Second, your reader is likely stuck reviewing tens or even scores of applications in a short period of time. Here’s a helpful trick: Imagine AMCAS or ERAS is charging you $10 per word. Secondary essay prompts vary, but there are a few that are standard fare. In approaching the “why-our-school” question, do your research on the institution and link something specific about you with the school’s philosophy, curriculum, surrounding patient population, and/or extracurricular programs.
S/he is looking to spend as little time as possible on your written materials, while still getting a good flavor for your candidacy. For instance, if you were a teaching assistant for chemistry in college, you might link your use of the Socratic method with a school’s tutorial-based learning.
Although it’s work, the goal is to research each institution and then link your qualities and interests with the school’s. Look into what makes the institution distinctive, including electives, curriculum, awards, international opportunities, and research.
The mistake I see is that candidates tend to use generalities, a tactic which doesn’t afford the admissions committee members a sense that the applicant is really interested in their institution.
Here is a do and do not– DO NOT start a paragraph with: “I studied receptor RLAJKNCH – r897 which showed that there was no uptake in expression when compared to JLKASN – 8343 when exposed to methyl-alpha-dioxide.” – DO: “The purpose of our research was to understand how toxins effect cells, which in turn could be used to eventually try to come up with novel drugs.
In particular, I studied…..”A very popular question and one students often have trouble answering.
You can of course choose a parent or relative, but also think outside the box to perhaps a teacher or a professor.
The most important part of this, and the key to answering all questions, is not the particular person you choose or even the relationship you have with them, but to keep the reader entertained through the paragraph.
Two weeks ago I blogged about the importance of using your personal statement to showcase your accomplishments, while ensuring your essay does not become a resume in prose.
In the “The Sound of a Sentence,” Constance Hale reviews techniques a writer can use to invigorate his or her compositions.