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Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

What Makes a Good Grad School Personal Statement?

❶Tumble dryer buyer's guide Vented, heat pump or condenser? These goals let the reader know that choosing you will have a significant impact.

A General Procedure of Completing Personal Statements

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However, here are two small changes I would make to improve it: Want to improve your GRE score by 7 points? We have the industry's leading GRE prep program. Built by world-class instructors with 99th percentile GRE scores , the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through machine learning data science, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.

For twenty-three years, my grandmother a Veterinarian and an Epidemiologist ran the Communicable Disease Department of a mid-sized urban public health department. The stories of Grandma Betty doggedly tracking down the named sexual partners of the infected are part of our family lore.

Grandma Betty would persuade people to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, encourage safer sexual practices, document the spread of infection and strive to contain and prevent it. Indeed, due to the large gay population in the city where she worked, Grandma Betty was at the forefront of the AIDS crises, and her analysis contributed greatly towards understanding how the disease was contracted and spread.

My grandmother has always been a huge inspiration to me, and the reason why a career in public health was always on my radar. This is an attention-grabbing opening anecdote that avoids most of the usual cliches about childhood dreams and proclivities.

This story also subtly shows that I have a sense of public health history, given the significance of the AIDs crisis for public health as a field. Recent years have cemented that interest. In January , my parents adopted my little brother Fred from China. If I were to take another pass through this paragraph, the main thing I would change is the last phrase.

It is not right that some people have access to the best doctors and treatment while others have no medical care. I want to pursue an MPH in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia because studying social factors in health, with a particular focus on socio-health inequities, will prepare me to address these inequities. The interdisciplinary approach of the program appeals to me greatly as I believe interdisciplinary approaches are the most effective way to develop meaningful solutions to complex problems.

In this paragraph I make a neat and clear transition from discussing what sparked my interest in public health and health equity to what I am interested in about Columbia specifically: This paragraph also serves as a good pivot point to start discussing my academic and professional background. My undergraduate education has prepared me well for my chosen career.

For example, in a culture where most illnesses are believed to be caused by witchcraft, as is the case for the Zande people of central Africa, any successful health intervention or education program would of necessity take into account their very real belief in witchcraft.

In this paragraph, I link my undergraduate education and the skills I learned there to public health. The very brief analysis of tailoring health interventions to the Zande is a good way to show insight and show off the competencies I would bring to the program.

I now work in the healthcare industry for one of the largest providers of health benefits in the world. In addition to reigniting my passion for data and quantitative analytics, working for this company has immersed me in the business side of healthcare, a critical component of public health. This brief paragraph highlights my relevant work experience in the healthcare industry. I intend to pursue a PhD in order to become an expert in how social factors affect health, particularly as related to gender and sexuality.

I intend to pursue a certificate in Sexuality, Sexual Health, and Reproduction. Working together with other experts to create effective interventions across cultures and societies, I want to help transform health landscapes both in America and abroad. This final paragraph is about my future plans and intentions. Switching those two sentences and discussing my certificate goals within the MPH and then mentioning my PhD plans would make a lot more sense.

This was a successful personal statement; I got into and attended! It has strong examples, clear organization, and outlines what interests me about the program its interdisciplinary focus and what competencies I would bring a background in cultural analysis and experience with the business side of healthcare.

However, a few slight tweaks would elevate this statement to the next level. So you need more samples for your personal statement for graduate school? Most of examples are posted as part of writing guides published online by educational institutions.

This selection of ten short personal statements for graduate school and fellowship programs offers an interesting mix of approaches. Some focus more on personal adversity while others focus more closely on professional work within the field. The writing in some of these statements is a little dry, and most deploy at least a few cliches. Read any specific questions mentioned. Sometimes, an institution or organization will provide a list of specific questions or topics they want you to address.

If this is the case, review the list carefully so that you can outline answers that directly answer those concerns. Outline the basic structure of your statement. You will generally only have pages to fit all of your information into your statement. Outlining your statement before you write will make sure you cover all your most salient points in your limited space.

Try to pick critical points to cover. Write about what interests you. You will be able to write more convincingly and more passionately if you write about events, goals, experiences, or ideas that you already feel passionate about.

Address issues specifically brought up by the institution or organization. If there are any topics that the reader demands to see, then make sure that those are included in your personal statement. Create a strong beginning. Your first paragraph must grab the reader's attention.

Use a personal anecdote to hook your readers. Provide as much detail in the first paragraph as possible. Introduce the main idea of your personal statement and describe how it connects to your narrative. Save any elaborate details or related notes and experiences for the body of your essay, though.

Write a body to support your statement purpose. The paragraphs following your introduction should bolster your statement purpose. Focus each paragraph on a single point, and make sure you relate each point back to your statement purpose or the goals you mentioned. Frame your undergrad research, your relevant coursework, and your achievement as tools that helped prepare you for your graduate project.

Do not be vague or general. Do tell the reader about experiences, goals, and ideas unique to you. Maintain a positive tone. Your statement should show how you will address problems and create solutions, and your tone should reflect that. Your first draft can be as long or short as you need it to be, but many institutions and organizations have a word count or page count limits on personal statements.

If your statement is not long enough, you have space to add more supporting information. Include more specific detail to create a fuller picture. Alternatively, you could introduce another point that contributes to your overall statement purpose.

Avoid telling the reader why something is important to you. When trimming your personal statement down, scan the essay for any parts that do not directly address your point. You should also cut points that only serve to provide background information. That means that if your statement is too long, it needs to be cut down. Read your personal statement aloud. Reading the piece out loud will give you a more accurate idea of how it sounds. As you read, listen for errors or clunky wording. You should also note any sentences that seem out of place or awkward.

Given that information, you will want your statement to readily engage the readers, and to clearly demonstrate what makes you a unique candidate--apart from the rest of the stack. Do not try to hide, make excuses for, or lie about your weaknesses. In some cases, a student needs to explain a weak component of his or her application, but in other cases it may be best not to mention those weaknesses at all.

Rather, write an essay that focuses on your strengths. Each piece of information you give about yourself in the essay should somehow support your thesis. Don't summarize your entire life. Don't include needless details that take space away from a discussion of your professionalism, maturity, and ability to do intellectual work in your chosen field. Think of the essay as not only an answer to a specific question but as an opportunity to introduce yourself, especially if your program doesn't interview applicants.

Use technical terminology and such techniques as passive voice where appropriate. Center for Writing Studies: Quick Links Home Search Contact. Context Considerations How are personal statements read, and by whom?

One Process for Writing the Personal Statement Analyze the question s asked on a specific application. Take a personal inventory see below. Write out a sentence response to each question. Revise your essay for form and content. Ask someone else - preferably a faculty member in your area - to read your essay and make suggestions for further revision.

Personal Inventory Questions What makes you unique, or at least different from, any other applicant? What attracts you to your chosen career? What do you expect to get out of it? When did you initially become interested in this career?

How has this interest developed? When did you become certain that this is what you wanted to do? What solidified your decision? What are your intellectual influences? What writers, books, professors, concepts in college have shaped you?

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Write your personal statement now. Course descriptions mention the qualities, skills and experience it’s useful to have for each subject – take note of these to help you decide what to write about. Remember it’s the same personal statement for all the courses you apply to, so avoid mentioning unis and colleges by name. Most students.

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One Process for Writing the Personal Statement Analyze the question(s) asked on a specific application. Research the school and/or program to which you are applying. Read our graduate school personal statement examples and in depth analysis of a sample personal statement for graduate school for tips on your own essay. Even quantitative and science disciplines typically require some writing, so it’s important that your personal statement shows strong writing skills.

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The personal statement essay is your chance to state your achievements and qualifications in a manner that will be compelling to admissions committees. Tips for Writing a Personal Statement Reflection. Reflect on your academic and extracurricular experiences and how they have shaped your motivations for .