Writing a Personal Statement: Choose Your Words Wisely

The words we use for writing may not be the words that we use for speaking. We develop different styles of writing and speaking dependent on our audiences. We don’t use the same tone and style for writing a business letter that we would use when we write to a relative.

Over time our use of language has become more relaxed in some situations and there is less formal use than there was for example 50 years ago. However we can over use unnecessary words or use some words that are inappropriate for some occasions.

There are still specific rules that govern certain academic formalities such as writing a personal statement. The personal statement can give an insight into the personality and character of the prospective student. The reasoning behind the personal statement is that it is a measure by which to differentiate between students who may have very similar qualifications and grades.

Chose your words Carefully

You only have to look at the world of advertising and business to realize the positive impact of the correct use of appropriate language can have an impact on the targeted audience. The message has to come across to clearly and quickly. In business there is no time for messages that are not concise, or are ambiguous. The tone, style and language needs to be pitched at the right level.

  • When writing your personal statement you must first think about your target audience, and the word or character limit you have in which to complete the task.
  • Words must be chosen with care make sure they are appropriate; do not use 10 words when 4 will do; make sure that the words you use convey the image that you want.
  • Make a list of what you want to say. Make a list of any key phrases that you think you may need to use. Acknowledge the reasons why you feel that the college is the place that you need to study at.
  • Acknowledge why you have chosen that career path.
  • Share your qualities and characteristics such as Leadership, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Confidence and how they may have a positive impact on your chosen career.
  • Discuss what motivates you and your approach to tasks.
  • Make sure that your statement is free from grammatical errors, and punctuation inaccuracies.

Proofread your work. Get a tutor or career counselor to check through your work. Proof read again.

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