Other essays open with much briefer and less narrative personal stories, sometimes relying on just one line to set the context, with the writer heading to a purpose statement shortly thereafter. Clearly, the style of an opening that shares a personal story can range from the flashy to the plain—what matters most is that the opening truly is personal.
We tape handwritten quotes on our bathroom mirrors, clip them onto the visors in our cars, and paste them into our e-mail signature lines. In a personal essay, not only do quotes set context for the reader, they also allow you to ride on the broad shoulders of another who actually managed to say or write something that was worth quoting.
Quotations might be used at the start of the essay, in the closing, or they might appear at a key moment within the body as a way to set context or emphasize a point. In Chapter 5 of this handbook, a quotation is used as an opening to a science-related essay by an applicant for a National Science Foundation Fellowship. In the same chapter, another writer uses a narrative opening in her essay to repeat a favorite quote that her mother used to say: Keep in mind that some quotations are highly overused and that quotations can also come off as merely trite and silly, depending on the taste of the reader.
Indeed, the weapon of surprise is a key ingredient in a Monty Python skit about the Spanish Inquisition no one expects it, just in case you forgot. But in a personal statement humor and surprise can fall flat in the hands of a fumbling writer.
Nevertheless, some writers take these calculated risks, and do so with style. Witness this passage from a sample essay in Chapter 4, as a film student explains how he spent his freshman year in a different major:. Here, this student uses self-deprecating humor as many do in the personal statement: Readers need not question his devotion to film despite his beginning in the sciences—he even blends the two interests together by being influenced into his initial major by a film, aligning himself briefly and humorously with the hapless character of Benjamin Braddock.
Others use humor or surprise less expansively, but again with the purpose of revealing something personal and using intentional self-commentary. All of them reveal a passion for their chosen fields, and the humor and surprise are attention-getting without being too distracting.
Perhaps a good rule of thumb, then, is this: If using humor or surprise, aim it squarely at yourself without making yourself look silly or undermining your character, and dispense with it quickly rather than push it over the top. No matter how well you tell a joke, some readers may not care for it. Donec tempor enim ut sollicitudin pulvinar.
Nulla sit amet blandit lectus. Donec porta semper lacus, in facilisis est finibus a. Nam vitae luctus quam, nec accumsan sapien. Porta semper lacus, in facilisis est finibus a. Nam vitae luctus quam, nec accumsan sapien donec. Lacus, in facilisis est finibus a.
Nam vitae luctus quam, nec accumsan sapien donec porta semper. What Our Client Say's. Curabitur et felis vel justo iaculis viverra. Sed bibendum ante purus, eu tempor augue congue id. Finibus nam vitae luctus quam, nec accumsan sapien. Maybe a company or firm you worked for, a volunteer organization or a business you started might provide a single set of succinct events that contain all the attributes you want to relay to the readers of your personal statement.
Personal Statements are short, so this approach of using a single set of interconnected events which create a concise narrative really takes full advantage of the limited space provided if done properly. This method will allow you to give interesting details about a certain experience you would otherwise not be able to tell.
A dull story will not help you. Sometimes, you just do not have an experience that lends itself to being made into a short daytime Made-for-TV movie like the previous example, meaning it will not translate well into a narrative about a single situation. In this case if you want to include multiple experiences in your personal statement, you should try the chronological experience-building timeline approach.
Using this method, you will show the reader what led you to the path you are on now, demonstrating reasons for your intentions along the way. This timeline will not only include what you have done in the past and what you are doing now but also what you plan to do in the future with your degree while you are in school as well as after you graduate. You will want to start with the first experience that logically began the path you are on now. You do not want to start with: Your personal statement must be short and to the point.
You also do not want to restate your resume; although, using this method, it might be tempting to do so. Nevertheless, remind yourself that not everything on your curriculum vitae is relevant to the program you are applying to now. Nor does it really make clear exactly what you got out of those experiences.
Using a brief experience-building timeline will not only show why you initially were interested in each step and what you got out of it but also how it led to the next logical step aka your next experience on your chronological timeline.
Congratulations on writing such an impressive personal statement! I, too, would love to study English Lit and Creative Writing at uni and East Anglia Uni looks spectacular for this particular degree!
English Literature & Creative Writing personal statement. I once aspired to be a visual artist, a photographer or painter. However, I later discovered the unique ability of poetry and the written word to maintain its power and resonance in a world saturated with images and messages.
English and Creative Writing Personal StatementBooks have always been an enjoyable escapism for me. The knowledge that I could disappear into a book: lose myself in another world and come out feeling invigorated, has often kept me positive in the face of life’s stressful moments. It’s a dream of mine to be able to do that for someone else. statement I enjoyed the coursework immensely, particularly the university focused look creative different types of literature and writing and the skills required literature review maker Close Reading to break down and analyse the effectiveness of sentences and literary personal a skill which I think will benefit me greatly in university studies.
A successful personal statement demonstrates these essential qualities of a successful writer. Beyond securing a spot in a writing program, the personal statement (sometimes called a statement of objectives, statement of purpose or personal essay) is valuable in all aspects of a writing career. English Literature and Creative Writing Personal StatementI rediscovered my love of literature in November, running away from UCL. I was miserable; the hardest thing I have yet to do was accepting that History wasn’t right, despite loving the experience and rigours of university academics. But I realised what I had been missing: my own imagination.