Tips on How to Write a Personal Statement - ngengepgs

By Ngenge Ransom Tanyu
2 Minutes

Going to school, you need to know that you will reach a level when you will be asked to write a personal statement. This article gives you important tips on writing a good personal statement when applying for admissions and scholarships.

The first thing to do when writing a personal statement is to carry out enough research as to the study or school you wish to apply to. Clearly define your goals and explain the reasons why you want to take up the particular course. Talk to one or two graduates from the department or school and professors, read articles from a journal related to the school, study or scholarship.

Demonstrate your passion for the field; what thrills you about the research you have done or you would like to do? Provide concrete examples of your skills, interests, and previous research in the field, and how they might inform the research you would like to pursue in your studies. Show that you are familiar with the procedures and expectations of scholarship and professional training in your field, and that you have the character, qualities and experience to thrive. Use the professional language of  the field to describe your interests.

Make sure you avoid cliché statements like, “I’ve always wanted to help people,”  “I have always loved reading novels.” They are both overused and uninteresting to admissions committees. Using vague, clichéd phrases to explain your interest in the field undermines the seriousness and professionalism of the your endeavor. Instead, try to provide a specific anecdote that illustrates what sparked and sustains your passion. Personal statements can have  moments of humor that  reflect your character/personality, but the primary purpose is not to show how clever you; it is to present yourself as an interesting and potentially inspiring future candidate. Focus on one or two experiences that illustrate the qualities and interests that will make you a successful applicant.

You can start with a story when drafting your personal statement. Use the first paragraph to tell a narrative that illustrates your intellectual passion and personal commitment to the field. Use the middle section of your essay to focus on your intellectual experience with the field and your goals for future research. Conclude with why you would excel in your studies, especially at the particular institution to which you are applying. 

After writing an initial draft, set up an appointment with a professor or mentor to discuss the content of the draft. Revise the draft and then arrange a meeting with a professor or mentor again to look over your statement and offer suggestions. Revise your draft again and polish the essay in terms of structure, style, and grammar.

Finally, Tailor each statement to the question asked by each school or study program. Each statement has to reflect your knowledge of that particular study program or scholarship. Contact Ngenge-PGS Team for more on this.

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