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An Intellectual Narrative

Provides the reader with a sense of your priorities and judgement, allowing them to know you more personally.

The personal statement is just one, but very important, part of an application. Each personal statement must be tailored to each specific application. Pay close attention to the prompt, as some things you may include in a personal statement for one application may make more sense to include in another part of a different application. 

Application VisualWriting & Editing Suggestions

  • Keep your primary points brief and clear. Reviewers will likely skim your statement because of the volume they are reviewing.
  • While addressing the prompt, be sure to keep to word or character limits.
  • Your opening sentence should catch the reader's attending and last sentence pulls ideas in the essay together. Conclude with something specific and visionary.
  • Be sure there is a thread connecting the different parts of the essay.
  • Give specific, detailed examples to illustrate each of the points made. Make it relevant; if it's not, then it doesn't belong. 
  • Be sure topic sentences [first sentence of each paragraph] lay out an idea that is then developed and illustrated by the following paragraph.
  • Edit your statement. Have many people read your statements and provide feedback. Cut out unnecessary words and avoid cliches.

Brainstorming Your Essay

As you begin planning your essay, consider the following:

  • What is special, unique or distinctive about you and your life story?
  • What details n your life shaped you or influenced your goals?
  • When did you become interested in this opportunity and what have you chosen to do to reinforce your conviction in pursuing this opportunity?
  • What do you know about this field and how did you learn it?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Are there gaps or discrepancies in your academic record worth explaining?
  • Have your made any mistakes or have any regrets that taught you something important about yourself?
  • Why might you be more successful and effective in this opportunity than other applicants?

Statement Broken DownTELL YOUR STORY: YOUR QUALIFICATION [BACKGROUND, SKILLS, EXPERIENCES, TRAITS]

DEMONSTRATE YOUR FIT OR SUITABILITY: CONNECT YOUR STORY WITH YOUR FUTURE, SHOW HOW THE OPPORTUNITY IS ESSENTIAL FOR A BRIGHT, MORE SUCCESSFUL FUTURE

PROJECT YOUR FUTURE: SHORT TERM [1-3 YEARS], LONG TERM [5+ YEARS]

Additional Resources:  Writing Personal Statements Online, Purdue OWL

 

 

 

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