Are B-School Essays Read in Order?
March 10, 2011 8:50 PM   Subscribe

I am working on my application to Anderson, and the questions are presented in an order which I can logically reference the content from the "first" essay within my response in the "second" essay. However, reading the second essay first, I fear the logic will be lost, and the reader might be left thinking the essay fails to convey my complete thought. Can I assume the essays are read in order? If not, can I assume the reader would make the connection after reading the "first" essay second?
posted by ZakZack to Education (4 answers total)
I don't think you can assume that your essays will be read in order, no. Different readers are going to have different reading styles, and many will skip around or focus more attention on parts they think are most informative. I would assume that each essay needs to stand alone.
posted by decathecting at 9:05 PM on March 10, 2011

No, they aren't necessarily read in order. You should treat each essay as a self-contained story and make sure any background info required to understand your point is within the essay.
posted by rainydayfilms at 6:46 AM on March 11, 2011

IAABSAO (I am a B-School admissions officer). I vary the order in which I read the essays. Usually I read "in order" just because that's the way they print out; but sometimes I am interested in an applicant's thoughts in one particular area so I jump to that essay first. So, as the other answers have said, don't assume we read in order, and generally you should make each essay self contained unless otherwise instructed. Also make sure you don't put the wrong school's name in the essay!
posted by pithy comment at 9:07 PM on March 12, 2011

Here's an interesting take on writing the MBA essay, though it doesn't explicitly answer your question.
posted by pithy comment at 11:34 AM on March 14, 2011

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