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Personal Statement Writing

Cardinal Mistakes To Avoid In Personal Statement Writing

Grades and good marks apart, the personal statement you submit along with your application carries lot of weight while seeking admission to a college or university. What you are and how you present yourself to the authorities set you on a higher pedestal among competitors. Planning and penning your personal statement to perfection is the key to increase your chances, distinguish yourself from the crowd and to project your uniqueness. An astute and standout personal statement eases your way through the admission process and helps you secure your dream effortlessly.

Steering clear of common mistakes

Hereare seven cardinal mistakes candidates make while writing a personal statement. Steering clear of them will ensure that you churn out an effective and insightful personal statement:

1. Conflating stats with statement

Quite often, candidates make the mistake of conflating stats with statements. Avoid mentioning your GPA (Grade Point Average)or marks in the personal statement. Let statistics be statistics; do not confuse it with your personal statement. You need to focus on your academic interests, and your statement should speak of your abilities and throw light on your positive traits.

2. Submitting poorly written content

You need to make every effort to produce an essay with substantial quality; a poorly written statement may diminish your chances of being selected significantly. Your language, tense and the tone should be paid special attention to;Usage of cliches is a big NO. Do not beat around the bush - present the issues clearly and in an uncomplicated sequence.You should avoid using quotations and quotes to substantiate your view point; present yourself in original to the authorities concerned.They want to know who you are not what Einstein or George Washington said.

3. Spreadingit too thin

Many a time candidates, in their eagerness to impress the selection committee, try and deal with half a dozen themes in a single statement. Do not, and we say it again, DO NOT dwell on too many issues. Focus on the topic you have chosen and drive home your point of view withexamples and anecdotes.

4. Using inappropriate language

Of all the common mistakes applicants make while submitting personal statements, use of inappropriate language ranks top. Metaphors may be good for poetry, not for personal statements. Store them for your school journal! Come up with your own thoughts in simple and plain language.It could be highly embarrassing to be caught on the wrong foot. Keep a hawk eye on your grammar and spellings.

5. Using unfitting wit

Likewise, never try to impress the admission department with your quirky and witty humour to sell yourself. You are seeking an admission to become a graduate, not a stand-alone comedian. Further, wit and humour are subjective and are prone to multiple interpretations, leanings and affiliations. It is in your best interests not to trudge on toes of people and ruin your chances of being selected.

6. Overselling yourself

While writing a personal statement, overselling yourself may do more harm than good. Do not add loads of work experience or books you have read, countries you have visited, positions you have worked on, in a random list form. Instead, let them know what you gained from the experiences. It is not about the length of experience, but the quality of experience that matters. That would facilitate an evaluation of your comprehension skills and learning aptitude.However, highlight your positive contributions of the past to give the authorities a well-defined and realistic picture.Show to your selection committee members how you are different from the rest. After all, your ability to stand tall among competitors will be the decisive edge for you.

7. Plagiarizing content or ideas

Stay clear of copycat tactics.You are more likely to be caught doing it as most academic institutions have the wherewithal to detect plagiarism.Do you research well and discuss with parents and teachers before finalizing the content. Let your personal statement be your own, reflect your original ideas and written in your own words.

Finally, do not wait till the deadline stares at your face to submit your statement. Be the early bird to create a positive impression. Check for typos and punctuation marks in the final presentation. A misplaced punctuation mark can convey a totally different view of your opinions and dash your hopes. Let someone else, be it a friend, family member or a professional editor, scrutinize your final draft from all angles before you make the final submission.

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