Are you thinking of pursuing a Master’s degree any time soon? If you are then you should start preparing so you can hit the ground running when it’s time to make your application. Judging from the emphasis that most universities put on it, your personal statement is probably the most important part of the application. This is where you let the university know more about you so they can decide whether you’ll be a good fit for their school. Therefore, it’s crucial that you include all the relevant information that will make a good impression on the admissions committee at your preferred university. The sooner you start working on your personal statement the better. Here are a few tips that can help you write a powerful personal statement for your Master’s application.
Grab Attention From The Start
Your opening paragraph should be memorable and captivating. Remember that the admissions committee has thousands of applications to go through so you have to make them want to read yours. Forget about introductions and pleasantries and get straight to the point. Assume you have a few seconds with the committee members. What would you say to make a good impression? The best way to start your personal statement is to talk about what you’re interested in the most. Then, in two sentences, explain why you want to do your Master’s degree, how you got here and your motivation. Finally, give your background in the field and what you intend to do with your Master’s degree.
Pick A Few Points To Highlight
A powerful statement should be short, sweet and straight to the point. Again, no one has time to read about the time you learnt how to ride a bike or your primary school teacher who told you you wouldn’t be anything in life. This isn’t your biography but an opportunity to showcase how some of your experiences have impacted your decision to pursue a Master’s degree. You need to identify these points and highlight them. Ensure that the points you select should be able to reveal what kind of person you are and demonstrate why you’re a strong candidate for the school. Use examples to make your points personal and unique to you.
Keep It Professional
It is called a personal statement but it should be as professional as possible. You can include a little humour but for the most part of it, your statement should read like a professional document. You can demonstrate your level of professionalism by using more sophisticated words such as accomplish rather than do. If English is not your native language, you can use online resources such as translation and synonyms to write a better statement. Remember to use proper salutations and avoid discussing controversial topics in your statement.
Don’t Read Other People’s Statements
Though you might be tempted to read other personal statements, it’s better if you don’t as this can give you a false idea and affect the uniqueness of your personal statement. You can get someone to go through your statement to check for any corrections. Reading your personal statement out loud can also help identify anything that needs to be added or removed.
Take Your Time
As mentioned, it’s best to start working on your personal statement as soon as possible. In fact, it’s never too early to start. A personal statement is usually 700 words which might seem easy to write in a day or two. However, this document can make or break your application. To be on the safe side, draft a rough copy that you can edit over time. This will allow you to go through your statement with a fine tooth comb and make the necessary corrections. You will also be able to identify spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes which can otherwise affect the outcome of your application.
Do Your Research
Make sure you’re conversant with the programme that you’re applying for as well as the school. Part of the personal statement is demonstrating that you understand the field you’re entering and the impact it will have on society. You can mention scholars or famous people who have worked in the field and how they have contributed to society. You can also familiarize yourself with the works of some of the faculty members of the university you wish to join. This demonstrates that you have taken the time to do your research on the field and the school. Additionally, you will demonstrate that you will actually be a valuable addition to the school’s Master’s programme.
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