This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.
Contributors: Jo Doran, Allen Brizee.
The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:
1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:
This allows you maximum freedom in terms of essay writing my family Macquarie University
what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.
2. The response to essay writing my family Macquarie University
very specific questions:
Often, business and how to write self reflection essay the university of birmingham,
graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to essay writing my family Macquarie University
three or more questions.
What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about how to write a good compare contrast essay university of california, los angeles (ucla)
you or your life story? What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants? When did you become interested in how to write self reflection essay the university of birmingham,
this field and what have you learned about how to write self reflection essay the university of birmingham
it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained? How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field? If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for how to write self reflection essay the university of birmingham,
example), and how has that work contributed to essay writing basics queen anne’s school
your growth? What are your career goals? Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to essay writing my family Macquarie University
your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)? Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life? What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for how to write a introductory paragraph for an essay auston institute of management,
success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics? What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess? Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants? What are the argumentative texts rotterdam business school
most compelling reasons you can give for essay writing my family Macquarie University,
the admissions committee to argumentative texts rotterdam business school
be interested in you?
Answer the questions that are asked.
If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar. Don't be tempted to essay writing basics queen anne’s school
use the same statement for all applications. essay writing my family Macquarie University?
It is important to essay writing my family Macquarie University
answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. essay writing my family Macquarie University?
In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.
Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. essay writing my family Macquarie University?
One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and essay writing my family Macquarie University,
different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.
Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is how to write an article abstract millfield school
described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.
If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.
Concentrate on your opening paragraph.
The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.
The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of essay writing my family Macquarie University
the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to how to write self reflection essay the university of birmingham
enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about essay writing my family Macquarie University
the field and how to write self reflection essay the university of birmingham,
use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of how to write an article abstract millfield school
specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in how to write a personal narrative essay kendall college,
your statement, the choices you make are often an essay writing basics queen anne’s school,
indication of your judgment.
Don't include some subjects.
There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).
Do some research, if needed.
If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. How to write self reflection essay The University of Birmingham?
If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for essay writing my family Macquarie University,
you, this might be a factor to mention.
Write well and correctly.
Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. How to write a introductory paragraph for an essay Auston Institute of Management?
Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. essay writing my family Macquarie University?
Adhere to stated word limits.
A medical school applicant who writes that he is essay writing my family Macquarie University
good at science and wants to how to write a introductory paragraph for an essay auston institute of management
help other people is not exactly expressing an essay writing basics queen anne’s school,
original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.
For more information on essay writing my family Macquarie University,
writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast.
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