Personal Statement Autobiographical Essay

Personal Statement Autobiographical Essay-66
3) Personal statements should be carefully crafted for each school to which students are applying.

3) Personal statements should be carefully crafted for each school to which students are applying.

Reveal why you are committed to making a difference in the world. Don’t try to share every interest, every societal concern, every accomplishment, every ambition, and every passion. Reveal your career goals and the source of the motivations for your ambitions.

Tell the story in an interesting, compelling, and perhaps amusing way. Show how you are already well along the path for success. Make clear what you want to study/do, why you would be an excellent student in this field, and how it will benefit you in the long run.

Help them to understand why you care about the things you care about. Avoid sentences that could have been written by absolutely anyone. They would rather meet the person who worked with the Sierra Club to help save bald eagles. Think of this as an opportunity, all-too-rare in life, to reflect calmly and creatively on who you are, who you want to be, and what you hope to do with your life.

___________________________________________________________ Checklist for Evaluating your Personal Statement Drafts A.

The most memorable personal statements are ones that have a clear theme or purpose that unifies the ideas and information presented. It's easy to over-write a one-page personal statement. Help your readers remember you (and your application) by using specific names, references and illustrations. Your life has been a journey, with planned and unexpected turns, with successful and frustrated goals, with hard-earned and accidental insights, with hoped-for but as-yet-unrealized achievements. Scholarships are looking for promising people, not high-powered profiles. Scholarship selection committees have seen and heard it all.

Sometimes you'll know what this theme should be in advance; sometimes it will emerge as you begin drafting your statement. Use the words and language you would naturally use in writing a thoughtful, intelligent letter to a friend or trusted mentor. For example, always say “my internship with the Sierra Club’s bald eagle project” rather than “my internship with a renowned environmental organization’s project to save an endangered species.” Note which sounds more real and natural, and which sounds impersonal and artificial. Your basic challenge in writing a compelling personal statement is to tell the story that makes sense of your life as it has been, is, and could be. Write to engage your reader, write in a way that invites him or her to want to meet and get to know you – even if your scholarship process does not involve an interview stage. Let your credentials and awards speak for themselves.The staff of the National Scholarships Office will be happy to assist UMD students and alumni with the personal statement.We will discuss ideas for the statement, and read and give feedback on drafts. Though the wording of the personal statement requirement may vary from scholarship to scholarship, here are some important things to remember. Think of the personal statement as an "intellectual autobiography." The statement should convey to your readers a clear, thoughtful picture or impression of you as a person who has distinct interests, motivations, accomplishments, aims and ideas. Aim to define a central idea, impression or theme you hope to convey.Don’t try to guess what the admissions committee wants to read. Just write honestly, simply, and clearly about yourself and your aspirations.Understand your motivations for applying and include them.2) Personal statements at most schools are typically read by faculty and staff.Professors are critical and carefully review the essays. They want to see if you are focused and understand the topics studied in their programs.Use your personal statement to talk to your readers about the things that motivate, inspire and shape you. Again, selection committees are looking for the person behind the credentials. Don’t distance your reader by using vague references or abstractions in your essay.Help them to understand what your specific accomplishments have meant to you, or how they have shaped you. Ask yourself if each and every sentence in your draft reflects some thought, fact, reflection or experience of your own. Avoid laundry lists of activities, etc., and focus on the select few experiences that have meant the most to you, or have had the greatest influence on your development and aims. You (or your roommate) may think it sounds more impressive to say “my internship with a renowned environmental organization’s project to save an endangered species,” but that doesn’t really tell the reader what organization you worked for or what species was being helped. Distilling your life into a compelling, informative one thousand word or one-page personal statement is a challenging task.Nearly all scholarship applications involve writing a personal statement.Sometimes this is the only piece of original writing required of applicants, other times there are additional short statements or project proposals to write.


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