Guide to Using Examples of Personal Statements


Uniqueness is one of the most important elements of an effective personal statement.  The admission officers read hundreds or even thousands of essays.  This is why you have to make your essay attention-grabbing.  And how would you do that?  Basically, you can grab the attention of the admission officers by making your essay very unique.

One of the best ways through which you can write a notable admission essay is by reading and studying examples of personal statements.  You can use these examples of personal statements as guides when you write your own.  But when you use these sample essays, there are some things that you have to keep in mind.   Read on to know what are these things.

Do not copy the entire format

Analyzing the style and the format of personal statement samples is an excellent way to get ideas on how personal statements should be written.  However, you have to be careful not to fall to the danger of imitating the format of the sample essays entirely.  Your goal here is to be unique.  And you could never achieve uniqueness by sounding like thousands of applicants before you.  Just use the format of others as a guide.  But make sure that you come up with your own format.

Use your own experience and cite your own strengths and weaknesses

The personal statement is about you — the you which could never be revealed by just your resume and tests results alone.  Your personal statement is about the you who is a special individual.  This is why when you write an admission essay, you have to talk about your own experiences, strengths, and even weaknesses.  Yes, you should include even your weaknesses.  By doing this, the admission committee would see you as a person who is unafraid of admitting his or her weaknesses.

Make your essay reflect the real you

Your admission essay should be about you.  You have to make sure that your essay reflects the real you and not just project the ideal you.  The most important thing is to be sincere in what you write; let others read it and listen to what they have to say.  Remember that the admission committee had read thousands of essays before.   For sure, they have a way of seeing through your lies.

Although it is best that you use examples of personal statements as guides, you have to remember that your essay is still about you.  Therefore, thestyle and the content of the essay should reflect the real you.

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Examples of Personal Statements: Top 10 Best Writing Tips


Reading examples of personal statements is an excellent way to get ideas that you can use when you write your own.  Aside from reading sample essays, there are also various tips on writing that you can find online.  Below are some of these tips.

Common problems in writing an admission essay

Before you start your writing process, you have to be aware that writing is not very easy.  One of the problems you would probably encounter is deciding for your topic or theme.  Hundreds or even thousands of people are vying for a spot in the university that you want.  So it could really be difficult to choose a theme that would make your admission essay unique.  Another difficulty you would probably encounter is deciding for the scope.  An admission essay should not be very long, so you really have to limit the scope of your essay very well.

Top 10 essay writing tips

It is very important that you are equipped with helpful tips when you write your essay.  The following are top ten essay writing tips to keep in mind:

1.  The first tip is to make your essay interesting and creative.  By doing this, you could grab the attention of the admission committee.
2.  The next tip is to weave your ideas with one theme.
3.  Next, make sure that you write with clarity.  A clear essay is engaging and fun to read.
4.  Don’t forget to make your essay coherent.
5.  Provide a three-dimensional image of yourself through your essay.  Your essay is the means through which you can reveal your personality to the admission committee.
6.  Then, make sure you develop your theme well.
7.  Do not use jargons and highfalutin words in order to impress the admission officers.
8.  You also have to ensure that your essay is well-edited.
9.  You have to read it several times to make sure that it is error-free.
10.  Lastly, you should let others read your essay.  Ask them for suggestions.


When you write your personal statement, there are other things that you have to keep in mind.  One of these is the limit of your creativity.  A creative essay is notable.  However, you have to limit your creativity.  Remember that you are not writing an essay for a creative writing class.  You also have to remember to include only your experiences relevant to your application.  Keep in mind that a personal statement is supposedly short.

Before you start writing your admission essay, it is an advantage if you read excellent examples of personal statements.  You can use these examples of personal statements as guides.

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The ABCs of Admission Essay Writing

One of the basic requirements for your application to a post-secondary educational institution is the admission essay.  Simply put, the admission essay can spell the difference between getting accepted or rejected to the school of your choice. If you are having trouble writing your personal statement, you may want to read on for some basic but helpful tips on writing an exceptional piece.  This article will also give advise on how you can use personal statement examples to help you along the way.

Accurate accounts of your student life

When writing your admission essay, it’s essential that you make accurate accounts of your student life. Not only can admissions committees double check your transcripts and what you write on your resume, but most admissions officers can also spot a lie a mile away, so don’t even think about it.(1)  Scour the Internet for some examples of personal statements to see how other writers use their student life to enhance their essays.

Brief but powerful descriptions of your experiences

If you plan on writing about life experiences, make sure that your descriptions are concise, brief, and, most of all, powerful.  Read a good example of personal statement, and you’ll notice how the writer uses literary strategies to make their experiences come across more vividly and with impact.  The last thing you want to do is bore the admissions officers who are reading your essay.(2)

Convincing conclusions

In concluding your admission essay, you should keep in mind your main objective, that is, to persuade the admission committee to accept you into their school.  Try to use what you have already written about (your student life and your experiences) to prove that you have the values and traits that it takes to succeed in the college that you are applying to.  Make sure that you don’t come off as being boastful or arrogant, instead try to be humble but confident.(3)  Look for an example of personal statement with a persuasive conclusion, and try to emulate how the writer was able to succeed in reaching the main goal of the admission essay.


Avoiding Plagiarism in Personal Statements


Respecting Intellectual Property when Viewing Examples of Personal Statements: Why Plagiarism Is Bad

When applying for college or post-graduate studies, one of the most important parts of your admissions package is the personal statement.  For many applicants, the personal statement spells the difference between getting accepted or rejected by their school of choice.  For this reason, some people turn to examples of personal statements for help with writing their own essays.  While making use of examples of personal statements is definitely a good idea, there is a major danger that you should be aware of before you do so: plagiarism.  Educational institutions frown upon plagiarism and even punish offenders by expulsion in serious cases.  Read on to learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid committing plagiarism when using examples of personal statements to write your essay.

What is plagiarism?

In basic terms, plagiarism is the act of using another writer’s words and ideas without properly citing your sources. Intellectual property is the main concept behind plagiarism, because the original writers have the intellectual property rights over the words and ideas that are expressed in their works.  Whenever you make use of someone else’s words, ideas, sounds, images, videos, or any other form of intellectual property, it’s imperative that you document your sources or you run the risk of getting called out for plagiarism.  As mentioned earlier, most educational institutions don’t take plagiarism lightly.  If you are caught plagiarizing someone else’s works, you can be expelled from your school, get your application rejected, or, in serious cases, get arrested for intellectual property rights infringement.

What does plagiarism have to do with your personal statement?

When you make use of examples of personal statements, you may get tempted to use the ideas and words of the examples that you read.  While direct copying of the examples is definitely plagiarism, there are a number of other ways in which you can commit plagiarism.  A common misconception about plagiarism is that paraphrasing the original author’s words or ideas is not an offense.  The truth is, whether you copy directly, paraphrase, or summarize, you will need to site your sources or run the risk of getting caught for plagiarism.  Another plagiarism risk is making use of famous quotes or sayings without stating who originally said or wrote the saying.  With all of the risks of committing plagiarism, you’re probably wondering: “So how do I put examples of personal statements to good use?”

How can you put examples of personal statements to good use without plagiarizing?

Plagiarism and intellectual property laws, in general, are complex and difficult to understand, especially if you aren’t a lawyer.  First off, it’s important to realize that it probably won’t look good to the admissions committee if your personal statement is full of quotes and citations of sample personal statements, so try to avoid that route.  When making use of sample essays, your best bet is to only use these essays as guidelines and sources of inspiration.  Instead of actually lifting words or ideas from the examples that you find, try to take note of the characteristics of the examples, such as the tone, format, style, themes, and subject matter that was written about.  That way, you will be sure that you won’t commit plagiarism and, at the same time, your essay will be original.  Remember, your goal is to introduce your own character and personality through your personal statement, soavoid plagiarism and let your true self shine through in your admissions essays.

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Highlighting Skills in Personal Statements


Using Examples of Personal Statements When Writing An Essay Highlighting Your Excellent Research Skills

Research skills are an invaluable asset in any industry and any profession that you enter into, even in the schooling stages of one’s life.  No matter what path you decide to take in your college or post-graduate education, you will find that your research skills can be a great help not only for getting through school, but also for getting into school.  You application forms and transcripts will probably give the admissions committee a hint that your research skills are excellent, but you may want to consider highlighting these skills in your personal statement.  Read on for some helpful tips on how to write an admission essay about your excellent research skills.

Put your research skills to use

As a good researcher, you probably already know the importance of doing research before starting any major projects.  So, before you begin writing your application essay or personal statement, you need to begin by doing some research on the schools that you are applying to.  Taking the time and effort to do your research will give you a vital edge when writing your personal statement.  Try to get information from the official websites of these schools to get a clear picture of their values, style of education, strengths and weaknesses, campuses, student bodies, and their philosophy of education.  You will be able to use all of this information when deciding on your approach for your personal statement.  While your research, remember to think of ways that you can tie in the themes of research and your research skills in particular when writing your essay.

Gather some sources

Now that you have done some research on the schools you plan on applying to, it’s time to gather some sources to help you on your personal statement.  There are loads of guides and tips on the Internet, but one of the most effective sources for help are examples of personal statements.  Gather some examples of personal statements so you can get some ideas about the format, style, tone, themes, and subjects that others have written about in their essays.  Because you want to focus on your research skills, you should try to find some examples of personal statements that also focus on research skills.  It may take some time to find some good examples of personal statements, but the benefits are well worth it.

How to focus on your research skills in your personal statement

With a good foundation of what the admissions committee expects from your essay, you can now go about writing your personal statement.  When you write about your research skills, make sure not to make that the only focus of your personal statement.  While research skills are a definite plus, you don’t want the admissions committee to think that it is your only skill or trait.  Try to discuss your research skills in relation to how they have helped you deal with difficult situations or challenging times.  You can also relate your abilities as an excellent researcher to your values, character traits, virtues, and future goals.  Reflection is an important step towards realizing just how much of an impact your research skills have made on you, your personality, and your life in general.

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Personal Statements and Your Competitive Personality


Using Examples of Personal Statements as Guides on How Being Competitive Can Help You Excel in College

Being competitive can be a problem or a benefit, depending on the situation you are in and how you channel your competitive spirit.  When you are applying for college, competition is something that you have to be very aware of.  With thousands of students applying to the same colleges and universities that you apply to, you definitely have to show the admissions committee why you deserve to be accepted into their school.  Although the competition may be tough, you can definitely make it into and through college if you have the right competitive spirit.  One of the ways to let this spirit come through to the admissions committee is through your personal statement.

Why is the personal statement so important

The personal statement is one of the most essential requirements in your application package.  Even if your transcripts aren’t flawless and your resume isn’t perfect, the personal statement can sway the decision of the admissions committee.  In other words, the personal statement can give you a competitive edge over all of the other applicants.  The trick is basically to introduce yourself to the committee and show them why you have the right personality, virtues, and values to succeed in college and beyond college.

Writing about competitiveness in your personal statement

A great way to make effective use of your personal statement is to discuss your competitive spirit and how it has helped to form your character and personality.  For example, many people who write about competition are athletes or anyone else who participates in competitive events.  It’s important not to sound as though you are obsessed with or get carried away by competition.  Instead, focus on how your competitive nature has helped you overcome adversity, challenges, and other difficult times in your life.  It is also a great idea to explain how you have grown as a person as a result of the various experiences that you have had in the past.

Using examples of personal statements

Examples of personal statements can help you in writing your owncompetition-inspired essays.  The trick is to take note of how other people have developed the theme of competition throughout their essays.  Also, try to analyze which types of competitive situations they chose to write about and how they linked these experiences to their personality traits.  If you really want to write a moving and heartfelt essay, you can focus on the most difficult competition you have faced in the past, the outcome of the challenge, and how the outcome made you a better person who is more ready to deal with the hardships of college.

How a competitive spirit can help you through college

Aside from focusing on past experiences and how they have made you into the person you are today, you should also think about how your competitive spirit can help you through college in the future.  Reflect on the types of traits that competition builds, such as leadership, teamwork, independence, self-motivation, the ability to rise to the occasion, and perseverance.  Getting through college has a lot to do with honing these traits and skills.  In your essay, try to touch on how your competitive spirit and everything that you have learned from competition can help you get through college and deal with the many challenges ahead of you.

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How to Make Every Word Count in Your Admission Essay

When you write your admission essay, it is important to make every word count.  Take a look at some good examples of personal statements, and you’ll find that practically every word helps to enhance the essay.  Most schools have guidelines on essay length, which literally means that each word counts.  Aside from adhering to the essay length, it is also essential to make sense out of those words because your admission essay may be the one thing that can get you into the school of your choice.(1)  Here are some helpful tips on how to make write your personal statement:

Use the active voice

Although it is possible to use the passive voice in an effective way, it is often best to use the active voice in your admission essays.  Because the active voice denotes an action, it helps in affirming your desire to attend the school you are applying to.  Also, this helps to grab and hold the reader’s attention.  Using the passive voice may lead to confusing sentences or sentences that are not very interesting to read.(2)  Use examples of personal statements to see how they make use of the active voice.

Don’t show doubt or lack of confidence in your writing

You probably have a lot of doubts about what to write, how to write it, what the committee wants to hear, and how to make your essay stand out.  When it comes down to finally writing your paper, though, it’s important not to let any of these doubts, or any other negative thoughts for that matter, reflect in your writing.(3)  Try to show that you are confident, relaxed, and ready to face the challenge of writing your essay and getting into the school.  One tactic often used in personal statement examples is to focus on the positive and downplay the negative.

Be sure not to repeat the same ideas.

Another helpful hint for creating a winning admission essay is to avoid repeating the same ideas or information throughout your essay.  Try to keep your essay flowing from one idea to the next, and avoid recycling or reusing the things that you have already said.  Read your essay to yourself and then read it aloud to discern for yourself whether or not it is enthralling enough to keep your audience reading.  You could also have others read it, and use their insights and opinions to improve on what you’ve already written.  Compare your essay to a personal statement example to see if it’s at par with quality.


Common Flaws when Writing an Admission Essay

The admission essay is an important part of your application package.  This will serve as a means to tell the admission committee something about yourself apart from all of the information that is already on your application forms, resume, and transcript.  If you use the admission essay properly, you can give the committee some insight into your personality, character, and how you live your life.  Despite the freedom that you have when writing your admission essay, there are still a number of mistakes you should look out for, and here are some of them:

Boring your readers right from the start

One of the biggest mistakes that people sometimes commit on their admission essay is to bore their readers.  You might as well check out some poorly written personal statement examples to get an idea of what a boring essay is.  Remember that your goal is to get the reader hooked on who you are and why you deserve to be in the school.  If you bore the reader from the start, then what’s to keep him or her from putting down your essay and going on to the next applicant?  Try to hold the reader’s interest with an attention-grabbing introduction, an interesting body, and a clinching conclusion.(1)

Using the thesaurus to find inappropriate, big words

Another mistake that some applicants make is using the thesaurus to look for big words.  People tend to think that big words will make them sound more educated or well read.  The truth is, many of the best writers and speakers out there are able to convey volumes of useful information with the use of simple language that most people can understand.  Try checking some examples of personal statements and pay close attention to their language use.  You’ll probably notice that most personal statement examples make use of simple and sincere language.  Instead of using big words, try to focus on expressing yourself in a simple but interesting manner.(2)

Saying the same things over and over again

Another common mistake is writing an essay that goes around in circles, repeating the same information in different ways.  Some tend to give too much information, or they just use the same information over and over again.  A useful trick to remedy this mistake is to compose a short outline that will guide you through what you want to say.(3)  Try to emulate a personal statement example that reads well and keeps the reader’s thought process flowing.


Tips on How to Discuss Sensitive Themes in Your Admission Essay

When applying to a post-secondary educational institution, one of the most significant admission requirements is the admission essay.  Writing an admission essay is not an easy task, and it seems that the task only becomes more daunting when you have to discuss sensitive themes.  If you have to write about sensitive issues in your personal statement, it is important that you do so with tact, honesty, and sincerity.(1)  You can do better if you can find good examples of personal statement that tackle these kinds of topics.  Here are some good tips:

Examples of personal statement: Be honest but tactful

One of the golden rules when composing your admission essay is to be honest and tactful.  It is important that you get the story and the hardship across to the reader, but do so in a manner that is not offensive or insensitive.  Perhaps the biggest mistake that you can make when writing your admission essay is to fabricate information in an attempt to make your personal statement seem more interesting or compelling.  Take the high road and be honest instead, because admission committees frown upon lies and plagiarism.(2)

Personal statement examples: Don’t try too hard to persuade readers but feed them with positive information

Another mistake that some people make on the admission essay is that they try to hard to persuade the reader about what a terrible or difficult time they had.  Your point isn’t to tell a sob story about your life, but to show that you can focus on the positive aspects despite the numerous challenges that you had to endure.  If you are able to elaborate the positive aspects in your essay, then the reader will be more likley to focus on this side of the story as well.

Examples of personal statements: Focus on what makes you a strong candidate

In line with focusing on the positive, it’s important to talk about why you make a strong candidate as an applicant to the school.  The mark of any great admission essay is when the author is able to express how such sensitive topics and difficult experiences have made them a better person.  Focus on how the character traits, values, and virtues that you have developed through such experience have prepared you to deal with the challenges that you are likely to face in college and beyond.(3)


The Dos and Don’ts of Admission Essay Writing

You admission essay can be the one thing that convinces the admission committee to give you a chance by accepting you into the school.  While your resume and your transcripts may not be perfect, the admission essay can help to smooth over these hiccups by charming the committee with your personality.(1)  Because the admission essay is such an important part of your application package, you may want to know how to put together a winning piece.  Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to admission essay writing, based on some good and bad examples of personal statements:

Don’t include unnecessary information that don’t support your thesis.

One of the biggest mistakes that some writers make in their personal statement examples is including irrelevant information. You have to remember that admission committees usually have thousands of application packages to look through, so don’t waste your time and theirs by including unnecessary details in your essay.  Try to make a solid thesis statement and follow it throughout your essay.(2)  Go over some examples of personal statements online so you can spot common errors and be guided on how to write a good one.

Do include experiences that set you apart from other applicants.

The main goal of the admission essay is to tell the committee why you deserve the slot over the thousands of other people who are applying.  One of the best ways to do this is to focus on what makes you unique from the other applicants.  Each person comes from different backgrounds and, even if two people grow up in the exact same environment, each will experience that environment differently from the other.  Try to expound on certain experience that set you apart, and mention how these experiences have prepared you for success in college and your future career.(3)

Do read your essay aloud, and see how it sounds.

Another great tip is to read your essay aloud.  It can be easy to get detached from what you are writing, especially when you are under pressure and trying to do the best you can to create an excellent personal statement.  Make sure to read your essay aloud so that you can actually hear what you have written.  Chances are, the better it sounds when you read it aloud, the better it will read on paper as well.  This is one of the secrets of well-writen examples of personal statement.