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Writing a Statement


Writing a personal statement helps clarify your personal qualities and your goals. The essay must be concise, reveal the qualities that identify you and define a strong sense of purpose. Most personal statements have length constraints.

Begin with an exercise in free-writing

Recall the powerful experiences or memories in your life

Highlight occasions when you felt the greatest accomplishment or pride in yourself

Identify the qualities about yourself that are unique

Identify people who have impacted your personal goals and direction in life

Describe the experiences and stories behind the accomplishments on your resume

Reflect on how you have learned from these experiences

Use these stories to begin working on your personal statement. Undoubtedly, a pattern or theme will emerge from your free-writing exercise that will help you choose the moments that are the most significant to you as a person and to your direction in life.

Create a draft of your personal statement

Share the personal qualities of your identity, outlook and life experiences

Communicate how your goals were shaped by your experiences

Describe what led you to care or become passionate about your goals

Explain how you have prepared to meet these goals

Connect your goals to the scholarship opportunity and to the organization?s goals and vision

Be a good storyteller and allow the relevant details to seamlessly unfold before the reader

Incorporate anecdotes and images into your writing

Resist restating your resume with a cataloge of accomplishments

Create an essay within the required length or word constraints

Re-writing and editing

Every essay requires editing

Show your first draft to several readers

Allow enough time between your first draft and subsequent drafts to reflect on content and organization

Be critical; write and rewrite.

Keep separate versions, if you are not sure you want to omit something permanently.

Edit multiple times and with multiple readers.