Rules for Writing Your Graduate School Personal Statement

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  1. Write using an active, confident tone and in present tense.
  2. Write clear and concise sentences.
  3. Write a clear introduction, body and conclusion.
  4. Write academically without slang, contractions, clichés or other informal types of writing.
  5. Write per the tone set by the audience and writing prompt.
  6. Use the same tense throughout or make distinct tense changes.
  7. Make sure paragraphs have a topic sentence, explanatory or supportive sentences and provide analysis.
  8. Share yourself with confidence and precision.
  9. The reader has no idea who you are. Write so it becomes evident to him or her.
  10. Use correct grammar and spelling.

Be very intentional when constructing your personal statement. Begin working on it early so you have time to make several drafts. Be mindful of common errors and always keep your audience in mind. Other helpful links are listed below.