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10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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Medical Student Prizes
Medic Mentor recognises and acknowledges talent at every opportunity. That is why we have the Medical Student Essay Competition and a series of Scholarship Prizes. Every year, we will award medical students and scholars who have excelled either in their work with Medic Mentor or beyond. We will recognise the skills and attributes that we are seeking to develop in all of our scholarship students: teaching, leadership, mentorship, communication and publications. Our prize winners are role models for our network of aspiring students and ambassadors for our scholarship students. There is no limit to the number of awards or the number of times an award can be given to a scholar. We will award the most exceptional scholar on an annual basis.
Scholarship Positions Available
Medical schools elegible, pounds per scholar each year, pounds per scholar across 6 years of medical school, we teach students how to become good doctors , by giving them access to prize opportunities to recognise excellent work., medic mentor essay competition: for medical, dental and veterinary students.
For 2020, we are launching the Medic Mentor essay competition for medical, dental and veterinary students. This is a national essay competition, open to all UK medical, dental and veterinary schools, and which will run bi-annually. The deadline for the current prize is is 31 st December and the word count is 1,500 words (excluding references). Please submit your essays as a pdf document, along with your name, year and medical school to [email protected]
Winners will be awarded a certificate and £250!
2020 Essay title:
“Explore the UK’s response to covid 19, from an ethical perspective, public health perspective and healthcare perspective? If you were the UK Chief Medical Officer, what would you have done similarly or differently and why? What can we learn to help us manage future pandemics?”
Winning scholars will receive a shield/trophy with their name engraved, and they can keep this shield for one year, after which they will have to return it to pass onto the next prize winner. Winners will be selected by the Education Directorate for Medic Mentor-this is the executive committee of doctors, dentists and vets under the leadership of Medic Mentor President, who manage the scholarship programme. The following titles will be awarded on an annual basis.
- Achievement of excellence award: Teaching
- Achievement of excellence award: Leadership
- Achievement of excellence award: Mentorship
- Achievement of excellence award: Entrepreneurship
- Achievement of excellence award: Publishing (for the best blog writer)
- Scholar of the year
- Scholarship representative
- Scholar’s Essay Prize Winner and runners-up
One of Medic Mentor’s most prestigious Prizes, is the Mentor-prise fund! This awards up to £10,000 to a student/(s) with a fantastic business start-up idea. You can find out more about this prize here: Innovation Fund
ACADEMIC FOUNDATION PROGRAMME
Year 12 essay competitions for medicine (updated 2022), essay competitions you can enter to make your medicine application stand out..
Why should I enter an essay competition?
One unique way of making your medicine application stand out is by entering various essay competitions that are relevant to science, technology, or healthcare.
By entering (and winning) essay competitions, medical schools will see that:
- You take an interest in medicine and education beyond what you're taught in your curriculum
- You're very proactive and dedicated
- You have excellent time management skills as you can juggle this with other academic commitments
- You're interested in writing and research
You don't need to win the competition for this to look good in your application. The fact that you've gone through all the effort to apply is fantastic in itself. It's something you can write about in your personal statement and bring up in your interviews. It's also something your teachers can write on your UCAS reference too.
It's important to remember there are many other important skills admission tutors andinterviewers will be looking for during your application. Our Medmentor SuperPack is tailor-made to help track your progress and plug any gaps to ensure you're the holistic candidate that every medical school is looking for.
Essay competitions for Year 12 students applying to medicine
Throughout the year, there are different essay competitions open for sixth form students to enter. We've compiled a list of some of the ones that are most relevant for your medicine application. Some of the deadlines are soon, whilst others are in a few months, so be selective and make sure you're giving yourself enough time to write something that is of a high standard.
American Society of Human Genetics Annual DNA Day Essay Contest
https://www.ashg.org/dna-day/ - Deadline: 2nd March 2022
You're expected to write a 750 word essay answering the following questions:
- How do Mendel’s discoveries help us understand Mendelian disorders?
- How does the study of Mendelian disorders help us understand complex diseases?
Please note essays must be submitted by a teacher or administrator however if you are home schooled parent submission is acceptable.
Newnham College University of Cambridge Medicine Essay Prize
https://newn.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Medicine-Information-and-Questions-2022.pdf - Deadline: 11th March 2022 at 12pm
Open to all female students currently in Year 12 at a UK state school. Choose 1 question from:
- How realistic is it to develop a small molecule therapy for Covid-19? Could such a therapy be rolled out in a timeframe that it could have an impact on the current pandemic?
- Sleep deprivation in clinical health settings. Does it matter?
- Looking to the future. Will stem cell therapies be outpaced by machine-brain interfaces for the treatment of retinal disease?
Minds Underground Medicine Competition
https://www.mindsunderground.com/medicine-competition - Deadline: 31st March 2022
Choose 1 question from:
- If you could invent a new drug, what would it be and why?
- What will the impact of an ageing population on the NHS look like?
- "This idea must die: We can't find new antimicrobials fast enough to make a difference." Do you agree?
Minds Underground Psychology Competition
www.mindsunderground.com/psychology-competition - Deadline: 31st March 2022
- What is more important: nature or nurture?
- Psychology Challenge: Design a research study.
- Does consciousness exist – how can we test for it?
Minds Underground Advanced Sciences Competition
www.mindsunderground.com/sciences-competition - Deadline: 31st March 2022
The questions you can choose from cover the different STEM subjects. Therefore, it may be preferable to select the one most closely related to medicine:
- Some people have argued that the discovery of DNA was the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th Century. Do you agree?
The Libra Education Essay Prize
www.libraeducation.co.uk/essay-prize - Deadline: 24th June 2022
You have a lot more flexibility and autonomy with this competition, where you can choose any essay title inspired by the following words.
The words that are arguably most relevant to medicine, science, and healthcare include 'sustainability', 'memory', and 'senses', though you can definitely make links with any of the words. For example, somebody could choose to write an essay on "Why is sustainability important in healthcare?" or "How has the pandemic impacted healthcare sustainability ?"
For these types of essays, think boldly and be unique if you want your essay to stand out.
Essay competitions for Year 12 students that will open later this year
Various other competitions will open up throughout the year. Keep tabs on these two pages below as their competitions will open up later this year.
- Robinson College Essay Prize (University of Cambridge) - https://www.robinson.cam.ac.uk/prospective-students/essay-prize
- University of Oxford Sixth-form prize in Medicine - https://www.ndorms.ox.ac.uk/research/research-groups/oxford-trauma/university-of-oxford-sixth-form-prize-in-medicine
How important are essay competitions for Year 12 students?
We would only recommend going out of your way to participate in essay competitions if you're quite comfortable with your academic grade. To write a good essay, you'll need to do extra reading and research in the topic area, and this can take some time. If your time is better spent revising and securing your grades, then please prioritise this. Essays are just another way to help your medicine application stand out, but they are by no means essential.
If you do have the time for it and you're not compromising your other commitments, then you've got nothing to lose - so give it your best shot!
Can I do anything else besides enter an essay competition?
If you're not quite ready to commit to an essay, you can also consider submitting articles to particular magazines or news outlets. If you're lucky, your piece may feature on their magazine, and this is sure to impress medical schools.
These don't have to be related to medicine or healthcare, it can be about your life as a student and any challenges you're experiencing. Even though it may not directly relate to medicine, it's certainly impressive and will show the medical school that you're not afraid to put yourself out there. For example:
- Consider writing for the Llama magazine: https://www.llamamag.com/about-the-llama/
- Push yourself further and submit a pitch to the Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/sep/23/blogging-students-how-to-pitch-and-blog
Discover more golden opportunities to help you stand out in our Blog , Navigator and/or Superhub.
Recommended articles: How to Become a COVID-19 Vaccinator , Summer School Opportunities for Medical School Applications & Online Courses for Medical School Applicants
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Medic Mentor National Medical Essay and Art Competitions
- January 27, 2021
- Employment & Training
Medic Mentor are inviting secondary school students from all years and schools to apply to the Medic Mentor National Medical Essay and Art Competitions. W e encourage students with an interest in becoming doctors, vets and dentists to apply because not only is it a fantastic achievement for their CVs, but submissions can also be used to fulfil criteria for the Medical Awards Programme. Therefore, it puts students one step closer to being awarded a scholarship of £12,000 to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary medicine at university.
The title for the National Essay Competition is ‘Do healthcare professionals have an obligation to improve the health of our planet?’
Deadline: 2nd February 2020
We are also running an art competition on the theme of ‘Confronting Climate Change’ for the next issue of the Magazine.
Remember that submitting an entry has multiple benefits for ticking off your medical/dental/veterinary awards criteria . So make sure that you don’t miss the chance to participate! This is an excellent CV boosting opportunity. If your students are not already part of the Awards Programme , they can still get involved if they wish. It is very useful for students because:
1. It puts students in the running for a £12,000 university scholarship. 2. It helps students to focus their efforts and achievements. It is the only place where all of the essential non-academic criteria for university applications are clearly listed and easy to follow. 3. They gain access to application mentoring from doctors, vets and dentists as well as e-learning modules to help them boost their CVs. 4. It increases their chances of getting into medical, dental or vet school. 5. It makes the process more fun and less stressful!
Click on the links below to learn more about the essay and art competition details and the Awards Programme!
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The Medic Collective
A directory for medical school applications, essay competitions.
Essay competitions are a great way to broaden your horizons and organize your thoughts on a topic you are interested in. Plus, the medicine-based questions will almost always form useful fodder for the interview and personal statement ‘wider reading’ questions, and some competitions provide cash prizes! Ultimately, they are very satisfying and we urge you to have a go, especially if you are applying for London or Oxbridge universities.
Some of these may show that their submissions have closed, however, most are annual competitions and the link may be out of date so have a look on their websites for the newer deadlines and titles.
Annual/previous essay competitions
If you know of anymore, please let us know through the ‘contact us’ page
Article competitions & opportunities
How to write an essay/ article.
If you are thinking about entering any of these competitions, it may be wise to read up a little about how to write an academic essay. These skills are difficult to develop during school, especially for the science-focused among you, so do take the opportunity to think about how you will structure your essays before jumping straight into it.
Cambridge has a fantastic resource to help applicants transition from 6th form to the first year that also is invaluable for you. We have summarised the main points below:
- Those who do the poorest in essay competitions are those that do not actually answer the question.
- Take a step back and really think about whether you answer the question
- First brainstorm; then group into similar themes
- Consider the order you want to display the themes: Chronological? By systems? By region?
- Consider how you will link the themes
- Think: Can I trust this resource?
- You must reference the evidence properly – try Harvard referencing
- This means to not merely take evidence at face value; you should challenge it
- Consider the strengths and weaknesses of a theory/ evidence / experiment
- Consider how significant it is
- Don’t assume the reader knows everything you are discussing
- Don’t use abbreviations without first defining them
- Each subsequent paragraph must add further evidence to your final point, in your conclusion, in a way that makes sense and follows on from the previous point
- You MUST include an introduction and conclusion
- “A good essay should include clear and relevant introductory and concluding paragraphs which ‘bookend’ a series of linked points, developed in each paragraph from the ‘topic sentence’. Both paragraphs should relate very clearly to the focus of the question and the conclusion should move beyond summary and effectively conclude a developed argument.”
- The language should not be informal and conversational; it should be sophisticated and mature
- Don’t use phrases such as “I think”
- Do not be ambiguous in your writing; be clear and simple if you need to be
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