I am considering applying to a university for a Ph.D. The university wants to know about papers I published - I heard that traditionally the first author (of e.g. 4) is often considered the main one.
I published 3 papers - I did have guidance by a Professor on how to choose a structure, but in the end I wrote it on my own. For some "internal" reasons, the university did not allow me to put my name first - and there were other names (next to my Prof's) added as well.
On each paper there are now 4-5 names and my name is either 2nd or 3rd place.
How do I convey that I am the main author?
How do I convey that I did the work?
I dont want to deny the effort of my Prof guiding me and helping me with questions, but I also dont want to make it sound like it was "a collaborative effort" by all authors. Basically, I dont want to sound like a jackass.