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Personal Statements:
It’s Never Too Early to Start Drafting
Anne Marie Smith
axsmith@ben.edu
• Publications:
• OnlineResources
www.ben.edu/writingprogram then click on personal statements
on the left side of the screen.
THINGS TO DO
• DO express your PASSION IN A CONCISE MANNER.
• DO make your personal statement unique to you – write
something nobody else could write. (avoid sick relatives.)
• DO demonstrate your passion and skills; don’t just list them.
• DO allow yourself time for crafting multiple drafts.
• DO ask multiple people to review and proofread your best
draft with you.
• DO present yourself as you actually are, not how you believe
they want you to be.
THINGS TO DO
• DO strive for depth, not breadth. Choose only one or two
themes. Evaluate your experiences rather than merely
recounting them.
• DO be creative, particularly in your opening remarks.
(No quotes!)
• DO craft the last few sentences to wrap it up; a separate
concluding paragraph is not needed.
• DO emphasize written and verbal communication skills as
much as possible.
• DO pay attention to detail – get the school name correct.
THINGS TO NOT DO
• DON’T list volunteering and work experience. (That will
show up elsewhere in the application.)
• DON’T focus on religion.
• DON’T complain about the “system.”
• DON’T preach to the reader.
• DON’T remind the readers of the program’s ranking or other
general information they already know.
• DON’T talk about money as a motivating factor.
Sample QuestionsforPersonalStatements
Pleasestateyourspecificinterestswithrespecttowhichyouareapplying.Yourintendedareaof
specialization,careerobjectives,andresearchinterestsandexperienceareofparticularinterest.
Youmayalsowishtoincludeabriefstatementofyourgeneralreasonsforundertakinggraduate
work.Pleasegiveabriefoccupationalresumeifanysignificantperiodhaselapsedsinceyouwere
lastenrolledinanacademicinstitution.
Pleasewriteanessay,approximately2to4typewrittenpages,addressing(1)educational
background,(2)researchexperiences,(3)majorarea(s)ofinterest,(4)immediateandlong-term
goals,and(5)unusuallifeexperienceswhichmightmaketraditionalcriteria(e.g.,testscores,
gradeaverages)lessindicativeofacademicpromise.Pleaseusethispageandothersheetsas
necessary.
Applicant'sStatement:Inamaximumof600words,writeapersonalstatementdiscussing
yourinterests,lifeexperiences,goalsandsocialcommitment.Donotexceedthemaximumlength:
LONGERSTATEMENTSWILLNOTBEREAD.
Sample QuestionsforPersonalStatements
BenedictineUniversity
Ph.D.inOrganizationDevelopment
Pleasetypeyourresponsetothefollowing,double-spaced,one-to-fivepagesin
length:DescribehowthePh.D.fitswithyourlong-termcareerobjectives.Please
includepotentialareasofresearchinterestandanyinternationalworkexperience
Ed.D.inHigherEducationandOrganizationalChange
Pleasesubmitanessay/statementexplainingyourcareerandprofessionalgoals.
Describeyourreadinessfordoctoralworkandresearchinterests,andidentifywhat
youexpecttogainfromyourdoctoralstudiesandhowtheywillenableyouto
achieveyourgoals
Thank you for watching!
Anne Marie Smith
axsmith@ben.edu

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#Personal statements