Lsu Admissions Essay Editing
Writing a personal statement is an important part of your application to graduate school. It’s your first (and perhaps only) chance to show the admissions committee who you are as a person, beyond your transcript and test scores. Think of it as your “professional autobiography,” where you tell a story about yourself to communicate to the committee why you’d be a good addition to their academic community.
Of course, it’s not an easy task to communicate who you are in an engaging, professional, and accurate way, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to craft your statement.
How to Write an Effective Personal Statement
Here are some important reflective questions you should ask yourself as you start the process. Take some time and write out your thoughts. Give yourself several pages—the more you write, the more you have to work with as you draft:
- What do you think is most important for the admissions committee to know about you?
- What’s distinctive, interesting, or unique about you and your experiences?
- When did you become interested in this field? What experiences or events have lead you to your this field of study?
- What special qualities or skills do you have that could help you be successful in their program? How did you develop those qualities or skills?
Know Your Audience
- Know where you’re applying – Be sure you’ve done some research on the programs to which you’re applying and (when appropriate) tailor your statement to each program. Moreover, be sure you’re answering the appropriate question (or questions) asked—some schools (especially MBA programs) ask for multiple essays with specific prompts.
Be engaging and clear
- Admissions Committees read many, many applications. Figure out what makes you stand out! But also remember to respect the committee’s time and patience—you don’t want to “stand out” in a negative way.
- Investigate your field. Talk to your professors and other professionals—learn what “professional” means in this context. You want to present yourself as ready to move beyond your undergraduate experience and enter into a new intellectual community.
Draft, Get Feedback, and Revise
- Give yourself time for multiple drafts.
- Do not be the only person to read your statement. Get as many people to read it as possible.
- Proofread very carefully.
The consultants at the CxC Writing Center will be happy to help you at any stage in this process.
“Do’s and Don’ts” for Writing your Personal Statement
- Tell a story — This will help you show your audience who you are, not just tell them.
- Find an angle — If you have particular struggles in your life, obstacles you’ve overcome, or issues you’ve addressed, these events can help show your audience who you are and why you’d be a good addition to their program.
- Be specific — Use tangible, specific details of your experience to communicate your story. Don’t rely on vague generalizations.
- Concentrate on your opening paragraph — Your audience has many, many personal statements to read. Catch their attention early with an anecdote or “hook” that engages your reader while setting up your point about who you are.
- Be sure you’re answering the question — This seems obvious, but be sure you’re clear about what you’re responding to—especially if you’re applying to multiple programs.
- Tell what you know, not what you think people want to hear — you are representing yourself—be honest. It will come across best.
- Give yourself time to reflect and write — Your story, your angle, your details, and your opening “hook” are unlikely to appear magically the first time you sit down to write. Give yourself time to think back on your experiences, draft out your ideas, and revise.
- Get feedback from mentors and peers at every stage of the process — Talk to professors about what it means to be a member of your chosen academic community and about what in your experiences would be relevant to your statement. Have as many people as you can read your drafts and give you feedback. The CxC Writing Center will be very glad to help!
- Use clichés — You may want to be a doctor because you always wanted to help people, but you want to find a way communicate that idea in an honest and tangible way. Basically, avoid saying “I’ve always wanted to be….” And don’t start with quotes from other people, even famous ones, unless you can think of a particularly engaging way of doing so.
- Be negative — especially about your institution or other institutions. It can give your audience a general bad feeling—and worse, someone on the admissions committee may know who you’re talking about.
- Include everything that ever happened in your life — You have limited time and space. Be selective! And definitely don’t rewrite your CV. Be sure you’re telling a story that communicates who you are as a whole, not just listing your accomplishments.
- Talk about high school — You risk looking immature.
- Talk about hot-button social/political issues — You risk alienating your audience. Of course, the story you want to tell may demand you do both these things—but be sure you have a very good reason to do so.
- Go over the page or word limit — Respect your audience’s time and energy. Don’t overload them.
- Mispell werds or use bad grammar — You can lose your audience instantly. Don’t risk it.
- Be the only person who reads your proposal besides the committee — Try to have at least two other people read your statement. If one of them is a faculty member or professional in the field, that would be best, but anyone can give you useful feedback and help check for surface errors. The CxC Writing Center is there for you!
Why apply to the Ogden Honors College?
To apply to the Ogden Honors College, simply check the box for Honors admission consideration on your LSU application. It only takes a second—but that one second can enrich your next four years. When you check the box for Ogden Honors, you become a member of a tight-knit community of high-achieving, engaged students living and learning together at the center of LSU’s beautiful campus. When you check the box for Ogden Honors, you gain access to our dedicated advising staff, who will help you craft and carry out a rich four-year plan for your time at LSU. When you check the box for Ogden Honors, you open the door to opportunities for scholarships, community service, study abroad, internships, and innovative research with a faculty mentor. When you check the box for Ogden Honors, you have access to some of the best classes offered at LSU, and to graduate with some of LSU’s highest distinctions. When you check the box for Ogden Honors, you put your future in motion.
As an Ogden Honors student, you can choose to live in Laville Honors House, which was fully renovated in 2012, and contains some of the biggest rooms on campus. Laville also boasts a computer lab, classrooms, lounges and study spaces on every floor, and a beautiful courtyard where Honors College events are often held. Right next door to Laville is the French House, the Ogden Honors College academic and administrative building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Just across the Laville courtyard is the 459 Commons, one of two dining halls on LSU's campus. This area is our Honors Campus, located at the heart of LSU, just across Highland Road from the Student Union, and a short walk to the UREC and to most academic buildings.
Ogden Honors College scholarships help to support everything from academic excellence, to study abroad, to innovative projects, and to Honors Thesis research. If you are admitted to the Honors College, you will likely qualify for LSU's substantial merit-based scholarships, since our admission requirements mirror or surpass those for many of LSU's major scholarships for entering freshmen. 99% of incoming Honors students receive merit-based scholarships from the University.
So what do you need to do to become an Ogden Honors student? If you are applying to LSU, you are also eligible to apply to the Honors College if you meet our recommended admission criteria.
Honors College admission is very competitive. Selection for incoming first-year students is based on high school GPA, ACT or SAT scores, and the writing test of the ACT or SAT. The writing sample is weighed on an even scale with GPA and standardized exam scores, so special consideration should be given to this component of the application. The strength of courses taken in high school will be considered and is factored into the calculation of the high school GPA.
Recommended admission criteria include:
- 3.5 GPA weighted by LSU
- 30 ACT Composite with 30 English, or 1390 SAT Total with 700 Evidence-based Reading and Writing
- Completed ACT or SAT Writing Test
How to Apply
If you are ready to become a member of the Ogden Honors College, you should apply for admission while applying to LSU. You may apply either through the LSU Application or the Common Application. An Honors College section is included on each application and will serve as your Ogden Honors College application; there is no separate application process. You need only select 'Yes' to request Honors College admission consideration.
If you have already completed your LSU application, but did not check the box to be considered for Honors College admission, you may amend your application by contacting our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to apply and be considered for the Ogden Honors College is November 15. Students will be notified of their Honors College admission status beginning in November and on a rolling basis thereafter. Students are strongly encouraged to apply by the November 15 deadline. Any applications received after this date will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
Continuing and Transfer Students
If you are currently an LSU student, or if you are a transfer student entering LSU, and would like to be considered for admission into the Ogden Honors College, you are welcome to do so if you meet and provide the following admissions criteria:
- 3.5 cumulative GPA in all college coursework taken;
- an excellent 400-600 word essay; and
- at least four semesters of college coursework remaining in your major.
For more information on how to apply to the Honors College as a transfer or continuing student, please visit our transfer and continuing students admissions page.
If you wish to appeal an admission decision, you may do so by letter, addressed to the Dean of the Ogden Honors College, Dr. Jonathan Earle. Appeals may be submitted only by the applicant and must clearly state the applicant's reasons for appealing the original admission decision. The appeal should include significant information that was not included in the original admission consideration. All appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Applicants may expect a response within 3 weeks of the date we receive the appeal. Appeals must be received by June 1.
Send your written request and supporting materials to:
LSU Ogden Honors College
101 French House
Baton Rouge, LA, 70803