Start early. Leave plenty of time to revise, reword, and rewrite. You can improve your presentation.
Read the instructions thoroughly and answer the prompt completely. Answer the question as directly as possible, and follow word limits exactly. Express yourself as briefly and as clearly as you can.
Write in your own voice, speaking honestly about yourself. Admissions want to know who you are.
Focus on an aspect of yourself that will show your best side. You might have overcome some adversity, worked through a difficult project, or profited from a specific incident. A narrow focus is more interesting than broad-based generalizations.
Feel comfortable in expressing anxieties. Everybody has them and it’s good to know that an applicant can see them and face them.
Provide support for your statements by supplying specific details.
Be positive about yourself. Negatives tend to turn people off.
Be aware of sentence length and paragraph structure.
Be certain that your essay has smooth paragraph transitions.
Be careful with your humor. And avoid being cute!
Avoid slang and clichés.
Do not manufacture hardship or whine.
Do not repeat information given elsewhere on your application. The Admissions Committee has already seen it – and it looks as though you have nothing better to say.
After writing the first draft, allow the essay to sit. Then read the draft aloud to a trusted friend. Ask for a critique and validation of your self-presentation and writing.
“100 Successful College Application Essays” by Christopher Georges & Gigi Georges
“Essays That Will Get You Into College” by Burnham, Kaufman, and Dowham
There is NO such thing as a single perfect personal statement. There is only the personal statement that is right for YOU, so do not be afraid to write three or four essays and then choose from what you have written.