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Get straight to the point in every case, and address what they’ve asked you to address.
Here’s your chance to use all those “I”s you’ve been saving up.
The narrative should reflect your perspective, experiences, thoughts, and emotions.
Just make sure that you replace the generalizations with examples as you revise.
A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one.
Don’t make this a deadline task—now’s the time to write, read, rewrite, give to a reader, revise again, and on until the essay is clear, concise, and compelling. You know most of the things you need to say already. One of the basic tasks of the application essay is to follow the directions.
If you don’t do what they ask, the reader may wonder if you will be able to follow directions in their program.
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This handout will help you write and revise the personal statement required by many graduate programs, internships, and special academic programs.
It’s probably much more personal than any of the papers you have written for class because it’s about you, not World War II or planaria.
You may want to start by just getting something—anything—on paper. Think about the questions we asked above and the prompt for the essay, and then write for 15 or 30 minutes without stopping.