Personal statements allow the faculty at graduate schools to supplement the information provided in your application.
This is your chance to lend some personality to your application. You need to highlight your background, explain why you are interested in your field, your career goals, and what motivates you in the short space of a few pages. You should also demonstrate why you would fit in with their program. And last, but certainly not least, you must prove your ability to write a coherent essay.
- Make sure your statement is grammatically correct and that there are no spelling errors.
- Give yourself enough time. You can not write a good statement in one evening and mail it the next day.
- Follow the guidelines on the application. If the directions say 2 pages, then 2 and a half are not acceptable.
- Answer all questions they may require of you.
- Try not to begin every sentence with "I" or you will appear self-centered.
- Do not use tired lines such as, "from the day I was born, I wanted to be a scientist," or, "I want to make the world a better place."
- Let the faculty know that you are enthusiastic and well-prepared.
- Demonstrate that you have done your homework and know that this is the best program for you.
- Proofread!!!! Have a friend read your statement, have an advisor read it, have the Development Officer read it, have a professor read it. These people have all seen enough of these to help you.