Personal history statement writing basics

Personal history statement

To choose the best candidates from many applicants, manyeducational programs require extra materials to supplement theirapplication. A personal history statement is required todemonstrate how your important decision to pursue a particularcareer with the chosen college or university is informed by yourupbringing and background. Besides, this paper outlines how yourfuture academic goals are based on past experiences. Masteringthe main principles of writing a great personal history is yourstatement can let you distinguish yourself from many otherqualified candidates.

Helpful steps to successful writing

If you have no idea of how to start writing a personal statement,take several helpful steps that will guide you to excellentresults.

  • Research given prompts and identify the requirementsnecessary to be addressed in your paper;
  • Gather useful information to demonstrate why you’re a perfectfit;
  • Free write honestly and continuously about the main reasonsfor pursuing the chosen educational career, and use results asyour first draft;
  • Write down everything that comes to your mind about the pastexperiences that led you to the chosen institution, includinginteractions with teachers, working experiences, inspiring books,and others;
  • List personal accomplishments and experiences, but limityourself to the ones related to your intended academic interests;
  • List personal goals, but choose the ones related to thechosen institution;
  • Turn a rough draft of your personal statement into aremarkable expression of your reasoning for applying to aparticular institution;
  • Connect personal experiences with your goals andaccomplishments to demonstrate how your personal history enablesyou to achieve them;
  • Select a few past experiences that resulted in uniqueaccomplishments and future academic goals.

The definition of a personal statement

What is a personal statement? It’s all about writing a successfuladmission essay focused on personal reasoning for applying to aspecific field of study or academic program. You’re required totell the committee a personal story of who you really and how youdeveloped current educational interests. Is it similar to astatement of purpose? It’s not always so, and that’s why youshould know general distinctions between these papers.

A comparison of both statements

A statement of purpose is the formal paper focused on a summaryof your academic backgrounds, future goals, and researchinterests. You’re asked to explain your reasoning for applying toa particular institution and why you think that you can be a goodfit.

A personal statement is always a less formal paper focused onyour motivation and passion to enter the chosen educationalprogram or field. This essay is more flexible and has a biggeremphasis on your storytelling. Many modern colleges encouragetheir applicants to discuss relevant life challenges and how theysucceeded to overcome them. Both papers should be 1-3 pages longbased on the chosen program. When writing your personal historystatement, ensure that it contains the following:

  • Your motivation to enter a particular academic field;
  • Research interests;
  • Relevant life accomplishments, struggles, and experiences;
  • Personal reasoning for selecting a specific educationalprogram;
  • Explanations of why it’s a good fit;
  • A less formal format.

Important personal statement elements

Personal history statement

What do admissions officers search for in personal statements?They want to learn more about:

  • Applicants;
  • Their struggles;
  • Interests;
  • Motivations to enter the chosen field.

Through this paper, they can get to know candidates on a deeperand more personal level while learning about them in differentways than formal applications. There are some basic elements thata successful personal statement must have.

Your compelling story

This essay should tell your personal story and that’s why it mayresemble your autobiography. Basically, a personal statementintroduces your personality, motivations, interests, and reasonsto apply to the chosen institution. It’s mostly focused on aspecific personal history, from failures to your success.

However, all experiences should be related to a particular fieldof study while explaining everything you’ve learned and whatthese lessons mean in terms of your academic potential. Beconversational in this paper because you’re talking aboutyourself. You can use your authentic voice, include a joke, andtell readers more about your experiences. Although you’re writingan academic paper, it’s appropriate to be a bit less informal.

Inspirations for your academic interests

Admissions officers not only want to see well-defined interests,but also why applicants have them. That’s why a personalstatement must explain everything that motivates you to exploreinterests. Avoid the mistake of returning to the beginning tostart this paper and using broad statements because they lackzest and creativity.

Motivations for applying

A personal history should be focused on what motivated you toapply to the chosen institution and field. In general, mostadmissions officers want to get answers to these questions:

  • How will your future education help you achieve importantgoals?
  • Why is your application the right step?
  • Are there any problems or struggles faced by you?

Stay honest about your reasoning and answer all theabove-mentioned questions clearly.

Excellent writing skills

A winning personal statement proves that you can write coherentlyand cogently. Excellent writing skills are important for yoursuccessful application. In addition to telling your personalhistory, you need to use correct spelling, grammar,capitalization, and punctuation. Use logical and smoothparagraphs to discuss your ideas and play around with theirlength and form. Good writing doesn’t always equal big words.Remember that you’re writing about your personality, so use onlythe words that come naturally. On the other hand, avoid gettingtoo colloquial.

Explanations of any academic obstacles and challenges

Lastly, a personal statement provides you with a good chance toexplain any challenges and problems that you faced, includingeducational gaps and low grades. This paper is used to understandtheir causes and how you succeed to overcome these obstacles inyour education. You get a full rein to emphasize your successover different struggles and explain yourself.

Things that you shouldn’t do

Personal history statement

Don’t open your personal statement with any quote because it maytake too much space and most officers don’t need it. Usingclichés is another mistake, so you should consider unique ways totell a personal history while being honest and creative. However,don’t get too creative in this type of writing because your basicgoal is to seem a committed and serious candidate. Write yourstatement clearly and avoid different distractions, includingcolors, images, and informal fonts. Most importantly, it shouldfocus on personal successes, so use encouraging and strong wordswhile putting positive twists on hard life experiences.

Why you should start early and read instructions

Personal statement writing usually takes a lot of time and work,so you shouldn’t procrastinate until the last moment, especiallyif your deadlines are tight. Start working on this task as soonas possible and give yourself enough time to write a good paper.Although you can write it fast, it’s advisable to spend more timeon your statement to out more thought into how you present yourpersonal history.

Reading instructions is one of the most important steps becauseyour failure to follow them all is quite likely to lead to arejection. Determine how long your personal statement must be andwhat content it should include.

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