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Posts by Holt [Educational Consultant]
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Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Letters / This is my letter - Unipdu FT C Letter to Mochammad Izzul Hidayatulloh [2]

Izzul, please consider the revised letter sample I am sharing with you as an example of a better structured letter:

Hi, my name is Zakky and I am 19 years old. I come from Kalimantan but I live in a dorm in East Java at the moment because I am attending college at Unipdu Jombang, also in East Java, I have not returned home in over a year and I really miss my family already. But having teachers and friends who also speak Java and Indonesian helps me overcome my homesickness. When I am not in school, I prefer to speak only Indonesian.

I am really happy to have met you and I hope that we become good friends. I hope to get to know you better. Tell me anything you want me to know. Where do you go to school? What is your favorite subject in school? Mine is Sistem Operasi.

I guess this all I can tell you about me for now. I look forward to receiving your response letter. Please send my best regards to your family and friends.

Talk to you soon.

Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Undergraduate / "Glorious to View". Cornell Writing Supplement - College of Arts and Sciences [2]

Rafael, most reviewers do not take kindly to applicants who name-drop their professor's names in their college application essays. It sounds like you are trying to use internal influence to gain an edge over the other applicants. That is why I believe that unless you have a Letter of Recommendation coming from Prof. Thorne to accompany this particular essay response, you should drop the last part of the essay that mentions his name.

Ivy league universities such as Cornell, prefer to have their applicant students compete on an equal level, without special favor or pause to consider connections of the applicant within the faculty department. Name dropping could work in an opposing manner for you. Let your application essays stand on the strength of your own words and your transcript of records prove your worthiness to attend Cornell.

The rest of that paragraph works well as a closing statement though. I would not change any part of it. The overall essay is excellent and really responds in an in-depth manner to the prompt. Good work on your part.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Undergraduate / "Why NYU?" Essay written based on New York's Charm [3]

Kenan, the question is, "Why NYU?", not "Why New York?". Your response is not only inadequate but misdirected. You are talking more about the city in this essay instead of why you chose to study at the university of the same name. More than half the statement is dedicated to responding in terms of the city. The response must be geared towards showing the reviewer that you are familiar with the school and their academic and social offerings. At this point, you don't display that type of interest.

What major have you chosen for yourself? Look into the course curriculum and special activities that the university offers along those areas. When you respond to the question, your response should be based upon the fact that you researched the university and discovered something unique and special about it. The city's influence on this decision, should be minimal at best. Limited to only a few sentences towards the end of the statement.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Scholarship / "Happiness is only true when shared with others" Chevening Networking Question [19]

Your claim of having worked with various nationalities and across different time zones sounds like a hyperbole. This is an exaggeration of facts based on the claims you made in the essay. Be on the safe side and only make claims that you can prove in essay form. While your work does sound fast paced and involving of many communities, such a statement on your part cannot be simply be supported in this type of essay. I suggest removing that part based on that reason.

Why don't you discuss the type of networking that you had to create in order to establish the SSPE in your university? That sounds like a missed opportunity to discuss a very strong possible example of your networking skills. It can take the place of the part where you discuss your role in department fairs and similar events at the school. Establishing the SSPE sounds more relevant to the prompt requirement. The removal of that portion I am talking about will also tighten the information in the essay and lower your word count by a noticeable number as well. That will give you room to develop the essay more in my suggested manner.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Undergraduate / My "WHY NYU?" Essay (for Class of 2021)- (NYU Steinhardt) [4]

Then, since the essay is all about why you wish to attend NYU, you should use that statement to further develop your response to the essay. Indicating that you would be willing to attend any of the NYU campuses overseas indicates that you are looking for more than just a localized education. That is something that could possibly work in your favor during the assessment.

Since the study abroad program is a notable offering of the university, why not pick one of the overseas university campuses, in relation to your major, and discuss how that semester abroad can help you become a better graduate of your major? Surely there is a specific overseas program that is of interest to you right? Then discuss how that semester abroad would benefit you specifically, hence your choice to attend NYU - NY. Connect the dots and you will end up with a well rounded statement regarding your choice of university.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Scholarship / My work experience showing leadership / influencing skills [Chevening] [3]

Sandy, never underestimate yourself in your essay. You are selling yourself short by saying you do not have direct leadership qualities that can help your application. You actually have pretty specific and highly impressive examples in this essay. You just need to bring the correct leadership traits to the top of the essay. A simple reformat will fix that.

Delete the part that you have now which says that you don't have any direct subordinates to lead. That is an incorrect statement on your part because in the next paragraph, you specifically speak of taking the lead on a difficult project. Once you combine your first paragraph and your current second paragraph into a new paragraph, you have the perfect introduction to your leadership skills.

Your initiative comment is precisely the kind of information that would impress the reviewer. You give a sense of understanding what or that you have an exemplary personal definition of what a leader should be. Keep that paragraph in the essay. It does not need to be developed further.

Finally, the comment about integrity is also something that clearly sets your apart from the other applicants. These clear and vivid examples of your leadership and influencing traits have combined to create a resounding success of an essay for your application.

If I were to critique anything, maybe, it would be that you should develop a solid concluding statement to the essay. Just to close the discussion on a positive note. Explain how you hope these skills will be put to good use as a Chevening scholar and alumna in the future.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Letters / This is my hobby now - Unipdu FT C Letter to Rachmat Bagus R. [2]

Hi Hudan, your letter shows a lot of promise with regards to your possible improvement in the use of the English language. Let me show you how your letter could be improved by concentrating on the development of sentence structure:

I was very happy to have received your letter. I am very thankful that you had the time to write to me. I would like to let you get to know me better. It's only fair since you told me so much about yourself in your letter.

I am nineteen year old and from Jombang, East Java. I am currently studying at Unipdu College, Jombang. My family and I live in Peterongan. Guitar playing is currently my favorite hobby. When it comes to food, my favorites are...

Can you tell me more about your family and where you live in your next letter? I would like to know about your favorites as well.

That's all from me ,
brother


Pay attention to your use of capital letters when writing the name of nouns. Try to construct simple, but complete sentences whenever possible. Your letter is good. There is a great chance of improvement on your part over the coming days.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Undergraduate / Penn allows me to focus on my academic interest in a profound manner. [4]

Prajain, your introduction is not really relevant to the prompt provided. How many times have we revised this essay already? Still the same mistakes about. The essay is quite prompt specific regarding the content of the prompt. It asks you about how you will spend your time pursuing your intellectual and academic interests at UPenn. Therefore, the introduction about how you spend your time Friday nights in India is irrelevant. Just take that paragraph out. Remove all references to the war that raged in India as well. That does not help to explain how you will pursue your interests at the university.

Reviewers would rather read essays that are direct to the point and relevant in content as soon as they pick up that essay. In this case, your response to the prompt does not start till paragraph 3 and by that time, the reviewer may have decided to set aside your application. Do yourself a favor and keep the interest of the reviewer by just providing the information being asked for.

I will acknowledge that the development of your interest in your course major is important. However, this essay prompt is not the place to discuss it. I am sure that there are other common app essays or open topic essays that will allow you to have a more in-depth discussion of that. Don't do it in this essay.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Writing Feedback / "Marriage is the grave of love". Women don't need to get married. [5]

Sydney, then by all means, reflect that personal opinion in your essay. Discussing it by referencing personal experience can only make the essay better. That will show that you have a deep understanding and relationship to the prompt. By expressing your personal opinion, you will find it is much easier to defend your stand within the overall context of the essay.

For example, you can present the same discussion that you presented above to me. Reformatted, that sentiment can become your opening statement. It already includes the reasons you agree with the statement. So your succeeding paragraphs will just need to concentrate on discussing each reason you gave on an individual paragraph basis. At that rate, I am sure you will also be able to come up with an impressive concluding statement.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Scholarship / Tell me how you meet the requirements of leadership [5]

Thaw, have you considered strengthening your general discussions about your leadership abilities by offering up examples of specific situations that your leadership and influencing abilities helped to resolve? You have mentioned such impressive character traits and ideas regarding leadership and influencing style that your generalized experience leaves the reader wanting to read more in order to validate your claims.

For example, you must always mention the organizations you worked for because all of your claims regarding your performance will be cross referenced and validated by the reviewer before actually believing in what you wrote. Therefore, not mentioning the specific volunteer organization and construction firm you are connected with automatically weakens the essay. While I am not saying that it will happen, there is a chance that the reviewer have some doubts about your claims. Being specific about your experiences, in terms of when and where they happened always helps to give a better impression of you within the narrative.

Next, the high school experience is too infantile an experience for the reviewer of this scholarship. Always remember that you are applying alongside increasingly more qualified applicants than yourself. In order to compete, always keep your explanations and experience within the professional level. That is because the reviewer will be looking for actual leadership and influencing skills as you perform your tasks in the workplace as a professional and not on the academic side as a student. You are applying for a masters degree scholarship so you should have more impressive professional than academic skills by now.

Let's close on a specific note. The most usable parts of this essay are the paragraphs related to your volunteering and the job you do at the construction firm. Highlight those two and concentrate on presenting all the required information based upon your experiences there. Your essay will stand out for sure.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Scholarship / Leadership, Inspiration to My Team - Universities to Study in UK- Chevening [5]

Haitem, while I understand how proud you are of becoming a member of your national team during all those years, unless you were more than a team member, meaning, you had to be the team captain, it does not really carry a relevance to the prompt question as there are no references to your leading the team in the statement. Unfortunately, being a team captain in high school is not impressive at all, even if you did receive an award as MVP because that reference is too early in your life to represent your actual leadership abilities.

With regards to your professional career, you present very rudimentary information in terms of office work that your leadership skills get lost in the narration. As I read your descriptions, you made the jobs sound so easy that you could do it with your eyes closed. That is not how the essay should sound.

This leadership essay needs to inform about your abilities to handle stress, pressure, uncertain circumstances, sudden obstacles in your path, and other related information. Therefore, your explanations should carry references to direct conflicts in the performance of your duties and a representation of how you resolved the problem. Remember, the essay requires you to explain why you embody the leadership traits that Chevening expects of its scholars. In this case, there is no true reference to those skills because you made your jobs sound so easy.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Undergraduate / Paragraph from common app prompt #5. Coffee as an obstacle in life, will revise back [2]

Hey Anthony, I know that you would like us to comment on your current paragraph for the common app prompt but without the full essay to read and prompt to base this paragraph on, it has become very tricky to make an educated comment. You see, when reviewing an application essay, we need the full prompt and the full essay to analyze. As with any analytical process, we need to see how the essay developed and where all the related flaws are. We can't just rely on the information in one paragraph because any changes we make to its current form will have a direct effect on the overall content of the written work. I hope that you can trust us to review the whole essay so that we can analyze if the coffee truly represents the core point of the app you are trying to respond to. It isn't just about the grammar and sentence structure, its about the whole essay package in relation to the prompt.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 29, 2016
Graduate / Masters in Information systems following a career shift from civil to IT [3]

Aditya, I am confused as to the actual focus of your essay. What exactly are you trying to write? Is it a personal statement? Statement of purpose? Job application letter? The reason for my confusion is that your introduction and body of your letter sounds like a personal statement. Then your closing paragraph sounds like you are applying for a job. Which is it? What direction and what objective does this essay really need to represent? Is there any chance that you can provide us with the complete prompt instructions so a better assessment can be developed?

Once I know what the essay must represent, I will have a clearer direction as to the editing of your essay. In general terms, the one thing that I noticed is that you placed some non-essential information in it such as your hobbies, childhood interests, and self-description. Most of these essays seem to belong to other essay prompts that you will be writing alongside a personal statement. That is unless you are required by the prompt to inform the reader about these things in the essay. I can't really tell at the moment.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Scholarship / Networking, whether formal or informal style, needs to establish cognition... [15]

Hi Phoowadon. I would rather see the revised essay than just rely on your explanation at this point. I need to be able to tell if the information you want to use is applicable to the overall context of the essay. So what you have to do at this point is revise the essay and post it here. It sounds like it is applicable, I just can't be totally sure as of this moment. I can better judge the information you provided once I see how it blends in with the rest of the essay.

Make sure to mention the kind of networking involved with the job and if possible name the notable names that may be familiar to the reviewer that are part of the network you created. If you mention some names the reviewer may be familiar with, you just might be able to convince him that you are prepared enough to attend masters degree school. That will also help the rest of the essay blend in with each other in a more comfortable form for the reader.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Undergraduate / About the failure in the American Dream [5]

Here's an idea, why not make your approach to the essay a little bit more personable by relating your response to the American Dream of your family. I believe that you can better illustrate your response by presenting a relationship between the definition you are giving and the so- called "failures" of your family upon arriving in America, prior to slowly achieving your family's American Dream.

You can respond along the lines of:

My family lived in failure when we first moved to America. We failed to achieve the American Dream at the start because we did not understand the culture, nor have any idea as to how to find work, or survive in the American manner of life once we got here. Our life was a failure not because the dream failed us, but because we failed to realize that the difficulty and failures we had to undergo would eventually lead us to the success of the American Dream. I firmly believed that had my family not failed consistently when we first came here, we would not have the privilege of enjoying, at the moment, the success that the true nature of the American Dream promises.

You can use the response I wrote above as an example of how you can best respond to the prompt in order to secure a better grade for yourself.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Undergraduate / About the failure in the American Dream [5]

John, please provide the complete prompt for the statement that you wrote. At this point, I don't know whether to give you advice based upon a statement presentation, or if this should be developed into a full length essay. I can only do that once I know the specific instructions for the development of this discussion. Kindly provide it as soon as possible. At the moment all that I can tell from what you have written is that it sounds like an introduction. An introduction that can be further developed into an essay. So far, you have only discussed the positive aspect of the American Dream. Where is the negative or failure aspect? Is this essay for a class or for a college application? There are so many questions and aspects to be considered for the completion of the essay at this point that it is almost impossible to provide accurate feedback. Please provide further instructions as soon as you can.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Undergraduate / Staying alone at home - I had finally grown up. Common App prompt #5 [6]

Yamini, try to improve upon the essay content. Shorten the introduction so that you can include a more important aspect of the essay. That of the change in opinion of your parents upon seeing you and the house after leaving you alone for two days. Since you are after a mark of transition from childhood to adulthood, it is vital that you include how your parents have changed with regards to their treatment of you after your 2 day home alone experience.

That is why I suggest that you shorten the introduction. You need to provide a comprehensive narrative regarding how they most likely treat you more like an adult and equal now, rather than as a child. This could include references to giving you more responsibility for yourself, doing chores that they normally would not have entrusted to you before they came to realize what a mature daughter you are now, or simply, their expression of surprise and realization that you are no longer the daughter that they had to treat with kid gloves before. It is your parent's reaction that will truly make this a transition essay so you should give that part a dedicated paragraph of reasonable length for the reviewer to consider.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Writing Feedback / Do you support or oppose building a powerful military? [4]

The grammatical errors lie mostly in sentence structure and development. The way development of the sentence is not as solid as it can be because of the confusion in tense usage and similar issues. It will be difficult for me to actually present the errors in the essay because of the numerous errors within. However a can show you an example of an improved paragraph that you can use to assess the other paragraphs that need improvement. This is a revision of paragraph 2:

Securing a country requires the building of a powerful military force. While the police force is expected to defend the large cities within the country, the department is not fully equipped to deal with defending the country when an invasion occurs. While the police can handle a protest within city limits, they will not be capable of defending the city is say, ISIS decides to invade their country from all sides of their borders. Such extreme violence requires more highly trained and skilled defenders who use specialized defense equipment to keep invaders at bay. In such instances, only the military force of any given country would have the ability to defend their country and its borders effectively.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Undergraduate / My achievements - extracurricular or volunteer activities in which you participate. [4]

It isn't hard to fix. Since you are responding to a prompt provided by the university, the correct format for it should be an informative essay. Don't confuse yourself or panic. An informative essay is just what you currently have in bullet form, written in essay form. So you will create a long form of the bullet points to respond to the essay.

Since there is a 5 activity requirement, then go ahead and provide that. I apologize for my mistaken advice earlier as you didn't specify that the university had a number requirement for the essay. Remember to present the essay in chronological order. That means mention your latest participation first, working your way to the oldest or first participation that you have. Just expand all the descriptions in order to help create a more solid explanation of your participation in the activities. Most of the previous instruction I provided still applies.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Scholarship / Chevening is going to help me expand my network and relations with people who stick with their goals [8]

Liseth, here is something that you should know about the Chevening scholarship committee, they frown upon repeated information in the essays that you present. Since there is a specific essay about leadership that is included in your application packet, it will be in your best interest to remove any references, direct or implied, to your leadership skills. That is a redundancy that will not be appreciated. Just stick to the prompt requirements. That is all they want to read about. Prove that you can understand directions and can actually follow them.

Since this is a word limited essay, open immediately with the reference to your volunteer activities and its relation to your network development. In my opinion, the essay becomes stronger and more interesting to read without the current introduction. It really doesn't help you to immediately respond to the prompt so it slows it down. The reviewers appreciate reading direct to the point essays because they only have a specific amount of time to consider each essay submitted to them for possible acceptance.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Undergraduate / My achievements - extracurricular or volunteer activities in which you participate. [4]

Are you writing a bullet point resume for your college application? If you are, let me tell you right now, that is not the way to do it. You need to write a chronological essay , that means newest at the top, oldest at the bottom, with specific reference to your extra curricular and volunteer activities.

While you have much experience to speak of, the reviewer will be interested only in the most important or impressive activities you participated in. So, you should review your list and consider which ones you think would best represent you best as a team member or leader. I can't choose that for you because I am not really familiar with the participation that you had. Make your shortlist first and then work on the draft of the essay presentation.

I would suggest that you choose the 3 most important activities. That is because the introduction should give an overview of how you chose these activities and what your character traits are that helped you enjoy the activities. The closing statement should indicate an interest in continuing the said activities while attending the university.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Writing Feedback / A large number of experts claim that a color gives a certain impact in the people's mood [2]

Fadhil, you got your introduction and your conclusion mixed up. Your closing statement works best as part of the introduction. That is because the introduction requires you to present your opinion. The opinion you state should not include factual or observed evidence yet. The job of the introduction is only to present the prompt and an overview of your opinion. The actual discussion should be reserved for the body paragraphs that come after the introduction.

What makes this essay good is that you were conscious enough to remember that presenting actual facts, such as the opinion of Anna Waitford, can increase your chances of a higher score. The mere fact that you presented this as part of your supporting explanation shows that you not only understand the prompt, but that you actually have a familiarity with the prompt provided. This increases the importance of your personal opinion and overall skill in writing the essay.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Graduate / Importance of professionalism as a physical therapy student [4]

Aside from the observations, did you ever experience any of these instances for yourself? Sure the theoretical aspect that you present in the essay works well when read in relation to your volunteer activity in the hospital. However, the experience is from the third person point of view. Almost as if you broke down a 4th wall to present your ideas and comments. My opinion is that you should try to present experiences that go beyond just observation How did you personally embody or perform these character traits while working as a volunteer?

The idea of presenting the hospital as the background to your observations is a good one. However, the third person observation can never be as strong in impact as actually having experienced or performed the observations that you speak of. Try to relate these a bit more to your actual experiences if possible. That way you are not merely stating observations and opinions, but you will also be stating facts as the definition relates on a more personal level to you.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Writing Feedback / Do you support or oppose building a powerful military? [4]

Rick, when you state your opinion in the introduction, do not say "I will...". Rather, indicate that "I support..." I will indicates that you are not yet, but will, in the future, support the stand presented. The essay asks you to take a stand and support it now, at present time. So your response should reflect that the decision you made is current and not something to be done in the future.

The reasons you presented shows that you practiced analytical thinking and developed a logical thought process as you developed the essay. There is a clear pattern of thought and presentation in the essay. Even though there are some grammatical errors that need to be addressed. These errors are so minor that they don't really affect the way you delivered the central message of the essay.

Good work on the conclusion. It was smooth and really summarized the essay bullet points in a relaxing and informative manner.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Writing Feedback / Playing games can teach us lessons which sometimes are very valuable and useful. [2]

Hi Sydney, this is a pretty good presentation for an opinion essay. the message is clear and your opinion is thoroughly discussed. There are problems with word usage though. For example, the correct term is reflexes, not reflextions. At the end of the paragraph, you can better close the paragraph if you reflect an additional lesson learned such as "patience and perseverance has its rewards at the end" or "Analytical skills are further improved because of the competition". Anything along those lines will suffice.

In the second paragraph, you need to provide a transition sentence before presenting the story of the man in the same paragraph. You can simply say "I remember a story that makes my opinion more valid. There was this man..." It creates a better transition instead of just suddenly presenting that story without preparing the reader for it.

In the concluding paragraph, you should remember to restate your opinion in the last sentence. That will allow the essay to better wrap up the discussion.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Writing Feedback / Smart camera system checks patients' vital signs from afar [4]

Hi Nurul, I hope you can pick up some improvement pointers from the improved version of your essay that I am posting below:

University of Oxford based company Oxehealth has created a software based vital signs monitoring device. The device can keep track of a patient's heart rate, breathing, and blood oxygen levels through the use of camera data. Installed the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford's main teaching hospital, the device is used by intensive care surgery patients. The trial patient's recovery is monitored by cameras that use parallel sensors. The London Police Service and Broadmoor High Security Psychiatric Hospital is also testing the software for use within their secure rooms.

The camera uses the software to track small changes in the video related to the patient's vital signs. It also monitors the patients for changes in skin appearance to help in tracking the patient's pulse. This software is advantageous because it also has a GPS connection that allows the patient's care taker at home, and the doctors, to remotely monitor the patient's progress at home.

Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Scholarship / My household chores are quite simple. Showing how I contribute to my household [2]

Odenigbo, I really had a tremendously hard time reading your response to the essay. Most of the sentence did not make sense. It appears to me that you ended up accidentally complicating what should have been a simple and straightforward response such as the one below:

My household chores are quite simple. Since we live on a family owned farm, my duties include helping to make sure the farm is in working order by fetching firewood, helping to clean the fields and harvest the crops, and making sure the workers are effectively working alongside my other family members (my mother and my brother) and I. Since we have farm hands to help out in the field, there will always be people available to help my family out in the field.

The same goes for my household chores. My brother can help my mother with the housework duties that used to be my responsibility. Since he is also attending college, my mother will most likely ask a few of the farm hands to help her out at home when my mother is not available or when he needs help to accomplish a task.

While my role in the household and on the farm is important. I am not an irreplaceable part of the working household. Since my mother wishes to ensure a better future for me by having me graduate with a degree, I am more than certain that she and my brother will do their best to manage my chores while I am away at college.

Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Graduate / Importance of professionalism as a physical therapy student [4]

Jordan, I would really appreciate it if you could provide a copy of the prompt that you are responding to. It is necessary for me to know what the prompt is so that I can check your essay for responsiveness and content. We need to make sure that we do not miss any important aspect of the given prompt or that you ended up paying too much attention to a lesser important part of the instruction.

As of now I will tell you that this one of the most well developed essays I have read here so far. Why are you concentrated on this hospital in particular? I am wondering if this is part of an application essay for graduate school. If so, then you are on the right track with regards to your discussion about professionalism. I am just not confident about the constant mention of the facility in your essay. Not all essays require a direct reference to the university or hospital in its application prompts. So I would really be helped by seeing the instructions you were given for writing this essay.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Writing Feedback / "Marriage is the grave of love". Women don't need to get married. [5]

Sydney, your opening statement requires yo to completely spell out your opinion on the topic. What you wrote is an incomplete sentence because you did not specifically inform the reader as to what you are agreeing to. You can do this by revising your second sentence from being a general statement to your personal opinion instead. The third sentence should then be an assurance that a more complete discussion is coming up in the next few paragraphs.

I think you are sharing a translation of your country's beliefs about marriage. Not everyone is going to be familiar with it and in this case, it does not really offer a clear meaning or sentiment to the reader. My advice, is to only use sayings, adages, and proverbs that are more commonly known and understood by a majority of the population. Otherwise, sayings like what you have in the last paragraph sense nonsensical to the reader.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 28, 2016
Scholarship / Oh Death! I was eighteen, in senior secondary three, when my father died; figure or movement inspire [7]

Okay. Right now, I can see a clearer picture of where this is going and what to delete to make it work better. I hope you will not be offended by my suggestion but the stronger inspirational character in your essay is your mother so we should just work on developing her background and how it looks for her and your future. I would like your essay to sound something like this:

I was in (High School Year) when my father died and everything changed in my life. In an instant, all of my financial and emotional support came crashing around me. My father, too overcome with mourning to immediately notice, did not seem too affected by the fact that my father's relatives were distancing from us as a family. It was only when they withheld their help and support for my academic financially that she finally learned what they really thought about her and her ability to support her now fatherless family.

Rather than allowing them to succeed in making her lose her confidence and maligning her abilities, she set out to prove them wrong. Working the small plot of land that was left to us by my father, she would wake up while it was still dark out and begin to till the land. She did everything to keep the farmland afloat for her family -- for me and my brother.

She did everything she could to make sure we were financially stable, even without a husband to lean on and a father to guide the children. She willingly took on those two responsibilities. Never letting her children feel that they lacked for something in any way. She was our provider, our mother, our best friend. She was our guiding hand, the person who showed us what determination and perseverance can result in for a person who sees only the road ahead to a bright future and nothing more. She is the embodiment of inspiration for her children and we will always hold her in high regard because of this.

When my father died, the expectation was that our family unit would fail and we would fall under the power and control of his more capable family members. That is not the future that my mother wanted for her children and that is not the ambition my father had for our family before he died. As his son, I will make sure that the path towards a brighter future for our family is fulfilled, because I know, my mother will be there to inspire me all the way.


Th story of your brother takes the attention away from the influence and inspiration that your mother has over you. So it would be best to not focus on him anymore. The essay becomes a stronger narrative without his story to confuse things.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Scholarship / Chevening is going to help me expand my network and relations with people who stick with their goals [8]

Simply put, all I meant was that you reviewed your original essay, took note of my suggestions, and edited or changed the essay as per my instructions. So the second version of the essay became more relevant to the prompt. Therefore, your editing brought the new version of the essay to a higher level of writing and understanding. The reader would have an easier time reading the second version of the essay than the first.

The opening of the essay is very good at this moment. So why would you consider revising it? I am sorry, I think I was not clear in my statement. What I meant to say was that the opening statement is very good. Better than the original work. So you don't have to change your opening statement. At least that is my opinion. You can change the paragraph content if you wish to. In which case, I will be willing to re-edit the introduction to you. However, I believe that you stick to this version of the opening.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Writing Feedback / Readmit essay: "personal information that you want considered" [2]

Agatha, please consider posting the guidelines for the readmission essay. I am wondering what the prompt's full requirement was and if you are really responding to it in the proper manner. This essay seems to be overly long and doesn't get direct to the point when it is really necessary that you do so. Try to post the full prompt here when you have the time.

In my opinion, you have a better chance of controlling the interest of the reviewer if you would start with the current second paragraph. The first paragraph just sounds like you wrote it for the sake of filling in a word count. That should not be the case. In order to ensure that your essay will be read to the end by the reviewer, you need to make sure that you point out the reasons you were removed from your previous school and then do a counterbalance or explanation regarding the events surrounding that in the same paragraph. When you try to get readmission, you should always concentrate on presenting the facts as to why you were removed and how your personal circumstances have changed for the better since then.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Scholarship / Networking, whether formal or informal style, needs to establish cognition... [15]

Yes, there are some grammar problems with the essay. Sometimes there are missing connecting words and problems with tense usage. The overall vocabulary use is simple enough to show that you are comfortable with the English language, even though you have some problems with sentence development. These are minor problems at the moment. What you should concentrate on for now, are the points I previously pointed out. Let's concentrate on getting the final essay content perfected for now. You will find that the essay format will fall into place and automatically be corrected as we progress with the editing and revising of the paragraph structures in the near future.

Bear in mind that you need to present a more polished paragraph structure in order to convince the reviewer that you are an academically and professionally prepared individual who will thrive in graduate school. You already have the seeds of that planted in your current essay. So perfecting this will not be a huge problem for you. I'll be here to supervise the final development of your essay when you are ready to do that.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Writing Feedback / Leadership is one of my favorite subject study and my passion to influence people - Chevening essay [3]

Fatria, the first thing you have to do with this essay is delete the first paragraph. Why are you defining leadership and influence as if you were writing a research paper? referring to the academic definition of leadership and the concept of influence, complete with references doesn't move your essay forward, it only takes away the attention of the reviewer from the important information in your essay. In these types of written work, it is always best to just start with the topic of the prompt in the first paragraph. A flowery introduction is not necessary. This is not a high school paper. This is an academic paper for a masters degree course. Therefore, the reviewer is expecting a higher standard of essay writing from you.

You are blessed to be working in a position of such high responsibility in a bank. That is definitely a position that will easily allow you to portray a conflict on the job that required you to lead and inspire the people under your direct supervision. The fact that you are responsible for a whole department in the bank further strengthens this concept. All you have to do to make the point, is relay information about a memorable problem at the office that you had to resolve by successfully leading and inspiring your team. You already gave an overview of something like that in the essay. What you need to do, is be more specific in your discussion. Present the problem, what your role as the leader was, how you hoped to resolve the issue, why and how you inspired your team members, and finally, what the end result of your leadership and influencing intervention was.

This current essay has a generic, uncertain feel to it. You need to portray your confidence both in person and on paper. Most specially on paper because this is a formal interview for your scholarship. So make sure you do your best to make your talents, assets, and traits as leader stand out on paper. Do this within the first paragraph of the essay if you can so that you can maintain the interest of the reviewer throughout the paper.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Scholarship / The three university courses choice - Applying for Chevening Scholarship, need help with my essay! [11]

Don't worry Aysha, I understand how you feel and what you are going through. These deadlines can really bring us close to the edge. Just breath and try to relax. If you let the pressure get to you, the worse things will get. Now, let's work on getting this essay ready for submission. I'll guide you for as long as you need me to.

If you just drop your current introduction and concentrate on presenting your university choices immediately, you will be able to reduce your word count by 75 words, bringing it down to 425 immediately. Then removing the last sentence in the paragraph about Cardiff gives you a total of 398 words. Do you notice how I am creating word count for your conclusion at the moment? It is all a matter of knowing how to review and decide which parts of the essay can be deleted without affecting the message of the essay. Those are the only sections I can find where we can reduce the count and reassign it to your conclusion instead. I believe you have more than enough words to do that now.

You are on the right track. There is no need to add the information you removed even in summary form. It doesn't really help your essay move forward in the right direction and it is not required information by the prompt. So totally losing that paragraph will benefit your essay immensely.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Scholarship / 'As a student I built and maintain strong network' -- Networking Skills, Chevening. [11]

It would be better to start from scratch. In instances when your draft essay is person and activity specific, it is harder to edit the content. There is a larger degree of difficulty in trying to find the right parts of the paragraph to insert information in. There is also the problem of revising the already existing paragraphs to reflect the new message or theme of the essay.

Before you start your new essay, let me offer you some advice. Do not try to represent all of your contacts in the essay. Learn to choose only the important contacts you have. Make sure that the way you made the contact is well represented in the essay. You will need to explain:

1. What the organization you were affiliated with at the time is;
2. Why it was necessary to make this contact;
3. How you made the contact;
4. The result of your negotiations with the contact;
5. The end result of your objective.

Represent those information by presenting one or two of your most valued contacts. Then explain how you plan to use those contacts as a Chevening scholar then after, as an alumna, helping other students.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Graduate / '14th of February, 1999' - PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR ENTRY INTO Masters in Public Health [3]

Sunkanmi, did the university that you are applying to provide you with a prompt for your personal statement? If they did not, then you still have a chance to correct the content of your essay. This essay just doesn't fall within the expected requirements of a masters degree personal statement. It sounds more like you drafted this for a college application instead. Therefore, you need to work on creating a more relevant personal statement for your application.

For starters, the focus of the essay should consider writing a shorter, more informative and relevant essay. A reviewer will normally offer 5 minutes to reading your essay before he decides it has taken too long to get to the point then sets it aside for future reading. Try to keep this essay short because this is a statement for graduate school. So the information you indicate should represent more of your college academics and professional experience. Even though your mother was the reason that you started your medical career, from what I have read, there are other, non-related reasons that you have opted to pursue Public Health. Suppress the urge to concentrate on the discussion of your mother's death. If you must, mention it towards the end of your essay. Don't place it at the beginning. That is the act of a college applicant, not a masters degree student.

Keep the focus on you as a person. The clue as to what to write is in the name of the essay itself. A personal essay. So talk more about yourself and how you developed this interest. Right now, your essay is a cross between a statement and a research paper. don't lose focus of the keyword. Just so you can redirect the essay content.

Also, show the reviewer that you know about the program you are getting into. Show a sense of familiarity with the expectations of the course and explain how your personality will thrive in this environment. What interested you in their school? Is there a professor you wish to study with or something? You must find a way to indicate that everything in your life led to this very moment. Make your vision for your career clear.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Undergraduate / My "WHY NYU?" Essay (for Class of 2021)- (NYU Steinhardt) [4]

Hey Zahran, your 5 months of working on this essay really paid off. There are no major problems with the content of the essay. The information is right on the mark and really shows that you took the time to research and respond to the prompt without sounding like a student brochure. You should definitely be proud of the work you did on this paper.

If I were to critique one minute part of the essay, it would be the paragraph where you speak of the branches of NYU. While you made it clear that you are expecting to attend NYU in New York but also mentioned that you were open to the possibility of attending any of the NYU international campuses. I believe that you ought to be consistent and really take pride in attending NYU - NY as matter of pride and principle. After all, you already described the NY community of NYU in the beginning of the essay.

The question is not simply "Why NYU" in this instance. It is all about attending one of the international campuses of the university. So make sure you opt for a campus to attend and portray the reasons for that in the essay. Don't confuse the reviewer by indicating an international campus and leaving it at that.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Scholarship / 'As a student I built and maintain strong network' -- Networking Skills, Chevening. [11]

You don't have a network if you have only one friend who happens to work in IT and inspired your dreams and ambitions. That is called a mentor, not a network contact. Network contacts are created through your participation in various school organizations, seminars, and workplace colleagues. Needless to say, you interpreted the response to the prompt in the wrong way. That is not to say that your contact experience was wrong, it is just wanting in terms of proving that you are capable of creating networks and contacts and that you can manage to sustain such an important circle of work alliances.

Do you remember working with any organization and meeting people who have been vital in the progress of your academic or professional career? How many of them do you have? Talk about how you created these contacts, managed to work with them, and maintain them to this very day as potential useful people in your quest for a better career.

A network is composed of people who helped you achieve certain objectives that you have set either for yourself or your organization. Please tell me you have these types of people to talk about in your essay. If you don't, then you have a problem with your application.
Holt  Educational Consultant  
Oct 27, 2016
Writing Feedback / Understanding the culture of a country without knowing it's language: Language and Culture essay [3]

Nousha, I hope that this is the first practice test that you have written that is because, if you are a first timer, the score of 4, which this essay would get in an actual test, is an acceptable score. However, if this is not your first essay, then there is a clear set of problems that you have to address. This essay needs a lot of work at this point.

You display a very weak capability to construct even the simplest English sentence. The lack of clarity in the thought process and wring word usage causes the reader to have extreme difficulty in recognizing what it is that you wish to say. I believe that this is caused by your limited English vocabulary. You should look into improving your use of word connectors, and the use of subordinate clauses when necessary. Make sure that you do everything that you can to further improve your knowledge and use of English words. That is something that can only get better with practice and dedication to learning the language.

I hope to see signs of improvement in your next essay.