8 Essential Steps to Writing A Winning PHD Personal Statement
A PHD personal statement is an excellent way to demonstrate passion in your study area. It informs your dream university you are a perfect match for the course. Whenever you write a personal statement, show off your skills, experience, strengths, and what you’ll bring to your university.
Knowing how to frame your strengths in a simple yet direct manner can be challenging. With the proper guidance, you can craft a persuasive personal statement that helps you stand out from other Ph.D. applicants.
How to Write a personal statement
Writing a personal statement is a simple process. With the right strategies, you write a compelling paper that shows your skills, experiences, and goals. Here are the eight steps to write a quality personal statement for Ph.D.:
Planning ensures you have everything you need to write a quality personal statement. Create an outline of everything you want to highlight in your paper. These include your skills, experiences, goals, awards attained, and anything that sets you apart from other applicants. This makes you organized and motivates you to write a persuasive personal statement.
Carefully formatting your paper makes it appear professional and neat. A well-formatted personal statement for Ph.D. places you on a pedestal and differentiates you from other applicants even before readers can go through your paper. Anyone that comes across your statement can tell you are an organized individual.
Properly formatting your paper involves separating it into paragraphs that include an introduction, body, and conclusion. Every paragraph should discuss a given topic to ensure your statement reads fluidly and clearly. Below is an example of how you could divide your statements.
Paragraph 1: Introduction
Paragraph 2: Academics
Paragraph 3: Reasons you are interested in the course
Paragraph 4: Skills and relevant work experience
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Write a Captivating, Direct, and Clear Introduction
Grab your reader’s attention with a captivating and interesting introduction. Write a strong opening sentence highlighting your skills and why you are applying for the course. The first sentence should hook the readers into reading your personal statement further.
Be as specific as possible and get to your points quickly. Avoid common statements such as” I always wanted to do this since I was little”. Such statements do not impress the admission officers as they are not authentic.
To write a unique and interesting introduction, write it at the end of your writing. Focus on writing the body paragraphs and conclusion first and craft the introduction last. This makes the writing process easier since you have all the details to write a catchy introduction.
Include Relevant Examples and How They Set You Apart
Illustrate all the relevant examples and how they relate to your PHD Course. For example, if you have done many extracurricular activities, list them and show their relevance to your PHD course.
For every statement you include in your paper, ask yourself this question “So what?”. If you participated in the school debate team, so what? Perhaps, it helped you develop structured arguments that will be effective when approaching critical questions. Going the extra mile to explain how different activities prepared you for your course will prove you are different from other applicants.
Be selective of the experience and skills to include in your personal statement; avoid writing a very long personal statement. You can always talk about everything in detail during the admission interview.
Make your statement as personal as possible, ensuring you do not sound generic or insincere. The admission officers are focused on establishing what makes you unique; be bold and think outside the box.
Refrain from including quotes from other people since admission tutors are focused on you. They need to hear something that other applicants have not highlighted. Being personal and authentic makes your statement dazzle from the rest.
Your statement should give the admission committee an idea of who you are and what makes you special. Use the right words and appeal to communicate that in your personal statement.
If You’ve Conducted Research -Be Proud About It
When you write a personal statement, show your passion for your course or subject. If you’ve read related journals and books, briefly explain what you learned from them and how they grew your interest in your course. Show the admission tutors you are eager to learn more about your course and expand your knowledge.
Only include a few relevant research studies related to the course. There is no need to include everything you’ve read since your statement should be standard length.
Write an Informative but Brief Conclusion
The conclusion offers the final chance for you to impress the admission tutors. Utilize it to summarize your points and explore the themes mentioned in the body paragraphs. Decide on what your main message is and reaffirm it in the conclusion.
Link your conclusion to the introduction to ensure fluidity and flow. When doing this, refer back to an idea in the introduction and demonstrate how you’ve explained it throughout your statement. Ensure your conclusion is short: a few sentences will be fine.
Proofread Your Work
Check your statement to ensure it has no punctuation, grammar, or syntax errors. Once done, you could send it to a friend to read it through and confirm any mistakes in your work. They help you detect mistakes that you could not have discovered by yourself.
You can also use software such as Grammarly to check for grammar mistakes. It provides the errors and suggests ways to correct them, helping you deliver a quality and error-free paper. Also, use a plagiarism checker to ensure your paper is 100% authentic.
Different Types of Personal Statements and Their Differences
There are different types of personal statements with varying purposes. Here are some of these types and what makes them different.
An admission essay is part of a university application that allows you to explain how different you are from the rest of the applicants. It is common when applying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree and requires you to provide details about yourself and how you would fit into the college of your choice.
When writing an admission essay, you need to highlight your goals, how to overcome past challenges, and every other attribute that the university identifies as key to the success of students. Different colleges have varying expectations on how your admission essay should look, regarding formatting and word count. Always check your university’s requirements before crafting your admission essay.
A Bachelor’ or Master’s admission essay is almost similar to a PhD personal statement. Their only difference is that PhD statements require you to highlight more experiences and skills. Here is a link to an example of a PhD personal statement.
A cover letter accompanies your resume to describe who you are and why you are applying for the given position. It serves as a written interview, allowing the employer to narrow their search for a candidate for a given job opportunity.
When writing your cover letter, research the business you are applying for and tailor your letter to the specific company. Please do this by identifying the mission and vision of the company: it helps you write a personal statement tailored to the company’s culture.
Your cover letter demonstrates your understanding of the business and shows how you would fit in the culture. For instance, if the company values innovation, make sure to indicate you are an innovative person that loves coming up with unique ideas to help the business grow. This sets you apart from other applicants and demonstrates your value to the company.
Statement of Purpose
You write this personal statement when applying for a scholarship, promotion, nomination for a given award, or investment pitch. It is slightly different from other personal statements since you should focus more on your future and present goals than your past experiences. When you write a personal statement to make a pitch or apply for a scholarship, make sure to include the following:
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years
- How do you plan to attain your goals
When writing a personal statement, focus on proving to your readers that you are a focused individual. Affirm this by showing the plans you have put in place to attain your goals.
Crafting a compelling PHD personal statement requires ample time and skills among other requirements. You need to plan your paper, properly format your work, craft a captivating introduction, and provide a brief conclusion. Make sure to read through your work to avoid any grammatical and syntax errors.
You do not have to struggle to write a persuasive personal statement alone. Hiring professionals to handle your paper saves time and increases your admission chances. They highlight your goals, experiences, and skills that set you apart from other applicants.
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