College Essays. If you've been sitting in front of a blank screen, unsure of exactly how to start a personal statement for college, then believe me—I feel your pain. A great college essay introduction is key to making your essay stand out, so there's a lot of pressure to get it right. Luckily, being able to craft the perfect beginning for your admissions essay is just like many other writing skills— something you can get better at with practice and by learning from examples. In this article, I'll walk you through exactly how to start a college essay. We'll cover what makes a great personal statement introduction and how the first part of your essay should be structured.
How to Write a Successful Personal Statement for Graduate School
How to Write a Personal Statement for Graduate School
A personal statement for graduate school is an opportunity to showcase what you will bring to the graduate program and to explain how the program fits into your larger career goals. Some programs will ask you to write a single essay covering both your personal background and what you wish to study in graduate school. Others, however, will require both a personal statement and a statement of purpose. The personal statement should focus on you and your background, while the statement of purpose should focus on your research or what you plan to study in graduate school.
Don't underestimate the importance of your personal statement in your medical school application. Your GPA and MCAT scores show that you are academically capable, but they do not tell the admissions committee what type of person you are. Who you are matters, and the personal statement is the place to tell your story. The medical school admissions process is holistic , and the admissions folks want to enroll students who are articulate, empathetic, and passionate about medicine. Your personal statement provides you an opportunity to make the case that you have what it takes to succeed in medical school and that you will contribute to the campus community in positive ways.
One of the first opportunities for an applicant to convey this message to admissions officers is through their personal comments essay in the AMCAS application. We asked three pre-health advisors how they advise their students to put their best self forward when crafting their personal statements. You want to reveal something about yourself and your thoughts around your future in medicine while also making an argument that provides evidence supporting your readiness for your career. As you draft your essay, you may want to include anecdotes from your experiences. This could be recounting a meaningful conversation that you had with someone, venting after an especially challenging experience, or even writing about what keeps you going at times when you feel in danger of giving up.