a woman uses a typewriter on State Street in Madison WI

Essay writing tips

Write a great essay

Need to know how to nail the perfect essay so your application stands out? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few key ways to make your essay shine:

  1. 1

    Research the university and program or department you’re applying to. What does the university want in a prospective candidate? Are the program’s needs the same or slightly different? Research both, and highlight the ways you fit all the qualities they want.

  2. 2

    Mention faculty and recent achievements. Search the department’s website and read recent faculty publications in your area of interest. Don’t forget Twitter! Talk about what’s top of their minds right now and how those issues relate to your interest and future goals.

  3. 3

    Write authentically and personally. Ask yourself why you are applying to this program and what impact it will have on your future. Thinking about these questions will help you write an essay that is distinctly about you and that admission officers want to read.

  4. 4

    Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. This step is essential for creating a standout essay. Don’t let simple grammatical errors or confusing sentences obscure a strong story. Have someone edit your essay, and there are also online tools you can utilize, like Hemingway Editor or Polishmywriting — just remember, they’re not a replacement for a trained, human eye!

Applying can be a lot of work, but you’ll likely find it’s worth it in the long run. Whether you attend online or in person, you’re on your way towards creating a future you can be proud of.

Still have questions?

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