The Biggest Mistakes in Personal Statement Writing
1. Choosing a subject or thesis simply looking for a reaction
The message that you choose to send will set the tone for your personal statement. If you choose something that is trendy but you are not interested in it, your personal statement will suffer. Choose something that are passionate about and make you reader find the interest in it, just like you did.
2. Repetition of material stated in resume, application, transcript, etc
There is no need to repeat yourself here. You only have this one set of application papers to make an impression of yourself. Don’t waste it by saying the same things over and over again.
3. Censoring of negative material
If there is something on your record or in your transcript that you know is going to me made visible to your juror, address it in your personal statement. This is one way to ensure that you are fully covered against misunderstandings or any type of judgement.
This is perhaps the most common of all of the biggest mistakes in personal statement writing. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time before the essay is due to digest and perfect your personal statement.
5. Use of language that is unnatural or too scholarly
Writing as you speak is always the best way to convey you message. You are very likely to get lost in your own words if you are using them in ways that you never have before. be yourself!
6. Exaggeration or stretching the truth
You know the saying “better to ask forgiveness than permission”? Not in this case? Lying in your personal statement can get you accepted and then expelled just like that!
7. Focusing on another person more than oneself
You are the subject of this essay, not your inspiration, no matter how great they are. Take a few sentences to introduce important people, then describe what you took from them and how you plan to use it in the future.
8. Insinuation of arrogance or over-confidence
Giving accounts of experiences and character traits that qualify you is great. But don’t take it too far. Arrogance is a huge turn-off to a juror!
9. Cold, impersonal writing style (passive voice)
Use a lively, vibrant writing style when writing about yourself. Speak only in the active voice, using verbage that includes you in the essay and gives the reader a clear picture of who you are. Avoid passive voice at all costs.
10. Negatively portraying the academic entity
Never speak ill of the academic entity you are writing to. This is definitely grounds for an automatic no.
11. Lack of proofreading by peers (spelling and grammar mistakes)
Proofreading can be just as important as outlining. Spelling and grammar mistakes are elementary and should be avoided at all costs. Always have an outsider review your essay before submitting it. Don’t tell them the intended message of your personal statement. See if they figure it our on their own. This is the true test of the quality of you personal statement.
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