The Audience

Your application could pass through the hands of full-time admissions officers, medical school faculty, medical students, and practicing physicians from the community. Your essay may receive only a handful of reads initially, but as the application process progresses, entire committees consisting of some two-dozen people may see it. To the extent that these committees consist of such a variety of perspectives, you should aim for an appropriate midpoint between conservative and inventive writing.

The most important question to ask yourself as you begin the process is this: how can I make myself stand out? The bad news is that you may be dealing with short attention spans and a cursory read. The good news is that many of your competitors will make the mistakes that you will have learned to avoid by reading this guide and using our editing services.

This course will cover many tips and guidelines for themes and ideas for you to explore, but this section will mainly outline two principles of the utmost importance that have to do with writing audience-friendly essays.

First, be concise. Nearly all the admissions officers we interviewed stressed this point, and the reason is obvious. They have too much work on their hands to be spending extra time on your application. Moreover, longwinded writing will not sustain their interest and can potentially hurt your chances. A good essay will make its point within the required space, or stay close to the suggested length.

Second, be interesting. Now there are many factors that will go into making an essay interesting, but at the same time, everyone has a basic idea of what that entails. If you didn't already know about the exciting particulars of your life, would you find the essay, on its own terms, enjoyable to read? Keep in mind that no matter how strong or fascinating your content is, the reader cannot appreciate this if he or she has stopped reading or paying attention.

So these are the two principles you must keep in mind when evaluating your results and trying to determine how the audience will respond. If you can be concise and interesting, you will have gone a long way toward winning the reader's sympathy and standing out from your competitors.

Next: What "They" Look For