Start Your Individual Statement the Right Way
Willing to write your personal statement essay?
It could be for your Common Application essay, or other university or college prompts, or transfers, or medical or law school, and on occasion even scholarship applications.
To start, always read the prompt.
If it asks you to write something fundamental about yourself (such as for instance all seven of the Common App prompts), they require a personal statement essay from you.
The next thing is to start brainstorming.
You would like to look for a topic for your personal statement that will help the reader (college admissions officers) get an undertake what you are all about, what makes you tick.
Before you start fishing around your past for topic ideas, it will help to understand that which you are searching for.
I’ve narrowed it down to two important, if perhaps not key, components of effective personal statements.
Character and Personality.
There’s potential crossover in these two principles, since each defines some element of your individuality.
At the same time, these are typically distinct and critical to helping convey who you are to your target schools.
The beauty of featuring both your character and personality in your essay is it can help you balance the portrait you are painting of yourself through language.
Character is commonly more severe, deep and analytical while personality usually is lighter, imaginative and entertaining.
In both life and personal statement essays, balance is generally a good thing.
Here’s how I define character and personality, and why you have to find means to share and express them BOTH in your personal statement.
Character in Personal Statements
Character is what helps you stand out in the world through your ‘mental and moral’ qualities.
I call them your core values, or on a far more personal level, your defining qualities and traits.
The best personal statements capture and convey the writer’s character because schools need to know very well what you value, just how you think and that which you believe.
When you’re brainstorming topic ideas for your personal statement, first recognize a single core quality that captures or expresses something about your character.
For instance, integrity, perseverance, creativity, humility, empathy, wonder, etc. It should be something that you value above almost all else.
Pick one. Yes, only one. ( This makes certain you don’t try to say too much in your essay, and end up in the dull side.)
These qualities are pretty universal, so writing about them can be tough to create yourself apart from other students, many of whom hold similar values.
So how do you showcase your all-important character in your personal statement and distinguish yourself from others at the same time?
Personality in Personal Statements
That’s where personality makes play.equality thesis statement
Personality isn’t universal.
Only one person in the planet has your personality: YOU.
Personality is how you and only you express or demonstrate your character on a daily basis.
It’s your unique personal style of expression in the planet.
If you can figure away a way (a topic!) to highlight BOTH your character and your personality in your personal statement, you will nail it. Without doubt.
But how can you that, and still craft an essay that is interesting to see?
It’s actually pretty simple. And time to start that brainstorming process.
What you need is a real-life experience or incident that you can share in your personal statement that presents you and your personality and character in action.
I’ve written many super helpful posts on exactly how to find those moments or experiences and spin them into killer personal statements and showcase BOTH your character and personality at the same time.
I share many writing tricks and tips on how exactly to identify those magic moments, also as steps to make certain your essay is focused and engaging.
If this method makes sense for you, I would advise you to definitely spend a couple of more minutes and read these posts.
Just How to Write a College Application in 3 simple steps
Find Your Defining Qualities and Characteristics
The Secret to a Killer College Application Essay
If you want to keep going and learning more about how to write an individual statement, there are blue links to more posts in the ones you simply checked out.
This can be all you’ll need to get you well in your way.
If you would like more help, by means of more in-depth, step-by-step instruction, check out my writing guide, Escape Essay Hell!, and/or my online essay writing course.
I also extremely encourage you to always check out some sample essays to see the type of personal statement essay these resources can help you write. (Notice how they all showcase the student’s character and personality.)
Character and PersonalityChecklist for Your Individual Statement
Once you crank out a rough draft, here are some questions to ask by what you’ve got written to check on if you have captured and expressed both your character and your personality:
Do you have a moment or experience that reveals one of your defining qualities or traits?
Would you share some type of problem (challenge, obstacle, failure, set-back, etc.) from your life that permits you to describe how you thought about it and exactly what you learned in working with it?
Do you include the method that you felt during whatever moment or experience you shared, and explain the specific steps you took to deal with it? (
Are you able to identify the main core quality, characteristic or value you essay is about?
Are you able to write in a single sentence or phrase what your unique style is in handling the issue you shared?
Did you include exactly what you learned about yourself while the world from the experience/problem you shared?
Best of luck together with your personal statement essay!
In a previous post, I warned about the possible pitfalls of currently talking about the brand new Common Application prompt 6.
My principal interest was that in writing about one of your passions a ‘topic, idea or concept you will have to make sure to craft a personal essay that is mainly about YOU!
Compared to one that is concerning the ‘topic, idea or concept’ that you pick to write about.
Read how to create an essay concerning the new Common Application prompt 6 that is engaging and personal, alternatively of educational and dull, on this page: Common Application Prompt 6: Be Warned.
Then return to master three other hot tips about how to write about this tricky prompt.
The New Common Application Prompt 6
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it enables you to lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to find out more?
Tip One for new Common Application Prompt 6: FOCUS
When deciding things to write about for the new Common Application prompt 6, first select ONE specific topic, idea or concept.
Don’t be tempted to expand your essay into currently talking about one idea and one concept. That is only going to make it more general. And generic essays can be boring.
The key will be particular concerning the topic or idea or concept you are passionate about.
Do not make an effort to cram in most your favorite ideas or concepts. That might be a tragedy!
In fact, when you pick one of the these, see if you can make your essay topic even more particular.
For instance, if you decide to write about your passion for the concept of social networking.
Wow, that’s a cool topic, but sooooo big.
You will need to narrow it down. Pick one element of social networking that captivates you, and then try to narrow it once again.
Perhaps you are obsessed with the concept of lucid dreaming, which is whenever you can control your desires.
Again, find something specific about this idea to offer your essay a stronger focus.
One way to focus or zero in on any broad ‘topic, idea of concept’ is to find a personal experience you have experienced with it.
Also, the more specific your topic, idea or concept, the better it is possible to expand upon how it affected you, related experiences and that which you think and learned about it.
Tip Two for new Common Application Prompt 6: Don’t Impress
To write a killer essay for the new typical Application Prompt 6, you do not have to pick a topic, idea or concept that is impressive in nature, such as for instance quantum physics or artificial intelligence or genetic mapping.
Of course, you can choose one of those, but it’s not essential to craft an effective essay.
In fact, often the more everyday ‘mundane’ topics, ideas or concepts end up being more interesting and powerful.
The secret to an awesome essay about the new typical Application Prompt 6 isn’t always your topic (idea of concept), but exactly what you say about it.
An idea could be some business you started in high school, or a simple concept such as being a ‘lifelong learner’ or ‘healthy eating’ or ‘what causes the northern lights?’
Search for topics, ideas or principles that are in your everyday activity.
The closer they are to your normal activities, the better chance the subject, idea or concept could be more personal to you.
And that’s exactly what you need!
Tip Three for new Common Application Essay prompt 6: Answer the ENTIRE prompt
The majority of your essay concerning the new Common Application essay prompt 6 will be about why you are so ‘captivated’ by it, or why you are so passionate about this.
However, note the last question in the prompt: exactly What or who would you turn to whenever you want to master more?
Remember to address this and explain somewhere within the essay how you learned more concerning the ‘topic, idea or concept’ you are writing about.
Ended up being there someone who first introduced you to definitely your topic, idea or concept?
Did you research your topic, idea or concept on the Web, or go to your library to find books, or attend a lecture?
Simply include at the least a sentence or two to exhibit the colleges how you handle your curiosity about whatever topic, idea or concept you write going to answer the new Common Application prompt 6.