The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

7. Storytelling Essentials for Your Application Essays, with Michael Noltemeyer

October 22, 2019 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
7. Storytelling Essentials for Your Application Essays, with Michael Noltemeyer
Chapters
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
7. Storytelling Essentials for Your Application Essays, with Michael Noltemeyer
Oct 22, 2019
Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep

Application essays are a crucial part of the admissions process, and effective essays essentially come down to good storytelling. Your goal as the protagonist of your own story is to become a hero that admissions officers want to root for, says Michael Noltemeyer, founder of North Star Editing and guest on this week's show. During our wide-ranging conversation, Micheal sheds light on just how to do that while sharing examples of successful essays from his 10+ years as a professional editor.

Specifically, in this episode you will learn:

  • The Japanese concept of Ikigai for finding your life's purpose, and how that's what you're shooting for on your application essays as well;
  • How writing an application essay is like a "choose your own adventure" story in reverse, and how that understanding should influence the aim of your essays;
  • What not to do in your essays (hint: you're probably not as clever as you think you are);
  • The key to finding the story inside yourself that only you can tell;
  • How to structure your essays;
  • The difference between a "Statement of Purpose" and "Personal Statement" and what to include in each;
  • A simple test to determine whether the story you want to tell will resonate with the reader;
  • How one student turned a Pokémon obsession into a great essay topic, and how you can write an equally meaningful essay around your passions;
  • Parting advice based on the wisdom of Mark Twain;
  • And more!

A polished essays takes time, so be sure to heed Michael's advice and get started early.

FROM THE MAILBAG

In this week's "From the Mailbag" segment, I answer the question, "Where can I get more reading comprehension practice?" Listen all the way to the end for my answer to that.

RESOURCES

Here are the websites and other resources referenced in this episode:

MOTIVATION

Here's the quote we began the episode with:

"Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?" -- Scott Turow

Show Notes Transcript

Application essays are a crucial part of the admissions process, and effective essays essentially come down to good storytelling. Your goal as the protagonist of your own story is to become a hero that admissions officers want to root for, says Michael Noltemeyer, founder of North Star Editing and guest on this week's show. During our wide-ranging conversation, Micheal sheds light on just how to do that while sharing examples of successful essays from his 10+ years as a professional editor.

Specifically, in this episode you will learn:

  • The Japanese concept of Ikigai for finding your life's purpose, and how that's what you're shooting for on your application essays as well;
  • How writing an application essay is like a "choose your own adventure" story in reverse, and how that understanding should influence the aim of your essays;
  • What not to do in your essays (hint: you're probably not as clever as you think you are);
  • The key to finding the story inside yourself that only you can tell;
  • How to structure your essays;
  • The difference between a "Statement of Purpose" and "Personal Statement" and what to include in each;
  • A simple test to determine whether the story you want to tell will resonate with the reader;
  • How one student turned a Pokémon obsession into a great essay topic, and how you can write an equally meaningful essay around your passions;
  • Parting advice based on the wisdom of Mark Twain;
  • And more!

A polished essays takes time, so be sure to heed Michael's advice and get started early.

FROM THE MAILBAG

In this week's "From the Mailbag" segment, I answer the question, "Where can I get more reading comprehension practice?" Listen all the way to the end for my answer to that.

RESOURCES

Here are the websites and other resources referenced in this episode:

MOTIVATION

Here's the quote we began the episode with:

"Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe?" -- Scott Turow