Writing Personal Statements Online

Below is a pdf link to personal statements and application essays representing strong efforts by students applying for both undergraduate and graduate opportunities. These ten essays have one thing in common: They were all written by students under the constraint of the essay being 1-2 pages due to the target program’s explicit instructions. First, you are typically expected to provide a window into your personal motivations, offer a summary of your field, your research, or your background, set some long-term goals, and note specific interest in the program to which you are applying. Second, you are expected to provide some personal detail and to communicate effectively and efficiently. Failure to do so can greatly limit your chances of acceptance. Good writers accomplish these tasks by immediately establishing each paragraph’s topic and maintaining paragraph unity, by using concrete, personal examples to demonstrate their points, and by not prolonging the ending of the essay needlessly.

In the pdf link below, the first two one-page statements written by students in the geological sciences are interesting to compare to each other. Despite their different areas of research specialization within the same field, both writers demonstrate a good deal of scientific fluency and kinship with their target programs. The sample essay by a neuroscience student opens with narrative technique, telling an affecting story about working in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Thus we are introduced to one of the motivating forces behind her interest in neuroscience. Later paragraphs cite three undergraduate research experiences and her interest in the linked sciences of disease: immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and pathology. This sample essay immerses us in detail about medieval literature throughout, eventually citing several Irish medieval manuscripts. With these examples and others, we are convinced that this student truly does see medieval literature as a “passion,” as she claims in her first sentence.

34,000 towards senior year and graduate school. This student takes an interesting theme-based approach and projects forward toward graduate school with confidence. This writer’s sense of self-definition is particularly strong, and her personal story compelling. Written during a height of US involvement in Iraq, this essay manages the intriguing challenge of how a member of the military can make an effective case for on-line graduate study. The obvious need here, especially for an Air Force pilot of seven years, is to keep the focus on academic interests rather than, say, battle successes and the number of missions flown. An additional challenge is to use military experience and vocabulary in a way that is not obscure nor off-putting to academic selection committee members. To address these challenges, this writer intertwines his literacy in matters both military and academic, keeping focus on applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), his chosen field of graduate study. This example shows that even for an engineer with years of experience in the field, the fundamentals of personal essay writing remain the same. This statement opens with the engineer describing a formative experience—visiting a meat packaging plant as a teenager—that influenced the writer to work in the health and safety field. Now, as the writer prepares to advance his education while remaining a full-time safety engineer, he proves that he is capable by detailing examples that show his record of personal and professional success. Especially noteworthy is his partnering with a government agency to help protect workers from dust exposures, and he ties his extensive work experience directly to his goal of becoming a Certified Industrial Hygienist.

I am blown away by the number of people who have told me this hub has re-inspired them. It came from my own writer’s block, so maybe that’s why others can relate to it. I really hope it helps you to become motivated to write another hub. I really like your style! I can’t even tell you the last time I wrote a hub – it’s that long ago). Interesting to have the picture of the hubpage team on this article. I clicked on it and haven’t looked at those bios in a LONG time. I’m re-impressed which might be an important motivation for me. Thanks so much for your kind words Audrey, and I am so glad my own come across as sincere. It’s always great to hear my writing is a help to others. Thank you for sharing too. Hi Jodah. You put loads of enthusiasm in this hub, resulting in readers like me feeling motivated. Your sincerity really comes across, and thank you so much for sharing the good ideas and talking about getting over writer’s block. I am sharing this hub. Thanks for reading Ologsinquito. I sure hope thing settle down and begin to improve.

There are a lot of unhappy hubbers at the moment. I know, we do have to keep producing to keep feeding that Hub Score. It’s hard to stay motivated at the moment, but I’m still adding the minimum requirement of new content. Hopefully things will turn around when the dust settles. Hi Cynthia. It’s good to see a new face especially when you leave such a wonderful comment. You were right to pick up the tone of this hub and it’s slight sprinkling of sarcasm. I am glad you found this a pleasant read before retiring , especially that it outranked Facebook in that regard. Thank you for the follow as well. I giggled through this hub. Thanks Phyllis, your comment, vote up and share is always much appreciated. Thanks Kevin, I don’t find it that easy to do all these elements with every hub, but I just tried to prove that it can be done.