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How to Create Believable Narratives for Essays

“The man - shirtless, grease all over his body with a facemask jumped on to the window, barely holding onto the bars. He scanned the room from right to left. I sat at the left corner, two feet away from the Window. We looked at each other with shock and surprise waiting to see who will start the conversation.

5 seconds passed.

Who are you?

“I heard a burglar was in the neighborhood. We were just checking.”

After completing the reasoning, he disappeared. Shocked at what had happened, I slowly opened my door and shared the bizarre conversation with my housemates.

“I think I had a chat with a burglar.”

They rushed outside our villa, to start the pursuit, but it was too late.


Do you think this really happened to me?

Believability in an essay narrative depends on the description, the movement, and the epiphany. In novels, the author has the freedom in indulging in every minute details starting from the facial expressions, the fears and insecurities of the protagonist, the events leading up to the event, and depending on the location, even the weather.

Description

In MBA Essays, the lesser the description, the more believable it would be. The moment you use up words to describe the scene, more than what you had allocated for your worries, hope, and insecurities, the reviewer immediately goes into a ‘critique’ mode, dissecting every single detail you had captured. They would most certainly make a face, thinking, “another aspiring novelist.”

While reading a novel, we expect the author to create a world for the readers, but in essays, it is about you more than your surroundings.

Offer just enough context while describing the scene.

The Movement

“The man - shirtless, grease all over his body with a facemask jumped on to the window, barely holding onto the bars. He scanned the room from right to left. I sat at the left corner, two feet away from the Window. We looked at each other with shock and surprise waiting to see who will start the conversation.


Note: The excerpt is fit for a blog not for essays, but just to illustrate my point, notice how the right mix of verbs pushes you to read the next sentence.

Applicants worried that they are not offering enough context, goes into describing the scene, often forgetting that ‘movement’ is the essence of a great narrative – in blogs, essays, and novels. Once you realize that, rewriting and editing, become much easier.

Epiphany

When I shared how movement is necessary to engage the reader, I could see the immediate impact of the advice on my clients. The 2nd iteration transforms the average essay into an interesting slice of life event. Some overdo the movement part just like the ‘scene’ by capturing too many verbs. Edit follows to balance the scene with the movement.

For the above narrative, the epiphany happened when I had a conversation with my housemates:

Shocked at what had happened, I slowly opened my door and shared the bizarre conversation with my housemates.

“I think I had a chat with a burglar.”

All the journey and scene would have no real impact if you as an applicant had no epiphany.

We are constantly undergoing minor epiphanies. When the event is relevant and life-changing – the kind you are likely to capture in an IMPACT table, the epiphany can be revealing for the admission team as well.

The more memorable the essay, the more likely you will stand out from the competition.

Read Winning MBA Essay Guide for Actionable tips, and memorable Sample Essays.

Subscribe to F1GMAT’s Essay Review Service for one on one help


Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide

"Pressed against the deadline, I ordered F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide as their blogs always had something interesting to say. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Going through the Essay Guide, I learned the art of storytelling, using various ploys mentioned in the book. Most important one being the “W pattern,” a strategy of information sharing that creates a sense of excitement in the mind of the reader." -
MIT Sloan MBA Candidate




Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.

ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?

You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?

Storytelling!

Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.

F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.

Who Should Buy The Winning MBA Essay Guide?

If your essay looks too bland, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", Using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.

If you are stuck in the Writing process, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to silence the Analytic Mind and overcome mental blocks.

If you feel that the essays are not persuasive, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will teach you how to use the W-Pattern narrative, Contexts, Turning Points and "The Show Don't Tell Approach" to write a Winning MBA Essay.

If you don't have enough leadership experience, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to highlight non-obvious qualities like Trust, Focus, Listening Skills, Personal Responsibility, Humility, Self-Knowledge, and other secondary traits to prove your leadership.

If you don't know how to review your essays, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will demonstrate how to improve readability with the power of iteration, and maintain your original voice by removing review biases.

Pages: 637

Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (319 Words)   
    Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (401 Words)   
    Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness)   (774 Words)   
+
Stanford
MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay A
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    #1. Modern Art = Make you Think   
    #2. Teamwork and Individual Ambition   
    #3. Adventure   
    #4. Diversity = Creativity   
    #5. Classroom Experience   
    #6. Harper Center   

+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (495 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2:  New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology – Engineering Lead) (248 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma – Product Manager) (244 Words)  

+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Cover Letter
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample Essay - Leadership and Challenges   
     Sample Essay - How you have grown and intend to grow   

+ Insead MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
    Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures
    Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are

+
Haas
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit   
     Sample MBA Essay: Technology   
     Sample MBA Essay: Marketing   
     Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired   
     Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture   
     Sample MBA Essay: Leadership   
     Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help  
 
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay – Investment Banker
     Sample MBA Essay - Consultant  
     Sample MBA Essay - Technologist  
     Sample MBA Essay - Marketer  
     Sample MBA Essay - Entrepreneur  
 
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band   
    Sample MBA Essay: Technologist (Idea to Action)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Creative Marketing (Idea to Action)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Consulting (Made a Difference)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Losing a Client (Resilience)   
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance to Marketing (extra-curricular)   
    Sample MBA Essay: I am Aware that I am different   
    Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People   
    Sample MBA Essay: A valuable thing I have taught someone   
    Sample Essay – Part 2 (Short-term & Long-Term Goals, skills relevant to your career goals and how Ross  
    prepares you for the goals)   
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    8 Professional Gains

+
London Business School
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    London as the Financial Hub   
    London as the Technology Hub   
    London as the Consulting Hub   
    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)   
    Sample LBS MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goals - How Prior Experience & LBS MBA will contribute (486   
    Words)
   
+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Case Study Method   
    What is valued at Darden?
    Framework for Answering the Darden Essay Question   
    Sample Darden Essay: When your opinion evolved through discussions (499 Words)

+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions   
    Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)   
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things   
    Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)  
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words)    
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
          5 Examples with Images

+ Sample Essays
+ The Art of Storytelling 
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2019 Entering Class)
(*we are updating the Essay Guide. Download now and you will get free updates for all the 15 Top MBA Programs)




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