It can be useful to know how to analyze a personal statement sample in order to maximize your efforts. If you are reviewing a sample personal statement in order to do research before writing your own statement, you should understand how to analyze the personal statement sample so that you can learn from it.
First, does the personal statement sample respond well to the prompt or the suggested question? Perhaps there is no specific question, so you will have to focus on whether or not you think the sample personal statement achieves the innate purpose of the personal statement. The principal role of the statement is to provide the admissions committee with a personal portrayal of the candidate. The committee wants to learn about the applicant beyond the standard details of application materials.
Second, is the personal statement sample well-written? Review it to check that the content is clear, there is a well-defined theme, the ideas flow well, and the sample personal statement is written in the applicant’s own voice and words. The writing should have been proofread carefully to eliminate all mistakes in grammar and punctuation. The personal statement sample should exhibit good command of the language. Look for repetition of the same words, which should be avoided, even though they may be the point of the personal statement. Variety of wording will keep the reader interested.
Third, the personal statement sample can be analyzed to recognize how to provide the admissions committee a reason to offer you a seat in the class or degree program. If you can convince the committee of your great passion for the field or your longtime desire for this degree, the personal statement will accomplish its purpose. The sample personal statement should include a specific story or anecdote which “shows” the reader your commitment and abilities, rather than just “telling” them. A creative or moving story will be remembered by the reader, if it tells the story in a way that explains the applicant’s sincere desire to pursue the degree program.
Finally, does the personal statement sample convince you that the author is well-prepared for the program, has clearly stated his long term goals, and was able to define and explain well his reasons for acceptance into the program. The last thing to do in your analysis of the sample personal statement is to review whether there is something else you would like to see included in the essay, and which you may want to include in your own statement.