The personal statement is extremely important in gaining admittance to graduate and professional schools. Although it can be frustrating to write an original and well-devised statement, through time and drafts it will be written. The ones that are good take time. The ones that are bad can sabotage your chances for success. It is also important that you show your drafts to a Writing Center tutor, your academic advisor, Career Planning advisor, and friends; they will help you write an essay that reveals the right balance of personal and academic characteristics and specifics.
Tips: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge. For this portion of your statement you will need to clearly summarize activities that document your intellectual merit. For example, you can summarize the scope of your previous research and highlight significant findings; the number of scholarly publications and presentations; academic honors and awards; the quality/reputation of your intended graduate program; engagement in disciplinary organizations; and any research or career goals that align with NSF priorities. Be careful how you word this section! Stick with facts. Avoid grandiose or inflated claims. You can sound confident of your goals and aspirations for discovery, but do not sound too arrogant about your intelligence or potential. Here's why: A few reviewers have told me that they prefer to assess each applicant's potential for advancing knowledge, based on a comprehensive review of the entire application. They do not want an applicant informing them how intelligent she/he is or that she/he has more IM potential than other applicants. Just wanted you to be aware of this reviewer sentiment. Don't forget to use boldface to draw reviewers' attention to the required heading Intellectual Merit.
A personal statement, also known as a statement of purpose, demonstrates your unique qualifications as well as your writing ability, creativity, and career goals. Admissions committee members are looking for interesting, insightful and non-generic personal statements.
Tip: To learn about professional development plans, try from AAAS Science Careers. By identifying your skills, interests, values and goals, you can devise a sensible plan for becoming a well-rounded professional with a clear vision and career path.
An attempt will also be made to provide improvements to the mission statement, along with a long-term goal for the change, with adjustments to make the changes likeliness to succeed, and which stakeholders will resist the change and why...
In many ways, your statement of purpose is like a much longer cover letter, written in essay form. The format of the personal statement will vary according to school, academic discipline, and program type. You may be asked about your reasons for applying to the program, your professional goals, experiences that have influenced your development, or role models that have had an impact on your life. Regardless of the question, your personal statement should reflect some knowledge of the particular school and department that you are applying for. This is where all your research really starts to pay off; a statement that shows familiarity with the goals of the program and the interests of the faculty will stand out from a sea of generic statements.
The overall application package will represent who "you" are to people whom you will most likely not know personally. The written expression of your qualities as an applicant will often be a very important way for committee members to get to know why you are an acceptable candidate for their program. Thus, it is essential to take great care in preparing this part of your application. Because graduate schools make important selection decisions that are partly based on what you say in this essay, the writing of it can be an intimidating prospect.
Introduction: In 3-5 sentences, make an interesting point about your unique background, your goals, or your vision for benefiting society. These first few sentences must quickly convince the reviewers that you are intelligent, innovative and articulate. Your writing must be original, sincere and engaging. Avoid clichés and the mundane. Your aim is to so intrigue the reviewers that they will want to read the rest of your statement carefully.
Naturally it is not only the influence of a classroom that shapes a student but many outside factors that determine students’ goals and abilities; for example, healthy encouragement from parents.