How to Write a Personal Statement: Step-By-Step Guide
Writing a personal statement is a real challenge for many students. There seems to be nothing complicated: you need to reflect your interest in a particular university program and the unique abilities that you have for that program. However, many young people are still looking for personal statement help. Today, we will tell you how to write a successful motivational letter step-by-step.
What is a Personal Statement?
A personal statement is a one-page essay in which a student applies to other documents on admission to a higher education institution or program. Depending on the university, you may need to submit a motivational letter at the undergraduate, graduate, and even doctoral levels.
In an essay, a student should write about himself or herself, his or her merits, talents, and why he or she should be accepted to the course. It is through a motivational letter that the admission committee can judge the applicant’s personality, goals, and virtues.
Most students, when applying to university for the first time, face the need to write an essay about themselves, so they often make mistakes. In this article, we will review the basic principles of writing a personal statement and how to maintain the right style and semantic balance in your text.
Structure of a Personal Statement
The classical motivational letter is divided into three parts — an introduction, the main part, and a conclusion.
Pay special attention to the writing of the introduction and conclusion. They will linger in the memory of the committee and help you make the right first impression.
All three parts of the personal statement should be clearly structured. For your letter to be interesting and informative, it may contain answers to the following questions:
- How and why did you become interested in the chosen subject or course?
- How can you demonstrate this interest?
- Why did you choose this institution?
- What career prospects are you considering?
- Have you had to overcome difficult situations and obstacles (financial, social, physical) to achieve your goals?
- What skills and personal qualities do you possess?
- What are your achievements and experience?
- How do you manifest the strengths of your personality in life?
- What should make a person who reads hundreds of such texts daily remember and highlight you?
Questions You Have to Ask Yourself
- First, answer a few questions about your motivation before you start writing. Below are a few useful things to do before you send your application to the university.
- Ask yourself what part of your life fits your interest in this area. Think about the challenges and mentors associated with this study program that have influenced you and your personal growth.
- Make a list of the things that make you different from all other applicants. This could be family, health, achievements, special projects, or anything else that sets you apart from others.
- Describe your career goals in detail. This program should help you realize your ambitions.
- Write about the projects you have completed, whether at work or during your studies, which are related to the program you have chosen. Let the commission know that you have enough experience and skills to succeed in this program.
Turn it into a Story
Write it as if you were writing a story about your personal and student life.
- The first two sentences should reflect your interest in the program.
- After the introductory part, you should justify your interest and describe why you are eligible for this program. Include information about our qualifications, experience, and career goals in this part. This section is an excellent place to talk about the research you have done during your studies, which is similar to the program.
- Attach some documents showing your experience and qualifications. It is not enough to tell the commission that you have a lot of experience in a particular field; it is more convincing to provide evidence in the form of awards, achievements, and grades.
- If you have gaps in your work or study history, justify them, and do not ignore them.
Main problems of personal statements
The career service of Cornell University in the UK has published a list of typical problems of the weak motivational letters:
- Complex long sentences;
- Melodramatic or smug statements;
- Listed achievements;
- Use of jargon;
- Blurred, abstract phrases;
- Spelling and grammatical mistakes.