What many applicants complain about is that a personal statement is an added burden over the many requirements of their prospective schools. True as it may seem, personal statements are required for a reason and that is to show who you are as a person. Most colleges, professional schools, graduate programs and MBA programs don’t have the resources to conduct a personal interview of most of their applicants. A personal statement allows you to present and market yourself to your chosen school because the document boosts your credentials and academic records.
In writing an excellent personal statement, it is helpful to use examples of personal statements and writing tips as a guide. You should also avoid the following most common mistakes when referring to examples of personal statements.
1. When using examples of personal statements in drafting a personal statement, plagiarism MUST be avoided.
There are people who submit plagiarized personal statements when applying to a college, a law school, a medical school, MBA programs or graduate programs. Unfortunately, plagiarism is one of the worst mistakes a person can commit when writing a paper. Plagiarism may get a student kicked out of a school if he is caught. It also shows the admissions committee how unethical the applicant is.
Just because personal statements are not graded, however, does it mean that an applicant may plagiarize it. In fact, plagiarizing examples of personal statements, even if the error may not be detected, is a poor way of presenting one’s character and capabilities. So, do write your own personal statements and market yourself as honestly and as dignified as possible.
2. Studying examples of personal statements not related to one’s preferred course
When applying to a college, a law school, a medical school, MBA programs or other graduate programs, there are specific instructions, styles of writing or topics for personal statements. For example, when applying to Princeton Medical School, applicants must download a file to know the instructions and content required for a medical school personal statement. Moreover, to guide applicants, some universities provide examples of personal statements specific to each course of study.
Reading examples of personal statements not related to the course one is applying for is one of the most common mistakes. So, to prevent writing the wrong personal statement, refer to the examples of personal statements proper to your chosen course.
3. Rewording examples of personal statements
Rewording examples of personal statements is a form of plagiarism and should not be practiced. The examples of personal statements are only there as a guide on how you should write. When examples of personal statement are merely reworded, applicants may fail to write well-outlined and well-thought of personal statements. Such personal statements will reflect disorganized thinking and personality. So, following the examples of personal statements, do stick to the basic practices in writing.
4. Fabricating personal information based on examples of personal statements
The danger in fabricating personal information based on examples of personal statements is producing exaggerated or unrealistic personal statements. Some applicants format their essays in a manner similar to examples of personal statements and also come up with false personal experiences to impress readers. But contrary to what they think, applicants who exaggerate details in their essays are some of the least agreeable to the expert readers. So, to write a truly appealing essay, research on tips in writing personal statements.
5. Relying solely on examples of personal statements for instruction
Just because there are many examples of personal statements available on the Internet does it mean that you should disregard the instructions for writing prescribed by the schools of your choice. Be careful because some examples of personal statements do not follow specific school instructions either. On top of that, you must remember that personal statements are not the only documents needed during application. For Princeton Medical school, for example, the steps and instructions for the application process is posted in the school’s official website.