Below is a pdf link to personal statements and application essays representing strong efforts by students applying for both undergraduate and graduate opportunities. These ten essays have one thing in common: They were all written by students under the constraint of the essay being 1-2 pages due to the target program’s explicit instructions. In such circumstances, writers must attend carefully to the essay prompt (sometimes as simple as “Write a one-page summary of your reasons for wanting to pursue graduate study”) and recognize that evaluators tend to judge these essays on the same fundamental principles, as follows:
- First, you are typically expected to provide a window into your personal motivations, offer a summary of your field, your research, or your background, set some long-term goals, and note specific interest in the program to which you are applying.
- Second, you are expected to provide some personal detail and to communicate effectively and efficiently. Failure to do so can greatly limit your chances of acceptance.
Good writers accomplish these tasks by immediately establishing each paragraph’s topic and maintaining paragraph unity, by using concrete, personal examples to demonstrate their points, and by not prolonging the ending of the essay needlessly. Also, good writers study the target opportunity as carefully as they can, seeking to become an “insider,” perhaps even communicating with a professor they would like to work with at the target program, and tailoring the material accordingly so that evaluators can gauge the sincerity of their interest
Overview of Short Essay Samples
Geological Sciences Samples
In the pdf link below, the first two one-page statements written by students in the geological sciences are interesting to compare to each other. Despite their different areas of research specialization within the same field, both writers demonstrate a good deal of scientific fluency and kinship with their target programs.
Geography Student Sample
The short essay by a geography student applying to an internship program opens with the writer admitting that she previously had a limited view of geography, then describing how a course changed her way of thinking so that she came to understand geography as a “balance of physical, social, and cultural studies.” Despite her limited experience, she shows that she has aspirations of joining the Peace Corps or obtaining a law degree, and her final paragraph links her interests directly to the internship program to which she is applying.
Materials Sciences Student Sample
For the sample from materials sciences, directed at an internal fellowship, the one-page essay has an especially difficult task: The writer must persuade those who already know him (and thus know both his strengths and limitations) that he is worthy of internal funds to help him continue his graduate education. He attempts this by first citing the specific goal of his research group, followed by a brief summary of the literature related to this topic, then ending with a summary of his own research and lab experience.
Teach for America Student Sample
The student applying for the Teach for America program, which recruits recent college graduates to teach for two years in underprivileged urban and rural public schools, knows that she must convince readers of her suitability to such a demanding commitment, and she has just two short essays with which to do so. She successfully achieves this through examples related to service mission work that she completed in Ecuador before entering college.
Neuroscience Student Sample
The sample essay by a neuroscience student opens with narrative technique, telling an affecting story about working in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Thus we are introduced to one of the motivating forces behind her interest in neuroscience. Later paragraphs cite three undergraduate research experiences and her interest in the linked sciences of disease: immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and pathology.
Medieval Literature Student Sample
This sample essay immerses us in detail about medieval literature throughout, eventually citing several Irish medieval manuscripts. With these examples and others, we are convinced that this student truly does see medieval literature as a “passion,” as she claims in her first sentence. Later, the writer repeatedly cites two professors and “mentors” whom she has already met, noting how they have shaped her highly specific academic goals, and tying her almost headlong approach directly to the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, where she will have flexibility in designing her own program.
Beinecke Scholarship Student Sample
The Beinecke Scholarship essay is written by a junior faced with stiff competition from a program that awards $34,000 towards senior year and graduate school. This student takes an interesting theme-based approach and projects forward toward graduate school with confidence. This writer’s sense of self-definition is particularly strong, and her personal story compelling. Having witnessed repeated instances of injustice in her own life, the writer describes in her final paragraphs how these experiences have led to her proposed senior thesis research and her goal of becoming a policy analyst for the government’s Department of Education.
Online Education Student Sample
Written during a height of US involvement in Iraq, this essay manages the intriguing challenge of how a member of the military can make an effective case for on-line graduate study. The obvious need here, especially for an Air Force pilot of seven years, is to keep the focus on academic interests rather than, say, battle successes and the number of missions flown. An additional challenge is to use military experience and vocabulary in a way that is not obscure nor off-putting to academic selection committee members. To address these challenges, this writer intertwines his literacy in matters both military and academic, keeping focus on applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), his chosen field of graduate study.
Engineer Applying to a Master’s Program Sample
This example shows that even for an engineer with years of experience in the field, the fundamentals of personal essay writing remain the same. This statement opens with the engineer describing a formative experience—visiting a meat packaging plant as a teenager—that influenced the writer to work in the health and safety field. Now, as the writer prepares to advance his education while remaining a full-time safety engineer, he proves that he is capable by detailing examples that show his record of personal and professional success. Especially noteworthy is his partnering with a government agency to help protect workers from dust exposures, and he ties his extensive work experience directly to his goal of becoming a Certified Industrial Hygienist.
Click here to download a pdf of ten short essay samples.
Narrative Essay Topics
In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about his/her personal experience. However, treating a narrative essay like an interesting bedtime story would be a mistake. It goes further. In this type of essay, the writer should speak about his/her experience within a specific context, such as a lesson learned. With a narrative essay, the writer not only entertains the reader but also teaches him, illustrating his point of view with a real-life example.
If you are assigned to write a narrative essay, here are some narrative writing prompts:
NARRATIVE ESSAY WRITING
How to Choose a Narrative Essay Topic?
Choosing an interesting topic and thinking over short story ideas is particularly important. When writing a narrative essay you should think about your life experience in the framework of the assignment’s theme, you would like to speak about. You should always remember that even a tiny event or incident could serve a plot for an interesting narrative story. The point is that it should convey a meaning; it should be a kind of instructive story.
There is a number of helpful techniques helping to invent an essay topic. If you don’t have a clue what experience to describe, you can brainstorm with your friends, surf the Internet or use this list of sample narrative essay topics.
Before getting started to choose a topic from the list provided by our writers, let’s read one of the narrative essay examples:
NARRATIVE ESSAY EXAMPLE
In case you already have the topic to write about but need help with your essay, you can contact our essay writing service in UK to order a custom-written narrative essay with www.essaymasters.co.uk! Our professional writers are available 24/7!
Below is the great list of short story ideas:
TOP 70 Narrative Essay Topics
- If I could go back in time.
- If I could change anything in the history, what would I choose?
- The time I saw the weirdest thing in my life.
- My most frightening experience.
- One thing I’m afraid to lose.
- If I could change one thing about me.
- If I had a billion dollars.
- If I could stop the time.
- The most beautiful thing in the world for me.
- The most pleasant sound for me.
- My first day at a new school.
- The time I lost my friend.
- The time I got a new friend.
- My first day at a new job.
- My most disastrous day ever.
- My happiest day ever.
- The most irritating things in my life.
- An experience that left me disillusioned.
- How I met my fear.
- The moment I overcome my phobia.
- The achievement I’m proud of.
- My most dangerous experience.
- The journey that has changed me.
- The experience that taught me how appearance can be deceiving.
- My act of heroism.
- My act of cowardice.
- A thing I would like to change in my past.
- My first month of living on my own.
- The most successful day in my life.
- The time I was wrong about the person.
- My sudden act of a kindness.
- What my younger sibling taught me.
- A time when I felt that I’m experiencing a historic event.
- How I started relationships.
- The worst quarrel with my mother.
- An experience I thought I would never have.
- The biggest risk I’ve ever taken.
- Why do I like being alone?
- The hardest decision I’ve ever made.
- The hardest thing I’ve ever done.
- What challenges have I overcome?
- How do I relieve stress?
- What do I do when I feel depressed.
- 5 everyday problems that bother me.
- Who inspires me and why.
- Whom would I ask to come if I had my own Talk-show?
- People that have changed my life.
- Books or movies that have changed my world view.
- Devices playing the biggest role in my life.
- Side effects of my digital life.
- One day or week without an access to the Internet.
- What my profile in social networks tells about me.
- What music inspires me.
- What music can change my mood?
- What movies inspire me.
- What role television plays in my life.
- What television shows have mattered to me?
- What reality-show I would like to participate in.
- What memorable poetry have I learned?
- What books teach me.
- Why do I keep (or don’t keep) a diary or journal?
- What words or phrases I don’t like to use.
- The time I learned that grammar is necessary.
- The greatest conversation of my life.
- The teacher who inspired me.
- The role clubs and teams play in my life.
- My long-time passion.
- What superhero power I would like to have.
- Why I like (or don’t like) cooking.
- Waiting in line story.
More about a narrative essay:
NARRATIVE ESSAY OUTLINE
Have you already chosen a topic for your narrative essay? If not, feel free to contact our professional writers as they will offer a lot of topics to write about. Place an order for getting an instant quote for your narrative essay.