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Personal Statement Prezi

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by

Karen Weber

on 11 July 2015

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Transcript of Personal Statement Prezi

Academic Road Map
What Have I Achieved?
Where Am I Headed?
How Will This Program Get Me To My Destination?
How Have I Been Successful?
How/what have I learned from my failures?
Telling Your Story
Karen Weber
Create your
audience.
Integral step in focusing your essay. If you don't know who your audience is right now, make it up.
List your
achievements
and
activities
.
Divide them into categories. Can you develop a theme based on those categories?
Choose one example that exemplifies the theme.
Write your
essay.
Introduction: Identifies the central theme for your essay
Body: Develops your theme (2-5 paragraphs)
Conclusion: Summarize/tie in your theme

Keep in mind
t
hese are just guidelines. The personal statement should be reflective of who you are.
Developing the Personal Essay
What is a
Personal Essay?
An Effective Personal Essay Is:
Your story
Authentic portrait
Invitation to get to know you
Indication of your priorities
A Personal Essay Is
Not
:
An academic paper
A resume in narrative form
A journal entry
A plea/justification
Writing an Effective
Personal Essay
Writing an Effective Personal Essay
Understand the
goals
of the personal essay
Understand your
motivations
for applying and include them
Think
strategically
about yourself and your candidacy
Get a
mentor/critic
to help you with the personal statement
Have
outside readers
review drafts
Additional Guidelines
Activity
Break into your color group.
List three things you'd like to include in your personal essay
Academic
Service/Leadership
In any area: Personal/Academic/etc.
Is there a story that exemplifies these three elements?
Share what you've written with your group.
Photos by Shutterstock.com

Pitfalls to Avoid
Don't just list your activities;
explain
how you participated, and
detail
what you learned from your participation.

NOT:
I played volleyball during high school. I was also in the drama club and choir, and volunteered seven hours per week.

BUT:
High school sports are about a lot more than just winning games. As captain of the volleyball team, I led team meetings, mentored a few of my younger teammates, and spearheaded service opportunities in my neighborhood.

OR:
As a member of the drama club, not only did I learn about public speaking and making formal presentations, I also learned the value of teamwork and how great things can only be achieved by working with a group.

The Essay Is Not A Resume

Keep the beginning of your essay
simple
and
focused
.

NOT:
I faced many challenges when I arrived here from Vietnam, and decided to pursue a major that my parents didn't want me to study, and my grandmother was very ill. Nevertheless, I took my ESL classes seriously and eventually my parents were open to me going in a different direction, and my grandmother got the help she needed.

BUT:
At the age of 14 I came to Houston from Vietnam. I had taken five years of English and thought I would be well prepared. However, I had no idea of the challenges I would face inside and outside of the classroom. Every night I wished I could return to Vietnam, but realized my parents had sacrificed a lot for my siblings and me.
Don't Tell Too Many Stories

Don't use your essay to apologize for what you perceive as gaps or weaknesses in your application.

NOT:
I was excited to get my first job as an assistant for an insurance company, but I didn't realize how much time it would take away from my studying. My grades started dropping, and I got really depressed. I continued to work too many hours and didn't realize I should have been thinking more about my studies until it was too late.

BUT:
In addition to my classes, I have also been working as an assistant for an insurance company. Through this position I have learned about database management, managing a website, and customer service. Initially, I did not allow enough time for studying in my schedule, and my grades suffered. When I realized I needed to manage my time better, I enlisted the help of my teachers and employer and, as a result, in my senior year, my grades went up significantly. This experience taught me the benefits of balance and prioritizing, better preparing me for college.
Don't Apologize

Be concise; make sure every sentence contributes to your thesis in a meaningful way.

NOT:
I am interested in being a scientist because I want to make a difference. I've taken four science classes and got As in them all. I'm in the science club, and I really like it. I teach my little brother science and he likes it. Science is really important and I think I'm going to be a good scientist because I've taken a lot of science classes.

BUT:
I plan to major in chemistry. Given my coursework, affiliation in the science club, and mentorship of young people in science, I believe I'm a good fit for this field.
Edit Out Stream of Consciousness/
Vagueness/Length

Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experience and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.

Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

Consider your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extra-curricular activities might help you achieve your goals.
Sample Essay Prompts

Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
Sample Essay Prompts (continued)
Full transcript