"How to Write an Effective Study Abroad Essay - Office of International Education, Maryland Institute College of Art"

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H
ow to
W
rite an
E
ffective
Study Abroad
E
ssay
International Affairs (Bunting 200)
Phone: 410-225-2243
Email: internationalaffairs@mica.edu
Website: www.mica.edu/internationalaffairs
H
ow to
W
rite an
E
ffective
Study Abroad
E
ssay
International Affairs (Bunting 200)
Phone: 410-225-2243
Email: internationalaffairs@mica.edu
Website: www.mica.edu/internationalaffairs
We get it
.
Essays are sometimes hard to write. Scholarship and study
abroad applications ask you to write about yourself with
what seems to be very little structure. With all of the long
hours you’re putting in at the studio, how can you possibly
take time to sit down and write an effective study abroad
essay?
Good news! This booklet will help clarify just what readers
want to hear from your essays. Simply follow these steps
and essay writing will be less daunting.
2
S
T
E
to that great essay!
P
S
1. Read the essay prompt. No really- read it. Slowly.
2. Read the essay prompt again. It seems crazy, but this is
a step that is frequently skipped. You will probably
better understand what the essay is asking.
3. Think back to your English classes in high school.
Remember this structure?
Paragraph 1—Introduction
First sentence of Introduction – a ―hook‖ that catches
the reader’s attention
Last sentence of Introduction – a thesis statement
about two specific points you will make
transition
Paragraph 2—Point #1
Body
transition
Paragraphs
Paragraph 3—Point #2
transition
Paragraph 4—Conclusion
Summary of both points with a catchy finish
This is the best structure to follow for a personal essay. You
may use only one body paragraph as long as both points
are mentioned. Memorize this structure. It will be useful
later in life (in critiques, position papers, appeals to parking
violations, arguments with your landlord, etc.).
3
4. Now, figure out what the prompt is asking you. Here is
the MICA Study Abroad Statement of Purpose essay
prompt:
Please write a one-page (double-spaced) statement of purpose and
attach it to this application form. The statement should be a
thoughtful and concise consideration of your goals and reasons for
seeking to study abroad at your prospective host institution,
including how your proposed course of study at the host institution
relates to your educational and career goals.
Topic of essay – mention
Point #2
Point #1
this in your introduction!
Career
Educational
Goals
Goals
5. Plan your essay. DO NOT START WRITING YOUR ESSAY
YET! This is the ―pre-writing‖ step. Make a mind-map,
a chart, an outline or use other pre-writing tool that
will help you organize your thoughts. Write your
thoughts down on paper. Some examples are on the
following page. Notice how the examples all have
the same information, just presented in different ways.
**Your goals need to be SMART:
Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
Relevant, Time-bound **
4
Mind Map
Goals and reasons for wanting to study Shakespeare at the University of Sheffield
Educational goals
Career goals
- During my time in England, I will
- After graduation next May, I will move
visit Stratford-on-Avon with my pro-
to London to work at the Globe Theater
fessors to understand the context of
and Museum to hone my Shakespearean
Shakespeare's influences and will pre-
knowledge and to build my resume.
sent my findings in my semester thesis
- In 10 years, I hope to work as a Shake-
- By the end of my study abroad expe-
spearean professor. This study abroad
rience, I will have studied 12 Shake-
experience will allow me to network
spearean texts with world-renowned
with Shakespearean scholars in Shef-
Shakespearean scholars
field.
I. Introduction: Thesis – By studying abroad at the University of Sheffield, I will
gain skills and experiences that will help me achieve my career and educational
goals.
II. Point #1: Educational goals related to studying at U. of Sheffield
A. During my time in England, I will visit Stratford-on-Avon with my professors
to understand the context of Shakespeare's influences and will present my findings
in my semester thesis
B. By the end of my study abroad experience, I will have studied 12 Shakespeare-
an texts with world-renowned Shakespearean scholars
III. Point #2: Career goals related to studying at U. of Sheffield
A. After graduation next May, I will move to London to work at the Globe Theater
and Museum to hone my Shakespearean knowledge and to build my resume.
B. In 10 years, I hope to work as a Shakespearean professor. This study abroad
experience will allow me to network with Shakespearean scholars in Sheffield.
IV. Conclusion
5
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