PA Training – Writing a Winning PA School Application Essay

Physician Assistant medicine is a fast growing career track, and it’s not hard to see why.  PAs are in great demand due to a national shortage of primary care physicians.  They make a good living, are usually able to balance work and family commitments, and do meaningful work.  If you’ve decided that becoming a PA is for you, writing an impressive application essay or personal statement is crucial. The following guidelines will increase your chances of acceptance.

  1. Learn about the program.  Each school has its own priorities, likes, and dislikes, so get familiar with them.  Go to the program’s website and read their mission carefully.  Do they accept applicants from your state?  Do they emphasize primary care or a particular specialty?  Your essay should demonstrate that you are familiar with their program, and that you are a match for it. 

  2. Separate yourself from the pack.  PA school applications are on the rise, so your essay should set you apart from the crowd.  Develop a memorable opening to draw in readers and interest them.  Relevant quotes, revealing bits of dialog, or brief anecdotes from your experiences can often serve this purpose.  Avoid boring and straightforward responses, such as, “The reason I want to become a Physician Assistant is because I have always…” 

  3. Tell a (true) story.  Answering with a laundry list of reasons you want to be a PA, no matter how heartfelt, won’t keep the reader interested.  Instead, craft a true story about who you are and why you are the perfect candidate.  Describe how your work and educational experiences have prepared you for work as a Physician Assistant, highlighting the positives.  No matter what your background, you have skills that — properly worded — could be assets to a career as a PA. 

  4. Frame problems as obstacles you have overcome.  In recovery?  Single parent?  Chained to a family business?  Don’t apologize.  Instead, use these situations as examples of challenges you have faced.  If you got a low grade in a class, briefly explain whatever pressures you have overcome that may have contributed, and then move on.  Admissions committees love to feel that they are admitting someone who has withstood great trials. 

  5. Don’t say you want to go to PA school so you can one day become a physician, or because it pays well.  Even if this is true, saying so is a mistake.  Physician Assistants don’t see themselves as wannabe-doctors, they don’t take pride in their work because of what it buys them, and they don’t view their field as a stepping stone to something else.  Most of them would rather be a PA than a physician (just ask a few).  Convince your reader that, more than anything, you want to be a PA.

  6. Share your skills as a team player.  After all, if you become a PA, you will be supervised by a physician, and you will draw on these skills daily.  There isn’t much room in this field for vanity or the “lone wolf.”

  7. Proofread, edit, proofread, edit.  Put in the time to write a great essay.  Read it aloud (many times, if necessary) to evaluate how it sounds.  How do you come across to the reader?  Do your words have impact?  Fix confusing and awkward sentences, and remove unnecessary ones.  Have a friend (or several) read your work and give you constructive feedback.  Then take it back to the drawing board and make it even better. 

  8. Finally, stay positive and don’t apologize for who you are.  Your essay should be upbeat, or at least not a downer.  Few people who get in were “perfect” candidates, but all who get in put their best foot forward.  It bears repeating: keep things positive.

     

Work hard on your essay, and only send it out when it reads well and makes you proud of who you are, no matter what your background. 

How to Write an Essay

All students experience what is described as “student’s block”, so they should not be unduly alarmed if they find that they have an essay to write and they can’t even bring themselves to sit down and begin it. The time will come, nonetheless, when the deadline has to be met and if you have left your preparation to the night before you are hardly going to do either yourselves or the essay justice.

“How to write an essay” is a lot easier than you think… if you pick up the right question, interpret the terms correctly, and follow a few simple procedures. All essays follow the same procedures. You should:

1. Make sure that you understand the essay question completely

2. Gather information that is relevant to the essay topic, and write down rough notes.

3. Make an essay plan by jotting down the order in which you want to present your information and ideas.

4. Write a good essay draft, following correct essay layout and using formal, simple, clear, and concise language.

5. Give references throughout the body of your essay, if you refer to other people’s quotes or findings.

6. Re-check the draft, making final corrections of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and paragraph layout.

7. Ensure that the introduction and conclusion are interesting, and they help guide the reader into and out of your essay.

8. Write the final copy of the essay.

9. Include a bibliography of the entire information sources used in your essay.

10. Finally, re-read the entire essay to check for any final mistakes.

The process of researching, planning, and writing an essay can, and should, be enjoyable. If, presently, the prospect of such an exercise seems either dismal or scary, that is because you have not yet thought hard enough about your own aims in writing an essay. Follow this three-step process:

• First, ask yourself what the question wants to know.

• Second, ask yourself what you know about it.

• Third, ask yourself how you put it into words.

The essence of your essay is the body. It is here that you do your job of showing “to what extent and in what ways,” or of “assessing the validity,” or of “contrasting and comparing,” or of “explaining” and so on. The introduction simply points out the direction your argument will take. The conclusion simply summarizes your argument. What you have to do is write a clear, convincing argument in your essay. Keep in mind that an “argument” is whatever you write to answer the question.

Law School – Avoiding Expository Writing in Law School Essay Exams

In law school, as well as in the practice of law, you will have many opportunities to demonstrate your skills at many types of writing. One type of writing you will need to use from time to time is expository writing. Expository writing is a rhetorical mode of writing in which the purpose of the author is to inform, explain, describe, or define his or her subject to the reader.

However, when answering law school essay exam questions, you are called upon to demonstrate a different type of writing. Exams are opportunities to show your professor your skills of resolving legal problems by identifying issues, stating concise rules that will be used to resolve the problems, then applying your analytical talents to reason to conclusions. That requires a departure from expository writing.

By way of example, in order to prove a negligence claim, a plaintiff must provide evidence of several elements, one of which is the existence of a “duty” on the part of the defendant to act with reasonable care in relation to the plaintiff. The following is unnecessary in an essay response:

“Duty” can serve as a touchstone when trying to understand the essence of the concept of negligence. The notion of duty appears to be a universal keystone in legal systems throughout the world. In civilized societies, all human action is conformable to the law, which members of each society are required to obey. Duty may be obliged by law or by contract. When imposed by law, a duty is an obligation requiring the actor to conform to a certain standard of conduct for protection of others against unreasonable risks. The word “duty” is used throughout the Restatement of Torts to denote the fact that the actor is required to conduct himself in a particular manner; if he does not do so he runs the risk of becoming subject to liability to another to whom the duty is owed for any injury sustained by such other, of which that actor’s conduct is an actual and proximate cause.

From an essay-writing standpoint (outside of law school) this may be a fine paragraph. Including it in an expository writing could be helpful. Although introductory explanations, historical justifications, moral discussions, and segue paragraphs tend to round out good collegiate expository writing, these are not hallmarks of good law school essay exam writing.

Writing the Argumentative Essay: What You Need To Know

Every writer has the desire to explain, narrate, describe, or argue in favor of a proposition. The writer’s purpose is to inform, to entertain, to question, to argue, to elicit an emotional response. Writing is a complex activity. Even the best writers say that writing is challenging.

The writing process is anything a writer does from the time the idea came until the piece is completed, or abandoned. There is no particular order.

Everywhere that we meet together, on the street or on the internet, debate is certain to arise. By argumentation human beings overthrow error and discover truth. Argumentative writing is no less common. Newspaper’s opinion pieces and editorials can broaden up our perspective on a contemporary issue. They have an important role in our everyday life. Some pieces can really impact people.

The different steps for writing an argumentative essay are: planning, generating and developing ideas, organizing information, drafting, and revising. A simple essay is approximately 500 words in length. The argument takes place in a specific context – the circumstances around the issue. When you plan your essay, you should consider the social, historical, and cultural events that define the debate. Second, you should consider the audience – the age of your readers, ethnicity, level of education, interests, cultural experiences, values, and preconceptions. These factors can affect the tone and the content of an argument.

The topic is the subject you are writing about. The argumentative essay begins with a question that you are going to answer. The thesis is the point that draws the reader’s attention to your essay. It’s the controlling idea around which the essay will be elaborated. The writer’s purpose is to present a position and to influence people’s ideas about an issue.

The basic elements of argument are thesis, evidence, refutation, and concluding statement.

The evidence is the pillar of your argument. The rhetorical strategy is the way how you will present your examples to your audience. The organizational patterns that are most often used are the following; chronological, cause/effect, spatial, contrast/comparison, least to most important, general to specific, specific to general, most important to least, and flashback/fast forward. The organizational pattern reflects the way the writer perceives the subject. You will have to decide on the best one, based on your experience on the subject, thinking, and planning. You discuss each point and support and illustrate it with specific examples, statistics, details, and sound textual references. The concluding statement summarizes and reinforces your thesis.

Conquering Essay Writing To Pass Your Praxis II Test!

The Praxis II test has a reputation among future teachers as being a tough test to pass. And for many, the part that is the toughest is the essay part. The essay section in the Praxis II test is meant to test your writing skills. You have only around one hour in which you have to write a grammatically correct and informative essay.

When it comes to essay writing, there isn’t anything much that you can study for. However there definitely are some tips that you can use to prepare yourself to score big on your Praxis II essay section. These simple techniques have been taught by Praxis II test experts to countless test candidates and so far these techniques have not let anyone down. Read on to learn them.

Four Steps To Score On Your Praxis II Essay Section

Here are four main steps that you should take if you want to write a good, informative essay:

1. First, make sure you understand the topic given to you.

2. Create the main theme of your essay.

3. Write the outline of your essay down.

4. Finally, you’re ready to write your essay.

Understanding your essay topic is the most important step to take before you start writing. If you don’t know what your essay should be about, you’ll end up writing an essay with a different theme altogether. So take a few minutes to read the topic given to you and understand it. This shouldn’t take more than three to four minutes as the Praxis II essay questions are usually easy to understand.

After you’ve read and grasped the topic of your essay, it’s now time to think of your theme. It’s also known as the main argument or the thesis statement; however you want to call it. This is important because your main theme is the foundation of your essay. This should also take a short time only if you’ve understood your essay topic well.

In writing an essay, you’ll need to write down your outline for the essay. This should just take around five minutes as you only need to write down what is your main argument, an introduction to it, your supporting points and also your conclusion to further strengthen your argument. You are scored mostly on how well your supporting points strengthen your essay.

The only step left is to write your essay. You should have enough time to write a clear and grammatically correct essay if you have already a good outline. Also don’t forget to read through your essay again to correct any mistakes if there are any.

With these steps, I’m sure you’ll ace the essay part of your Praxis II test. Don’t forget to practice your writing and do a lot of reading as well. All the best!