Write My Personal Statement: Top Tips to Write Your Essay Like a Pro in College

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The hardest part of essay writing isn’t finding the time or even putting together an outline—it’s actually sitting down and doing the writing part, especially when you have to crank out that personal statement in three hours because you forgot to do it ahead of time. Here are some top tips I used to write my personal statement like a pro in college, no matter how long I have to get it done.

One Subject = One Paragraph

If you have lots of points you want to make about yourself, it’s tempting to think that one essay needs lots of paragraphs. However, it’s usually much better for your personal statement if you try and condense everything into one strong paragraph. That way, it will be easier for your reader (and for you!) to digest everything that is being said about you. The admissions tutor isn’t going to read through an essay with seven paragraphs – so keep things simple!

Keep It Short

While there’s nothing wrong with writing an essay of 3,000 words or more, most colleges have a word limit for personal statements. Try to keep your statement under 500 words (or around one page). It’s easier to digest in one sitting, and it’ll be easier for admissions officers to read as well. This doesn’t mean you should cut out all extraneous details. You just need to prioritize what is important. Keep your focus on yourself and why you want to attend that school—not on every detail about yourself or every reason why that school is great. You can also include a short paragraph about any extracurricular activities, awards, jobs, etc., but make sure it is brief and relevant to your application.

What’s the Point?

An essay is supposed to be more than just a rehashing of your resume. It’s an opportunity for you to display your writing and thinking skills. Most admissions officers will have read thousands of applications, so they’re not interested in reading something that is written like a resume or CV. Students should take advantage of their essay real estate by making it engaging and personal! Try out different styles; don’t feel obligated to write with one voice throughout. If you need help getting started, ask someone who knows you well—your mom, a friend from high school—to read over your draft and provide feedback on what they would want to know about you if they were applying for college themselves.

The Order of Importance

When writing your essay, remember that you have about 30 seconds to grab your reader’s attention. It’s imperative that you make them interested within those first few sentences. Use powerful words, impactful statements and imagery when describing yourself so your reader will be immediately drawn into your essay. Once they are invested in what you are saying, they won’t want to stop reading! Don’t Be Boring: As I mentioned above, if you don’t get your reader’s attention right away they will likely move on to another application. So use strong adjectives, active verbs and vivid descriptions to keep their interest as well as to show off your creativity.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!

Just because you spell-check your essay doesn’t mean it is without errors. As an aspiring writer, proofreading should be second nature to you. Our advice? Read over your personal statement five times—out loud if possible—and give each read a thorough review of grammar and punctuation. You might want to enlist a friend or family member for one or two reads as well; he or she can help catch any errors that are tricky even for experienced writers.

End With a Bang

Everyone knows that a personal statement should have an ending. But, while most people know they need to do it, they don’t know what actually goes into writing an effective ending. The end of your statement is your last chance to impress admissions officers and prove why you deserve their spot over other applicants. Here are some tips for writing a conclusion that will leave them satisfied and impressed.