- admission essay tips
A personal statement can either make you or break you. It can either get you admitted if your strengths are properly highlighted or it can send your application for admission to the reject bin. Knowing how to properly please and tickle the right spot of the Admissions Committee in a personal statement is not as complicated as you might think if you have an idea of what they want to see in your personal statement or admissions essay. To understand this better, your personal statement can be divided into two parts: the content or substantive part and the writing part per se.
Examples of personal statement’s grammatical or technical errors: No matter how interesting you may be as a prospective student in the school you’re applying for or how high your GPA is, if your grammar and technical writing skills do not convey that you are intelligent, more often than not, the reader will think that you’re not. A personal statement’s function is not only to give the reader an idea of who you are as a person and as a student but it also shows your analytical, organizational, and writing skills among others.
The first and most common mistake you can make are with your grammar like using the proper tense of the verb, punctuation, organizing your thoughts into a coherent sentence, and other technical errors. Carelessness often aggravates the situation such as misspellings or typographical errors. It shows your lack of commitment to your essay. The next worst thing you can do, if you haven’t already messed up your paper, is to use words or statements that even you can’t understand. Using big, highfaluting words may seem impressive but it can also come across as arrogance to the reader. In short, you may pass off as a big show-off. Always remember, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Best to keep your statements simple, substantiated, and direct to the point but avoid making the mistake of using informal language in writing. An example of this would be, “I was like totally excited to go to your school.” This translates to a BIG NO NO.
Examples of content-based errors: Another common mistake is what you put in your personal statement. You have to remember that you’re selling yourself. One of the most (if not the most) important things you have to do is to grab your reader’s attention and never let it go. Once they’re hooked on the first few sentences, you can be sure they’ll be interested to read the rest of what you wrote. To do this, avoid being vague and/or using clichés that more often than not are being used by every other personal statement writer. Make sure that the reader sees something different, yet real and interesting in your paper. For example, instead of saying “I have great leadership skills and I understand the value of teamwork” you can say, “ I once was the editor-in-chief of our school newspaper and I had to manage every department and coordinate with the editors to make sure that we meet the deadline with quality work.” This shows the reader of a concrete situation and practical application of your skills and abilities which makes it easier to conceptualize what kind of person and student you are.