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How to Write a Personal Statement for College

Updated on June 4, 2015

6 Tips for Writing the Personal Statement

Your personal statement is a great way of letting college admission officers know why you should be accepted into their school. Although, it's only one of many factors that college admission officers examines, it also helps to give a context for the rest of your application. That's why it is very important to be as honest and open in your writing. You also need to be able to set yourself apart from other candidates.

1.) Write About Your Ideal Self: This is just to get you thinking about who you want to be, who you think your parents want you to be, and who you think the college admission officers want you to be. This is just to get you writing and to reflect a bit on the person you actually are.

2.) Understand and Explain Yourself: College admission officers want to see you go through a process of careful reflection and self examination in your writing. Conducting interviews with those who have known you for a long time is helpful in understanding who you are as a person, and will help you better explain yourself when you begin writing.

Ask interviewees questions about where they have seen you shining in the past and where they see you shining now, and then take note of that. That should eventually inspire you to ask yourself these questions in order to understand and explain yourself in greater detail in your writing.

3.) Be Honest: Don't embellish your achievements because you are only cheating yourself by doing this. College admission officers can tell when someone is telling them something they want to hear, which is something you want to avoid doing.

4.) Set Yourself Apart: Keep in mind how you would distinguish yourself from others. Also, college admissions officers like to look for obstacles you have encountered and overcame.

5.) Be Coherent: Write about one topic at a time.

6.) Rewrite, Rewrite, and Rewrite: It's important that your personal statement is not filled with any grammatical errors, and it can be easily read. Make sure to read it out loud to yourself and others that are close to you. See what works, and what does not. Make sure to be as detailed in your writing, but also keep the word limit in mind.

In short, these are just some of the ways that can guide you in writing your personal statement to appeal to college admission officers.


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