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How important are Why X essays?

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:27 am
by Neatrends
Just wondering how important Why X essays really are for target schools. I'm just now finishing my PS and DS and would like to get my apps sent out ASAP.

I feel like I wouldn't have anything unique to put in my Why X essays.

Am I making a mistake by just sending out all of my applications without them, or does the benefit of including Why X essays exceed the (slight) disadvantage of applying a week or two later?

Re: How important are Why X essays?

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 am
by Mal Reynolds
It depends on the school but I think the conventional wisdom is that they definitely help. But you don't need to take another week or two to write them. Follow the format in the thread attached below and you should be able to write one in a couple of hours (including research). All you really want to do is say why you are interested in a certain aspect of the school, be it a clinic, teacher, lecture series, journal or whatever. If you can tie it to something in your resume and explain why you are interested even better. Oh yeah and just be positive. Say things like I am impressed by, enthusiastic about, etc. So I suggest doing it. I also think you can get a few done tomorrow or over the next couple of days.


Re: How important are Why X essays?

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:06 am
by bobbyh1919
I agree with the above, but just be careful not to set up a cookie cutter outline where you're more or less switching out the school name. They'll catch that quickly and be annoyed that you made them read it.

Go online, find some stuff you like. Ideally if you've visited the school you'll have something to say. If not, maybe they've sent you a packet in the mail or something. Most just want a page anyway, so just pick a point or 2 and try to be specific.