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.