In addition to answering all your specific writing questions in this forum, we also aim to periodically provide this community with valuable writing tips. Because admissions season is here, we would like to give considerable attention to admissions essays and personal statements.
Many schools at the undergraduate and graduate level (including law, MBA and medical school) request a personal statement. What is the purpose of a personal statement? A great, effective personal statement achieves many things: it shows a focused career and academic trajectory, it develops deeper connections and themes in your experience, and it conveys a deeper sense of who you are.
Some of the most common mistakes made with personal statements include:
-A lack of concrete detail, and an overabundance of unsubstantiated generalities that do not reveal a clear, committed path
-A lack of connectivity between your academic, professional and personal experience, and a lack of reflection on the experiences you have had
-A lack of humanity and personality
-"Over-selling" yourself to a specific program, e.g. "Yale is the ideal place for me because....I have always wanted to attend Princeton because...."
Writing personal statements can be quite challenging. You must position your experience to show you are a great fit for a given program, but also convey a deeper sense of what motivates you.
Try to pinpoint a common thread among all of your academic and professional choices. Think about the forces that really drive and inspire you. Determine exactly why a specific program is the best fit for you--do the research!!! In the end, a great personal statement communicates a wealth of concrete detail while also conveying a real sense of who you are.
If you have any questions, let us know!
All the best,
Ivy Eyes Editing