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Writing Your Way into College: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Personal Statement That Works by Joy Turner - HTML preview

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About the Author

Step 1. Before you Start Writing

Purpose of the Personal Statement

Who reads your personal statement?

Understanding the Prompt

Choosing a Topic

Personal Statement Considerations for Undergrads, Transfers, Veterans, Grad Students, and Job Seekers

Step 2. Writing your Personal Statement

Using Tone Effectively in Your Personal Statements and Other College Admissions Essays

Appealing to the Reader’s Senses

Insider Tips to Woo the Admissions Officers

Other Do’s & Don’ts for Writing the Perfect Personal Statement

The Diversity Statement

Step 3. What to Do After Your Initial Draft

6 Questions to Ask Yourself After You’ve Written Your First Draft

How to Effectively Revise Your College Admissions Essay








About the Author


I'm a first-generation college student and have worked for the past couple years as a seasonal college admissions reader for the University of Washington.

ImageDuring my years as a reader, I’ve gotten the opportunity to read thousands of application files for high school students and transfers from all over the United States, including applicants from every academic and socioeconomic background.

I have a passion for making higher education accessible to all students and this desire as well as my experience has positioned me to provide coaching and advising on the topics of writing personal statements, college admissions and navigating post-secondary education.

As a graduate of one of the top military colleges in the world, West Point, and a two-time earner of advanced degrees, I have the personal experience to understand how difficult it can be to get into top schools and my goal is to help students from all backgrounds succeed in this process.

Founder and Lead Coach, Koodoos

Joy G. Turner

Founder and Lead Coach, Koodoos

Joy G. Turner

I also had a past job as a writing consultant, where I worked with college students at every level helping them craft essays and research papers from multiple academic disciplines. In my job as a writing consultant, I’d wager to say 50-60% of the students I saw, wanted help with personal statements, resumes, or cover letters, so I’ve developed a keen sense on what the average college admissions essays looks like and I know how to make it stand out amongst the thousands of others an admissions officer will read during a typical admissions cycle.


Over the course of the last 10 years:

● I’ve earned $10,000s in graduate level scholarships and grants
● I’ve read and evaluated 1000s of personal statements from students in every degree major and level of education including PhD candidates and engineering school applicants
● I’ve worked on the admissions staff of a top research university where I learned the exact academic and socioeconomic indicators they use to evaluate candidates
● I’ve worked for years as a writing consultant and worked with 100s of clients to help them craft high-quality and professional writing
● I’ve been awarded prestigious honors such as being named a 2018 Presidential Management Fellow Finalist and a member of the University of Washington Husky 100.

I’m writing this guide because my goal is to help students and applicants craft personal, one of a kind essays for college applications. With an abundance of tutoring and test-taking prep widely available to students, the test scores among students applying to top schools are virtually identical and provide little means for admissions staff to distinguish candidates from one another. For this reason, the personal statement has become critically important in selecting students for the incoming cohort.

I have multiple years of experience working with writers and applicants to draft the perfect essays for scholarships, internships, and college admissions, and know I can help you craft an essay that is impactful and memorable.

As the personal statement, becomes more and more essential in selecting the incoming class, you’ll want to know that your personal statement stands out as among the best.

Let’s get started.