How to Write Your Personal Statement

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First Think About Yourself

Special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you
Details of

First Think About Yourself Special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you Details
your life that help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants
Overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships
Personal characteristics, for example, integrity, compassion, persistence
Skills, for example, leadership, communicative, analytical

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Find an Angle and Talk About Real Experiences

Be specific
Make it interesting
Show

Find an Angle and Talk About Real Experiences Be specific Make it
or demonstrate through concrete experience
Write in a style that is fresh, lively, and different
Make yourself memorable

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Concentrate on Your Opening Paragraph

Lead or opening paragraph generally the most

Concentrate on Your Opening Paragraph Lead or opening paragraph generally the most
important
Here you grab the reader's attention…or lose it
Becomes the framework for the rest of the statement

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Develop the Ideas and Stay Focused

Detail your interests and experiences
Refer to

Develop the Ideas and Stay Focused Detail your interests and experiences Refer
experiences: work, classes, conversations with people, books you've read, volunteer work you’ve done, and so on
Don’t stray away from your topic
Don’t go into long narratives or stories

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Avoid Certain Subjects

Controversial
Religion and Politics
Overly personal experiences and extreme hardships/family problems

Avoid Certain Subjects Controversial Religion and Politics Overly personal experiences and extreme hardships/family problems

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Write Well and Correctly

Type and proofread your statement very carefully
Express yourself

Write Well and Correctly Type and proofread your statement very carefully Express
clearly and concisely
Stay close to the word limits

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Avoid Cliches

Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements = “I always

Avoid Cliches Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements = “I always
keep my eyes on the road.” or “I want to be a doctor because I am good at science and want to help people.”
“My grandfather was an extremely significant part of my life. Without him, I would not have many of the advantages I have today.” (These two sentences, though expressive and correct, have essentially said nothing.)

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Use Attention Grabbers

“During World War II, my grandfather flew fighter planes with

Use Attention Grabbers “During World War II, my grandfather flew fighter planes
the Tuskegee Airmen.”
That's an attention-grabber that hooks the reader in
Thinking of a catchy opener is easier than you think.
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