Personal Statement Checklist

Here are some things to keep in mind when you are writing your graduate personal statement:

 Did I stay within the word limit?

 Did I revise any typos?

 Did I answer the question effectively?

 Did I stay on topic?

 Did my essay have one central theme?

 Did my opening paragraph “hook” the reader?

 Did I avoid passive voice?

 Did I use a variety of sentence structures (i.e., some long and some short sentences, starting each paragraph with a different word, not using too many sentences in a row that start with the same word)?

 Did I use transitions? Are the transitions appropriate, or did they feel forced?

 Did I thoroughly develop each idea presented with an appropriate amount of detail (i.e., the personal statement feels neither listy nor wordy)?

 Did anything sound too cliché or generic?

 Were any parts unclear or in need of elaboration?

 Was every sentence important to the essay? Did anything feel unnecessary?

 Did the graduate personal statement offer an accurate portrayal of my experiences, my thoughts, and who I am overall?

 Did my conclusion provide closure and not simply summarize the entire statement?

 Did I get feedback from several other people, including a professor or someone currently in the desired field?

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