Think your personal statement format is spot on? Take a look at our checklist to make sure you’ve hit all the key points.
The following checklist is divided into the following basic categories: content, structure, and style.
- Are you answering the actual question given in the prompt?
- Have you been sincere and personal?
- Is your essay within the word limit?
- Will your reader find the essay interesting?
- Are you showing rather than telling?
- Does your introduction grab the reader’s attention?
- Do you explore your experiences in sufficient depth?
- Does your essay contain a high level of detail and concrete evidence?
- Have you avoided unsubstantiated claims?
- Do you offer specific, personal insights rather than trite generalizations and clichés?
- Does your essay reveal anything meaningful about your character?
- Do you avoid summarizing information that can be found elsewhere on your application?
- Will your essay make you stand out?
- Does your conclusion leave a lasting impression?
- Can you identify an overarching theme? Have you articulated that theme in the essay?
- Does your theme have multiple layers and genuine depth?
- Do you have a reason for placing every paragraph where it is?
- Do your paragraphs flow smoothly? Are there any gaps or jumps?
- Does each point build upon previous points, or does your essay sound like a list?
- Have you written insightful transitions and resolutions that highlight your key themes?
- Are your stories well integrated into your essay?
- Is the essay clear and coherent? Have you strengthened its impact by using the optimal structure?
- Have you achieved a simple, straightforward style?
- Have you varied your sentence constructions?
- Have you avoided unnecessarily fancy vocabulary?
- Have you avoided passive voice?
- Have you achieved active writing through the use of strong verbs?
- Have you avoided overusing adjectives and adverbs?
- Is your tone conversational, rather than too casual or too formal?
- Have you conveyed confidence, enthusiasm, and passion?