Writing the First Draft

Personal Statement Tips

Writing the First Draft


Your reader must understand your final essay easily. In order to communicate your message to your reader, you first must have clarity within yourself. The purpose of the first draft, or of the first copy, is to understand your argument yourself so that you can improve and polish it. Most likely, very little from the first draft will be in the final essay - you will edit it many times. The first draft is for yourself, so there is no reason to not just sit down and write it. Why do you think you should be in this school? Just write down your first answer to whatever question is necessary. Bring a couple of examples, and some concrete details. Do not worry about style or length, this is for you to read.


After you have the draft, leave it for a week. Forget about it. Then, pretend you are an admissions reader, and read your essay quickly, as they would. Write down your impressions of yourself. How does your essay make you feel in general? Is there a tension? What follow-up questions would you ask yourself? Would you admit yourself? The goal of this exercise is to find out if you are picking a right direction with your story, and to find a direction that fits as early as possible - before you put in a lot of time into polishing the essay.


This is where editing begins.