QUICKIE:
seeing the name on the 1st class honours list... and that name belonged to me... i thought i'm truly blessed

Université Part 1: Writing a Good Personal Statement

31/01/08

many can relate to this scenario where everything was goin smoothly until u reach the part...


"Write a Personal Statement with a minimum of 250 words (in English)"

and your mind goes blank for a second. What happen to filling up a simple application form and not worrying about writing a mini bio data about yourself. A personal statement... how can i sell myself and at the same time keep it interesting that the person reading it wants to know more? my life isnt that interesting... how can i stand out n be unique? should i write solely about my achievements or should i include failures that made me a stronger person and do i know how to stop when i have written enough? dilemmas after dilemmas...

Susan Hiraki, EOPS Director, Las Positas College to the rescue... here are her top 9 tips for writing a good personal statement...

1. Before beginning the essay, think of your life in a global way. What have been the accomplishments, crises, obstacles related to your education? Take some notes and don’t worry about the organization of these random thoughts. Make sure you begin this process early enough to gather useful information. Talk to your family and friends about how they view you because they may see your achievements more clearly than you do.

2. It is appropriate to talk about personal crises, but your essay should tie these in to how you overcame them and what this has to do with education. For example, you may cite an accident that left you disabled. You may want to elaborate on the recovery process and how it contributed to who you are now and why education has become more important to you because of this traumatic experience. The reader should get a sense of your stamina, resilience, creativity, and other personal resources that would lead him/her to believe you could draw on these reserves to be successful in achieving your goals.

3. Your essay should have an introduction, a middle, and a conclusion. Begin by introducing yourself and what you intend to say, the middle should, in a more comprehensive form, reflect what your introduction said you would discuss; and the conclusion should sum up all the information in a logical progression. You could decide to write your introduction last so that it can be truly specific in its purpose.

4. It is not necessary to use long and complicated words. If you do, make sure you are using them appropriately and with the correct spelling. It is more effective to use ordinary words in clear statements.

5. When you begin writing your essay, do not worry about using all the correct words and phrases because this may block your thinking and writing. Take a deep breath and let yourself feel the freedom of your own ability to express yourself. Keep writing without stopping to search for “just the right word” and skip over anything that doesn’t come to you readily. Don’t worry about spelling, content, or correct English usage as it will keep you from saying some important things about yourself.

6. After you have written a first draft, go back over it to be sure that you have responded to the prompt or the instructions. Make a good case for why you are unique and how your experiences will help you with your college education. Four-year schools expect you to be mature enough to extrapolate lessons from experiences. What unique contributions will you make as a student and as an alumnus? It would be a good idea to answer this question in all of your personal statements regardless of where you apply because it indicates vision and self esteem.

7. When you are ready to write your final draft, go back to numbers 2 through 7. Check for spelling, grammar, and logical, linear thought progression. Does everything in the conclusion relate to your educational goals?

8. Again, do this exercise early enough so that you will have time to write the essay, as well as time for other people to proof it and offer you some feedback.

9. If this feels overwhelming, go back to number 5 and take a deep breath. Remember, the subject matter is you, and you are the greatest authority on this topic. Write from your heart, and worry about all the intellectual concerns when you are working on the finished product.

there are helpful samples of personal statements on the net too. with all the tips and samples, writing a personal statement might end up being fun.

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