This tragic tale signified the moment at which I realized psychiatry was the only career path I could take.I was working in the Emergency Room at Wirth Memorial Hospital one night when a man walked in wearing a monkey costume and holding his head. After a nurse asked him a few questions, I listened in surprise as he explained that he had been a monkey all of his life and knew that it was time to live with his brothers in the trees.
A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one.
If you spot that, try to use the second sentence and delete the first.
It should reflect how you arrived at your professional goals, why the program is ideal for you, and what you bring to the program.
Don’t make this a deadline task—now’s the time to write, read, rewrite, give to a reader, revise again, and on until the essay is clear, concise, and compelling. You know most of the things you need to say already. One of the basic tasks of the application essay is to follow the directions.
(Note: If you are having trouble forming clear sentences without all the prepositions and nouns, take a look at our handout on style.) You may want to create an impression of expertise in the field by using specialized or technical language.
But beware of this unless you really know what you are doing—a mistake will look twice as ignorant as not knowing the terms in the first place.
Often, writers start out with generalizations as a way to get to the really meaningful statements, and that’s OK.
Just make sure that you replace the generalizations with examples as you revise.
If you don’t do what they ask, the reader may wonder if you will be able to follow directions in their program.
Make sure you follow page and word limits exactly—err on the side of shortness, not length.