Academic tutorial on how to write a personal statement for graduate school
Writing a personal statement for graduate school is an important task for a number of reasons. This helps you rethink about your reasons for wanting to attend the school. You know the school will help you achieve your career goals, but you need to focus on how to tell the school in an effective manner. This means you will review characteristics about yourself you feel the school will value when your personal statement gets evaluated.
Understanding the Purpose of a Personal Statement
A personal statement may have more than one meaning depending on how you view it. The purpose of a personal statement is to provide additional insight to the school about your academic accomplishments, career goals, and qualifications. In most cases you have control over the contents of your statement. It is a matter of identifying elements to include in your statement that outline your characteristics and what you bring to the school. It helps to review sample personal statements so you get an idea off the bat what you are expected to write about.
Defining Details that Make a Personal Statement Standout
Make an outline to help you sort your ideas. Some students get writers block when they are not sure how to begin their statement. You can use the outline to help you form more organized content later on. Right now, you can make a list of points to mention and where they would appear within your statement. This can help you create an engaging opening sentence that will hook the reader. Some of your talking points may include your career interests, why you want to enter the field and specific details about actions you have done, or anticipate on doing upon being accepted.
Putting It Together with a Rough Draft Followed by Revisions
Pay attention to guidelines as you may be instructed to keep your statement to a minimum. Provide insight on why you want to enter into this school or program in particular. You may mention how it compares to other options you have explored. Be honest about why you are applying. Show your interest in becoming a professional in the field. Maybe you were inspired to select the program or school because of success from previous alumni. Show the approval committee you want to be successful through accomplishments you completed in the past.