Writing a personal statement

September 12, 2013

Content blog writing a personal statement

A compelling personal statement can be your lucky ticket to getting an application and therefore should be given much attention by every wannabe student.

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General, comprehensive personal statement

With this personal statement you are not restricted to write within a certain area or conditions you have the freedom to generally write who you are. The applicant has more latitude in the ways to write a personal statement.

The response to very specific questions

Most of the graduate applications ask specific questions and a first-rate personal statement should be able to answer these questions clearly to your readers. With this category the writer has little latitude in terms of the topic and questions asked.

Some challenges you might have in this category are scenarios where questions are vague and seem to be so general. Make sure to know what they require and how you interpret the questions. According to your interpretations of the questions you are free to brainstorm and compose almost any sort of a personal statement you wish.

Before finding the category you feel most comfortable for writing a personal statement for college there are some of the things you need to ask yourself.

  • How is your story different from others and how will you make it even more unique?
  • What personal and family details of your life will help set you apart from other applicants?
  • How has your interaction with people and events helped you make a goal in your life?
  • Who has contributed in shaping your career and how?
  • How have I changed/grown in the past years?
  • What was the cause of these changes and how have they influenced me?
  • What peculiarities make me different from other applicants?
  • What has made me become interested in this field over this past few weeks
  • What have I learnt about this field to date?
  • What were the main obstacles that I had to overcome and how have I dealt with these challenges in the past?
  • Are there any tough experiences from the past that have significantly affected my life?
  • Can I relate these experiences to my goals?
  • Who has influenced me over the years and how have they influenced me?
  • What are my main career goals?
  • What have I learnt from my previous work experiences?
  • How has working contributed to my growth?
  • How did I learn about this field?
  • Do I have any gaps or inconsistencies on my records (e.g. exam scores) that I’d like to explain?
  • Are there any special awards, recognition, or honors that I have gained and that are worth mentioning?
  • What personal characteristics do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession?
  • Who am I?
  • What characteristics do I possess?
  • What skills do I have?
  • How have I changed/grown over the years?
  • What caused these changes and how have they affected me?
  • Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
  • Why should the admissions committee be interested in me?

General advice

Answer questions asked

Do not try to digress into answering your own questions strictly answer questions asked. If you are for instance making an application to universities since you are not sure to apply to one and get it, you may find some questions similar from each university. Be sure to write a relevant answer.

Tell a story

Your personal statement should be interesting and let it look more like a story. When one is reading a story he /she flow with it up to the last chapter. Avail real life experiences you have heard up to where you are now. Demonstrations will help them understand better and will not waste time thinking of a statement you have just said.

Be specific

Don’t generalize your statements. If you give a strong point or goal which you which to achieve have back up points to show that you can really achieve tough ones. Perhaps you could give a list of goals you have achieved in the past and from that the audience can be able to weigh your capability of achieving future goals. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story

Find an angle

Find an angle to use to explain your life. You may have some crazy things you have done in the past. People like to read crazy stuff that might just be the perfect angle to use when writing personal statement.

Opening paragraph

Make your introductory paragraph very impressing to our audience. That is the point that determines whether they will enjoy reading the rest of the story or not.

Tell what you know

The body of your personal statement should be detailed enough to pass adequate message to the audience. Your past work experience may guide you to the field that you choose to enroll. It is from that experience that you will be able to relate with the field you are applying for. You may also refer to books you have read about the field, workshop and seminars attended.

Things best left out

Some of the things you have done in the past may make your personal statement fall in the rejected bin. Avoid inclusion of past accomplishments, references to experience etc.

Research is important

Do researches of whatever school you are applying for to be able to tackle any hard questions that come to you. If possible know everything about the college before starting your personal statement writing.

Final revision

Run through your personal statement to check grammatical errors, spellings and punctuation. You don’t know your audiences try to be perfect in your writing and language. Seek other peoples help too.

Be original

Be unique and come up with creative expressions to make you stand out from the rest. Write the personal statement that is original such that readers may see it as different from the rest.

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