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By: Verna Eberhardt, Graduate Intern

Writing a personal statement by perception and sometimes reputation is often a daunting and overwhelming undertaking. The ambiguity and mystery swirling around its purpose and composition can be dispelled with the introduction of an easy recipe.


When baking a cake, making a casserole, or preparing some other delightful dish, success can depend upon employing a recipe that includes the proper tools, essential ingredients, and preparation instructions. The following personal statement recipe outlines easy steps to help you prepare a unique personal statement.


Tools: To prepare your personal statement you must begin with the right tools. The first tool you will need is the statement/essay instructions and specified format.  Secondly, you will need to conduct research to appropriately address the audience of administrators, instructors, and other stakeholders who may be part of the admission committee reviewing your personal statement. And finally, you need to take a personal assessment of who you are, why you have chosen your designated field of interest, and why you have chosen the particular program for which you are applying.


Essential ingredients: The ingredients are harvested from your unique and authentic self. These ingredients will create a full picture of who you are, as a student, an intellectual and an individual.


Preparation instructions: Preparing your personal statement involves building a few paragraphs that articulate your area of study, and integrates your goals and ambitions. The personal statement’s purpose is to make a theme based declaration grounded on your life experiences that yields appreciation of you as a student and qualified candidate, and encourages the committee members to want to meet you.


Essential Ingredients

  • Personal accomplishments
  • Community experiences
  • Academic accomplishments
  • Professional experience
  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Personal interest
  • Professional interest
  • Personal growth/development
  • Authenticity
  • Unique qualities
  • Goals
  • Motivations
  • Skills/traits


Write the opening paragraph. Fill it with appeal and layer it with self- awareness of who you are and how you see your world. Blend in your specific qualities and attributes. Mix in an inspirational and persuasive approach to make it interesting from start to finish.


Write the second paragraph. Fill it with background and perspective into why you are interested in the field and why your skills make you suited for admission. Layer it with evidence of your personal accomplishments, and community experiences that connect to the profession, paying close attention to connecting with the audience.


Write the third paragraph. Fill it with your motivation and program goals. Stir in a likeable temperament deserving of merit. Knead in your academic accomplishments, professional experience and professional interest that highlights why you selected your field and program. Spread evenly with your personal growth and development plans. Sealing it with an engaging and unique theme, topped with authenticity.


Cook’s note:

Be sure to use appropriate writing techniques and proof read.

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