How to Write the Personal Statement for College Applications

 

what is a personal statement for college applications

Apr 14,  · Read your personal statement aloud as you edit to make sure that it sounds natural. Finally, ask someone else to read it back to you. Sometimes, hearing the personal statement in another voice can highlight parts that need clarity or feel awkward. Writing a personal statement for your college application can definitely be a daunting task. Write your own awesome personal statement with our COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY LAB, which will guide you through the process, providing tips and even more examples along the way. Before you start, check out our own sample essays—or scroll down for the Best of the Web. Whether you're an athlete, a. Jun 20,  · The professional editors at EssayEdge can help you transform your personal statement into something that will stand out among the flood of essays from similar candidates. Whether you’re off to college, graduate school, an MBA program, medical school, or law school, we’ve got the right editor for you at an affordable price.


What Is a Personal Statement? Everything You Need to Know About the College Essay


It makes sense: The personal statement, required by most four-year colleges, asks a lot of teenagers, requiring them to demonstrate in words or less what makes them unique, what factors have shaped them into the individuals they are today.

They must reflect on their lives and write a clear, concise memoir, a task that would be challenging for most adults, let alone a 17 or year-old. And a memorable personal statement can give students with less-than-spectacular stats an edge over the competition. In talking to one student who claimed her life was boring, I found out she had grown up in a Tibetan refugee camp.

I told her I thought that might interest college admissions officers. But while loss and upheaval make for obvious memoir fodder, some of the best personal statements center on smaller, quieter experiences; the trick is rendering them with style and suspense. Brainstorming is a good place to start.

When students feel stuck, I have them make lists: I tell them to write down five to ten events from their lives that would have to be included were someone to write their biography. Then I have them list people they admire, and times when they experienced failures and successes. Also helpful is to ask teenagers to describe themselves what is a personal statement for college applications talk about their hobbies and interests.

One student was quick to identify herself as a feminist; she also mentioned she was a fencer who had, on more than one occasion, what is a personal statement for college applications, defeated her own dad in matches. By combining those two passions, we had an essay about learning to fence as a feminist act, how it endowed her with the strength and dexterity to fight the patriarchy.

It can help to look at the Common Application essay prompts as they do this, and consider which one their story might fit. The other topic to avoid is the charity trip or voluntourism experience through which the student discovered poverty and learned not to take what they have for granted.

Her Campus adds to the list of no-nos any politically controversial topics, lists of accomplishments, and sob stories. It does make for a compelling essay when a writer depicts herself as a person with agency and resilience, though I think that any subject can become a personal statement, if it is focused and crafted into a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Another wrote about being ostracized in middle school, not an uncommon experience, but she zoomed into moments of bullying with such specificity that I felt her anguish and her strength when she persevered, what is a personal statement for college applications. For an essay about a sick parent, for instance, a student might what is a personal statement for college applications with the moment his parents told him about the illness, and describe his own thoughts and feelings about it.

The student who wrote about being bullied, for instance, led with dialogue, depicting a moment when she overheard classmates talking about her, what is a personal statement for college applications.

Often, once writers have their beginning, the rest of the essay flows from there. But the final sentences are what will linger with readers, so they need to be carefully chosen. The best way to become adept at this form of writing is to read; luckily, personal essays abound these days, so encourage your kids to seek out some examples.

Some schools also provide examples of personal statements they loved— check out these from Johns Hopkins as a jumping off point. As with any other form of writing, editing is a critical part of the process.

When I work with students on this, we look at their drafts on both macro and micro levels, considering organization, pacing, and clarity, as well as word choice and sentence structure. Questions to consider during the revision phase are, does this tell a story? Does it grab me at the beginning and maintain my interest throughout? Does it conclude in a way that makes sense and is impactful? Does it answer one of the prompts? Does it show me something interesting about who this person is as an individual?

Keep an eye out for repetition what is a personal statement for college applications wordiness. Alanna Schubach is a freelance writer, teacher, and college advisor, and has coached high school students in personal statement writing through the Sunnyside College Readiness Program and the Gotham Writers Workshop.

The A. Alanna Schubach. Filed to: college applications Filed to: college applications college applications College Teens Writing.

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College Examples of Awesome Personal Statements

 

what is a personal statement for college applications

 

In addition to standardized test scores and transcripts, a personal statement or essay is a required part of many college applications. The personal statement can be one of the most stressful parts of the application process because it's the most open ended. Apr 14,  · Read your personal statement aloud as you edit to make sure that it sounds natural. Finally, ask someone else to read it back to you. Sometimes, hearing the personal statement in another voice can highlight parts that need clarity or feel awkward. Writing a personal statement for your college application can definitely be a daunting task. Jun 20,  · The professional editors at EssayEdge can help you transform your personal statement into something that will stand out among the flood of essays from similar candidates. Whether you’re off to college, graduate school, an MBA program, medical school, or law school, we’ve got the right editor for you at an affordable price.