Personal Statement Questions 2012

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There’s no one-size-fits-all when you write a personal statement for graduate school.

Everyone’s personality and experiences are different, so everyone’s essay will be different.

This is not a biography or a retelling of your resume in essay form. What are the courses, teachers, research projects, internships or volunteer experiences that have shaped you?

You want to present your best self, but that might include explaining some of your struggles and how you have grown and learned from them. How will earning this advanced degree move you closer to your career and life goals?

How well have you worked as a part of a team to accomplish a shared objective?

Remember, your immediate objective is to land an interview, where you can go into further detail and ask and answer questions in person.Often, graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked.Some school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions (Purdue Owl, 2012).Stop by UND Career Services to pick up your 5 Step Career Prep punch card.As you complete each step with Career Services, you’ll receive a punch.Diversify your sentence structure, and stay in the first person. Sometimes using a shared file like a Google document works well for this purpose.Ask them to scour for spelling and grammatical errors, but also evaluate whether your message makes sense and holds their attention.All are questions designed to force students to focus on a discrete topic and put together a reasoned, cogent answer.Answering broad questions with a limited number of words is tough.But first, step away from the personal statement for a while—for at least a couple of hours, if not a couple of days.When you come back, you should notice what needs tweaking.


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