Samples of Poorly Written Personal Statements Personal statement writing guide

As you’ve probably read in websites and blogs, the personal statement essay is an important requirement in the application or admissions process of law school, med school, college, and other graduate schools. The personal statement essay you submit can make or break your chances of getting accepted into the school you applied to because this single piece of document is used by admissions staff in gauging your abilities and suitability of getting accepted into the institution’s academic community. So to make sure you don’t submit an awful personal statement, here are some characteristics and styles of badly written personal statement essays that you should avoid:

Idealistic but vague

One common mistake that applicants make in writing their personal statement essay is that they go on and on about how they will use their degree and education for the “betterment of society” or to “contribute to the community.” What these applicants fail to realize is that by simply stating these humanistic aims or desires without providing concrete details and information on how to go about achieving them, there’s a huge possibility that the admissions staff will interpret this as mere insincerity or artificial desire to help.

Use of highfalutin words

Many applicants still make the mistake of using big, polysyllabic, highfalutin words to express their thoughts and emotions in their personal statement essay. There are certain contexts when “big” words can be used to convey a thought or idea, but the rule of thumb in writing a personal statement essay is to stay conversational without being too informal. This means that the language you use in your essay should be easily understood while conveying exactly what it is you want to say. Not only will the use of highfalutin words make your personal statement essay sound robotic and detached, it will also make the admissions staff feel that you’re simply out to impress and not to express.