Structuring Your Personal Statement (500 to 1000 words)
Writing a personal statement can be intimidating. Relax. It’s really pretty straightforward. Your personal statement is your chance to introduce yourself. Use it to tell who you are.
A strong personal statement is invaluable when applying for admissions to a college/university or seeking employment.
All seniors enrolled in PHS English classes will complete a personal statement as part of the first semester curriculum.
Be sure to follow the conventions of standard written English. Structure and organize your information and ideas logically. Proofread your final draft carefully for misspellings, grammatical errors, and typos. Make sure that your statement is competent as well as lively, engaging, and/or compelling.
An effective personal statement provides information about the applicant’s background and qualifications that is not found anywhere else in an application form. It also gives an idea of the applicant’s personality, vision, and life/work goals. Those are often the pieces of information that connect the reader to the writer.
In your statement try to address as many of the following topics that apply to you:
· What long-range goals have I set for myself and what is my plan to achieve them?
· What events in my life have influenced me to pursue these goals?
· Who are the people who have guided and shaped me into the person I am today?
· Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships in your life?
· Describe a single experience that has enabled you to grow as an individual.
Below are tips the experts often give to those writing personal statements.
· Write about yourself. Regardless of the topic, make sure you shine through your essay.
· Use your own voice. The reader can tell the difference between a 40-year-old voice and a high school senior.
· Focus on one aspect of yourself. If you try to cover too many topics in your essay, you’ll end up with a resume of activities and attributes that doesn’t tell as much about you as an in-depth look at one project or passion.
· Be genuine. Don’t try to be impressive. Simply explain what is important to you.
· Consider a mundane topic. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the best essays. It doesn’t have to be a life-changing event to be interesting and informative.
· Don’t rely on “how to” books or websites. Don’t adhere too rigidly to their formulas, and definitely don’t use their example topics.
· Share your opinions, but avoid anything too risky/controversial. Try to appeal to the broadest audience possible.
· Tell a good story. Show who you are through your writing; don’t tell.
· Don’t repeat information. Write about something that the reader couldn’t know just from reading the other parts of your application.