Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Learn How to Write a Personal Statement with Examples

9 min read

Published on: Mar 18, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 20, 2023

Personal Statement

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Top-ranked colleges and universities receive too many applications. Since many students coming from different countries and backgrounds have similar grades, it becomes quite difficult for the committee to select the right candidates.

Grades and test scores tell about your academic background. But it provides too little information about you. To know the reason you are applying to a graduate school and why the high school should give you admission, colleges along with transcripts and test scores demand to submit a personal essay well.

What is a Personal Statement

Basically, a personal statement is a medium between you and your admission committee. Through your personal essay, you can tell your committee why you picked their college, and through the same medium, the committee gets the answers to the questions, “why should they give you admission?”

An admission essay is a short essay where you talk about your accomplishments and your learning journey throughout your life.

Crafting a really good personal mission statement can, later on, help you in your scholarship essay too. All you have to do is to make minor changes and submit your scholarship essay.

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Purpose of Personal Statement

You should be able to convey who you are in your personal statement, and it shouldn’t just repeat information that can already be found on a resume or transcript.

It is written differently for a different purpose, which is discussed below:

  • Personal Statement for College

    You have to paint a picture for colleges by using an engaging tone of voice. This is why it's better if we use examples or tell stories instead of just listing accomplishments, which will complement the other parts of our college application.

    We are not super repetitive with personal statements and short essays since they should work together as one story about who we are.

  • Personal Statement for Scholarship Application

    It should indicate why you're deserving of the scholarship. This often means making sure your essay relates to the organization's goals.

Why is a Personal Statement Important?

Do you really need to write a personal statement? Is it important?

Yes, a personal essay is very important. There are a few reasons for its importance.

The first and foremost reason is, your grades aren’t the only thing that defines your capabilities. There are dozens of other criteria based on which you can be evaluated. Those are the qualities that define you as a person, and your college wants to know who that person is and how he lives his life.

For example, the qualities could be your leadership quality, empathy, high achiever, involvement in the community, the way you support and empower others, and the way you resolve conflicts and solve problems.

Your grades and test scores don’t talk, and they don’t tell the committee who you are. They only portray your academic background and academic capabilities.

Scholarship grants also demand a personal statement to get to know better why you need a scholarship.

How to Write a Personal Statement

There are many times when you have to write a personal statement. For example:

  • A personal statement for law
  • A personal statement for Harvard
  • A personal statement for scholarship
  • A personal statement for CV
  • Or a UCAS personal statement

Here are the basic steps for writing any type of personal statement.

Have a look at these points in detail.

  1. Brainstorm

    Brainstorm and find out what you would write about and what should you include?

    Find out what you can’t wait to tell the admissions committee. Write down what comes to your mind.

    Also, write what you think might be important, and the committee would want to hear it.

    If you are having a hard time figuring out the key points. Here are a few questions you need to answer.

    • Where do you spend your spare time, or what are your extracurricular activities?
    • What makes you feel proud?
    • What motivates you?
    • Which moment was a defining moment in your life?

    This is how you can find what's important and matters to you the most. For example, where does your time go to answer the question of your priorities? You choose to spend time on what you like and what you prefer. Here you unconsciously found out your priorities.

    What makes you feel proud? This is an easy one. Your accomplishments make you feel proud. You can mention here your major life accomplishments.

    There must be something that inspires you to take action or just give you a purpose to go in a specific direction. You would also need to know that, and if it is considerable, you can tell your admissions committee about it.

    The turning point of your life is something that you remember for the rest of your life. Life experiences are not just experiences, it brings life lessons with it. You would want to talk about the defining moment of your life. And the admission committee would love to know it.

    There is one more thing you need to do. Answering these questions:

    • Why You Hand-Picked this College

      This is perhaps the most important of not only your school application but your life. Find out why you want to go to college in the first place? No matter if it's a law school, engineering school, or medical school, a statement of purpose is a must.

      Finding out your inspiration will make your life easier in the long term. It will tell if you are a good fit in that particular school.

      If you found this, it would be really easy to tell your admission committee why they should give you admission.

    • What Should We Choose You

      Another question that you should answer is the way you?

      Yes, this also equally matters because the college cannot revolve around you. This is where you need to answer the question, “what are you bringing to the table?”. The college wants you to bring something to the college.

      Your entry to the college should add value to the community, not just get a degree and leave.

      If you are enthusiastic about the college and the particular program that you are applying to. Do show your enthusiasm. The college admissions committee wants to know if you are energetic enough to take the program.

      Also, you are a unique person, and your essay tells exactly that to the admission officers. Your personal essay reflects your uniqueness, and that is the reason you can leave many people with similar or even higher grades behind.

  2. Write Your Key Points

    Write your key points from brainstorming and use them later in your personal statement.

    Your key points must include things you want to mention in your application.
    And the structure you are going to follow.

    It also depends on the prompt, but you can still talk about things that are important to you. They can be your achievements, problem-solving skills through your unique personal approach to problems and conflicts, your leadership qualities, and how you lead a group in the past. It could also be something that changed your mind or your life. You can also talk about the graduate programs the college is offering and how that one program fits your dreams.

  3. Start Writing Your Personal Statement

    Many students spend too much time thinking about how to start a personal statement. Here is a tip:

    Stop thinking and start writing. Start writing with whatever comes to your mind. This will help you compile a rough draft that you can convert into a perfect essay by refining.

    Write no matter what, you would write extra as well as irrelevant but it does not matter as it is just a draft. Rough drafts are very helpful in crafting a perfect essay.

    This will help you gather sufficient information on which you can write a good personal mission statement to get yourself admitted into your dream college.

  4. Revise

    Once you are done writing your draft, it's time to start the artwork. Start crafting your draft in every way possible.

    Insert sentences that grab the reader's attention and make them read your statement carefully.

    Eliminate everything that is irrelevant. Remember, you can’t talk about how cute your puppy is or your favorite ice cream flavor.

  5. Proofread

    Strictly avoid an unchecked document to the college. Proofread your essay yourself or ask someone to proofread it for you. It will help you eliminate irrelevant data, grammatical mistakes, and vague sentences. Remember, it is a formal document; it should sound like one.

Personal Statement Format

A personal statement also follows specific formatting guidelines like any other academic paper. So, you need to make sure the information you provide in your personal statement is in a logical and organized manner.

Here are the basic guidelines that you can follow for formatting your personal statement.

  • Personal statements are usually one to two pages long which comprises 500 words approximately.
  • All open paragraphs should be single-spaced throughout.
  • Times new roman and Arial is the most appropriate font to use.
  • The font size should be 12pt.
  • Add name and page number in the header.

Refer to these guidelines and make your personal statement easy to read.

Do’s and Don’ts For A Perfect Personal Statement

In this section, you will learn things that you need to avoid and things you must include in your essay.


  • Avoid grammatical mistakes; the committee considers you irresponsible and will think that you haven't put enough effort into the essay and hence will consider you not interested enough.
  • Avoid cliches; use your own metaphors instead.
  • Academic and formal writing never appreciate slang. Believe it or not, the people sitting on the admission committee are not great fans either.
  • Exaggeration, the officers evaluating your application will never appreciate it.
  • If you seriously think that trying to be funny in your personal statement can get you admission, you need to rethink it.
  • Certainly the major point. You can’t just copy someone’s well-written college application and attach it with your application. The admissions officers will cancel your admission with no questions asked. There is no tolerance policy in this regard in any college out there.


  • A picturesque description: describe yourself in a way that portrays an image of yours in the eyes of the committee.
  • About the college: Do talk about college because the committee is really interested in how much you know about the college and the school program you are applying to.
  • Connecting sentences: make sure the transition is smooth and connecting. It will keep everything inflow.
  • Priorities: as you are writing your statement, you are being noticed. You are including and excluding things that show your priorities. Include what matters.
  • Your story: your personal should sound like you, not your favorite actor or athlete.

Personal Statement Example

Examples are a great way to learn something new. So, if you are looking for some top personal statement examples, you are at the right place.

To make the personal essay writing process easier, we have added examples here in the downloadable file for your reference. You can read these personal statement sample papers and see how other people write their personal statements.

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Hopefully, the above guide and examples help you in composing a great personal statement on your own.

Writing a good personal statement that can lead you to a successful application is not an easy task. That’s why you need to craft your personal statement carefully.

So, if you are stuck in your personal statement and you are short of time? Are you looking for help because you are not an experienced writer? Help is just one click away. We at provide premium writing services that you can trust.

Our team of experienced writers is committed to writing customized writing pieces. Contact our essay writer now and place your order to have your personal statement written by experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to start off a personal statement?

Start with what you are doing now. Tell them about your job, hobbies, or anything else. Tell them why you started to do these things. Be original!

Avoid clichés like "when I was young." They want to know about you now, not your childhood or Shakespeare!

Should I put my name on my personal statement?

The heading of your personal statement should include the name, school, and department for whom you are writing it (e.g., "Ohio University College of Education"), as well as your own name.

How long should a personal statement be?

Your Personal Statement should be between 350 and 500 words in length, containing several paragraphs that link together logically.

What should I keep in mind while writing a personal statement?

Make sure your style is well-written! And also:

  • Remember to keep the tone engaging throughout your statement
  • Don't forget you must have at least three different paragraphs describing yourself
  • Every paragraph needs to show how you would contribute to the selected program.
Cathy A.


Cathy A. (Marketing, Education)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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