Instructions > Essays

Every application submitted through the AAPI Online service must include your responses to four essay questions. Many applicants will submit the same essay responses to all internship sites to which they apply. However, the AAPI Online provides you with the opportunity to tailor your essays to particular internship sites (or types of sites) if you prefer to do so. Thus, you have the option of sending the same set of essays to all of your sites or writing essays specific to a site or to a group of sites.

In the AAPI Online, essay responses are saved together as a “set” of four essays. Each essay should be no longer than 500 words. When you e-submit your applications to internship sites, you will designate which “set” of essay responses is to be sent to each site.

Example: Let's say you wanted to send the same essay responses to all of your sites, except for one site to which you wanted to send a different essay #1. To accomplish this, you would create two essay “sets”: Set “A” would include the four essays to be sent to all but one of your sites, while Set “B” would include the same essays #2, 3, and 4 and a different essay #1.

The contents of your essays must be your original writing, which is solely authored by you. Plagiarism of any kind is not acceptable.

Once you are ready to create your essays, you may begin by clicking on the “Add New Entry” button. On the next page, you will be asked to specify a title for this new essay set. You can specify any title that you prefer; however, we encourage you to choose a title that will clearly describe the site or type of site to which this essay set will be sent. This will help you accurately identify the proper essay set when you are e-submitting your applications.

The AAPI Online service allows you to compose your essays directly in the application, and will allow you to apply bold, italics, and other formatting as you compose the letter. While you are encouraged to use this feature, you may also compose them offline using your word processing program.

If you choose to compose your essays offline and paste it into the application, be aware that cutting and pasting, especially from Word, can bring invisible codes and hidden characters into the text box that may “count” as characters. As a result, you may find that the number of characters you think you entered appears incorrect. Additionally, these MS Word formatting characters can interfere with the web's formatting language, leading to text display problems common to copying and pasting from Word.

As a result, if you need to cut and paste from a word processing application and are experiencing any of the issues above, we recommend the following steps.

  1. Rather than pasting directly into the text boxes below, click the “W” button (“Paste from Word”) on the right of the row of buttons in the text box and paste your text into the box that comes up. This will “cleanse” your text of any hidden characters that may cause formatting issues.
  2. The safest option is to paste that text into Notepad first, then copy and paste from Notepad to the AAPI Online form, and apply any final formatting in the essay box itself. This will guarantee that no extra hidden Word characters impact the formatting of your essay.

TIP: If you experience issues when viewing the PDF version of your essays where paragraphs and lines appear double-spaced instead of single-spaced, a workaround is to hold down the “Shift” key and hit Enter to create spacing between paragraphs, rather than just hitting Enter.

In order to use the Preview PDF option, you must first save the essay set. If you are not satisfied with the way your essay is formatted, you must make all corrections manually in the text box.

Once you are satisfied with your essays, Click “Save” to save them, and you will see that this new essay set has been added to the list of your saved essay sets.

From this page, you may also update your essay sets by clicking the blue button under “Update” on the right side of the screen. If you wish to delete an essay set, click on the red “x” button.

Note: Make sure to save this section by selecting the save buttonSAVE