Admission, application and entrance essays: writing, editing, proofreading

Creating A Draft Of Your Personal Statement

Writing a draft is a first step in a finished product. By writing a draft of your personal statement you give yourself time to review and edit your statement before the deadline. Planning allows you to put the draft into the process so that there is ample time to write and revise before submission. This step in the process can help to make your writing polished and well written, so it makes sense to employ it. Most students have written a first draft before, but when creating a draft of your personal statement, there are some particular things to consider, such as:

  • Keep the writing brief. Stick to answering the question that is posed and limit extra information. Keep examples on point and succinct.
  • Write in the first person to make it truly personal and your statement. While many times using “I” is discouraged in writing, this is one circumstance that it is encouraged. Try to vary the sentences, however, so that the “I” phrasing does not feel too overused.
  • Use anecdotes that can make your essay unique. Family stories or experiences that have shaped your perspective on life or leadership can be powerful tools in a personal statement.
  • Think about the shape or format of your statement. Make sure that there is an introduction, body paragraphs that support the introductory points and a strong conclusion.
  • Make sure that the conclusion ties everything together well. Not only do you want to wrap up, but you want to leave the impression that you are a good fit for the program or school.

Once the draft is crafted, then the revisions can begin. Refer to the instructions or requirements when making the revisions so that you can check to make sure that the essential components of the statement are in fact in it. Read the statement entirely. See how it flows overall. Try to make the statement as succinct as possible to make your points and limit the fluff. Once you have made changes; reread or ask someone to read it for you. This will allow for a fresh perspective and it can catch some errors that may slip through when editing and revising one’s own work. A draft for your personal statement gets the good ideas flowing, gives you a framework to work with to edit and can allow for revisions that will make you shine.

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