Students: Top 10 Tips to write a great personal statement


HTWB studentIn these times when admission to colleges and universities is harder than ever before, Nellie Aldridge from shares her tips on writing a personal statement that really does work. Whether for you or a friend or relative, take note – this is useful information!

Here’s Nellie…

The personal statement is usually required for most graduate program applications. It is designed to understand your intellectual development, background, and how they contributed to you applying for a given program or university. Here are some guidelines on what to do and avoid in your personal statement.

1.      Be interesting
The number one piece of advice is to be interesting. Think about the experiences that have shaped you as a person and your intellectual interests.

2.      Don’t tell your complete life story
Do not begin your personal statement from the time you were born up to you writing this personal statement. This is both unnecessary and incredibly boring.

3.      Steer clear of platitudes and clichés
Tell the committee something they haven’t heard before. For instance, if you’re applying for veterinarian school, don’t say how much you like science and animals. Everyone applying to vet school likes science and animals.

4.      Interweave your personal background with your intellectual interests
Show how your personal background contributed to your intellectual interests. Just don’t focus too much on your pre-college years

5.      Answer the questions
Answer all required questions for the personal statement. Leaving anything out will be frowned on.

6.      Make sure your opening paragraph is outstanding
Your personal statement’s opening paragraph often determines whether or not a committee will continue reading and consider you for the program

7.      Interweave your background with your specific research proposal
Most graduate programs require research proposals for your thesis before studying. If this is required, be sure to show how your background is related to your research proposal

8.      Explain why you are interested in their program or university
Do some background research and explain in a few sentences why you are particularly interested in their program or university.

9.      Do not write a narrative resume
You can list all your relevant accomplishments and experiences on your CV or resume that is included with your application. Don’t use your personal statement for this purpose.

10.  Outline your future plans
The final paragraph of your personal statement should have your future plans connected to the program you’re applying for. Even if you’re unsure, try to tie the program in question to your future career.

If you utilize all the tips in this article, you’re sure to write a well-written, thoughtful, and interesting personal statement.

Good luck!

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