How To Write A Graduate School Personal Statement
If you want to get into graduate school, you need to learn how to write a graduate school personal statement. If an Admissions Committee is seriously looking at your personal statement, it means that you don't fall into the "automatic admission" category or the "automatic rejection" category. Most applicants find themselves in this position; so if your grades and tests scores are comparable to others, you need your personal statement to really stand out. Learn how to write a Graduate School personal statement:
- Decide what kind of Graduate school personal essay you want to write. There are many ways to approach the focus of your personal statement.
- Free Write to generate ideas. A free write can help you find the focus of your personal statement. Sit down for a specific amount of time, half an hour for example and don't let your pen stop moving. Note: This is to be used as a starting off point. You might keep one sentence for your final essay or you might keep nothing.
- Make an outline. Creating an outline might sound like something you did in High School English, kind of lame. There is a reason that your Lit teacher made you do so many in High School, they work. Outlines will help you include all relevant information and they will help structure your personal statement.
- Write a quality introduction. You've attended college, you know the difference between a boring introduction and one that grabs the readers attention. Don't start your Graduate school personal statement with cliches like, "It was a dark and stormy night" or "Hi, my name is..." Yes, you probably knew this already, but it can't be overstated. The American Medical Association suggests beginning with a story or a quote, for example.
- Read sample Graduate School Personal Statements. You can buy books which contain sample Graduate School personal statements at almost any bookstore. The Career Center at your Undergraduate institution probably has some example Graduate School Personal Statements as well. Look at both the bad examples and good examples. Note: Don't Plagiarize.
- Give yourself a deadline for completing the Personal Statement. Make sure your deadline leaves you at least two weeks before the Graduate School's deadline. You will want to edit it and you will want to have other people edit it before you send it off. It is also a good idea to give yourself a break from the Personal Statement for a few days or a week and then come back to it. Mistakes will stand out to you more if you "forget about it" for a little while.