4 Things Every Student Should Remember When Writing a Personal Statement
One of the most important things students will do when applying to college is writing a personal statement. This is a chance for students to truly express themselves and represent who they are as an individual to some college admissions committees. Because there’s so much pressure, many students struggle to write their statement and represent themselves in the best light possible. Writer’s block is common throughout the college application process, but it is essential that students get past it and write a fantastic personal statement by the deadline – our private Irvine college admissions consultants are here to help you get into your top choice University.
1. Write now edit later
Many applicants try and write their statement all in one draft, meaning they want their grammar and sentence structure to be perfect the first time around. This is one of the best ways to cause writer’s block and make a student overly frustrated. Instead, students are encouraged to just write without worrying about grammar, spelling, or even paragraph structure. If a student has written a truly good essay, even if it’s messy and hard to read, they have taken a huge step towards communicating themselves effectively. At that point all students need to do is edit and polish what they’ve already written.
2. Be truthful
Most students try to brainstorm to think what the admissions committee wants from them to gain acceptance. This will often make a personal statement seem less than genuine or ‘cookie cutter’ and it’ll be hard to stand out from the crowd. It’s better for students to be honest about who they are and what they’ve done so far in life so the admissions committee can engage in a holistic approach when deciding who will be accepted. However, students should always represent themselves in their best light and they should not shy away from talking about all of the interesting things they’ve done, but they should look inside themselves when talking about experiences and goals.
3. Write several individual essays
Writing can be stressful and time-consuming especially when college admittance is on the line. As a result, many students write one essay and send it to every college. If all the colleges a student is interested in using the Common Application, and they all asked the same question this approach may end up being OK, but that’s rarely the case. Students are encouraged to write several individual essays geared towards each specific prompt provided by the college. The prompts may be similar, but it’s still important to gear an essay towards each question. This will likely require students to leave a fair amount of time to dedicate to their statement, and they should remember that they will produce higher quality material if they write when they are alert and focused (READ: 5 Signs You Need a Math Tutor in College).
4. Edit and then edit again
Although a student’s first draft can be messy, it’s essential that the final draft of a personal statement is incredibly polished and easy to read. This means that students will need to edit more than once. It’s a good idea for students to put their first draft away for a day or so and come back to edit it with fresh eyes. They may need to do this several times before the essay communicates what they’re trying to say within the word count allotted. Applicants can also benefit from sharing their draft with someone else to see if they were able to get their points across to a third-party. A second pair of eyes can help a writer determine what is clear and concise and what information might not be coming across as efficiently as possible.
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