pen and paper

5 Essay Tips from a Batten Ambassador

  1. Answer the essay questions fully: don’t miss addressing any part of the question and be explicit in your responses.

You should try to make sure that you cover each part of the question being asked, explicitly. These questions are crafted to set you up for success, so make sure you properly address the entirety of the question.

  1. Start with an attention-grabbing statement.

In any application, you should try to start with a punch! You have very limited words to say a lot, so each word needs to go further than in traditional writing. Make sure that the narrative you are sharing starts in a super engaging way and properly progresses into the rest of your piece. The best way to do this is to write, edit, rewrite and repeat it all again. This should be an iterative process to ensure that each sentence is there for a reason.

  1. Be authentic!

Authenticity is critical in a strong application! These essays should be you sharing your story and perspective and why you should be a Batten student. Don’t shy away from injecting your own personal voice and style into these responses, just make sure to keep them professional!

  1. Use a personal experience—no matter how big or small—to make your words sound authentic.

Most strong applications should have a call to action. As in, what called you to apply to Batten and want to study public policy? Share that moment with your essays — it doesn’t have to be anything momentous. Whether it was a visible inequity, engagement with a social problem, or just a desire to help someone in need, make sure you spell it out.

  1. Be concise and limit the amount of exposition to maximize your point.

The “point” of these essays is to clearly indicate why your passions and experiences have led you to a desire to study public policy. Why do you need to be a Batten student to further your academic, professional or personal life path? What goals have you set for yourself that being a Batten student will help achieve? Share your story, but make sure you leave plenty of room to fully flesh out these questions in each response.