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How to Write a Personal Statement for College or University

If you know how to write a personal statement, there is a great chance you will get a seat at your favorite university or college. Because your personal statement is an important part of a university application.

It is, basically, your golden chance to show them why you are the best choice for the program you have applied for. Therefore, this should confirm why they should select you amongst all the other applicants.

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement, also known as an admission essay, is an essay or a written statement that the applicant sends to any college or university he wants to study in.

Therefore, a personal statement is a crucial part of the admission process.

How to Write a Personal Statement for College or University

Hence, if you do not have any idea about how to write a personal statement, the following guide features a step by step process to help you write your best personal statement.

So, follow the steps below. And if you had any questions or confusion, let us know in the comment section.

Pick the Purpose of Your Personal Statement and Brainstorm

The purpose of your personal thoroughly depends upon your goals, course, and school you are applying in. Because throughout the entire essay, you will have to emphasize different skills and life experiences that could compliment your request.

For instance, If you are applying for:

  • Undergrad scholarship or school; highlight your interests, why you want to apply to that particular school, and your high school achievements.
  • College transfer; highlight your academic performance in your current school and the reason for your college transfer.
  • Graduate school; focus on the course you wish to take and your expertise that may complement the situation. Besides, you should also mention how your undergrad studies prepared you for the course and study you are applying for.
  • Job or a client; highlight your previous work experiences and your relevant academic achievements along with your positive character traits.

However, you should remember that the information you provide is entirely true. Besides, it is recommended that you do not overload; keep it simple and straight.

Developing Your Personal Statement

The first step to developing your personal statement is to thoroughly research the school or position (job) you are applying to. Read the information carefully on their website. And highlight the important points and requirements.

For instance, if you are applying to a school that emphasizes social involvement or soft skills, you will want to showcase your skills and services more.

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Next, you will have to define your academic and career goals. Because your academic and career goals are the main focus of any personal statement. Besides, they let your reader consider why you are fit for the position you have applied for.

To learn more about your goals and the reason you should be chosen, you can ask yourself the following questions.

  1. How this school will impact my future?
  2. What is my ultimate goal?
  3. Where do I see myself in the next 5 years?
  4. What steps should I take to reach my goals?
  5. Are there any other goals I wish to achieve along the way?
  6. What personal characteristics make me an important asset?
  7. What are my proudest achievements?

List Your Academic Achievements

Writing down your achievements can be very beneficial as they are a great way to predict someone’s background and field of interest. However, you do not need to write down all of your achievements as your major achievements are enough to help you secure your position in the college you have applied.

Therefore, write down all of your achievements on a piece of paper and chose the most prominent ones to list in your personal statement. Your achievements can be:

  • Academic certificates and degrees
  • Honors and awards from institutions such as your school
  • Workshop and conference participation (certificate mostly)
  • Published work

and more

Define Your Current Purpose and Position

Your current state and goals can be very impactful on your future. Therefore, carefully stating your current position and purpose can help them get a clear view of your personality and position.

Read the Institution’s Requirement List

Another crucial tip to making your personal statement stand out is to thoroughly read all the given instructions on the institution’s website. Your college or university’s official website is the place where you can easily find all the information about the institution. Thus, take your time to carefully read through every piece of information.

You can also read more:

Write Your Personal Statement

Now that you have taken all the per-required steps of making an outstanding personal statement, it is time to create a draft. To do so, follow the steps below.

Create the Basic Outline of Your Personal Statement

Brainstorming aka outline is one of the most useful steps of creating a powerful personal statement. Generally, you get 1 to 2 pages to fit all the information. Therefore, you need to be very mindful.

Besides, creating an outline before writing your essay or personal statement makes sure that you cover all the crucial points and avoid unnecessary information. Thus, you should:

  • Prioritize the main purpose of your personal statement: For instance, you are applying to the undergraduate program, thus, you should mainly focus on carefully stating your purpose.
  • Your Interest: This may seem weird. But writing about your experiences, goals, interests, and ideas can be more convincing.
  • Feature institutes’ requirement list: Lastly, include all the requirement and information that your reader would probably want to know about. The institute’s official website plays an important role here.

Create a Strong Introduction

Your first paragraph decides whether your reader will read your essay or personal statement or not. Therefore, you should try to build a powerful introduction or introductory paragraph.

A strong introduction introduces the theme of your personal statement while making your reader feel as if you are introducing a story. Besides, you can use a personal anecdote in order to hook your reader.

Initially, introduce the theme of your personal statement and illustrate how it connects to your narrative. However, do not elaborate. Because you further explain ideas in the body of your personal statement.

Moreover, we recommend you should:

  • Avoid cliche phrase: For instance, “The most important time of my life…”.
  • Quote experiences as stories: One of the best ways to tell about your real-life experiences is to describe it as a story. For example, “When I first applied for XYZ, I did not know…”.

Furthermore, provide as much information or details as possible in the first paragraph.

Write the Body of Your Personal Statement

The paragraphs following your introductory paragraph should elaborate on your main purpose in writing your personal paragraph. Moreover, each of your paragraph should focus on a single idea and should connect back to your main idea.

For instance, if you have applied for undergrad, the body of your personal statement should focus on things such as your undergrad career, goals, the courses you want to major or minor in and the achievements that helped you build your undergrad gaols.

In addition, you should:

  • Do not be vague. Instead, you should try to be straight forward and clear.
  • Tell your reader about ideas, goals, and experiences that excite you.

Conclude Your Personal Statement

Now that you have written the body of your personal statement, it is time to conclude it. In conclusion, you should restate the thesis or the main focus of your statement and summarize all ideas. Additionally, give a final note on the topic. This, however, should not be another unique idea.

Maintain a positive tone

Throughout the entire process of writing your personal statement, you should remember to maintain a positive tone. So, be optimistic and confident while writing. This will prove to them how you will face challenges and difficulties if you faced any.

Besides, you should remember to avoid weak and uncertain phrases such as “I may be fit for the position…” Additionally, even when you are addressing any difficulties you faced, try to be optimistic about them. And show your reader what you learned at the end of it.

Finally, Proofread

Proofreading is the last but the most important step out of all of the above ones. So, at least once you should read and make changes if needed any. Though we recommend that you should at least proofread thrice.

You can also ask a friend of yours to proofread your personal statement once you have completed it.

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1 comment

5 Common Personal Statement Mistakes You Should Avoid March 3, 2020 at 6:17 pm

[…] But before we begin, you be also interested in How to Write a Personal Statement for College or University. […]


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