Time to Start Writing Your Personal Statement
by Ben Frederick MD
on November 13, 2013
"Don’t wait until the night before your application is due to begin this step."
If you've read the last few blog posts here at edityour.net, you have got your plan for your personal statement. Also, you have got a stellar, detailed outline guiding your thoughts. Now, it is time to put pen to paper and get some sentences flowing.
Feels good, doesn't it?
Don’t wait until the night before your application is due to begin this step. A rushed individual essay born of an all-night caffeine binge will likely not do you justice. The personal statement is also not the time to be satisfied with a first draft. You will be amazed how multiple drafts can improve the composition, and chances are, by the end, you will be proud to turn it over to the admissions committee members. Don’t churn out a last-minute pile of words in the moments before the deadline. Instead, take time to polish the document.
If you get stuck, walk away for a while. Return with fresh eyes and look back at the prompt. Maybe you will discover that a question has not been answered as fully as it should. Also, throughout the writing process, always check the logical flow of the main points. Is there a clear, coherent progression from one point to the next? Organizational excellence is key here, and if the different points seem disjointed, take a step back and consider how to move, shift, and reorganize these facts and ideas.
Your personal statement is a crucial component of your graduate school application. According to Admissions Director Gregg Glover, the statement “is the only part of the process that you have complete control over: you cannot change your GPA or create the content of your letters of reference, but you can determine the finished product of your statement.” Instead of fearing or dreading writing your personal statement, see the control you have over it as a source of empowerment. You can directly impact your odds of being accepted into a chosen program by giving the personal statement your all.
If you need more help, check out The Ultimate Guide: How to Write a Personal Statement.