Creating a great college personal statement requires much more than just ‘writing about yourself’. And the amount of advice available can make it difficult to discern what things need to be included in your college personal statement. Here are some pointers to keep you focused as you work toward having a final product that is submission-ready.
1. Outstanding Content
A plainly-written college personal statement that conveys meaningful information will win the day over a highly-literary essay that doesn’t tell very much. College admissions officers are intelligent, sophisticated people. If your college personal statement is vapid, you won’t fool them by being loquacious. It’s time to put aside your great rhetoric skills and write something personal and insightful.
2. Impeccable Organization
College personal statements that jump around or have unusual presentations of information are very difficult for reader’s to follow. Moreover, the purpose of the personal statement for your application to college is not to showcase your literary talents (applications to creative writing programs notwithstanding). Make an outline before you begin writing to ensure that your college personal statement has a logical path from one idea to the next.
3. Smooth transitions
The paragraphs in your personal statement are not islands unto themselves. They need to work together to create a unified whole. Think of transitions as bridges between each paragraph. These can be located at the end of the paragraph, at the beginning of the next paragraph, or both. However, they must be there. Otherwise, your personal statement will seem choppy and unfinished.
4. A Solid Conclusion
This is without a doubt the part of the essay that most challenges people as they create their college personal statements. However, it genuinely is your last chance to get your point across to the reader. Take the time to summarize what you most want the admissions officer to take away from your personal statement.
5. Error-free Presentation
If your college personal statement has technical errors in grammar, punctuation, and word choice, these will stand out to the admissions committee – in the worst possible way. Errors compete with your message.
At the end, an excellent college personal statement is far more about what isn’t there than what is. Set yourself apart by submitting a personal statement that aces the fundamentals, allowing the admissions committee to focus not on your writing, but why you are applying to the school’s program.
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