Important Tips to Write an Effective Personal Statement

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You already know most of what you need to know to write a quality personal statement. Things you’ve already learned in your English classes about essay writing apply to your college personal statement as well: organize effectively, write with personality and emotional commitment (what we call voice), use vivid word choices, and proofread your work for conventions errors. Sound familiar? And here’s the best single piece of advice I can give you: start early, so that you can revise thoroughly and meaningfully. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, make yourself start early so you can write more than a single draft. If you think you “write best under pressure,” don’t kid yourself. Give yourself the time to do your best work.

So let’s talk about organization. You’ve probably written several essays for school. And your teacher, I would hope, will have talked to you about how to organize an essay. But if you, like Jane were busy watching funny cat videos that day, let me refresh your memory.

Begin with an attention-getting intro, or hook. You can look at my video on hooks as well. Then include or imply your thesis, the main point of your personal statement, which in this case is, “you should admit me to your school.” The body of your personal statement will show the reader why you should be admitted. Don’t talk a lot about things already in your application. They already know those things and need a human face to put on your GPA, your SAT or ACT scores, your school activities, etc. Instead, the body of your personal statement should make clear that you are a real human being, not just some phony trying to tell them what they want to hear. And that if they give you the opportunity to get an education at their college or university, you’ll go out into the world after graduation and do meaningful things with it.

Your conclusion should be concise; don’t ramble on after you’ve made your point. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to directly say that you hope they’ll give you the opportunity to show them what you can do, or something like that. I made a whole other video on personal statement organization, so consider watching that for more detailed information.

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