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Writing a Personal Statement .. A Guide

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Writing a Personal Statement .. A Guide [#permalink] New post 07 Jun 2017, 05:42
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Writing a Personal Statement .. A Guide

Write an engaging and effective personal statement capturing your strengths and career goals.

Purpose of a personal statement

A personal statement, also known as a statement of purpose, demonstrates your unique qualifications to an admissions committee. It also illustrates your writing ability, creativity, and career goals.

Admissions committee members look for interesting, insightful, and non-generic personal statements.

Get started

Before filling out the application, reflect on and make notes about your:

Personal History
  • Prior life experiences, events, and achievements relevant to your career choice or application to graduate school
  • Life events are experiences that are distinct or unusual which relate to your professional goals
  • People who have influenced your decision to pursue this field or who have had a significant impact on your values as they relate to this choice
Academic Life
  • Research interests and prior experience
  • Academic accomplishments/recognitions
  • Professors who have influenced you most academically
Work Experiance
  • Previous jobs, volunteer experience, and/or extracurricular activities that have influenced your career choice or career goals

Answer these questions

1. What is special, distinctive, unique or impressive about you or your life story?
2. How did you learn about the field? What stimulated your interest in this field?
3. What characteristics and skills do you possess that enhance your prospects for success?
4. Have you overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships?
5. Are there any gaps in your academic record that you want to explain?
6. What are the most compelling reasons for the admissions committee to be interested in you?
7. What are your short and long-term goals?
8. What is the most important thing for an admissions committee to know about you?

Formatting tips

1. Read the application carefully, follow the directions, and adhere to word or page limits. Most personal statements are 2-3 pages.
2. Be sure to answer the question/topic(s) posed in the application.
3. Choose a font style and size that can be easily read by your audience.
4. Write in first person.
5. Proofread for typos and grammatical errors.

Common mistakes

1. Sloppiness

Avoid spelling, punctuation, formatting, and grammatical errors. Be sure to leave yourself adequate time to edit and revise your essay. You do not want to send your first draft to the admissions committee.

2. Writing one statement for all schools

Learn about each school’s program, including research interests and publications of faculty. Clearly state reasons for pursuing a degree from that school. Be sure to mention faculty members with whom you would like study.

3. Boring content

Have a positive tone, vary length and structure of sentences, and avoid clichés.

4. Sounding like everyone else

Identify your strengths and clearly articulate what sets you apart from other applicants.

5. Dwelling on crisis

If you discuss a personal crisis, it should relate to the purpose of your essay. Mention how it affected your personal goals, perspective, or academic performance.

Evaluating suggestions

Evaluating your personal statement is an important part of the writing process. Carefully read over your personal statement and use The personal statement and critique your statement.

Then ask at least one person, whose opinion you value, (e.g., friend, teacher, family member) to review and evaluate your personal statement.


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Writing a Personal Statement .. A Guide   [#permalink] 07 Jun 2017, 05:42
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