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PS不仅能够说明你能写一份很好的连贯的文章,同时能够让他们更好地了解你。要写出在其它文件中不能体现的你的信息。(Unique Information) A detailed list of professional goals that demonstrates determination, motivation, and, above all, careful thought, often enhances your application. (要写出你的专业目标,特别是显示你的动机,缜密思考的那些目标)。申请专门学校和研究生院是不同的,在申请研究生学院时

本文网址:http://www.engl.virginia.edu/writing/wctr/personal.html

Writing Personal Statements for Graduate and Professional Schools

Introduction(简介)

Writing a good personal statement is an important part of any application to graduate or professional school. The personal statement not only shows the admissions committee that you can write an interesting, cohesive essay, but it also allows them to learn about you as a person. This is your chance to show them that you are more than just a list of grades and test scores; show them how you will contribute to the school and its community.

Supply the committee with unique information about yourself that does NOT appear elsewhere in your application. With thousands of applicants vying for a limited number of slots, you must make yourself stand out. As in any essay, it is crucial that you know your audience. A detailed list of professional goals that demonstrates determination, motivation, and, above all, careful thought, often enhances your application. While it should go without saying, your essay must employ grammar correctly. While proper grammar doesn't earn you points, sloppy grammar can be the kiss of death. As a panelist from the Medical School at UVa recently put it, poor grammar suggests to the committee that you are a careless student who is not detail oriented. Needless to say, admissions officers value precision and attention to detail. Afterall, how many people will trust a sloppy, careless doctor? While that making the leap from sloppy grammar to careless doctor might seem far-fetched, countless admissions officers tell a different story.

Unique Information

Unique information about yourself is an important part of your personal statement for Graduate and Professional Schools because for many committees this is their first (and perhaps only) chance to find about you as a person. This information should highlight your talents, interests, and accomplishments; it should also give life to your academic records. Though you want your personality to show in your statement, remember to keep the tone of the statement professional. Never include anything that could be misconstrued as offensive in any way. Keep in mind that humor is very difficult to pull off. Unless you are extremely confident (and have asked several people to read your essay), it may be best to steer clear of jokes and sarcasm.


The unique information in your statement should include an opening that will grab the reader's attention. Remember one of the main goals of this essay is to make yourself memorable to the committee. Consider beginning with a particular experience that relates to your career interests. But stay away from wild stories that bear little relevance to your career goals or other main points in the essay. While many applicants like to begin with a quotation, this is overused. Only take this strategy if the quotation is truly meaningful to you or ties in creatively with the rest of your essay. Be sure to include any relevant personal or work experiences, particularly if they do not appear elsewhere in your application. Somewhere in the essay, perhaps towards the end, you should consider pointing out why the specific institution is a good match for you.

The Difference between Professional Schools (Medical, Law, Business) and Graduate Schools:

While graduate school committees certainly expect well-written, thoughtful essays, they are looking for different content from their applicants. For graduate schools, that will likely be funding your education for the next 2-6 years, they want to know about your specific qualifications in your field. In other words, you should spend most of your essay explaining your interest, research experience, and disciplinary goals. Be sure that you research the school well to determine whether your interests align with those of a faculty member. Not only must you convince a committee that you are a qualified applicant, but you must also convince them (and probably also a particular professor) that your interests match the needs of the department; after all, they are about to invest a substantial amount of money and time in your education. With this in mind, limit the personal anecdotes and extracurricular interests to those that pertain directly to your field of interest or career goals.

Audience and Voice

As we've suggested already, it's important to keep your audience in mind as your write your personal essay. While the admissions committee appreciates creative essays, they also know all the tricks. After all, many of them have been reading thousands of applications for decades. So, make yourself stand out, but donat' write what you think the committee wants to hear. First of all, they've heard all that before. Second, they can see through your attempts to please. The most successful essays are those in which the author is honest and genuine. The best advice we can give you is simply to be yourself. That also means paying some attention to voice, or the personality behind your writing. While your high school English teacher may have gone ballistic when you used the first person, you should not be afraid of using "I" in your personal statement. This essay should not be a dry, academic essay, but neither should it be one stand-up comic routine; instead, you should strive for a balance between the two. Admissions committees also complain that many students try excessively hard to create an entertaining voice or write what they deem sophisticated prose. Often, these attempts backfire, making the essay sound contrived and flowery. You can avoid these pitfalls simply by being yourself.

Goals

Forecasting your goals for a career you've not even begun can prove a daunting task, but most admissions committees expect you to do just that. Remember that while they may expect you to complete this unwieldy task, no one is going to hold you to the goals you outline in your personal statement. In fact, committees are really just using this portion of your essay to gauge your motivation, knowledge of the field, and commitment to the course of study. Above all, they want to know that you have carefully considered your reasons for pursuing a graduate degree and the career it eventually makes possible. For many students, this is one of the most difficult portions of the essay to write. Before launching into this section (or any part of the essay, for that matter), you should take some time for self-reflection. Most committees are impressed by essays that express not only motivation and intelligence (your grades can show that as well), but also thoughfulness, maturity, and self-awareness.


Grammar and Writing Tips:

Using proper grammar will not impress the committee, but making errors, overlooking typos, and failing to proofread will severely hurt your chances for admission. Be sure that you spend time revising your essay. See links to grammar and revision tips for useful strategies.
This handout was written and edited by Writing Center staff, with the help of UVa undergraduates, George Garrison, Krista Lindgren, Tejal Suthar, and Mike Tilley.

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