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Creating Your Essay

The following suggestions should assist you with writing an effective essay to accompany your application for graduate admission. Students may also visit the KSU Writing Commons for assistance with writing and proofing their essay.

Free Writing

  • Free write for 10-30 minutes.
  • Extract the main points and list them at the top of another page.
  • Free write on some or all of these points.
  • Again list the topics and subtopics.

Preliminary Organization

  • Choose the ideas you will use. Keep in mind: desired length, relative importance of ideas, and specific application instructions.
  • Put your ideas in a rough sequence.
  • Consider specific examples and/or details to help you avoid generalizations.

Writing, Organizing & Editing

  • Write a draft of the essay. Don't worry too much about organization at this point.
  • Read your essay out loud. Are you addressing your audience? Is your message clear? Does the essay reflect your intent? Do your sentences flow?
  • Edit and rewrite
  • Avoid wordiness, generalizations, and clichés. Watch for overuse of passive voice. Make sure your grammar and spelling are perfect.
  • Have a friend or advisor read your essay and provide feedback based on the considerations above.
  • Make final revisions and proofread carefully.
  • Have someone else proofread your near final essay.