Crafting Your Personal Statement

An outline to get you started.

  • Introduction
    • attention grabber
    • provide some context
    • state goals
  • Academic (intellectual) evolution and interests
    • establish your knowledge base
    • what scholars have influenced your thinking?
    • offer some commentary here
    • why are you interested in this area?
    • why this career path?
    • how do you intend to contribute?
    • an epiphany on your PASSION
  • Research experience
    • include “big picture” of project – what you did, why and what you achieved, but also distill from your work….
    • direct skills you’ve learned, including ways of thinking about complex problems
  • Special highlights: qualities + experiences
    • what other relevant things do you have to share?
    • mention things you’re really good at (give examples)
    • explain how your experiences have led you to your PASSION
    • why will you succeed at your goal?
  • Why here?
    • people + place
    • weave together your interests and theirs
  • Conclusion
    • recap strengths – nail your case that you are the best choice.
    • recap fit – you will fit great with their people.
    • recap your goal – this is what you want to do.