Main Rules in Writing a Personal Statement
A personal statement is all about self-reflection. Here are the tips on how to make your personal statement look smart and modest for it to touch the heart and wit of a reader from the committee.
Role of this text
Pretty much like every text, your personal statement is a text with the fuctions of its own, a message addressed to a certain audience. There are 3 key points here.
- Part in the play. When you apply for a college or university program, it’s important to keep in mind that the personal statement is part of the document package, and it shouldn’t repeat what other documents contain. You may mention your educational achievements, volunteering, and membership within a student organization, but you don’t need to describe them. Rather, a personal statement tells how you got there and why you want to proceed with your target college or uni.
- Your cognitive portrait. Practically every reader of your personal statement will try to figure out what is your general intellectual level and, so to speak, psychological profile. Are you a critical thinker? You may be passionate, but what powers your passion? Is this willing to survive in tough circumstances? True love to your subject? Show this.
- The power of words. A good personal statement is not just about content. It’s more about your way of communicating your thoughts. The reader will quickly catch your insincerity or laziness in the very language of this essay: it’s definitely not your personal when you over-use the uncommon phrases, and you have 100% chances to make the impression of a slacker if you don’t proof-read it. All in all, they need to know what your level of writing is.
Show them you’re interested
It’s like your job application: a good cover letter should show that you’ve done some preparatory work, learning about that job and company. Just as a cover letter, a personal statement should suggest that you know something about your target institution. At least visit their website.
As for your interest about the subject, don’t write in clichés. You absolutely can’t be interested in anything like biology or creative writing as long as you can remember. The thing is that you’ve got to know how these subjects are called just in middle school or later. Be sincere and don’t exaggerate these things.
Get a helper
Even if you love doing things on your own, you need somebody to give your personal statement a critical look. Ideally, it should be a professional editor. However, your class or college mate will also do. The main thing here is to get a different perspective. Also, proofread the piece before submission. The committee reports it even happens that you have a wrong institution on the list.
You’re a gem just as you are. Have a productive application!