The main aim of your college personal statement is to make a presentation of yourself in a great light to impress the committee and make your paper memorable. We are not going to write a treatise on how to write a personal statement for college taking into consideration all the rules, introduction and conclusion details, points to concentrate on, and so on. Here is a checklist of useful tips for you to consider while writing your personal statement.
- BE YOURSELF. Write about your life – family, talents, accomplishments, hobbies, passions, motivations,events, books, dig deals, etc. Mention everything that can differentiate you from other applicants and prove your uniqueness.
- Speak about the facts about the college you are applying to, if it is mentioned in the requirements.
- Be ready to write your paper scrupulously and edit it a million times! Seriously… No joke. A million times.
- Stick to the requirements. If they are provided, do not to miss even the smallest detail.
- Devote plenty of time while writing a college personal statement to the details. Think over their significance carefully to meet the demands of application committee.
- Focus your attention on several primary issues to show your diversity of knowledge. Define a clear purpose of writing. Sometimes it may become obvious in the writing process without planning in advance.
- Tell a memorable story to impress the admission officer and highlight your positive features.
- Do not put emphasis on motivation based on monetary reasons only.
- Carry out thorough research – look for impressive personal statement papers on the Web and write down ideas you’ve paid special attention to.
- At the same time, when thinking how to write a personal statement for college try to avoid self-promotion. Every third paper comprises a phrase “I am a smart, communicative and diligent person.” The same is with “I’ve always dreamed of becoming a…”
- Your desire to enter a college should be logical and supported with examples from practical experience (helpful for becoming a doctor, teacher, engineer, etc.)
- The opening paragraph is the most important part of your college personal statement, as it attracts readers’ attention and helps him/her to make the decision whether to continue reading, or to move onto the next applicant’s work.
- Do not speak about any controversial issues concerning religion, racial relations, politics, etc.
- Do not be afraid to be funny – use humor while writing the paper. Make sure this part is not ironic or sarcastic.
- Make sure the conclusion closes your college personal statement and you’ve followed all the recommendations on how to write a personal statement for college and left the reader with a sense of wholeness.
- Avoid critiques. Do not speak in such terms about your instructors, other colleges, or previous programs.
- Do not use any cliches and stock phrases. Each sentence should express a significant meaning and idea. Avoid statements which could be written by anyone.
- Use the vocabulary and phrases you feel comfortable using, while at the same time matching the required tone.
- Stick to the specified word limit and watch your grammar – it is as important as the paper content itself.
Do some self-exploration.
Your college essay is all about showcasing yourself. Think about which of your strengths and interests you would most like colleges to know about you. What are you passionate about? What’s most important to you? What are you best at?
If you need to pick the topic, be focused and specific.
Writing about a single experience is usually a good idea: Your essay should prove a single point or message. Try to avoid clich� topics like ‘winning a big game’, ‘taking a trip’ or even dealing with a death, these will not help your application stand out from the group.
Show your thoughtfulness.
Be thoughtful in both your topic choice and the tone of your writing. Colleges look for students who have dealt with adversity, have overcome challenges and continue to grow from their experience. Admitting shortcomings is a sign of maturity and intelligence, so there is no need to portray yourself as a superhero, they will see through it.
Get started early.
Self-exploration can be fun, but don’t procrastinate on the actual writing. You don’t want to rush or be up against a tight deadline; it will affect your work.
Create an essay outline.
Sometimes creating an outline for your essay can help you get started. It will also help you organize your thoughts and develop a framework.
Read the instructions and follow them.
Be conscious of any length limits, and, if the topic is provided for you, analyze the question carefully. You want to be aware of everything they ask and answer everything thoroughly.
Use your own voice.
Don’t use big words just for the sake of using big words. They can distract from the essay when misused. Remember, this essay is about you, so use words you would use.
Use quotations and examples to show personal detail.
Instead of just stating your point of view, you want to make your reader feel the experience. Adding detail will help convey your stance. But don’t use quotations simply to use them; make sure they make sense.
Try to be concise.
While adding personal detail is good, you don’t want to be wordy or long-winded; short sentences can be more powerful.
Don’t use slang words.
Generally speaking, slang words conjure the feeling of someone being unpolished, uncaring or not that serious. These are three things you don’t want your admissions reader thinking about you. Likewise, avoid clich�s and overuse of contractions.
The point of this essay is to show who you are, not who you wish you were. Stick to what you know and your true personality will shine through.
Don’t be afraid to use humor if it’s part of who you are.
Admissions officers can have a sense of humor too, and, when used appropriately, humor can make you stand out. However, don’t make being funny one of your top goals in your college essay.
Step away from your essay and come back later.
Sometimes it helps to take a break from your work and come back in a few days. Review what you’ve written and make sure it still makes sense and conveys what you want it to.
Write multiple drafts.
Sometimes you need to write a couple of drafts to get your essay right where you want it.
Type your essay.
No matter how good your essay, if people can’t read your handwriting they won’t appreciate the work.
Proofread your essay.
You want to make sure you’ve used proper spelling, grammar and punctuation, so ask an expert to proofread your essay.
Get feedback from others.
Ask your friends and family to read your essay and tell you what they think. Be open to suggestions and ways to improve it, even if this means going back to the drawing board.
Revise if necessary.
You want to edit your essay down to what is important. Make every word count!