As admissions season approaches, we wanted to provide a few general tips on how to start the essay writing process. Many people find the first step--simply sitting down to write --the most difficult. While the writing process can be time-consuming, it can also be rewarding, interactive and fun. We certainly enjoy it! We suggest the following:
1) Start your admissions essay(s) as a conversation. Speak with someone you trust (a parent, family member, or friend) and explore potential ideas on how to best answer a specific prompt. Encourage them to ask you challenging questions. Write down every idea, and try to avoid being overly critical of any possibility.
2) Put the pen to paper. Using the ideas you have formulated, map out several narrative 'arcs' for each topic. Come up with a skeletal structure for your essay. Which ideas are best suited for the given word limitation? Which ideas tell the most unique or complete story? Which ideas reveal something new that your reader may not have read elsewhere in your application?
3) Try to flesh out one of your best ideas using the structure you have devised. While the language in your essay should not be as informal as a conversation, the content should be similarly direct, authentic and honest. Avoid telling admissions committees what you think they may want to hear, e.g. "I would make a great addition to New York University because...." Instead, strive to write essays that really answer the prompts, reflect who you are, and showcase your finest prose.
Please message us with any questions!
Ivy Eyes Editing