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After you have selected a topic that you feel will work for you. Take some time to focus your topic. Ask yourself “What is it that I am attempting to prove, show, or demonstrate in this essay?” You should be able to answer this question in one clear sentence.

This sentence is called your focus statement or your thesis sentence. Remember that your essay needs to leave the readers with an impression of who you are so they will know you better. Concentrate on this, pinpoint your impression so that everything in your essay will take the reader in that direction. It is this focused impression that will stick with the admissions committee.

When you have a thesis sentence in mind, test it against the ten questions listed below. If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then it is time to begin structuring your essay around your thesis sentence.

  1. Will the topic reveal some important aspect of you as an individual?
  2. Will the topic shed a positive light on your application?
  3. Is the topic one that you feel strongly about?
  4. Is the topic one that others will enjoy reading?
  5. Does the topic cover the general guidelines stated on the application form?
  6. Are you enthusiastic about writing this topic? Do you have a genuine interest in the topic?
  7. Is the topic specific? Does it have a specific direction?
  8. Can the topic be supported with examples and specifics?
  9. Can the topic be covered within the space provided?
  10. Have you discussed the topic with a friend or family member?