What Every Personal Statement Needs to Include
What are the most important parts of the personal statement?
Although it may feel like your personal statement is important throughout – which it is – there are certain areas that need more focus and work than others. Individuals should allocate enough time to plan, write and edit their statement during the time they are applying via UCAS, but there are a few areas that need to be extra special. You may even find yourself wondering why do I have to write a personal statement? It’s not an uncommon question, but it’s an unfortunate necessity.
Your personal statement needs a good first sentence
The intro of a personal statement is a chance to interest the reader and fully capture them within your statement. It would be the equivalent to the first thing you said, and how you said it when meeting someone. When you meet someone, especially if it is important, for the first time most people try to form a good impression. This could include smiling, talking clearly and concisely, and being friendly. The same points can be transferred to your personal statement. Make the first statement strong, but also inviting and friendly.
Your personal statement needs a good first paragraph
The first paragraph will anchor your first sentence. A good personal statement will start strong and then have the next few sentences to back it up. Continue writing in the same way as you do with your initial sentence to ensure the first paragraph completely captures the reader. Now that the reader is interested they will continue to read the rest of your personal statement, and most importantly, will want to read it. If you’re struggling with writing your personal statement, then you should probably check out the personal statement examples available online
A personal statement needs to be grammatically correct
English grammar isn’t always the easiest thing to get your head round, especially when you are trying so hard to write a perfect personal statement. Grammar and spelling are one of the most important things when it comes to writing your statement. If a statement doesn’t make sense or has poor spelling the university may not even consider you for the course, and ignore all of the information included in the statement too. Have your friends, family, tutor and teachers read over your statement for feedback. They can also check for grammar and spelling. If you decide to use a Personal Statement Editor, then you will have your grammar and spelling covered.
A personal statement needs to be personal
A bit self-explanatory, but it is one of the most important factors when it comes to a personal statement. Universities want to hear and read about you. It doesn’t mean that you have to alter the entire statement or tell them your entire life story to make this happen. Write in a conversational, but the formal tone and tell the universities the best parts of you, including; your achievements, best attributes, your experience and why you will be a great student.
A good personal statement needs an effective ending
There are many different types of endings that students can choose to finish their personal statements with. Either concluding the entire statement, writing their statement similar to a timeline and finishing with the most recent information, or by referring to the beginning and the opening statement to end with a full circle. Any other type of ending is also suitable, as long as it makes sense and is strong enough for the admission tutors to remember it, or to form a decent impression of you. A Personal Statement conclusion is just as important as the opening! Of course, this can be different for Postgraduate Personal Statements.
What about the middle of the personal statement?
Although we have discussed that the beginning and the end of a personal statement are one of the most important parts of the text, it doesn’t imply that the middle can fall short. The entire statement needs to be strong, powerful and persuasive, but there are certain areas of the piece that will either grab the attention of the reader or leave a memorable impression. Don’t forget your entire middle section altogether if you want to spend too much time on the first sentence. As a personal statement can only be as good as it’s worst sections.
Ensure you discuss relevant things
It can be easy to go off topic when writing a personal statement. It is a difficult task that students can struggle with. One of the most common aspects of writing a personal statement that individuals find difficult is writing about themselves, and writing about how great they are. Completing this task on paper can make it harder to articulate your ideas. To avoid going off topic try to read it back after each paragraph, ask friends and family to read through it, or to refer to your plan and notes as often as you can. For instance, f you’re looking to study a History degree, make sure that you mention your love of History before you conclude your statement.
Avoid talking about negative things
There may be some cases that a student needs to talk about something less positive, such as a health issue, a hardship they encountered during their studies or a mitigating circumstance that affected their grades. If this is the case, then students should then talk about how they overcome this negative aspect or event and discuss how they still achieved their goals despite the hardship. Universities will admire the student’s truth and courage to talk about that subject.
Your personal statement needs to make sense
A final vital factor when it comes to writing your personal statement is that it needs to make sense. Candidates can have a killer first paragraph and be able to talk about their achievements well, but they may not have structured it properly. Or they may have missed points out within their timeline, discussed things that are off-topic or not ensured the statement flows coherently. Essentially, your personal statement needs to make sense from start to finish and anybody should be able to read and understand it. The points should be clear, the paragraphs well structured and the entire piece flows easily.