:yuck: I'm killing myself over these essays. Seriously, GRRRR I cannot seem to be able to start any of these essays because I can't think of anything to write about. Does anyone have any advice on writing these? If you're curious, these are my app essays for Cornell and UMich Cornell: This personal statement helps us become acquainted with you in ways different from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will demonstrate your ability to organize thoughts and express yourself. We are looking for an essay that will help us know you better as a person and as a student. Please write an essay (250-500 words) on a topic of your choice or on one of the options listed below. Also, please indicate your topic by checking the appropriate box below. + Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. + Discuss some issue of personal, local, national, or international concern and its importance to you. + Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence. + Describe a character in fiction, an historical figure, or a creative work (as in art, music, science, etc.) that has had an influence on you, and explain that influence. + A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you. + Topic of your choice That essay and Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about your interest in engineering or an engineering idea you have. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this interest or idea. University of Michigan Short Answer (250 words): At the University of Michigan, we are committed to building a superb educational community with students of diverse talents, experiences, opinions and cultural backgrounds. What would you as an individual bring to our campus community? Second Short Answer (250 words): What led you to choose the area(s) of academic interest that you have listed in your application to the University of Michigan? If you are undecided, what areas are you most interested in, and why? Essay (500 words): All applicants, answer one of the following questions, either [A], , or [C]. Make sure your name and the question text are on each page. (approximately 500 words) [A] Describe a setback that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happened in the future, how would you react? OR Discuss an issue of local, national, or international concern. Why is this issue important to you? How do you think it should be addressed? OR [C] Advances in science and technology often create ethical dilemmas for individuals and society. How does a recent scientific or technological innovation pose an ethical challenge for you? Please include a one-inch margin on each page of your document Ok, so how should I go about starting these? Would it help to look at sample application essays, or what?