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How to Outline Your Personal Statement Like a Boss

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Okay, so you have drilled and drilled until your fingers could tap no more and your noggin was verifiably empty. You have thousands of words on the page and you have color coded your best material for building out the big picture and filling in the meaningful details. Now what? Could it be that it’s a time for…an outline?

Like any great adventurer with his or her eye on the prize, you’re going to track down a map to follow. Actually, no, you’re going to create one for yourself out of thin air like a freaking magician!

Laying out a simple outline will make it easier to see the full trajectory of your story. It will identify holes that need to be filled and story points that need further developing. Crafting an outline at this stage in the game will also help verify that you’ve chosen a topic that is strong enough to support an entire essay. Not to mention that the outline will organize the logical flow of your ideas to ensure admissions officers remember your most poignant points.

Luckily, for you, we don’t believe you need a super detailed 14-page long outline to move forward. We’re talking about slapping together a lightning fast, 16-line broad stroke guide to your new master plan. All that needs to go into it are big picture headers and supporting subtopics that can turn into fleshed out paragraphs. You should already have a pretty good idea of what these headers will be by now, as you’ve spent countless hours brainstorming (and if you haven’t, you should rethink that). If you put enough time into your freewrites, your illuminating details should be pretty easy to fill in.

And, if not, you might not have found the perfect topic after all. Give the outline a solid effort, otherwise it’s back to the drawing board!

 

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