The Writing Center supports students' application writing in alignment with our primary mission: to support students' development as writers. Accordingly, we offer writing instruction, strategies, and tools you can use as you pursue your goals for the future. The Writing Center can:

  • prompt you to generate ideas for your applications
  • give guidance on voice, audience, and purpose
  • offer instruction on genres that may be new to you
  • offer feedback and strategies for revision so that you can make your application essays as impactful as possible
  • teach you to write in a compelling style and to proofread your own writing

We are one of many resources on campus that support your writing of applications. Before you come see us, please familiarize yourself with the materials and services offered by the office most directly associated with the opportunity for which you are applying:

Writing Center Appointments for Applications

Please work with us soon if:

  • you are struggling to get started on applications 
  • you are having trouble shifting from academic writing to application writing
  • you feel uncomfortable writing about yourself 

So that you get the most out our your time with us: 

Please do the following in advance of your first appointment concerning a specific application:

  • carefully read the description of the internship, program, or job for which you are applying, so that you understand your audience and what they are looking for in a candidate
  • if your application has multiple parts, figure out what those different parts are and how they relate to one another
  • know when your deadlines are and schedule your appointment with plenty of time for revision

We encourage you to:

  • do some preliminary in-depth, exploratory thinking and drafting
  • research and consider deeply to whom and for what you are applying and whether/why the position and organization are a good match for you

If you plan to bring a draft:

  • be prepared for re-vision, that is, for re-seeing and re-thinking your writing; quite often in our sessions students make new connections, have new insights, or realize what they have left out
  • don’t worry if it’s unpolished, incomplete or “all over the place”; a messy draft can be a perfect point for us to help you refine, re-shape, or figure out what you really want to say

After the appointment

At the end of your appointment, we’ll talk with you about your next steps, whether a follow-up appointment is appropriate, and what you might plan to do in a second session (e.g. revising at the paragraph-level with a strong sense of audience).

Amherst College Resources to Guide Your Exploratory Writing and Thinking

 Exploratory Writing for Application Essays (Writing Center) 

This handout contains activities for developing your understanding of your audience, reflecting on whether/why you are a good match, and starting to discover what to write in order to best show the preparation, motivation, and mission that make you a strong candidate for a particular program or position. 

Reflection Questions for Personal Statements (Fellowships Office)

This handout could be useful for any application. It poses a plethora of questions to help you consider what has shaped you, what matters to you, and what “makes you tick.” 

Advice for Writing Application Essays (Fellowships Office)

Although aimed at fellowship applicants, this handout contains advice and suggestions useful for anyone writing and revising application essays, including for internships and graduate school. 

Tell Your Story (Loeb Center) 

Writing Your Personal Statement (Loeb Center)