Personal Statement Writing Help: It's Easy to be Smart

Writing your personal statement doesn’t have to be difficulty. By keeping in mind some key points, anyone can write an intelligent personal statement. The most important aspects of a great personal statement are:

  • Information
  • Clarity
  • Brevity
  • Grammar
  • Information

First, you need to consider what information should be included in your personal statement. This isn’t difficult because most personal statement assignments outline quite distinctly what should be included in the statement. Create a list of the facts and information you need to include to meet the assignment’s requirements, and then add other relevant information as necessary.


Clarity

Too often, students assume that “style” is more important than clarity. In truth, clarity itself is the most important element of style. Don’t be obscure. Present your information clearly and simply. That doesn’t mean you must abandon your own voice completely, but consider with each sentence whether you are saying something that needs to be said, and whether you are saying it as directly as you can.


Brevity

Every word, phrase, and sentence should be meaningful in your personal statement. You have a relatively low word count to express a lot of information, so be concise. Fluff is glaringly obvious to those who will be reading your statement. Avoid it at all costs.


Grammar

Good grammar and spelling are an absolute must when writing a personal statement. A personal statement’s express purpose is to present yourself in the best possible light, in writing. Even if you’re informative, clear, and concise, poor grammar or spelling will undermine everything else about your statement. If you have poor grammar or you’re a subpar speller, it’s essential to have your essay proofread by someone who does have excellent grammar and spelling skills. Don’t trust spellcheck in your word processing program to cover all of your mistakes; homonyms, for example, may go undetected. While good grammar and spelling may go unnoticed, mistakes will be instantly noticeable.


Other Tips

Organize your statement well by creating a thorough outline before beginning to write. Instead of writing the introduction first, save it until you’ve written the rest of your statement—writing the introduction after the fact gives you the opportunity to highlight key points as precisely as possible and leads to a more cohesive, intelligent essay. Finally, follow the assignment guidelines explicitly. Much as poor grammar can undermine your statement, failing to follow simple instructions can cause it to be dismissed without a serious reading.