Start at the Middle

The hardest part of writing your personal statement for most people is actually starting

Too many expect to be able to write a near perfect flowing essay straight away but this is an unrealistic goal. Thinking like this without planning usually ends in procrastination as the task viewed as a whole seems too daunting.

The easiest way to write is to start early. You will remember to include a lot more if you do it with time ahead, or better still write things down as you do them throughout the year. 

Failing that a systematic approach along with this guidebook should help keep you on the right track. Working from the ground up is a much more organised way of building your statement, and allows you to plan better for the content you want to include. 

It may be tempting to start with the introduction but this section together with the conclusion is much more abstract in tone. The introduction is an opportunity to talk about your aspirations and to give an idea of the parts of your career you find most interesting .  The bulk of discussion regarding achievements should be kept to the main body, and this is the section that benefits most from planning ahead. Once you have a rough but good idea of this part it will be much easier to form the beginning and end.

 

Exercise 1 focuses on general foundation questions and the outcome of these will form the direction of the essay. 

Exercises 1 & 2 ask you to draw on your goals and experiences which will also provide starting material when you come to write your introduction and conclusion. Systematically listing and ordering all possible information you can write about will ensure that key information is supported in the right way by relevant experiences and achievements. This is the key aim of the second exercise, with the third then asking you to streamline the results. 

By midway you should have the bulk of the main body of the essay figured out. Once you have accomplished this it will be much easier to write the introduction and conclusion to bring it all together.

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