Just in time for application season, we have compiled a few tips on how to make your essay even better. Whether you are applying for a Master’s at the TUM School of Management this spring or at a later period in time, these tips, gathered by our students, aim to help you perfect many aspects of your essay.

1. Remember that the essay is an important part of your application.

The essay is a mandatory part of any Master’s application here at the TUM School of Management. Even if you are a strong candidate who is going to be admitted in the first round of consideration, you must still submit an essay, as it is mandatory and an application without it will be immediately disregarded. The essay gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your scientific writing skills, as well as your critical thinking and independent work ethic. It’s a nice opportunity to set yourself apart and make a great impression!

2. Prepare your sources ahead of time.

You can use various platforms such as Google Scholar, ResearchGate, BASE and many more to find academic sources that can be helpful for your topic. To gain an overview of the current state of research, make sure to read the relevant literature before getting started writing your actual essay. Bookmark the specific instances within the sources that you think you will reach for the most. By doing your research before starting, you will gain a better overview of how to structure your essay,and most importantly –what information should be included and what should be omitted.

3. Create an outline of your essay before writing.

Now that you know the main points you want to make in your essay, you can start creating a first draft of the text structure. While you don’t need a table of contents for your actual essay, having one for yourself is quite helpful in making you properly structure your text, remain focused and ensure you don’t miss anything. Jot down all important aspects that you want to include for each section: the introduction, the main body and the conclusion.

4. Use bias-free language to drive the point home.

When writing your essay, try to remove all personal bias from the topic at hand. This does not mean you can’t get your scientifically-grounded points across – on the contrary. Eliminating bias in a scientific text allows for the findings to be more reliable and carry more weight. Be aware that you might happen to use biased language, even if you’re not actually biased. When writing about people for example, be sure to acknowledge the correct labels a certain group uses for themselves. Overlooking this can introduce a bias against an ethnic group, a sexual orientation, a disability etc., even if this was unintentional on your part. In addition, be specific about characteristics relevant to your essay, but omit ones that are not.

5. Make sure to cite your sources.

You must cite every source you use – just like in a research paper. The citation should be both in-text, right where you’re referring to it, and in your reference page at the end. When citing a source in a body of text, use the author’s last name and the year of publication. If you are directly quoting a paper, don’t forget to properly format the citation marks. In the bibliography at the end of your essay, you should use a full citation, including the name of the author(s), date of publication, research paper title and journal. To do this easily and accurately, you can use a bibliography management software, such as EndNote or BibTeX. A very helpful resource, if you need detailed information on citations is APA Style – an organization providing reliable guidelines on all topics of scientific writing. Check out their guides on in-text citiations and references.

Be aware that the university is strict about plagiarism. Just like any other piece of scientific writing, the essays are checked with a plagiarism detection tool, and if plagiarism is detected, your whole application could be discarded! So, before you submit your work, double-check if you credited all the sources you used.

6. Don’t forget that we’re on your side!

As your TUM SOM Student Council, we are committed to helping our students and guiding them through all aspects of university life here at TUM. If you still have any questions about writing the essay or about your application in general, never hesitate to reach out to us. You can write to us via our online contact form or email us directly at [email protected]. We will be glad to help you!

We wish everyone a successful application!

Your Student Council TUM SOM