Watch what you write! In this blog series, we’ll examine the 5 fatal flaws that you should avoid when writing your med school application essays. In our final post in this series, we’ll explore how you can present your ideas clearly, avoiding muddled thinking that will confuse your readers.
You’ve done your self-reflection, made sure you answered the question, avoided clichés, and used details and specifics, but somehow your essay isn’t working. It seems all over the place. Unfocused and hard to follow.
Even if you have a clear goal or sense of direction, you have to structure your essay so that your reader can easily follow your thought process. Here are a few tips to ensure that logical structure and coherent presentation.
1. A core idea or theme
Every essay should have a single message you are trying to convey and you should be able to boil that theme down to one, or at most two, sentences. Everything in your essay should support that theme.
2. A logical structure
You may have multiple examples in your personal statement or simply different subtopics to prove your main point. That’s fine. But you need to organize them either chronologically or thematically. Either one will work, but there needs to be a structure, and you need to stick to it.
Use transition to help your reader move from one subtopic to the next and see the connections or contrast between these subtopics. Transitions are like signposts guiding your reader along the path of your essay.
Before you start writing your personal statement or secondaries, think about what you want to say clearly and critically. As I said in “Lack of Substance” (Fatal Flaw #1), you need to examine your head and your heart. Just make sure your head is in good working order when it listens to your heart and that your essay is structured so the reader sees that both these organs are working just fine.
Avoid Fatal Flaw #5: Write so that the reader can follow your thought-process, and make sure that your essay is a coherent whole.
Now you that you know what NOT to do, it’s time to focus on what you SHOULD do to submit the absolute best medical school applications possible. Work one-on-one with a pro to create an application that will get you ACCEPTED.