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Once you have developed a sense of the faculty's interests and the department's special features, you can make it clear in your application exactly why you want to attend that particular school.
(If personal information of this sort is not required, then you are under no obligation to provide it.) The information that could be included in a personal-type statement is limited only by your own imagination and life history, but you should be highly selective about what you include.
There are two things to watch out for: (1) saying too much and/or (2) not saying enough.
Although it can be frustrating to write an original and well-devised statement, through time and drafts it will be written. The ones that are bad can sabotage your chances for success.
It is also important that you show your drafts to a Writing Center tutor, your academic advisor, Career Planning advisor, and friends; they will help you write an essay that reveals the right balance of personal and academic characteristics and specifics.
The overall application package will represent who "you" are to people whom you will most likely not know personally.
The written expression of your qualities as an applicant will often be a very important way for committee members to get to know why you are an acceptable candidate for their program.To begin your essay, brainstorm using the following questions: Write the first draft from this, then try to find an angle or a hook which can sink into the admissions committee; a good place to start is with an original and provoking opening paragraph.One of the worst things you can do with your personal statement is to bore the admissions committee, yet that is exactly what most applicants do.For your final draft, be sure to avoid sloppiness, poor English, spelling errors, whining, manufacturing a personality, avoiding the questions that are asked on the application, high school experiences, personal biases about religion, ethnicity, politics, sexist language, revealing of character weaknesses, and arrogance.The personal statement is extremely important in gaining admittance to graduate and professional schools.Relevant items here might include work experience, publications, and presentations, as well as language and computer skills. Leave plenty of time to revise, record, and rewrite. Express yourself as briefly and as clearly as you can. The admission committee is anonymous to you; you are completely unknown to it.Also, if you have experienced times of great hardship or extenuating circumstances that have negatively affected your academic performance at any time, provide a short explanatory statement. Even if you run into a committee member in the future, he will have no way of connecting your essay (out of the thousands he has read) to you.It is important, however, that the anecdote is related to the questions asked and not just a retelling of a catchy life drama.After you have written the first, second, or third draft, there are another set of evaluative questions that you can work through to help you revise your essay.Again, mention the person and how their work relates to your interest, but don't load this statement with what might be interpreted as false or superfluous praise.Some applications may ask you to give a personal history, telling about experiences that you have undergone which have led you to decide to pursue graduate education in a certain field of study.