Size 12 or 14 font will work.

8. The average essay is two pages long (about 750 words).

9. Stay within the designated word count. It is better to go under than to exceed.

10. Above all else, follow their directions meticulously.

11. No staples.

12. Double check for punctuation and/or grammatical errors.

13. Your essay should look pristine--no corrections, no smudges no folds nor wrinkles.

14. Mail it along with your other documents in a white 9 X 12 envelope.

15. Allow at least three weeks prior to the deadline to submit.

16. Be sure you have put enough postage on the envelope.

17. Believe that you deserve to win. Good luck!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tip Six Personal Statement

Are you satisfied with what you have written? Does the content reflect a true image of who you are? Who or what motivated you to return to college? Any challenges that you have made along the way? What you have learned about yourself? What your career goals are? What your plans are to meet your educational goals? Did you express enthusiasm and motivation? Is your essay interesting? Compelling?

The next step is to check very carefully for grammatical and punctuation errors. Once you are convinced that you have done everything possible to write a winning essay,ask a trusted friend to read it. Take it to the Learning Skills Center and ask someone to critique it.

Now rewrite with all of the corrections. If you are a student at the College of the Desert, please make an appointment with me so that I can give it a final check, Please have it on a flashdrive so that I can make any quick revisions. At that time, I will print out several final copies.

Please allow enough time. I am happy to help you, but realize that my schedule is tight and I want to devote enough time to reading your statement.

Good luck!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tip Five Personal Statement

By now, you should have a dynamite first paragraph which engages the reader. It is now time to work on the rest of your personal statement.

The following are some suggestions to get you on your way:
1. Is there something that you accomplished that may have seemed small at the time,
but has had a big impact on your life?

2. What is there about you that makes you special?

3. Have you overcome some challenge? How did it change you?

4. Have you struggled and succeeded?

5. Have you struggled and failed? How did you respond?

6. Was there an event that opened your eyes?

7. How would your friends describe you?