Examples of Personal Statements: Writing Your Essay Like an Expert Storyteller

You do not know how to start your personal statement? Then here are some tips that will help you write your essay like an expert storyteller:

Intrigue your readers right from the start

One of the most important factors you have to consider when writing your personal statement is to grab the attention and interest of your reader right from the start of your essay. Just like a good book has an introduction that captures your imagination to draw you into the story, your personal essay should do the same. There are a number of ways to capture the attention of the reader from the very first line of your essay, and here are a few of them:
– Use an anecdote that gives insight into what the rest of your essay will be about.
– Use a favorite quote of yours that relates to the theme and tone of your essay.
– Give background information that is essential to the flow of the essay.

Lead them into details that make sense

To hold the attention of the reader, you will have to continue your story-telling by using a logical progression. For example, instead of just talking about your background and then jumping into another topic, you should guide the reader by connecting each and every topic in your essay. You have to keep in mind that, aside from the information in your application form, the admissions committee has no idea who you are. This is why you need to tell them the entire story and get them involved by telling them about your personal insights and experiences, such as how you developed admirable character traits as a result of these experiences.

Make your ending thought-provoking and persuasive

Finally, every good story has a smashing ending, so you will have to find a way to write a great conclusion to your essay. Here are some of the elements of a good conclusion:
– The conclusion should wrap up your entire essay by alluding to your introduction and body.
– The conclusion should lead the reader to new understandings, insights, or thoughts.
– The conclusion should be persuasive and perhaps even inspiring.

Remember, the main goal for your personal statement is to convince the admission committee that you make a good candidate for acceptance into their school. This is why you have to capture the attention of the committee, hold it throughout the entire essay, and leave a lasting impression on them with a strong conclusion.

Related links:

Academic success tips – Review on an academic success blog
Academic productivity – Review on an academic productivity blog
Narrative descriptive essay – About writing a narrative descriptive statement
Political beliefs – Writing about your political beliefs in the essay
Fictional character – Using fictional characters for your essay subject

Logical Progression – About the importance of a good application essay
Med school essay – How to write a med school application essay
Grad school essay – How to write a grad school application essay
College essay – Tips for college application essays
MBA essay – Writing a good MBA application essay

Great Starting Points for Your Essay College Admission

It can be difficult to start your personal statement, especially if you are not too sure what you will be writing about in the first place. To help relieve some of your stress, it may be helpful to approach your personal statement like you would any other essay. When you start your essay, you want it to be interesting, attention-capturing, and downright captivating. Here are some ways on how you can write an amazing introduction:

Thought-provoking questions

You have probably read one or two great essays that start with a question. The reason a question makes for a good introduction is that it instantly gets your reader to interact. By asking a question, the reader will think about how to answer the question, how they feel about the question, and why you posed the question to begin with. Try to use a thought-provoking question to entice your reader to keep reading out of interest.


Another great way to start your personal statement is to use an analogy. It is important though that the analogy that you use is related to who you are and what your story is. By using an analogy, it engages your reader to think about the relations in your analogy and what the analogy says about you, the writer. In essence, an analogy is a comparison of sorts and this is why it makes for a good introduction, because you get the reader to think about what you are saying and the connections you are making. Just make sure that the analogy you use is meaningful, relative, and interesting.

Touching stories

Third, you can start your essay with a touching story or something personal. Although this may be rather overused in the personal statement, it all depends on how you tell your story. The operative word here is “personal.” You want to get personal with your reader and tell them what makes you unique, what makes you who you are, and why who you are makes a good addition to their college. Try not to be too over the edge when you write touching stories; just tell the story naturally and, most of all, tell it from the heart.

Related links:

Academic Success Tips – Review on an academic success blog
Academic Productivity – Review on an academic productivity blog
Narrative Descriptive Essay – About writing a narrative descriptive statement
Political Beliefs – Writing about your political beliefs in the essay
Fictional Character – Using fictional characters for your essay subject

Introduction Strategies – On writing a solid essay introduction
Essay Introductions – How to start your essay right
Effective Introductions – Five effective essay introductions
Writing Introductions – How to write a good essay introduction
Introduction for Argument – Writing introductions for argumentative essays

Study Successful blog reviewed

Study Successful is a blog where you can get information on “how to be a successful student”.  Aside from having personal development articles like “How to Make a Good College Start“, the blog also features articles on other topics concerning students, like how the Credit Card Act impacts students.”  The site is written by a student named Stefan Knapen, a soon-to-be Medicine student at the University of Groningen, in Netherlands.  Overall, the Study Successful blog is well-done, especially considering the fact that there is only one person authoring all of the blog entries.

Successes of Study Successful

If there is one thing that Study Successful is doing well, it has to be the selection of topics.  Many of the blogs that focus on self-help student hacks go off in all sorts of tangents, with blog entries on just about anything under the sun.  The great thing about Study Successful is that the author chooses his topics well.  The topics are relevant, fresh, and useful.  Furthermore, even though the author’s target audience is students, the way the articles are written make them useful for just about anyone who reads them.  Study Successful also succeeds at avoiding the clutter (like tags, long category lists, or other irrelevant information) that many other blogs have.

Paving a road to better success

Study Successful is a good start and it looks to have a lot of potential.  Some improvements that I suggest for Study Successful include:
1.  Fixing the issue with the mis-aligned blog titles.  The blog titles, tweet boxes, and posting dates are aligned to the right side and they overlap with the links from the previous blog post.  This makes it confusing and difficult to read.
2.  The blog can branch out and produce more blog entries with a multi-author approach.  Although the single-author approach has its benefits, I think that it will be difficult to keep creating blog entries as a single author, especially considering the fact that Stefan is starting Medicine soon.
3.  Give the site a design theme.  Although the simplicity of the layout looks nice, I think that it is just too blank.  It would also help to improve the layout to make the site more convenient and easy to navigate.

Xatal blog review

Xatal is a blog that focuses on providing advice, tips, and information about high school and college.  As such, the main audience of the site is comprised of high school and college students, as well as their parents, perhaps.  Aside from school-related articles, Xatal also features articles about the author’s various interests, like computers, music, video games, and web design.  Some of the articles you are likely to find on this blog include freshmen college tips and computer software information.

What’s to like about Xatal

One of the factors that first caught my attention on the Xatal website is the motto: “Help so good, it’s like you’re cheating.”  In this short motto, visitors get an idea of the type of website this is, who it is meant for, and what you can expect to find in the blog entries.  Basically, it gives the blog some attitude or personality that the reader can relate to.  Another good thing about the blog is its overall design and layout.  Although the design is simple, it is not boring and it gives visitors access to pretty much anything that they are looking for on the site.  The layout is well-organized, with good spacing and an effective use of space.

What’s not to like about Xatal

What I dislike the most about Xatal is that the attitude and personality in the motto does not come through in the actual blog entries.  There are some blog entries that still have that pizazz that the motto embodies, but some of the articles just seem like rehashes of what all the other student-help blogs talk about.  If there is anything that makes a blog unique these days, it’s personality and perspective.  I think Xatal would improve greatly if the authors draw on that same inspiration that led to the blog’s great motto.

Review of academic success tips by real students

Gearfire is a website that is written by students for students.  Geoff Ruddock and Jordan Slaman founded the site in 2006, and the blog has been expanding ever since.  Today, Gearfire openly invites students to apply as writers for their website.  The basic theme of the blog is to have multiple student authors writing articles that are aimed at helping other students attain academic success.  Some of the topics on Gearfire include practical tips likegetting more juice out of your laptop batteries and more academics-focused topics such as the best academic software for students.

For students, by students

One of the unique aspects of Gearfire is the concept of having students writing for students.  When you have students writing for other students, you can be sure that the topics are not only up-to-date, but also that the topics are relevant and meaningful to the reader.  Furthermore, the voice and perspective of the articles are easy for the readers to understand, because students are used to talking to and dealing with other students.  In terms of design and layout, Gearfire does a well-enough job of organizing the site so that first-time visitors can easily understand what the purpose of the site is and how to navigate the blog and its entries.

Factors that douse Gearfire’s flames

Although Gearfire has a good concept and a decent layout, there are a few factors that make the blog less attractive and appealing.  First and foremost, perhaps the biggest problem of the blog is that there isn’t enough content on the site.  To get more traffic it will be important for Gearfire to ramp up its content production.  Second, the site looks too generic.  One of my pet peeves when it comes to blogs is when the site looks run-of-the-mill.  When I first read the name “Gear Fire,” it conjures images of steampunk style, flames, and just a general feel of being fiery and exciting.  When I look at the page, however, all the flames and excitement just die down like an ember immersed in water.

Exploring the hilife2b blog

Hilife2b is a website that focuses on personal improvement.  As such, the blog touches on a variety of categories, ranging from academic and personal to social and travel.  As the name of blog implies, the site contains articles that are aimed at improving your life so that you can be happy and lead a “good life”.  On the hilife2b blog, you’ll find articles that will help you find out if you are a leader or a follower, as well as tips and tricks to help you excel in various areas of life.

Hilife’s high-style

The greatest feature of the hilife2b blog is its layout and design.  The blog’s design is a refreshing reminder that some bloggers out there still care about personalizing their website and making it look less like the millions of generic, template-driven blog designs out there.  The layout is easy to read and understand.  Juxtaposed to the left of each blog entry is a rectangular box with important information about the blog entry, such as the category it is posted in, when it was written, who the author is, and a short list of related posts.  This feature helps to give the blog a very clean, neat, and organized design, without over-cluttering the webpage.  Overall, the design and layout of the page make it easy on the eyes, and it helps to bring some simplicity and class to the blog.  On top of that, the blog features articles that are all written in a perspective and manner that makes them relevant to the theme of the blog.

Low points of hilife2b

Although the blog looks good and navigates well as it is, there is still some room for improvement.  Here are some of my suggestions:
–  Try to make better use of the space on the page.  There are a lot of blank areas that can be used for enhancing the design and layout.
–  The background of the search bar looks as though it was just cut and pasted there because it doesn’t match the color-scheme of the rest of the page.  This is important, especially because it is at the top of the page, intersecting with the hilife2b icon, making it one of the first things that visitors see.

Review of Academic Productivity blog

Academic Productivity is a blog that focuses on various topics and categories on the production, acquisition, and dissemination of knowledge.  Aside from topics related to academic knowledge, the blog also contains content on new technologies and various productivity strategies.  The site is aimed at providing tips, advice, and general information to the modern-day researcher.  Academic Productivity features articles like “Benjamin Franklin: the grandfather of personal productivity?“, which discusses Franklin’s autobiography in relation to his study and research habits, and his general disposition toward productivity.

A fresh twist on an age-old concept

What I like most about Academic Productivity is the fact that it has a rather unique perspective.  Although there are loads of self-help and productivity blogs out there, few of them take on the same angle as Academic Productivity.  The age-old concepts of academics and productivity have been discussed, debated over, and philosophized ever since the earliest civilizations.  Academic Productivity, however, has the unique edge of catering to 21st century scholars, researchers, and practically anyone else who likes reading about such topics.  This perspective makes the blog much more appealing for younger generations of researchers, much like the blog authors themselves.

A few qualms

My main problem with Academic Productivity is the overall design and layout of the blog.  At first sight, the blog isn’t exactly what I would describe as “a sight for sore eyes.” In fact, there may just be one eye sore too many on the site.  Here are some of the eye sores that need some fixing:

–  The long list of tags and categories along the margin makes the site seem as though it was designed with a tacky-looking template.  Customizing the look of the blog into a more sleek, easily navigable, and less-cluttered layout would do wonders to improve the visual appeal and the overall feel of the site.  Considering the site is made for scholars and researchers, it would be nice to have a layout that is neat, makes sense, and is intuitive — much like the way researchers would organize their notes.

–  Another problem that I find with Academic Productivity is that the list of topics seems to be too wide and varied.  Although it is nice to have so many topics to look up and read about on the blog, it would help if the blog focused on fewer topics and categories that are better-geared towards the target audience.