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Writing a Graduate School Application Personal Statement by Bobby Austin

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Writing a Graduate School Application Personal Statement by
Article Posted: 11/18/2018
Article Views: 947
Articles Written: 5
Word Count: 740
Article Votes: 0
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Writing a Graduate School Application Personal Statement

Most graduate schools application process requires a personal statement where individuals have to discuss how their life experiences motivated them to pursue the field of interest. The applicant’s background and life experiences should be based on their cultural, geographical, financial, and educational aspects of life. All personal statements are often read by professors who serve on admissions committees in the department to which individuals are applying. The applicants should research on the areas of specialty of the school to which they are applying, and establish what the department wants in a graduate student.

The candidates making applications should always remember that the admissions committees are often sorting through numerous applications to establish the most appropriate students. Therefore, the candidates are expected to quickly engage their readers by demonstrating unique qualities for their applications to be considered. Most admission committees consider applications with a particular format as the best. The best personal statements often begin with a strong introduction, which is followed by the body, then a conclusion.

When writing a personal statement, the applicants are expected to be specific in words used and in details given. The applicants should be honest and confident in their statements, and provide accurate information regarding their life experiences and background. Each paragraph should be formatted using the same method to allow the members of the admissions board to read through the work without forgetting the main points. For instance, the applicants are encouraged to begin every paragraph following the first body paragraph with a transition phrase, then provide a logical topic sentence supported with evidence.

Most admission committees also discourage applicants from using clichés when writing personal statements. Clichés should be avoided because they make the statement to lose its meaning as the reader has encountered the same phrases severally. Additionally, clichés create an impression of lack of creativity, originality, and lack of thought as to what the applicants are communicating. In addition, most institutions discourage applicants from including detailed information regarding their academic performances in the personal statements. Similarly, the applicants should avoid putting excessive emphasis on individuals who have motivated them to pursue the selected course, and focus on themselves.

The introduction should clearly define the purpose of the personal statement. For an introduction to be distinctive, the applicants should consider beginning with a short sentence that provides the reasons they are interested in studying the area being applied for. The applicants’ reasons could be backed up by a short story about themselves or their mentors, linking it with how it inspired them to pursue the course being applied for. The story must be interesting, relevant, specific, current, and should be mentioned in the opening line. The applicants should demonstrate their understanding of the course to be pursued when discussing why they are interested in the program. Additionally, candidates should use the active voice with strong and appropriate verbs while writing the introduction of a personal statement.

Most admission boards require that the body of all personal statements comprise the applicant’s educational background, opportunities, and challenges. The applicants should summarize their educational background in the first paragraph of the statement’s body. The candidates are expected to include all the relevant information about their education, including stating their performance in various institutions initially studied. Additionally, the applicants should address any challenges encountered while studying in various educational institutions. The challenges could be based on societal issues, health problems, and financial constraints. The candidates should also explain how these issues contributed to their academic inconsistencies if any. The applicants should expound on the reasons for studying their selected course, explain their professional goals, and elaborate on their source of inspiration in the second paragraph of the personal statement’s body. The applicants should then provide reasons that justify them as the best fit for the course selected, based on the given personal profile in the third paragraph of the body.

When writing the conclusion, the applicants should focus on recapping what has been mentioned in the statement without being redundant. The candidates should avoid introducing an entirely new concept while concluding the statement. The topic sentence should summarize what was initially mentioned in the thesis statement. While concluding the personal statement, the applicants should reaffirm their interest in the chosen course of study by including the relevant characteristics of the selected area. The personal statement should not duplicate the information in the application statement of purpose or the course application resume.

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