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?