personal statement closing paragraph example

How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

personal statement closing paragraph example

Second only to the opening paragraph , the closing paragraph of a personal statement is the part that people often struggle with the most.

From repeating key points to underselling achievements and ambitions, a personal statement conclusion can be the least effective aspect of the document.

That’s frustrating, as a personal statement closing paragraph is often the part that leaves the greatest impression in the mind of the reader.

So how should you end a personal statement and create a great final paragraph?

When considering how to end a personal statement, don’t summarize existing content in a repetitive conclusion. Instead, clarify your suitability with a new example and evidence your value to the institution. Lastly, outline your ambitions in relation to the opportunities presented by the course.

I’ve broken down each of these elements in detail so that you can craft a successful personal statement final paragraph…

The Final Paragraph Must Evidence Your Suitability

Instead of detailing all the key areas in which you are a suitable candidate for the course or role early on in your personal statement, it is valuable to hold back at least one example in order to add credibility and weight to your final paragraph.

This could outline an additional course you have completed or a qualification that you have achieved, but it could equally be a volunteering opportunity or work placement that reinforces your suitability for the higher study of a particular subject.

Admissions teams really want to see that applicants are clearly suitable for the courses they’re applying for, but also that they are suitably prepared for academic success.

Essentially, they want to know that you understand what you’ll be doing on the course and that you’re qualified to do it well . That’s why driving this point home in the last paragraph is so important.

For more of my powerful personal statement strategies, just click here .

The table below gives some examples of ways in which you might evidence your suitability in your final paragraph . They won’t all apply to you, but the chances are that you will recognise some of these aspects from your own preparation for higher education, and be able to include them:

Here’s how a sentence might look in a personal statement example…

personal statement closing paragraph example

If you’d like a detailed post on the skills you need to include in your personal statement, then why not check this out?

Outline Your Value to the University or Employer

It’s important that the final paragraph of your personal statement clearly outlines your potential value to the organisation. To understand exactly the kind of content that admissions tutors are looking for, ask yourself this question:

How will the university I am applying for, the faculty in which I will study and the community in which I will live, be better for having me be a part of it? David Hallen

As Whitney Soule, Dean of Admissions at Bowdoin puts it:

personal statement closing paragraph example

If a university can see evidence that you will make a positive contribution to their organisation clearly in the final paragraph of your personal statement, then you will have left them with an excellent impression of your potential.

But how exactly might you add value, and how do you write about it concisely?

Adding Value to your Personal Statement

  • Experience of diversity when contextualised in terms of social, cultural, gender, ethnicity, sexuality or ability. Your experiences will add to the wisdom and education of your cohort at a time when identity and empathy is paramount.
  • Knowledge of more than your subject . The life experiences, travel, background and passions that make you an individual and that you can share in a positive context are vital.
  • Sports skills or related team and community experiences . From playing soccer to white-water rafting, acapella singing or ultimate frisbee, the skills you bring to share with others are an important way to add value.
  • Experience of or intention to mentor . If you can show that you intend to mentor and support other students with a particular level of expertise, you’ll be a tremendous asset.
  • Proven commitment and dedication . Explain how you have the tenacity and resilience to overcome challenges by equating that with a specific example from your own life, and give the reader the confidence that you will successfully complete the course regardless of the hardships you face.
  • If you have experiences of leadership , make these clear and indicate how these are of value to the organisation. From captaining a team to leading on a research project, your ability to motivate and facilitate those around you make you a genuine asset.

A couple of sentences in your final paragraph that meets this goal might look something like this:

personal statement closing paragraph example

For some excellent advice on developing some outstanding personal statement examples, check out my post here . Alternatively, using a free software package like Grammarly can really help applicants convey the depth of their academic value. Check it out here or hit the banner below…

personal statement closing paragraph example

Finish Your Personal Statement by Showing Ambition

The last essential element of a great final paragraph is proof of ambition relating to the content and outcome of the course you are applying for .

If you can show that you have an informed understanding of where the course can take you and a good idea of the demands of the industry you might want to enter, your final paragraph will be far more convincing.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve achieved 3 important tasks before you type a single word…

  • You’ve fully researched the course(s) you are applying for and can reference the academic content, employment opportunities and outcomes
  • You’ve got some practical and theoretical understanding of the industries related to the course, prior to application
  • You’ve given some contextualised thought to your potential role within those industries, and how the course will help you reach that goal

personal statement closing paragraph example

For more specific content on how original a personal statement should be, and just how to include your ambitions and experiences in a way that readers will find compelling, check this post out .

Once you’ve got some notes on these three points, you can put a sentence together that evidences your ambition, promotes your application and demonstrates your understanding of your sector. An effective couple of sentences might look like this:

personal statement closing paragraph example

You can watch a great tutorial on showing ambition in your personal statement below, or check out some helpful UCAS resouces .

Whatever order you decide to tackle them in, if you ensure you include the three elements detailed in this post, you’ll be sure to write a relevant and compelling final paragraph, leaving the reader confident about making you an offer.

personal statement closing paragraph example

Good luck with your personal statement, and don’t forget to contact me if you’d like some 1-1 support. You’ve got this! D

Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.

David Hallen

I've worked in the Further Education and University Admissions sector for nearly 20 years as a teacher, department head, Head of Sixth Form, UCAS Admissions Advisor, UK Centre Lead and freelance personal statement advisor, editor and writer. And now I'm here for you...

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Writing the Personal Statement

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This handout provides information about writing personal statements for academic and other positions.

The personal statement, your opportunity to sell yourself in the application process, generally falls into one of two categories:

1. The general, comprehensive personal statement:

This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms.

2. The response to very specific questions:

Often, business and graduate school applications ask specific questions, and your statement should respond specifically to the question being asked. Some business school applications favor multiple essays, typically asking for responses to three or more questions.

Questions to ask yourself before you write:

  • What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impressive about you or your life story?
  • What details of your life (personal or family problems, history, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
  • When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
  • How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
  • If you have worked a lot during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has that work contributed to your growth?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades but mediocre LSAT or GRE scores, for example, or a distinct upward pattern to your GPA if it was only average in the beginning)?
  • Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial, or physical) in your life?
  • What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, compassion, and/or persistence) do you possess that would improve your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
  • What skills (for example, leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess?
  • Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field than other applicants?
  • What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?

General advice

Answer the questions that are asked

  • If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar.
  • Don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. It is important to answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, you should write separate statements. In every case, be sure your answer fits the question being asked.

Tell a story

  • Think in terms of showing or demonstrating through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack. If you distinguish yourself through your story, you will make yourself memorable.

Be specific

  • Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to become a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experience that is described in your statement. Your application should emerge as the logical conclusion to your story.

Find an angle

  • If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle or a "hook" is vital.

Concentrate on your opening paragraph

  • The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. This paragraph becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.

Tell what you know

  • The middle section of your essay might detail your interest and experience in your particular field, as well as some of your knowledge of the field. Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be as specific as you can in relating what you know about the field and use the language professionals use in conveying this information. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. Since you will have to select what you include in your statement, the choices you make are often an indication of your judgment.

Don't include some subjects

  • There are certain things best left out of personal statements. For example, references to experiences or accomplishments in high school or earlier are generally not a good idea. Don't mention potentially controversial subjects (for example, controversial religious or political issues).

Do some research, if needed

  • If a school wants to know why you're applying to it rather than another school, do some research to find out what sets your choice apart from other universities or programs. If the school setting would provide an important geographical or cultural change for you, this might be a factor to mention.

Write well and correctly

  • Be meticulous. Type and proofread your essay very carefully. Many admissions officers say that good written skills and command of correct use of language are important to them as they read these statements. Express yourself clearly and concisely. Adhere to stated word limits.

Avoid clichés

  • A medical school applicant who writes that he is good at science and wants to help other people is not exactly expressing an original thought. Stay away from often-repeated or tired statements.

For more information on writing a personal statement, see the personal statement vidcast .

personal statement closing paragraph example

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How to end a personal statement: writing a memorable conclusion.

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Reviewed by:

Rohan Jotwani

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 1/3/24

When you know how to end a personal statement, you boost your chances of making a lasting impact on the admissions committee. It's all about making sure they remember you in a positive way.

‍ Crafting a compelling personal statement is the cherry on top of your college application essay. It's that final chance to leave a lasting impression on the admissions committee, to wrap up your story with finesse, and to underscore why you're the ideal candidate for their institution. 

So, let's delve into the art of writing a powerful conclusion that will make your application shine.

The Importance of a Strong Conclusion

Just like a personal statement introduction , the importance of a strong conclusion in your college application personal statement cannot be overstated. It's your last chance to leave a powerful impression on the admissions committee, summing up your key points and reinforcing your main message.

A well-crafted conclusion offers clarity, closure, and reflection while expressing your enthusiasm for the future. It's the finishing touch that can make your personal statement truly memorable.

Defining the Purpose of a Personal Statement Conclusion

The conclusion of a personal statement plays an important role:

  • Reinforces Your Core Message : It strengthens the central message or theme that runs through your personal statement, leaving a lasting impression of your candidacy.
  • Recaps Key Element s: It concisely summarizes the main ideas, important experiences, and notable achievements highlighted in your essay, offering a quick reminder of your qualifications.
  • Leaves an Impact : Similar to a memorable closing scene in a movie, a well-crafted conclusion can have a powerful impact. Whether through a thought-provoking question, an impactful quote, or a glimpse into your future goals, it aims to engage the reader's thoughts and emotions.
  • Demonstrates Your Writing Skills : Your conclusion also shows off your writing abilities, highlighting your capacity to convey your message effectively and memorably.

The conclusion adds the final touch to your personal statement. It brings clarity, wraps things up, and encourages reflection while showing your excitement for the future. Remember, a personal statement is not a statement of purpose . 

It’s all about explaining why you’re the right candidate for the program you’re applying to, rather than simply explaining why you’re applying. You need to stand out! This is your final opportunity to leave a strong impression on the admissions committee, making sure they understand why you're an exceptional applicant.

female student sitting on floor writing essay on paper

Selecting the Right Approach for Concluding

When you're reaching the end of your personal statement, it's crucial to select an approach that harmonizes with the tone and message of your essay. Take a moment to reflect on the story you've shared and the impression you aim to leave with the admissions committee.

If your personal statement has revolved around a narrative, a reflective conclusion that links back to your story can be fitting. Conversely, if your essay leans towards analysis or persuasion, you might opt to restate your main argument or emphasize the key points. 

Think about what will resonate most with your reader, and make sure your conclusion seamlessly follows the flow of your preceding content. This ensures a cohesive and impactful ending to your personal statement.

Summarizing Key Points

In the conclusion of your personal statement, a concise summary can be highly effective. Revisit the main points, experiences, or achievements you've shared in your essay. This summary provides a quick refresher for the reader, reinforcing your most significant qualifications and attributes.

It's a way to emphasize what makes you a strong candidate without restating everything in your essay. Keep it brief and focused, highlighting the highlights that best support your application. This approach ensures that your conclusion leaves a lasting impression while staying concise and to the point.

Reiterating the Thesis or Main Message

In your personal statement, you often have a central theme or message, such as your passion for a subject, your dedication to community service , or your ability to overcome challenges. In the conclusion, it's valuable to reiterate this thesis or main message.

By reinforcing the importance of your central theme and explaining how it relates to your desire to be a part of the college community, you can leave a strong and lasting impression on the admissions committee. This restatement emphasizes your unique qualities and aspirations, helping your personal statement stand out.

Ending With a Thought-Provoking Question

Ending your personal statement with a thought-provoking question can engage the reader and invite them to reflect further on your essay's themes. This question should tie back to your story and message, encouraging the admissions committee to consider its implications. 

However, be mindful not to make the question overly open-ended. Instead, guide the reader toward thoughtful reflection on your experiences and goals, reinforcing your candidacy effectively.

Closing With a Powerful Quote

Adding a meaningful quote to your conclusion can elevate your personal statement. Just make sure it aligns with your essay's themes and provides valuable insights. A well-picked quote connects your story to a broader perspective, making a lasting impact.

Suggesting Future Goals or Intentions

If your future goals align with the college you're applying to, your conclusion can serve as a bridge between your past experiences and your future aspirations. You can briefly mention how your journey has prepared you for what lies ahead and how you intend to contribute to the college community. 

This not only demonstrates your enthusiasm but also highlights the value you'll bring to the college. Just ensure that your future intentions feel authentic and well-aligned with your personal narrative.

In a nutshell, your choice of conclusion approach can make a world of difference in how your personal statement lands with the admissions committee. The right conclusion, like the perfect closing note of a melody, can leave a lasting impression that resonates with those who read it.

student typing essay

Determining the Most Suitable Conclusion Approach

Keep reading for the key points on how to determine the most suitable conclusion approach for your personal statement:

  • Identify Your Main Message : Begin by pinpointing the central theme or message of your personal statement. What have you been trying to convey throughout your essay? This central message should guide your choice of conclusion.
  • Consider Your Audience : Think about the admissions committee who will be reading your personal statement. What type of conclusion would resonate with them? Consider what qualities or values they seek in prospective students.
  • Match the Style : Reflect on the style of your essay. Have you been narrating a story, reflecting on experiences, making a persuasive argument, or analyzing a topic? Your conclusion should align with the style you've used throughout your essay.
  • Authenticity Is Key : Ensure that your conclusion is authentic and true to your own voice. It should reflect your genuine self and not feel forced or insincere.
  • Don't Shy Away from Unconventional Approaches : Sometimes, a slightly unconventional conclusion approach can leave a more memorable impression. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone if it enhances your message and connection with the reader.
  • Seek Feedback : Share your conclusion approach with trusted individuals who are familiar with college applications. They can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your chosen approach.
  • Get Support : Don't be afraid to ask for assistance if you need it. Our team of experts is here to provide personalized support in crafting your personal statement introduction, making sure it truly stands out.

Your conclusion is your final opportunity to make an impact, so choose an approach that feels right for you and effectively conveys your message to the admissions committee.

How Long Should the Conclusion of a Personal Statement Be?

When it comes to the length of your personal statement conclusion, try to keep it around 150 to 200 words. This range strikes the right balance between wrapping up your essay effectively and leaving a memorable mark on your reader.

Remember, though, that different application platforms may have specific word limit guidelines. For instance, the Common Application allows for personal statements ranging from 250 to 650 words, while the Coalition Application suggests 500 to 650 words. QuestBridge, on the other hand, typically sticks to a 650-word limit.

So, as you craft your conclusion, always keep an eye on those word limits. Staying within them not only showcases your ability to convey your message concisely but also demonstrates your adherence to application guidelines, which is something admissions committees appreciate.

It's your chance to end your personal statement on a high note, leaving a positive and lasting impression.

Tips for Personal Statement Endings

Writing an effective personal statement ending for your college application is crucial. Here are some tips to help you create a compelling and memorable conclusion:

  • Reflect on Your Journey : Take a moment to think about the experiences and challenges you've faced during your academic journey. Your conclusion should connect these elements to your future aspirations.
  • Revisit Your Main Message : Your personal statement likely conveys a central message about yourself. Reiterate this message in your conclusion, but do so in a way that adds depth or a new perspective to it.
  • Engage Your Reader : Consider ending with a thought-provoking question or a powerful quote that relates to your essay's themes. This can stimulate the reader's thoughts and emotions and leave a lasting impression.
  • Look to the Future : If applicable, hint at your future goals and how they align with the college you're applying to. This demonstrates your enthusiasm and commitment to contributing to the college community.
  • Match the Tone : Ensure that your conclusion aligns with the overall tone and style of your personal statement. Whether your essay is reflective, narrative-driven, analytical, or persuasive, the conclusion should feel like a natural extension of your essay's content and style.
  • Stay Concise : While your conclusion is essential, it should also be concise. Avoid introducing new information or going into extensive detail. Instead, focus on reinforcing key points and leaving a strong impression.
  • Proofread and Revise : Just like the rest of your personal statement, your conclusion should be well-edited and error-free. Proofread it carefully and consider seeking feedback from teachers, mentors, or peers.
  • Follow Word Limits : Adhere to any word limits provided by the application platform. Typically, a personal statement ending should be around 150-200 words, but this can vary depending on the application portal.

Remember, a conclusion is your final chance to leave a positive and lasting impression on the admissions committee. Use it wisely to showcase your strengths, uniqueness, and commitment to your academic and personal journey.

Examples of Great Personal Statement Conclusions

Now, let's take a look at some personal statement conclusion examples for inspiration.

Statement Example 1

“Our first theater meeting of the year was about a month ago. Remembering my freshman year, I brought everyone on stage. This year, I switched it up. Everyone stood in the circle for icebreakers. After each response, I asked follow-up questions and prompted others to share stories of similar experiences. And just like me, there were nervous freshmen, with little to no experience. This time, I spoke up: “Oh I’ve never heard of that show. Tell me about it sometime.”

Statement Example 2

“Now, I don’t let people go below what I like to call the [NAME] standard’. If I feel like someone is not treating me or my friends fairly, I don’t entertain their company.
What [NAME] did wasn’t anything extravagant. He didn’t give his kidney and he didn’t race down the 101 to save me from some terrible tragedy. However, the appreciation that [NAME] showed for me and how he vocalized who I was to him, meant all the difference to me.
Now, I always let my friends know that I appreciate them and that I am thankful to have them in my life. This gift has helped me with choosing better friends who I love and appreciate. Thanks to Ben, he’s shown me how great life is when you're not alone.”

Statement Example 3

“I’m proud to say I can be vulnerable and act on my insecurities. I became an amicable, self-aware, and social person gaining respect and friendship amongst teachers and peers. Throughout college, I make sure to spend time with my family by cooking dinner for them once a week, sending them silly texts of cute animals, or just giving them a call. My transition to becoming more open has ultimately led to my career path as an [JOB TITLE] - creating better lives for marginalized communities. Understanding what other people go through and being susceptible will allow me to properly achieve my goals and assist those in need. It’s [YEAR], and my dad is in the best shape of his life. I show my gratitude by accompanying him during his checkups and scolding him for trying to eat poorly.”

female student writing essay

Wondering how to conclude a personal statement? Let’s take a closer look by going over some commonly asked questions.

1. Is It a Good Idea to Reiterate the Main Message or Thesis Statement When Concluding a Personal Statement?

It's a smart move to recap your main message when concluding your personal statement. Reiterating your central theme creatively reinforces your uniqueness as an applicant without being repetitive, making a lasting impact on the reader.

2. Is It Acceptable to End a Personal Statement With a Question or a Quote?

Absolutely, you can conclude your personal statement with a question or quote that fits your essay's tone and message, engaging the reader and reinforcing your key points.

3. Can I Summarize the Key Points of My Personal Statement in the Conclusion?

Summarizing key points in your conclusion is a common and effective practice. Keep it short and sweet, focusing on the highlights that really support your application. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it! Your personal statement's conclusion is crucial. Now that you know how to end a personal statement, you're ready to leave a strong impression on the admissions committee. Your conclusion is your final chance to convince them that you're the right candidate for the opportunity. Make it count!

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How to End a Personal Statement: Strong Tips And Examples

EssayEdge > Blog > How to End a Personal Statement: Strong Tips And Examples

When everything is written down, thoughts are made up together and you see the whole picture of your essay right in front of your eyes, you may think of how to end a personal statement . It may seem to be the easiest part of writing, but, to some extent, it is not. The destiny of the conclusion is to formulate the last impression of you as a personality. 

Table of Contents:

How to close a personal statement

Concluding the results of a completed job is always the most pleasing step in doing anything. Moreover, you can see with your own eyes the way you have passed to achieve your aim. The same regards personal statement conclusions. The key point of writing the conclusion is to accentuate the willingness of the applicant to receive a studying offer and get admitted to the educational institution. You have to think closely about the last paragraph in your essay. It must be the last bullet point to persuade the reader to do next-step actions further.

It may be difficult to decide what exact point you want to add at the end of the essay to complete the writing. First of all, take a break, read your essay several times, and summarize in your mind everything you have written. It is necessary to write standout sentences in your personal statement conclusion to assure the admission tutor that you are the one who is worth getting a place in the educational institution.

Brandon D.

While writing, remember that you should concentrate on your essay’s main idea, whether it is the given topic or your personal opinion. The summary should be short and terse, but expedient. Moreover, keep in mind that you are supposed to fit into the given requirements. Your conclusion should be about ⅓ of the entire paper.

And remember to check, check, and check everything a few times.

How to end personal statement and not to fail it

While thinking about how to end personal statement, you may come up with a bunch of questions. The main one may be about what to write and not screw everything up. Here are a few examples of what you shouldn’t write in your conclusion paragraph.

  • Rhetoric questions Forget about writing the statements you don’t know how to answer. This may only confuse the reader and leave them in suspense. In this way, you may only underline the point of not knowing something.
  • Writing a list of your skills without proofs Even if you want to demonstrate all your skills, don’t do it without proof. Don’t waste the words for just designating the things you are able to do or the knowledge you have. It is wonderful that you have all these aspects, but the admission tutor may not understand the destiny of just naming. Try to involve them all in your main paragraph of the essay.
  • Not expressing your future intensions Don’t just tell about your former personal background. It would be good to add to your personal statement conclusion some ideas on your future perspectives. Describe what you want to get out of the studying process and how you would embed it into your life and career.
  • Plagiarism from successful essays It is not prohibited to use samples of successful essays just like a pattern. However, you must not copy paste as all the rights of the writer are reserved. It may only spoil your reputation and will not bring any advantages to your essay. If you feel that you need help, it is better to refer to personal statement editing rather than plagiarize.
  • Writing the statements that are not related to the topic It is very good if you have a lot of stories to share. Though, you must be careful and think closely about whether the story you write about related to the main topic of your essay or not.

Need help? Check out EssayEdge editing services:

Personal statement conclusion: tips on doing such a thing

So, how to conclude a personal statement? Your conclusion should be comprehensive and impressible. Below you can find a few tips on how to write everything well.

  • Take a break Really! It is worth it so to start in advance to have time to leave your writing for some time. After a break, you will read it with a new sight. Maybe you will remove something or, vice versa, add some more information. While having a break, you can think about the conclusion, you may recollect something in your mind that is worth to be written down.
  • Read everything many times Yes, you may feel aversion from your essay, but remember that it is a step to your future success and that is why you have to be attentive to the details. Try to figure out the main storyline of your essay and hold it till the conclusion. Peruse everything that is already written many times and you may feel what is missing.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help If you feel confused and don’t know how to close a personal statement, you don’t have to be scared. Everything can be resolved, remember about that. Ask your friends or parents to read your personal statement as they don’t know you. They may share with you some ideas and tell the general impression. According to that knowledge, you can easily make up your thoughts. If you are still not sure about your text, you can use personal statement editing services. Professionals will touch you up to the thought that is in need.
  • Summarize everything you mentioned above Yes, it is a very useful skill if you can do a summary, no matter if it is your essay or review of achievements that you have been doing through the years. Placing the accents and underlining your best sides would be a good idea.

Personal statement conclusion examples

As it is mentioned previously, there is nothing wrong with using personal statement conclusion examples. In this way, you can find inspiration and feel more confident and secure that you move in the right way. You shouldn’t neglect using successful examples to see how it works, but in no way, you mustn’t copy paste such samples into your essay.

Here is an example of a successful personal statement ending.

To summarize everything mentioned above, I reckon that I am that one person who is worthy of getting the allowance to enter the university. The main reason for that is my strong motivation to implicate the knowledge I’m supposed to get while studying, into the life of people around the world. As I mentioned before, I have such goals and a number of gained skills. Being admitted to the university may support my intentions and help me to develop the abilities I’ve already had. Moreover, I feel that this is a place where I must improve myself. I have a lot of familiar students and their stories about studying and university life impress me every time I hear them. My plans are global and I can make them real while studying and after graduating as I will have resources and experience. 

It is an example of a successful conclusion as the applicant highlighted their motivation, made an accent on the plans, and summarized the story that was told in the main paragraph. Also, this person mentioned that they have a kind of connection to the community of this university that gives an understanding that it will be easy for him to become a part of the university society.

Ending the personal statement is difficult, but the most pleasing part of the whole essay. With patience and efforts, everything can become possible. You can use examples to get inspiration. Moreover, using tips can really help you to cope with the given tasks. Remember that everything will be fine.  More details on how to write personal statement you can find in the EssayEdge blog. 

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  • How to End a Personal Statement
  • Tips on How to End a Personal Statement Successfully

Tips on How to End a Personal Statement Successfully

How to Format Your Personal Statement Correctly

5 successful ways how to end a personal statement, 5 worst ways how to end a personal statement, general tips on making a personal statement application, 5 great examples of a personal statement ending, personal statement for a medical school, personal statement for mathematics, personal statement for a law school, personal statement for a biology, personal statement for economics.

It is important to write this paper according to all requirements. With this document, you must prove that you suit the chosen position and show the admission committee or a recruiter that you are much better than all other candidates. Reading this you will learn how to end a personal statement properly.

You can create a personal statement for graduate school , a university, or any other place you want to apply to. When people create this document, they often make a big mistake when they try to write those things they think the admission committee or recruiters want to see in the ideal candidate for the position. To avoid this you can look at college application essays samples prepared by an admission essay writing service to be sure you do everything right.

You should understand there is a huge difference between this essay and an honestly written one. You need to be sincere and mention only true things about yourself. Don't try to look better than you are, just try to describe yourself brightly to be selected from tons of other applicants.

Needless to say, you have to grab the officers' or recruiters' attention, otherwise, you won't get chances to apply for a position of your dream. We suggest writing this document very carefully and thoroughly because your future depends on it. In our guide, we will give some general hints on writing and paying attention to the conclusion - it is the last part of this important paper. Go ahead and keep reading to find great tips and successful examples!

How to write personal statement ? Students need to format a personal statement just like any other kind of essay. If you want to make a strong and well-structured work, follow a three-paragraph structure:

  • Introduction — in this part you have to make a catchy beginning to grab the reader's attention. You have to mention the name of the company or the course and the position or degree you are applying for.
  • The body part — feel free to make several paragraphs here to support your candidacy. You have to provide readers with information about your personal experiences, characteristics, skills, goals, knowledge, achievements, etc. Don't forget to write the brightest examples from your experience to prove all the qualifications you mentioned.
  • Conclusion — it is a short closing paragraph where you have to thank your audience for reading. A good idea is to put a phrase you hope to hear from them soon. You need to summarize ideas shortly and wrap up your paper properly.

When you are making the conclusion for personal statement , your goal is to concentrate on the main idea of your document. Remember you should write in the laconic style to make this part short but effective. Summarize your skills and interests shortly, include your plans for the future years, and provide information about why you fit the chosen course. Be careful with the length: your personal statement conclusion should be around ⅓ of the entire paper (150-200 words). We have one more blog that has an answer on how long is a personal statement . 

The conclusion of your personal statement makes the second first impression on your audience. Use these effective hints to create a bright ending that will attract your reader:

  • Include key points about the qualities you expect of yourself when you graduate from the school. Explain why you want to study. Demonstrate your interest, why you have the inspiration to learn, and why you have the enthusiasm.
  • You can write a short concluding story related to your experience. Don't just describe your skills the chosen course needs, but tell how you have developed them.
  • Give your readers a better understanding of how you are going to use your life experience in achieving your goals. Tell about your transferable skills — this can be leadership, good organizational skills, ability to work both independently and in a team.
  • Mention that you are not afraid to use your opportunity, take new challenges and solve difficult problems. Give an explanation why you fit this course. Prove that you not only fit the selection requirements, but you have made a research to realize what this course will involve.
  • Restate the main idea of your personal statement to tie all parts of your personal statement together.

These are the things you should never write in your personal statement:

  • End up with a question and leave your readers in a suspense.
  • Writing a number of things that are not related to the main goal.
  • Providing no plans for the future and no point of view.
  • Choosing courses that are not related to the particular school.
  • Copyright infringement (if you are using personal statement examples from other people, make sure you do not copypaste words - their rights are reserved).

If you have no idea how to create a personal statement for college , we are ready to share some useful ideas that will help you to complete this task. Read them carefully to understand what information you need to put in this paper:

  • First of all, read maximum information about the course you want to choose. Make sure you started making your personal statement beforehand so that you have enough time for writing.
  • Take a sheet of paper and write down your skills, achievements, experience, activities outside of school, etc.
  • Compare the list with the course description, and highlight the most relevant points.
  • Make a clear plan what points you're going to include in your paper. Here you need to answer two questions: "Why did you decide to choose this course?" and "Why are you suitable to study the chosen subject?".
  • Try to explain why you chose a certain school among many others. For example, if you are making a personal statement for a medical school, you have to explain to the admission committee why you are interested in medicine and why you want to choose it as your future profession.
  • Don't just list your personal experiences and activities, but describe them - include in your personal statement bright examples to prove them.
  • Make sure your work is structured properly. Remember the entire paper should not be too long: 500 words is enough. It's not a good idea to overdo this number, because the committee doesn't read papers that don't fit requirements.
  • Try to be honest and sincere, never try to write false things because it will eventually come out. Just be yourself and don't panic.
  • Don't bring any unimportant information. Never include in this paper your negative experience.
  • Your audience has to feel excited from the first sentence of the personal statement. Keep in mind that boring & uninteresting papers have no chances to win.
  • When your paper is finished, check every page thoroughly & correct all grammar and logical mistakes .

We want to share four successful examples that can be helpful if you feel insecure concerning how to end a personal statement correctly. Read the most successful examples to help you in writing a personal statement of your own!

I am a self-motivated & responsible person & I am looking forward to challenges. I am totally ready to solve difficult problems. I know a medical career has a lot of demands & I am sure that my desire to become a good doctor & my volunteering experience in the hospital will be very helpful.
I decided to start my career in the mathematics field because I always love my mathematics studies, so I was never in a doubt about choosing it as my future degree. I hope that my experience & my willingness to learn math will help me to make a successful career of a mathematician.
I am interested in many subject areas but lately, I turned my attention to a career in the law sphere. I can pay attention to the tiniest details; I hope this will help me to become a good lawyer. I was always good at analyzing information; I am able to find strong evidence & present persuasive arguments.

Keep in mind that there is one more blog on law school personal statement . It has a useful guide and necessary tips to help with this kind of writing.

Biology is a subject that always drew my attention. I am interested in living things & evolution, & I always work hard to find explanations of everything. I am ready for the most difficult challenges & I hope that my experience in biomedical research & my ability to gather & analyze information will help me to become a successful biologist.
Economics is a challenging subject that always attracts my attention. I understand the importance of this discipline for the entire world & I have chosen it as my future degree. I believe that my ability to achieve goals & attention to details will help me to become a good economist.

We hope you have found a lot of useful information on how to end a personal statement in our article. Good luck in writing your own document on the high level & making your own bright future! You may always refer to a professional writing agency and save your time!

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So, you have reached the stage in your life where you need to decide on your occupation. What steps do you need to take to move forward confidently? First of all, decide on the educational establishment you want to connect the next four or five years of your life with. After that, the fun part comes...

If you dream of serving your community as a dentist, you’ll need to enroll into a respective higher education program and provide certain documents to the committee. One of them is your dental school personal statement, which helps grab the interest of the admissions committee.A personal statement i...

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How to Write a Strong Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

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Written by David Lombardino   |  Updated February 23, 2024

Hook Them Through to the End

You can hook your reader with the introduction to your personal statement . And you can wow them with magical words in your personal statement . But if you don’t write a strong conclusion to your personal statement? You’ll leave program directors and admission committees with a whimper, rather than a bang.

The conclusion forms a critical part of your personal statement. Program directors and admission committees may skip to it after reading your introduction. Or they may start with it, even before reading your introduction.

The reason they do this? To get through the many applications they have to review each cycle.

Good conclusions will deliver the points admission committees expect to see. And great conclusions will enhance their views of you as an applicant.

Here, I present how to write a great conclusion to your personal statement.

Where Does This Advice Come From?

It comes from my 8 years as an editor at UNESCO prior to founding DLA back in 2008 . It comes from interviews I've had with program directors and those who serve on admission committees. And it comes from 15+ years of helping applicants like you write outstanding personal statements .

And the results speak for themselves. For medical residency, our clients have enjoyed a 98% match rate. For all other programs and schools, the rate is 100%.

3 Key Concepts and a Formula for Success

How do you write a conclusion in a personal statement? It starts with these three concepts:

  • Avoid stating it is your conclusion;
  • Avoid introducing an unsupported concept; and
  • Be specific in the details.

First, I will discuss these three key concepts in detail. Then I will share my foolproof method for how to write a personal statement conclusion.

Key #1: Avoid Stating It Is Your Conclusion

A thought you may have is to start your conclusion with “In conclusion.” Or “In summary.” You want to make sure to avoid this, or anything similar.

Why is this? Program directors and admission committees see it's your last paragraph. In other words, they already know it's your conclusion. So make your personal statement great by leaving this out.

Simply, using extra words makes your writing less engaging. Wordiness can indicate a lack of diligence or maturity. It can indicate a lack of focus or clarity. And it can indicate self-doubt in what you are writing.

This is true, no matter where it may occur in your personal statement.

Instead, write your conclusion with focus and drive. Follow the path you have laid out in your introduction and body. And trust the admission committee will know they've reached your conclusion.

Key #2: Avoid Introducing an Unsupported Concept

Great conclusions advance the concepts of your personal statement. This means avoiding introducing an unsupported idea. Instead, make sure all ideas connect back to what you have written earlier.

Let's say, for example, you haven't yet discussed your love of teaching. And teaching is important to your future career. You'll certainly want to include it in your conclusion. So just make sure you've written about it earlier in your personal statement. That way, it won't come out of nowhere when writing about it in your conclusion.

If you write a new, unsupported idea in your conclusion, you may convey:

  • You do not know how to effectively organize your personal statement;
  • You are trying to cram too many ideas into your personal statement; or
  • You are ticking off a checklist of what to say.

There are a couple of exceptions to this point. Are you an older candidate? Do you have multiple significant items you need to discuss? There may simply be not enough room for all these in the body paragraphs. In this case, your only option may be to present one in the conclusion.

In such cases, there are a few guidelines to follow. First is you must fully develop the new idea in your conclusion. You must do more than simply mention it.

Second, it must extend from a point made earlier in the personal statement. It must have a foundation.

Finally, it must dovetail seamlessly with the rest of the conclusion. And it must do so without the conclusion becoming too long. (This can be challenging, so don't be afraid to ask for help.)

Key #3: Be Specific in the Details

Key to writing a great personal statement is being specific . This means being specific both in the words you use (e.g., avoiding using “thing”) and in the details you write.

Many candidates make the mistake of being vague in the conclusion. This relates especially to what you wish to accomplish in the program. You may want to write to "increase my knowledge." Or you may want to write to "gain exposure in a variety of settings."

Can you make these more specific, so they can be more effective for you? For example, in what specific areas do you wish to increase your knowledge? What specific settings do you want to gain exposure to?

Any ways you can be more specific will make your conclusion stronger.

Formula for a Great Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

The formula I present here takes you step by step through writing your conclusion. It includes how to start the conclusion to your personal statement. It includes how to end it. And it includes how long your personal statement conclusion should be.

While the formula makes a logical progression, feel free to change it up. If you find another order works better for you, then go for it. Just make sure you have covered each item in your conclusion.

How Long Should the Conclusion to a Personal Statement Be?

There are few rules of thumb to determine how long your conclusion should be. First is it should be long enough to cover all four parts presented below. At the same time, it should not go on for too long. A good word count range is 100 to 120 words.

Part 1: Start With Your Vision for Your Future Career

The key to a great conclusion is in how you start. Start with your vision for your future career. This is a single sentence stating where you see yourself 5 to 10 years from now. Think of your vision as your conclusion's thesis statement.

The vision can be your medium-term goals, your long-term goals or both. Choose whichever option brings a better focus and context for your conclusion.

For example, you may wish to pursue cardiology fellowship after internal medicine residency.

Or you may wish, after law school, to enter private practice with time devoted to pro bono work.

But what if these goals change as you progress through the program? That's okay. You don't have to get them exactly right in your personal statement. And you don't have to stick to them just because you mentioned them.

The aim here is to demonstrate a clear vision for the path you are on. Being intentional will make your application stand out.

Part 2: Next, State Precisely What You Seek to Accomplish in the Program

After establishing your medium- and long-term goals, work backward from there. Perform a self-assessment. What precisely do you need to accomplish next? What next step will better position you to achieve your career vision?

The more specific you can be with these answers, the better. Then frame these as what precisely you seek to accomplish in the program.

This could be a specific knowledge you want to gain. It could be a specific technique you want to master. It could be specific research you want to perform. It could be a specific experience you wish to have.

For example, will you aim to apply for a cardiology fellowship? Then pursuing cardiology electives would be a goal for internal medicine residency.

What about for applying to law school? Is your long-term goal to practice in an area with litigation? Then a goal for law school would be to participate in mock trial.

Part 3: Then, Therefore, State the Specific Aspects You Are Seeking in a Program

First, you established your vision. Then you identified the next step to take toward achieving that vision. Now state which aspects would equip you to achieve that next step.

Does the program have a high rate of case types that align with your interests? Does it offer certain relevant technologies? Training in certain techniques? Particular courses or electives ?

Are there particular faculty whose research interests fascinate you?

What about elective rotations? Or partnerships available in the program?

Do they offer an elective rotation in a cath lab? That would be great for someone wanting a career in cardiology. What about a renown mock trial program? That would be great for a career in litigation.

And you can go further. Are you an aspiring Vietnamese doctor or lawyer? Do you want to work with Vietnamese immigrants? Does the program you are applying to serve such a population? Then mention that.

Geographic and Other Ties to the Program

Do you have geographic or other ties to the program? For example, do you have family or close friends in the area? Do you have colleagues who graduated from the program where you are applying? Great! This is where you would mention them.

This applies even if you are applying for medical residency and are specifying geographic and other preferences in your ERAS Application .

For each of your top-choice program(s), write a different version of your conclusion. Tailor it to each program.

Then group all the other programs by common features (e.g., geography). Make sure to be as specific as possible when doing so. Then tailor a different version of your conclusion for each group of programs.

Part 4: Finally, State What You Offer to the Program

Have you accomplished the above three points? Great! All that's left is to state what you offer to the program.

This is actually quite easy. Start by identifying the themes you have written in your personal statement. Check your introduction and each body paragraph. Then list these themes, in keyword form, as what you offer to the program.

In this way, you accomplish two goals. First is to wrap up your personal statement's main points. Second is to provide a forward-looking statement as you bring it to an end.

personal statement closing paragraph example

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10 Personal Statement Essay Examples That Worked

What’s covered:, what is a personal statement.

  • Essay 1: Summer Program
  • Essay 2: Being Bangladeshi-American
  • Essay 3: Why Medicine
  • Essay 4: Love of Writing
  • Essay 5: Starting a Fire
  • Essay 6: Dedicating a Track
  • Essay 7: Body Image and Eating Disorders
  • Essay 8: Becoming a Coach
  • Essay 9: Eritrea
  • Essay 10: Journaling
  • Is Your Personal Statement Strong Enough?

Your personal statement is any essay that you must write for your main application, such as the Common App Essay , University of California Essays , or Coalition Application Essay . This type of essay focuses on your unique experiences, ideas, or beliefs that may not be discussed throughout the rest of your application. This essay should be an opportunity for the admissions officers to get to know you better and give them a glimpse into who you really are.

In this post, we will share 10 different personal statements that were all written by real students. We will also provide commentary on what each essay did well and where there is room for improvement, so you can make your personal statement as strong as possible!

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Personal Statement Examples

Essay example #1: exchange program.

The twisting roads, ornate mosaics, and fragrant scent of freshly ground spices had been so foreign at first. Now in my fifth week of the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco, I felt more comfortable in the city. With a bag full of pastries from the market, I navigated to a bus stop, paid the fare, and began the trip back to my host family’s house. It was hard to believe that only a few years earlier my mom was worried about letting me travel around my home city on my own, let alone a place that I had only lived in for a few weeks. While I had been on a journey towards self-sufficiency and independence for a few years now, it was Morocco that pushed me to become the confident, self-reflective person that I am today.

As a child, my parents pressured me to achieve perfect grades, master my swim strokes, and discover interesting hobbies like playing the oboe and learning to pick locks. I felt compelled to live my life according to their wishes. Of course, this pressure was not a wholly negative factor in my life –– you might even call it support. However, the constant presence of my parents’ hopes for me overcame my own sense of desire and led me to become quite dependent on them. I pushed myself to get straight A’s, complied with years of oboe lessons, and dutifully attended hours of swim practice after school. Despite all these achievements, I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success. I had always been expected to succeed on the path they had defined. However, this path was interrupted seven years after my parents’ divorce when my dad moved across the country to Oregon.

I missed my dad’s close presence, but I loved my new sense of freedom. My parents’ separation allowed me the space to explore my own strengths and interests as each of them became individually busier. As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents. Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. All of that changed three years ago, when I applied and was accepted to the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go.

I lived with a host family in Marrakesh and learned that they, too, had high expectations for me. I didn’t know a word of Arabic, and although my host parents and one brother spoke good English, they knew I was there to learn. If I messed up, they patiently corrected me but refused to let me fall into the easy pattern of speaking English just as I did at home. Just as I had when I was younger, I felt pressured and stressed about meeting their expectations. However, one day, as I strolled through the bustling market square after successfully bargaining with one of the street vendors, I realized my mistake. My host family wasn’t being unfair by making me fumble through Arabic. I had applied for this trip, and I had committed to the intensive language study. My host family’s rules about speaking Arabic at home had not been to fulfill their expectations for me, but to help me fulfill my expectations for myself. Similarly, the pressure my parents had put on me as a child had come out of love and their hopes for me, not out of a desire to crush my individuality.

As my bus drove through the still-bustling market square and past the medieval Ben-Youssef madrasa, I realized that becoming independent was a process, not an event. I thought that my parents’ separation when I was ten had been the one experience that would transform me into a self-motivated and autonomous person. It did, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t still have room to grow. Now, although I am even more self-sufficient than I was three years ago, I try to approach every experience with the expectation that it will change me. It’s still difficult, but I understand that just because growth can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not important.

What the Essay Did Well

This is a nice essay because it delves into particular character trait of the student and how it has been shaped and matured over time. Although it doesn’t focus the essay around a specific anecdote, the essay is still successful because it is centered around this student’s independence. This is a nice approach for a personal statement: highlight a particular trait of yours and explore how it has grown with you.

The ideas in this essay are universal to growing up—living up to parents’ expectations, yearning for freedom, and coming to terms with reality—but it feels unique to the student because of the inclusion of details specific to them. Including their oboe lessons, the experience of riding the light rail by themselves, and the negotiations with a street vendor helps show the reader what these common tropes of growing up looked like for them personally. 

Another strength of the essay is the level of self-reflection included throughout the piece. Since there is no central anecdote tying everything together, an essay about a character trait is only successful when you deeply reflect on how you felt, where you made mistakes, and how that trait impacts your life. The author includes reflection in sentences like “ I felt like I had no sense of self beyond my drive for success, ” and “ I understand that just because growth can be uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s not important. ” These sentences help us see how the student was impacted and what their point of view is.

What Could Be Improved

The largest change this essay would benefit from is to show not tell. The platitude you have heard a million times no doubt, but for good reason. This essay heavily relies on telling the reader what occurred, making us less engaged as the entire reading experience feels more passive. If the student had shown us what happens though, it keeps the reader tied to the action and makes them feel like they are there with the student, making it much more enjoyable to read. 

For example, they tell us about the pressure to succeed their parents placed on them: “ I pushed myself to get straight A’s, complied with years of oboe lessons, and dutifully attended hours of swim practice after school.”  They could have shown us what that pressure looked like with a sentence like this: “ My stomach turned somersaults as my rattling knee thumped against the desk before every test, scared to get anything less than a 95. For five years the painful squawk of the oboe only reminded me of my parents’ claps and whistles at my concerts. I mastered the butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle, fighting against the anchor of their expectations threatening to pull me down.”

If the student had gone through their essay and applied this exercise of bringing more detail and colorful language to sentences that tell the reader what happened, the essay would be really great. 

Table of Contents

Essay Example #2: Being Bangladeshi-American

Life before was good: verdant forests, sumptuous curries, and a devoted family.

Then, my family abandoned our comfortable life in Bangladesh for a chance at the American dream in Los Angeles. Within our first year, my father was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He lost his battle three weeks before my sixth birthday. Facing a new country without the steady presence of my father, we were vulnerable — prisoners of hardship in the land of the free. We resettled in the Bronx, in my uncle’s renovated basement. It was meant to be our refuge, but I felt more displaced than ever. Gone were the high-rise condos of West L.A.; instead, government projects towered over the neighborhood. Pedestrians no longer smiled and greeted me; the atmosphere was hostile, even toxic. Schoolkids were quick to pick on those they saw as weak or foreign, hurling harsh words I’d never heard before.

Meanwhile, my family began integrating into the local Bangladeshi community. I struggled to understand those who shared my heritage. Bangladeshi mothers stayed home while fathers drove cabs and sold fruit by the roadside — painful societal positions. Riding on crosstown buses or walking home from school, I began to internalize these disparities. During my fleeting encounters with affluent Upper East Siders, I saw kids my age with nannies, parents who wore suits to work, and luxurious apartments with spectacular views. Most took cabs to their destinations: cabs that Bangladeshis drove. I watched the mundane moments of their lives with longing, aching to plant myself in their shoes. Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day. 

As I grappled with my relationship with the Bangladeshi community, I turned my attention to helping my Bronx community by pursuing an internship with Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. I handled desk work and took calls, spending the bulk of my time actively listening to the hardships constituents faced — everything from a veteran stripped of his benefits to a grandmother unable to support her bedridden grandchild.

I’d never exposed myself to stories like these, and now I was the first to hear them. As an intern, I could only assist in what felt like the small ways — pointing out local job offerings, printing information on free ESL classes, reaching out to non-profits. But to a community facing an onslaught of intense struggles, I realized that something as small as these actions could have vast impacts. Seeing the immediate consequences of my actions inspired me. Throughout that summer, I internalized my community’s daily challenges in a new light. I began to stop seeing the prevalent underemployment and cramped living quarters less as sources of shame. Instead, I saw them as realities that had to be acknowledged, but could ultimately be remedied. I also realized the benefits of the Bangladeshi culture I had been so ashamed of. My Bangla language skills were an asset to the office, and my understanding of Bangladeshi etiquette allowed for smooth communication between office staff and its constituents. As I helped my neighbors navigate city services, I saw my heritage with pride — a perspective I never expected to have.

I can now appreciate the value of my unique culture and background, and of living with less. This perspective offers room for progress, community integration, and a future worth fighting for. My time with Assemblyman Sepulveda’s office taught me that I can be a change agent in enabling this progression. Far from being ashamed of my community, I want to someday return to local politics in the Bronx to continue helping others access the American Dream. I hope to help my community appreciate the opportunity to make progress together. By embracing reality, I learned to live it. Along the way, I discovered one thing: life is good, but we can make it better.

This student’s passion for social justice and civic duty shines through in this essay because of how honest it is. Sharing their personal experience with immigrating, moving around, being an outsider, and finding a community allows us to see the hardships this student has faced and builds empathy towards their situation. However, what really makes it strong is that they go beyond describing the difficulties they faced and explain the mental impact it had on them as a child: Shame prickled down my spine. I distanced myself from my heritage, rejecting the traditional panjabis worn on Eid and refusing the torkari we ate for dinner every day. 

The rejection of their culture presented at the beginning of the essay creates a nice juxtaposition with the student’s view in the latter half of the essay and helps demonstrate how they have matured. They use their experience interning as a way to delve into a change in their thought process about their culture and show how their passion for social justice began. Using this experience as a mechanism to explore their thoughts and feelings is an excellent example of how items that are included elsewhere on your application should be incorporated into your essay.

This essay prioritizes emotions and personal views over specific anecdotes. Although there are details and certain moments incorporated throughout to emphasize the author’s points, the main focus remains on the student and how they grapple with their culture and identity.  

One area for improvement is the conclusion. Although the forward-looking approach is a nice way to end an essay focused on social justice, it would be nice to include more details and imagery in the conclusion. How does the student want to help their community? What government position do they see themselves holding one day? 

A more impactful ending might look like the student walking into their office at the New York City Housing Authority in 15 years and looking at the plans to build a new development in the Bronx just blocks away from where the grew up that would provide quality housing to people in their Bangladeshi community. They would smile while thinking about how far they have come from that young kid who used to be ashamed of their culture. 

Essay Example #3: Why Medicine

I took my first trip to China to visit my cousin Anna in July of 2014. Distance had kept us apart, but when we were together, we fell into all of our old inside jokes and caught up on each other’s lives. Her sparkling personality and optimistic attitude always brought a smile to my face. This time, however, my heart broke when I saw the effects of her brain cancer; she had suffered from a stroke that paralyzed her left side. She was still herself in many ways, but I could see that the damage to her brain made things difficult for her. I stayed by her every day, providing the support she needed, whether assisting her with eating and drinking, reading to her, or just watching “Friends.” During my flight back home, sorrow and helplessness overwhelmed me. Would I ever see Anna again? Could I have done more to make Anna comfortable? I wished I could stay in China longer to care for her. As I deplaned, I wondered if I could transform my grief to help other children and teenagers in the US who suffered as Anna did.

The day after I got home, as jet lag dragged me awake a few minutes after midnight, I remembered hearing about the Family Reach Foundation (FRF) and its work with children going through treatments at the local hospital and their families. I began volunteering in the FRF’s Children’s Activity Room, where I play with children battling cancer. Volunteering has both made me appreciate my own health and also cherish the new relationships I build with the children and families. We play sports, make figures out of playdoh, and dress up. When they take on the roles of firefighters or fairies, we all get caught up in the game; for that time, they forget the sanitized, stark, impersonal walls of the pediatric oncology ward. Building close relationships with them and seeing them giggle and laugh is so rewarding — I love watching them grow and get better throughout their course of treatment.

Hearing from the parents about their children’s condition and seeing the children recover inspired me to consider medical research. To get started, I enrolled in a summer collegelevel course in Abnormal Psychology. There I worked with Catelyn, a rising college senior, on a data analysis project regarding Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Together, we examined the neurological etiology of DID by studying four fMRI and PET cases. I fell in love with gathering data and analyzing the results and was amazed by our final product: several stunning brain images showcasing the areas of hyper and hypoactivity in brains affected by DID. Desire quickly followed my amazement — I want to continue this project and study more brains. Their complexity, delicacy, and importance to every aspect of life fascinate me. Successfully completing this research project gave me a sense of hope; I know I am capable of participating in a large scale research project and potentially making a difference in someone else’s life through my research.

Anna’s diagnosis inspired me to begin volunteering at FRF; from there, I discovered my desire to help people further by contributing to medical research. As my research interest blossomed, I realized that it’s no coincidence that I want to study brains—after all, Anna suffered from brain cancer. Reflecting on these experiences this past year and a half, I see that everything I’ve done is connected. Sadly, a few months after I returned from China, Anna passed away. I am still sad, but as I run a toy truck across the floor and watch one of the little patients’ eyes light up, I imagine that she would be proud of my commitment to pursue medicine and study the brain.

This essay has a very strong emotional core that tugs at the heart strings and makes the reader feel invested. Writing about sickness can be difficult and doesn’t always belong in a personal statement, but in this case it works well because the focus is on how this student cared for her cousin and dealt with the grief and emotions surrounding her condition. Writing about the compassion she showed and the doubts and concerns that filled her mind keeps the focus on the author and her personality. 

This continues when she again discusses the activities she did with the kids at FRF and the personal reflection this experience allowed her to have. For example, she writes: Volunteering has both made me appreciate my own health and also cherish the new relationships I build with the children and families. We play sports, make figures out of playdoh, and dress up.

Concluding the essay with the sad story of her cousin’s passing brings the essay full circle and returns to the emotional heart of the piece to once again build a connection with the reader. However, it finishes on a hopeful note and demonstrates how this student has been able to turn a tragic experience into a source of lifelong inspiration. 

One thing this essay should be cognizant of is that personal statements should not read as summaries of your extracurricular resume. Although this essay doesn’t fully fall into that trap, it does describe two key extracurriculars the student participated in. However, the inclusion of such a strong emotional core running throughout the essay helps keep the focus on the student and her thoughts and feelings during these activities.

To avoid making this mistake, make sure you have a common thread running through your essay and the extracurriculars provide support to the story you are trying to tell, rather than crafting a story around your activities. And, as this essay does, make sure there is lots of personal reflection and feelings weaved throughout to focus attention to you rather than your extracurriculars. 

Essay Example #4: Love of Writing

“I want to be a writer.” This had been my answer to every youthful discussion with the adults in my life about what I would do when I grew up. As early as elementary school, I remember reading my writing pieces aloud to an audience at “Author of the Month” ceremonies. Bearing this goal in mind, and hoping to gain some valuable experience, I signed up for a journalism class during my freshman year. Despite my love for writing, I initially found myself uninterested in the subject and I struggled to enjoy the class. When I thought of writing, I imagined lyrical prose, profound poetry, and thrilling plot lines. Journalism required a laconic style and orderly structure, and I found my teacher’s assignments formulaic and dull. That class shook my confidence as a writer. I was uncertain if I should continue in it for the rest of my high school career.

Despite my misgivings, I decided that I couldn’t make a final decision on whether to quit journalism until I had some experience working for a paper outside of the classroom. The following year, I applied to be a staff reporter on our school newspaper. I hoped this would help me become more self-driven and creative, rather than merely writing articles that my teacher assigned. To my surprise, my time on staff was worlds away from what I experienced in the journalism class. Although I was unaccustomed to working in a fast-paced environment and initially found it burdensome to research and complete high-quality stories in a relatively short amount of time, I also found it exciting. I enjoyed learning more about topics and events on campus that I did not know much about; some of my stories that I covered in my first semester concerned a chess tournament, a food drive, and a Spanish immersion party. I relished in the freedom I had to explore and learn, and to write more independently than I could in a classroom.

Although I enjoyed many aspects of working for the paper immediately, reporting also pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I am a shy person, and speaking with people I did not know intimidated me. During my first interview, I met with the basketball coach to prepare for a story about the team’s winning streak. As I approached his office, I felt everything from my toes to my tongue freeze into a solid block, and I could hardly get out my opening questions. Fortunately, the coach was very kind and helped me through the conversation. Encouraged, I prepared for my next interview with more confidence. After a few weeks of practice, I even started to look forward to interviewing people on campus. That first journalism class may have bored me, but even if journalism in practice was challenging, it was anything but tedious.

Over the course of that year, I grew to love writing for our school newspaper. Reporting made me aware of my surroundings, and made me want to know more about current events on campus and in the town where I grew up. By interacting with people all over campus, I came to understand the breadth of individuals and communities that make up my high school. I felt far more connected to diverse parts of my school through my work as a journalist, and I realized that journalism gave me a window into seeing beyond my own experiences. The style of news writing may be different from what I used to think “writing” meant, but I learned that I can still derive exciting plots from events that may have gone unnoticed if not for my stories. I no longer struggle to approach others, and truly enjoy getting to know people and recognizing their accomplishments through my writing. Becoming a writer may be a difficult path, but it is as rewarding as I hoped when I was young.

This essay is clearly structured in a manner that makes it flow very nicely and contributes to its success. It starts with a quote to draw in the reader and show this student’s life-long passion for writing. Then it addresses the challenges of facing new, unfamiliar territory and how this student overcame it. Finally, it concludes by reflecting on this eye-opening experience and a nod to their younger self from the introduction. Having a well-thought out and sequential structure with clear transitions makes it extremely easy for the reader to follow along and take away the main idea.

Another positive aspect of the essay is the use of strong and expressive language. Sentences like “ When I thought of writing, I imagined lyrical prose, profound poetry, and thrilling plot lines ” stand out because of the intentional use of words like “lyrical”, “profound”, and “thrilling” to convey the student’s love of writing. The author also uses an active voice to capture the readers’ attention and keep us engaged. They rely on their language and diction to reveal details to the reader, for instance saying “ I felt everything from my toes to my tongue freeze into a solid block ” to describe feeling nervous.

This essay is already very strong, so there isn’t much that needs to be changed. One thing that could take the essay from great to outstanding would be to throw in more quotes, internal dialogue, and sensory descriptors.

It would be nice to see the nerves they felt interviewing the coach by including dialogue like “ Um…I want to interview you about…uh…”.  They could have shown their original distaste for journalism by narrating the thoughts running through their head. The fast-paced environment of their newspaper could have come to life with descriptions about the clacking of keyboards and the whirl of people running around laying out articles.

Essay Example #5: Starting a Fire

Was I no longer the beloved daughter of nature, whisperer of trees? Knee-high rubber boots, camouflage, bug spray—I wore the garb and perfume of a proud wild woman, yet there I was, hunched over the pathetic pile of stubborn sticks, utterly stumped, on the verge of tears. As a child, I had considered myself a kind of rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees, who could glide through tick-infested meadows and emerge Lyme-free. I knew the cracks of the earth like the scars on my own rough palms. Yet here I was, ten years later, incapable of performing the most fundamental outdoor task: I could not, for the life of me, start a fire. 

Furiously I rubbed the twigs together—rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers. No smoke. The twigs were too young, too sticky-green; I tossed them away with a shower of curses, and began tearing through the underbrush in search of a more flammable collection. My efforts were fruitless. Livid, I bit a rejected twig, determined to prove that the forest had spurned me, offering only young, wet bones that would never burn. But the wood cracked like carrots between my teeth—old, brittle, and bitter. Roaring and nursing my aching palms, I retreated to the tent, where I sulked and awaited the jeers of my family. 

Rattling their empty worm cans and reeking of fat fish, my brother and cousins swaggered into the campsite. Immediately, they noticed the minor stick massacre by the fire pit and called to me, their deep voices already sharp with contempt. 

“Where’s the fire, Princess Clara?” they taunted. “Having some trouble?” They prodded me with the ends of the chewed branches and, with a few effortless scrapes of wood on rock, sparked a red and roaring flame. My face burned long after I left the fire pit. The camp stank of salmon and shame. 

In the tent, I pondered my failure. Was I so dainty? Was I that incapable? I thought of my hands, how calloused and capable they had been, how tender and smooth they had become. It had been years since I’d kneaded mud between my fingers; instead of scaling a white pine, I’d practiced scales on my piano, my hands softening into those of a musician—fleshy and sensitive. And I’d gotten glasses, having grown horrifically nearsighted; long nights of dim lighting and thick books had done this. I couldn’t remember the last time I had lain down on a hill, barefaced, and seen the stars without having to squint. Crawling along the edge of the tent, a spider confirmed my transformation—he disgusted me, and I felt an overwhelming urge to squash him. 

Yet, I realized I hadn’t really changed—I had only shifted perspective. I still eagerly explored new worlds, but through poems and prose rather than pastures and puddles. I’d grown to prefer the boom of a bass over that of a bullfrog, learned to coax a different kind of fire from wood, having developed a burn for writing rhymes and scrawling hypotheses. 

That night, I stayed up late with my journal and wrote about the spider I had decided not to kill. I had tolerated him just barely, only shrieking when he jumped—it helped to watch him decorate the corners of the tent with his delicate webs, knowing that he couldn’t start fires, either. When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire.

This student is an excellent writer, which allows a simple story to be outstandingly compelling. The author articulates her points beautifully and creatively through her immense use of details and figurative language. Lines like “a rustic princess, a cradler of spiders and centipedes, who was serenaded by mourning doves and chickadees,” and “rubbed and rubbed until shreds of skin flaked from my fingers,” create vivid images that draw the reader in. 

The flowery and descriptive prose also contributes to the nice juxtaposition between the old Clara and the new Clara. The latter half of the essay contrasts elements of nature with music and writing to demonstrate how natural these interests are for her now. This sentence perfectly encapsulates the contrast she is trying to build: “It had been years since I’d kneaded mud between my fingers; instead of scaling a white pine, I’d practiced scales on my piano, my hands softening into those of a musician—fleshy and sensitive.”

In addition to being well-written, this essay is thematically cohesive. It begins with the simple introduction “Fire!” and ends with the following image: “When the night grew cold and the embers died, my words still smoked—my hands burned from all that scrawling—and even when I fell asleep, the ideas kept sparking—I was on fire, always on fire.” This full-circle approach leaves readers satisfied and impressed.

There is very little this essay should change, however one thing to be cautious about is having an essay that is overly-descriptive. We know from the essay that this student likes to read and write, and depending on other elements of her application, it might make total sense to have such a flowery and ornate writing style. However, your personal statement needs to reflect your voice as well as your personality. If you would never use language like this in conversation or your writing, don’t put it in your personal statement. Make sure there is a balance between eloquence and your personal voice.

Essay Example #6: Dedicating a Track

“Getting beat is one thing – it’s part of competing – but I want no part in losing.” Coach Rob Stark’s motto never fails to remind me of his encouragement on early-morning bus rides to track meets around the state. I’ve always appreciated the phrase, but an experience last June helped me understand its more profound, universal meaning.

Stark, as we affectionately call him, has coached track at my high school for 25 years. His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running. When I learned a neighboring high school had dedicated their track to a longtime coach, I felt that Stark deserved similar honors.

Our school district’s board of education indicated they would only dedicate our track to Stark if I could demonstrate that he was extraordinary. I took charge and mobilized my teammates to distribute petitions, reach out to alumni, and compile statistics on the many team and individual champions Stark had coached over the years. We received astounding support, collecting almost 3,000 signatures and pages of endorsements from across the community. With help from my teammates, I presented this evidence to the board.

They didn’t bite. 

Most members argued that dedicating the track was a low priority. Knowing that we had to act quickly to convince them of its importance, I called a team meeting where we drafted a rebuttal for the next board meeting. To my surprise, they chose me to deliver it. I was far from the best public speaker in the group, and I felt nervous about going before the unsympathetic board again. However, at that second meeting, I discovered that I enjoy articulating and arguing for something that I’m passionate about.

Public speaking resembles a cross country race. Walking to the starting line, you have to trust your training and quell your last minute doubts. When the gun fires, you can’t think too hard about anything; your performance has to be instinctual, natural, even relaxed. At the next board meeting, the podium was my starting line. As I walked up to it, familiar butterflies fluttered in my stomach. Instead of the track stretching out in front of me, I faced the vast audience of teachers, board members, and my teammates. I felt my adrenaline build, and reassured myself: I’ve put in the work, my argument is powerful and sound. As the board president told me to introduce myself, I heard, “runners set” in the back of my mind. She finished speaking, and Bang! The brief silence was the gunshot for me to begin. 

The next few minutes blurred together, but when the dust settled, I knew from the board members’ expressions and the audience’s thunderous approval that I had run quite a race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough; the board voted down our proposal. I was disappointed, but proud of myself, my team, and our collaboration off the track. We stood up for a cause we believed in, and I overcame my worries about being a leader. Although I discovered that changing the status quo through an elected body can be a painstakingly difficult process and requires perseverance, I learned that I enjoy the challenges this effort offers. Last month, one of the school board members joked that I had become a “regular” – I now often show up to meetings to advocate for a variety of causes, including better environmental practices in cafeterias and safer equipment for athletes.

Just as Stark taught me, I worked passionately to achieve my goal. I may have been beaten when I appealed to the board, but I certainly didn’t lose, and that would have made Stark proud.

This essay effectively conveys this student’s compassion for others, initiative, and determination—all great qualities to exemplify in a personal statement!

Although they rely on telling us a lot of what happened up until the board meeting, the use of running a race (their passion) as a metaphor for public speaking provides a lot of insight into the fear that this student overcame to work towards something bigger than themself. Comparing a podium to the starting line, the audience to the track, and silence to the gunshot is a nice way of demonstrating this student’s passion for cross country running without making that the focus of the story.

The essay does a nice job of coming full circle at the end by explaining what the quote from the beginning meant to them after this experience. Without explicitly saying “ I now know that what Stark actually meant is…” they rely on the strength of their argument above to make it obvious to the reader what it means to get beat but not lose. 

One of the biggest areas of improvement in the intro, however, is how the essay tells us Stark’s impact rather than showing us: His care, dedication, and emphasis on developing good character has left an enduring impact on me and hundreds of other students. Not only did he help me discover my talent and love for running, but he also taught me the importance of commitment and discipline and to approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running.

The writer could’ve helped us feel a stronger emotional connection to Stark if they had included examples of Stark’s qualities, rather than explicitly stating them. For example, they could’ve written something like: Stark was the kind of person who would give you gas money if you told him your parents couldn’t afford to pick you up from practice. And he actually did that—several times. At track meets, alumni regularly would come talk to him and tell him how he’d changed their lives. Before Stark, I was ambivalent about running and was on the JV team, but his encouragement motivated me to run longer and harder and eventually make varsity. Because of him, I approach every endeavor with the passion and intensity that I bring to running.

Essay Example #7: Body Image and Eating Disorders

I press the “discover” button on my Instagram app, hoping to find enticing pictures to satisfy my boredom. Scrolling through, I see funny videos and mouth-watering pictures of food. However, one image stops me immediately. A fit teenage girl with a “perfect body” relaxes in a bikini on a beach. Beneath it, I see a slew of flattering comments. I shake with disapproval over the image’s unrealistic quality. However, part of me still wants to have a body like hers so that others will make similar comments to me.

I would like to resolve a silent issue that harms many teenagers and adults: negative self image and low self-esteem in a world where social media shapes how people view each other. When people see the façades others wear to create an “ideal” image, they can develop poor thought patterns rooted in negative self-talk. The constant comparisons to “perfect” others make people feel small. In this new digital age, it is hard to distinguish authentic from artificial representations.

When I was 11, I developed anorexia nervosa. Though I was already thin, I wanted to be skinny like the models that I saw on the magazine covers on the grocery store stands. Little did I know that those models probably also suffered from disorders, and that photoshop erased their flaws. I preferred being underweight to being healthy. No matter how little I ate or how thin I was, I always thought that I was too fat. I became obsessed with the number on the scale and would try to eat the least that I could without my parents urging me to take more. Fortunately, I stopped engaging in anorexic behaviors before middle school. However, my underlying mental habits did not change. The images that had provoked my disorder in the first place were still a constant presence in my life.

By age 15, I was in recovery from anorexia, but suffered from depression. While I used to only compare myself to models, the growth of social media meant I also compared myself to my friends and acquaintances. I felt left out when I saw my friends’ excitement about lake trips they had taken without me. As I scrolled past endless photos of my flawless, thin classmates with hundreds of likes and affirming comments, I felt my jealousy spiral. I wanted to be admired and loved by other people too. However, I felt that I could never be enough. I began to hate the way that I looked, and felt nothing in my life was good enough. I wanted to be called “perfect” and “body goals,” so I tried to only post at certain times of day to maximize my “likes.” When that didn’t work, I started to feel too anxious to post anything at all.  

Body image insecurities and social media comparisons affect thousands of people – men, women, children, and adults – every day. I am lucky – after a few months of my destructive social media habits, I came across a video that pointed out the illusory nature of social media; many Instagram posts only show off good things while people hide their flaws. I began going to therapy, and recovered from my depression. To address the problem of self-image and social media, we can all focus on what matters on the inside and not what is on the surface. As an effort to become healthy internally, I started a club at my school to promote clean eating and radiating beauty from within. It has helped me grow in my confidence, and today I’m not afraid to show others my struggles by sharing my experience with eating disorders. Someday, I hope to make this club a national organization to help teenagers and adults across the country. I support the idea of body positivity and embracing difference, not “perfection.” After all, how can we be ourselves if we all look the same?

This essay covers the difficult topics of eating disorders and mental health. If you’re thinking about covering similar topics in your essay, we recommend reading our post Should You Talk About Mental Health in College Essays?

The short answer is that, yes, you can talk about mental health, but it can be risky. If you do go that route, it’s important to focus on what you learned from the experience.

The strength of this essay is the student’s vulnerability, in excerpts such as this: I wanted to be admired and loved by other people too. However, I felt that I could never be enough. I began to hate the way that I looked, and felt nothing in my life was good enough. I wanted to be called “perfect” and “body goals,” so I tried to only post at certain times of day to maximize my “likes.”

The student goes on to share how they recovered from their depression through an eye-opening video and therapy sessions, and they’re now helping others find their self-worth as well. It’s great that this essay looks towards the future and shares the writer’s goals of making their club a national organization; we can see their ambition and compassion.

The main weakness of this essay is that it doesn’t focus enough on their recovery process, which is arguably the most important part. They could’ve told us more about the video they watched or the process of starting their club and the interactions they’ve had with other members. Especially when sharing such a vulnerable topic, there should be vulnerability in the recovery process too. That way, the reader can fully appreciate all that this student has overcome.

Essay Example #8: Becoming a Coach

”Advanced females ages 13 to 14 please proceed to staging with your coaches at this time.” Skittering around the room, eyes wide and pleading, I frantically explained my situation to nearby coaches. The seconds ticked away in my head; every polite refusal increased my desperation.

Despair weighed me down. I sank to my knees as a stream of competitors, coaches, and officials flowed around me. My dojang had no coach, and the tournament rules prohibited me from competing without one.

Although I wanted to remain strong, doubts began to cloud my mind. I could not help wondering: what was the point of perfecting my skills if I would never even compete? The other members of my team, who had found coaches minutes earlier, attempted to comfort me, but I barely heard their words. They couldn’t understand my despair at being left on the outside, and I never wanted them to understand.

Since my first lesson 12 years ago, the members of my dojang have become family. I have watched them grow up, finding my own happiness in theirs. Together, we have honed our kicks, blocks, and strikes. We have pushed one another to aim higher and become better martial artists. Although my dojang had searched for a reliable coach for years, we had not found one. When we attended competitions in the past, my teammates and I had always gotten lucky and found a sympathetic coach. Now, I knew this practice was unsustainable. It would devastate me to see the other members of my dojang in my situation, unable to compete and losing hope as a result. My dojang needed a coach, and I decided it was up to me to find one.

I first approached the adults in the dojang – both instructors and members’ parents. However, these attempts only reacquainted me with polite refusals. Everyone I asked told me they couldn’t devote multiple weekends per year to competitions. I soon realized that I would have become the coach myself.

At first, the inner workings of tournaments were a mystery to me. To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side. I learned everything from motivational strategies to technical, behind-the-scenes components of Taekwondo competitions. Though I emerged with new knowledge and confidence in my capabilities, others did not share this faith.

Parents threw me disbelieving looks when they learned that their children’s coach was only a child herself. My self-confidence was my armor, deflecting their surly glances. Every armor is penetrable, however, and as the relentless barrage of doubts pounded my resilience, it began to wear down. I grew unsure of my own abilities.

Despite the attack, I refused to give up. When I saw the shining eyes of the youngest students preparing for their first competition, I knew I couldn’t let them down. To quit would be to set them up to be barred from competing like I was. The knowledge that I could solve my dojang’s longtime problem motivated me to overcome my apprehension.

Now that my dojang flourishes at competitions, the attacks on me have weakened, but not ended. I may never win the approval of every parent; at times, I am still tormented by doubts, but I find solace in the fact that members of my dojang now only worry about competing to the best of their abilities.

Now, as I arrive at a tournament with my students, I close my eyes and remember the past. I visualize the frantic search for a coach and the chaos amongst my teammates as we competed with one another to find coaches before the staging calls for our respective divisions. I open my eyes to the exact opposite scene. Lacking a coach hurt my ability to compete, but I am proud to know that no member of my dojang will have to face that problem again.

This essay begins with an in-the-moment narrative that really illustrates the chaos of looking for a coach last-minute. We feel the writer’s emotions, particularly her dejectedness, at not being able to compete. Starting an essay in media res  is a great way to capture the attention of your readers and build anticipation for what comes next.

Through this essay, we can see how gutsy and determined the student is in deciding to become a coach themselves. She shows us these characteristics through their actions, rather than explicitly telling us: To prepare myself for success as a coach, I spent the next year as an official and took coaching classes on the side.  Also, by discussing the opposition she faced and how it affected her, the student is open and vulnerable about the reality of the situation.

The essay comes full circle as the author recalls the frantic situations in seeking out a coach, but this is no longer a concern for them and their team. Overall, this essay is extremely effective in painting this student as mature, bold, and compassionate.

The biggest thing this essay needs to work on is showing not telling. Throughout the essay, the student tells us that she “emerged with new knowledge and confidence,” she “grew unsure of her own abilities,” and she “refused to give up”. What we really want to know is what this looks like.

Instead of saying she “emerged with new knowledge and confidence” she should have shared how she taught a new move to a fellow team-member without hesitation. Rather than telling us she “grew unsure of her own abilities” she should have shown what that looked like by including her internal dialogue and rhetorical questions that ran through her mind. She could have demonstrated what “refusing to give up” looks like by explaining how she kept learning coaching techniques on her own, turned to a mentor for advice, or devised a plan to win over the trust of parents. 

Essay Example #9: Eritrea

No one knows where Eritrea is.

On the first day of school, for the past nine years, I would pensively stand in front of a class, a teacher, a stranger  waiting for the inevitable question: Where are you from?

I smile politely, my dimples accentuating my ambiguous features. “Eritrea,” I answer promptly and proudly. But I  am always prepared. Before their expression can deepen into confusion, ready to ask “where is that,” I elaborate,  perhaps with a fleeting hint of exasperation, “East Africa, near Ethiopia.”

Sometimes, I single out the key-shaped hermit nation on a map, stunning teachers who have “never had a student  from there!” Grinning, I resist the urge to remark, “You didn’t even know it existed until two minutes ago!”

Eritrea is to the East of Ethiopia, its arid coastline clutches the lucrative Red Sea. Battle scars litter the ancient  streets – the colonial Italian architecture lathered with bullet holes, the mosques mangled with mortar shells.  Originally part of the world’s first Christian kingdom, Eritrea passed through the hands of colonial Italy, Britain, and  Ethiopia for over a century, until a bloody thirty year war of Independence liberated us.

But these are facts that anyone can know with a quick Google search. These are facts that I have memorised and compounded, first from my Grandmother and now from pristine books  borrowed from the library.

No historical narrative, however, can adequately capture what Eritrea is.  No one knows the aroma of bushels of potatoes, tomatoes, and garlic – still covered in dirt – that leads you to the open-air market. No one knows the poignant scent of spices, arranged in orange piles reminiscent of compacted  dunes.  No one knows how to haggle stubborn herders for sheep and roosters for Christmas celebrations as deliberately as my mother. No one can replicate the perfect balance of spices in dorho and tsebhi as well as my grandmother,  her gnarly hands stirring the pot with ancient precision (chastising my clumsy knife work with the potatoes).  It’s impossible to learn when the injera is ready – the exact moment you have to lift the lid of the mogogo. Do it too  early (or too late) and the flatbread becomes mangled and gross. It is a sixth sense passed through matriarchal  lineages.

There are no sources that catalogue the scent of incense that wafts through the sunlit porch on St. Michael’s; no  films that can capture the luminescence of hundreds of flaming bonfires that fluoresce the sidewalks on Kudus  Yohannes, as excited children chant Ge’ez proverbs whose origin has been lost to time.  You cannot learn the familiarity of walking beneath the towering Gothic figure of the Enda Mariam Cathedral, the  crowds undulating to the ringing of the archaic bells.  I have memorized the sound of the rains hounding the metal roof during kiremti , the heat of the sun pounding  against the Toyota’s window as we sped down towards Ghinda , the opulent brilliance of the stars twinkling in a  sky untainted by light pollution, the scent of warm rolls of bani wafting through the streets at precisely 6 o’clock each day…

I fill my flimsy sketchbook with pictures from my memory. My hand remembers the shapes of the hibiscus drifting  in the wind, the outline of my grandmother (affectionately nicknamed a’abaye ) leaning over the garden, the bizarre architecture of the Fiat Tagliero .  I dice the vegetables with movements handed down from generations. My nose remembers the scent of frying garlic, the sourness of the warm tayta , the sharpness of the mit’mt’a …

This knowledge is intrinsic.  “I am Eritrean,” I repeat. “I am proud.”  Within me is an encyclopedia of history, culture, and idealism.

Eritrea is the coffee made from scratch, the spices drying in the sun, the priests and nuns. Eritrea is wise, filled with ambition, and unseen potential.  Eritrea isn’t a place, it’s an identity.

This is an exceptional essay that provides a window into this student’s culture that really makes their love for their country and heritage leap off the page. The sheer level of details and sensory descriptors this student is able to fit in this space makes the essay stand out. From the smells, to the traditions, sounds, and sights, the author encapsulates all the glory of Eritrea for the reader. 

The vivid images this student is able to create for the reader, whether it is having the tedious conversation with every teacher or cooking in their grandmother’s kitchen, transports us into the story and makes us feel like we are there in the moment with the student. This is a prime example of an essay that shows , not tells.

Besides the amazing imagery, the use of shorter paragraphs also contributes to how engaging this essay is. Employing this tactic helps break up the text to make it more readable and it isolates ideas so they stick out more than if they were enveloped in a large paragraph.

Overall, this is a really strong essay that brings to life this student’s heritage through its use of vivid imagery. This essay exemplifies what it means to show not tell in your writing, and it is a great example of how you can write an intimate personal statement without making yourself the primary focus of your essay. 

There is very little this essay should improve upon, but one thing the student might consider would be to inject more personal reflection into their response. Although we can clearly take away their deep love and passion for their homeland and culture, the essay would be a bit more personal if they included the emotions and feelings they associate with the various aspects of Eritrea. For example, the way their heart swells with pride when their grandmother praises their ability to cook a flatbread or the feeling of serenity when they hear the bells ring out from the cathedral. Including personal details as well as sensory ones would create a wonderful balance of imagery and reflection.

Essay Example #10: Journaling

Flipping past dozens of colorful entries in my journal, I arrive at the final blank sheet. I press my pen lightly to the page, barely scratching its surface to create a series of loops stringing together into sentences. Emotions spill out, and with their release, I feel lightness in my chest. The stream of thoughts slows as I reach the bottom of the page, and I gently close the cover of the worn book: another journal finished.

I add the journal to the stack of eleven books on my nightstand. Struck by the bittersweet sensation of closing a chapter of my life, I grab the notebook at the bottom of the pile to reminisce.

“I want to make a flying mushen to fly in space and your in it” – October 2008

Pulling back the cover of my first Tinkerbell-themed diary, the prompt “My Hopes and Dreams” captures my attention. Though “machine” is misspelled in my scribbled response, I see the beginnings of my past obsession with outer space. At the age of five, I tore through novels about the solar system, experimented with rockets built from plastic straws, and rented Space Shuttle films from Blockbuster to satisfy my curiosities. While I chased down answers to questions as limitless as the universe, I fell in love with learning. Eight journals later, the same relentless curiosity brought me to an airplane descending on San Francisco Bay.

“I wish I had infinite sunsets” – July 2019

I reach for the charcoal notepad near the top of the pile and open to the first page: my flight to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes. While I was excited to explore bioengineering, anxiety twisted in my stomach as I imagined my destination, unsure of whether I could overcome my shyness and connect with others.

With each new conversation, the sweat on my palms became less noticeable, and I met students from 23 different countries. Many of the moments where I challenged myself socially revolved around the third story deck of the Jerry house. A strange medley of English, Arabic, and Mandarin filled the summer air as my friends and I gathered there every evening, and dialogues at sunset soon became moments of bliss. In our conversations about cultural differences, the possibility of an afterlife, and the plausibility of far-fetched conspiracy theories, I learned to voice my opinion. As I was introduced to different viewpoints, these moments challenged my understanding of the world around me. In my final entries from California, I find excitement to learn from others and increased confidence, a tool that would later allow me to impact my community.

“The beauty in a tower of cans” – June 2020

Returning my gaze to the stack of journals, I stretch to take the floral-patterned book sitting on top. I flip through, eventually finding the beginnings of the organization I created during the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, Door-to-Door Deliveries has woven its way through my entries and into reality, allowing me to aid high-risk populations through free grocery delivery.

With the confidence I gained the summer before, I took action when seeing others in need rather than letting my shyness hold me back. I reached out to local churches and senior centers to spread word of our services and interacted with customers through our website and social media pages. To further expand our impact, we held two food drives, and I mustered the courage to ask for donations door-to-door. In a tower of canned donations, I saw the value of reaching out to help others and realized my own potential to impact the world around me.

I delicately close the journal in my hands, smiling softly as the memories reappear, one after another. Reaching under my bed, I pull out a fresh notebook and open to its first sheet. I lightly press my pen to the page, “And so begins the next chapter…”

The structuring of this essay makes it easy and enjoyable to read. The student effectively organizes their various life experiences around their tower of journals, which centers the reader and makes the different stories easy to follow. Additionally, the student engages quotes from their journals—and unique formatting of the quotes—to signal that they are moving in time and show us which memory we should follow them to.

Thematically, the student uses the idea of shyness to connect the different memories they draw out of their journals. As the student describes their experiences overcoming shyness at the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes and Door-to-Door Deliveries, this essay can be read as an Overcoming Obstacles essay.

At the end of this essay, readers are fully convinced that this student is dedicated (they have committed to journaling every day), thoughtful (journaling is a thoughtful process and, in the essay, the student reflects thoughtfully on the past), and motivated (they flew across the country for a summer program and started a business). These are definitely qualities admissions officers are looking for in applicants!

Although this essay is already exceptionally strong as it’s written, the first journal entry feels out of place compared to the other two entries that discuss the author’s shyness and determination. It works well for the essay to have an entry from when the student was younger to add some humor (with misspelled words) and nostalgia, but if the student had either connected the quote they chose to the idea of overcoming a fear present in the other two anecdotes or if they had picked a different quote all together related to their shyness, it would have made the entire essay feel more cohesive.

Where to Get Your Personal Statement Edited

Do you want feedback on your personal statement? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

Next Step: Supplemental Essays

Essay Guides for Each School

How to Write a Stellar Extracurricular Activity College Essay

4 Tips for Writing a Diversity College Essay

How to Write the “Why This College” Essay

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

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How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

personal statement closing paragraph example

James is senior content marketing manager at BridgeU. He writes and directs content for BridgeU's university partners and our community of international schools

What are the big challenges students should be aware of before writing their UCAS Personal Statement?

  • The essential ingredients for writing a great Personal Statement
  • How to write the UCAS Personal Statement [with examples]

Final hints & tips to help your students

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The UCAS Personal Statement can sometimes be a student’s only chance to impress a UK university. Read our in-depth guide to helping your students plan & write a winning application.

There are hundreds of articles out there on how to write a UCAS Personal Statement that will grab the attention of a UK university admissions officer.  

But if you’re working with students to help them perfect their Personal Statement in time for the  relevant UCAS deadlines , we can sum up the secret to success in three words.

Planning, structure and story. 

The UCAS Personal Statement is a student’s chance to talk about why they want to study for a particular degree, course or subject discipline at a UK university. 

As they set about writing a personal statement, students need to demonstrate the drive, ambition, relevant skills and notable achievements that make them a  suitable candidate for the universities they have chosen to apply to . 

But the UCAS Personal Statement requires students to write a lot about themselves in a relatively short space of time. That’s why lots of planning, a tight structure and a compelling story are essential if a student’s Personal Statement is to truly excel. 

As important deadlines for UK university applications grow closer, we at BridgeU have put together a guide, outlining some of the strategies and techniques to help your students to write a personal statement which is both engaging and truly individual.

Handpicked Related Content

Discover the simple steps that will boost the confidence of your native English speaking & ESL students alike in  University Application Essays: The 5 Secrets of Successful Writing .

As they begin to plan their Personal Statement, students may feel intimidated. It’s not easy to summarise your academic interests and personal ambitions, especially when you’re competing for a place on a course which is popular or has demanding entry requirements. In particular, students will likely come up against the following challenges.

Time pressure

Unfortunately, the Personal Statement (and other aspects of university preparation) comes during the busiest year of the student’s academic life so far.

Students, and indeed teachers and counsellors, must undertake the planning and writing of the personal statement whilst juggling other commitments, classes and deadlines, not to mention revision and open day visits!

Because there is already a lot of academic pressure on students in their final year of secondary school, finding the time and headspace for the personal statement can be hard, and can mean it gets pushed to the last minute. The risks of leaving it to the last minute are fairly obvious – the application will seem rushed and the necessary thought and planning won’t go into  making the personal statement the best it can be . 

Sticking closely to the Personal Statement format

The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict – up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it’s also important that they don’t feel the need to fill the available space needlessly.  Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential .

Making it stand out

This is arguably the greatest challenge facing students – making sure that their statement sets them apart from everyone else who is competing for a place on any given course; in 2022 alone, UCAS received applications from 683,650 applicants (+1.6k on 2021) students. In addition, UCAS uses its own dedicated team and purpose built software to check every application for plagiarism, so it’s crucial that students craft a truly  original personal statement which is entirely their own work .

The essential ingredients for writing a great UCAS Personal Statement 

We’ve already mentioned our three watch words for writing a high quality Personal Statement.

Planning. Structure. Story. 

Let’s dig deeper into these three essential components in more detail.

Watch: How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement with University of Essex

Planning a ucas personal statement.

It might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s vital that students plan their Personal Statement before they start writing it. Specifically, the planning phase could include: 

  • Students thoroughly researching the UK university courses they plan on applying to. 
  • Deciding on what relevant material to include in their Personal Statement (we’ll cover this in more detail later on). 
  • Writing an unedited first draft where they just get their thoughts and ideas down on paper. 

Structuring a UCAS Personal Statement

As we’ve discussed, the UCAS Personal Statement requires students to be extremely disciplined – they will be required to condense a lot of information into a relatively short written statement. This means that, after they’ve written a rough first draft, they need to think carefully about how they structure the final statement. 

A stand out Personal Statement will need a tight structure, with an introduction and a conclusion that make an impact and really help to tell a story about who your student is, and why they are drawn to studying this particular degree. 

This brings us nicely to our third and final ingredient…

Telling a story with a Personal Statement

The UCAS Personal Statement is a student’s opportunity to show a university who they are and how their life experiences have shaped their academic interests and goals. 

So a good Personal Statement needs to offer a compelling narrative, and that means making sure that a student’s writing is well-structured, and that every sentence and paragraph is serving the statement’s ultimate purpose –  to convince a university that your student deserves a place on their subject of choice. 

How to help your students start their UCAS Personal Statement

In order to ensure that a personal statement is delivered on time and to an appropriate standard, it’s essential to plan thoroughly before writing it. Here are some questions you can ask your students before they start writing:

How can you demonstrate a formative interest in your subject?

It may sound obvious but, in order for any UCAS personal statement to have the necessary structure and clarity, students need to think hard about why they want to study their chosen subject. Ask them to think about their responses to the following questions:

What inspired you to study your chosen subject?

Example answer:  My desire to understand the nature of reality has inspired me to apply for Physics and Philosophy

Was there a formative moment when your perspective on this subject changed, or when you decided you wanted to study this subject in more detail?

Example answer:  My interest in philosophy was awakened when I questioned my childhood religious beliefs; reading Blackburn’s “Think”, convinced me to scrutinise my assumptions about the world, and to ensure I could justify my beliefs.

Can you point to any role models, leading thinkers, or notable literature which has in turn affected your thinking and/or inspired you?

Example answer :  The search for a theory of everything currently being conducted by physicists is of particular interest to me and in “The Grand Design” Hawking proposes a collection of string theories, dubbed M-theory, as the explanation of why the universe is the way it is.

Asking your students to think about the “why” behind their chosen subject discipline is a useful first step in helping them to organise their overall statement. Next, they need to be able to demonstrate evidence of their suitability for a course or degree. 

How have you demonstrated the skills and aptitudes necessary for your chosen course?

Encourage students to think about times where they have demonstrated the necessary skills to really stand out. It’s helpful to think about times when they have utilised these skills both inside and outside the classroom. Ask students to consider their responses to the following questions. 

Can you demonstrate critical and independent thinking around your chosen subject discipline?

Example answer :  Currently I am studying Maths and Economics in addition to Geography. Economics has been a valuable tool, providing the nuts and bolts to economic processes, and my geography has provided a spatial and temporal element.

Are you able to demonstrate skills and competencies which will be necessary for university study?

These include qualities such as teamwork, time management and the ability to organise workload responsibly.

Example answer:  This year I was selected to be captain of the 1st XV rugby team and Captain of Swimming which will allow me to further develop my leadership, teamwork and organisational skills.

How have your extracurricular activities helped prepare you for university?

Students may believe that their interests outside the classroom aren’t relevant to their university application. So encourage them to think about how their other interests can demonstrate the subject-related skills that universities are looking for in an application. Ask students to think about any of the following activities, and how they might be related back to the subject they are applying for.

  • Clubs/societies, or volunteering work which they can use to illustrate attributes such as teamwork, an interest in community service and the ability to manage their time proactively.
  • Have they been elected/nominated as a team captain, or the head of a particular club or society, which highlights leadership skills and an ability to project manage?
  • Can they point to any awards or prizes they may have won, whether it’s taking up a musical instrument, playing a sport, or participating in theatre/performing arts?
  • Have they achieved grades or qualifications as part of their extracurricular activities? These can only help to demonstrate aptitude and hard work. 

How to write the UCAS Personal Statement [with examples] 

If sufficient planning has gone into the personal statement, then your students should be ready to go!

In this next section, we’ll break down the individual components of the UCAS Personal Statement and share some useful examples.

These examples come from a Personal Statement in support of an application to study Environmental Science at a UK university. 

Watch: King’s College London explain what they’re looking for in a UCAS Personal Statement

Introduction.

This is the chance for an applying student to really grab an admission tutor’s attention. Students need to demonstrate both a personal passion for their subject, and explain why they have an aptitude for it .  This section is where students should begin to discuss any major influences or inspirations that have led them to this subject choice. 

Example :  My passion for the environment has perhaps come from the fact that I have lived in five different countries: France, England, Spain, Sweden and Costa Rica. Moving at the age of 15 from Sweden, a calm and organized country, to Costa Rica, a more diverse and slightly chaotic country, was a shock for me at first and took me out of my comfort zone […] Also, living in Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, definitely helped me realize how vulnerable the world is and how we need to take care of it in a sustainable manner. 

This opening paragraph immediately grabs the reader’s attention by giving the reader an insight into this student’s background and links their academic interests with something specific from the student’s personal backstory. 

Discussing Academic Achievements 

The next paragraph in this Personal Statement discusses the student’s academic achievements. Because this student has had an international education, they frame their academic achievements in the context of their personal background. They also cite useful examples of other curricula they have studied and the grades they have achieved. 

Example : 

Throughout my academic life I have shown myself to be a responsible student as well as a hard working one, despite the fact that I have had to move around a lot. I have achieved several other accomplishments such as a high A (286/300) in AS Spanish at age 15, and also completed a Spanish course of secondary studies for ‘MEP’(Ministerio de Educacion Publica), which is a system from Costa Rica.   

You’ll notice that this student doesn’t just list their achievements – their strong academic performance is always linked back to a wider discussion of their personal experiences. 

Showcasing Extracurricular Activities

As well as discussing academic achievements, a good Personal Statement should also discuss the student’s extracurricular activities, and how they relate back to the student’s overall university aspirations. 

By the third/fourth paragraph of the Personal Statement, students should think about incorporating their extracurricular experiences, 

Another valuable experience was when my class spent a week at a beach called ‘Pacuare’ in order to help prevent the eggs of the endangered leatherback turtle from being stolen by poachers who go on to sell them like chicken eggs. We all gained teamwork experience, which was needed in order to hide the eggs silently without scaring the mother turtles, as well as making it more difficult for the poachers to find them. 

When the poachers set fire to one of the sustainable huts where we were staying, not only did I gain self-awareness about the critical situation of the world and its ecosystems, I also matured and became even more motivated to study environmental sciences at university.

This is a particularly striking example of using extracurricular activities to showcase a student’s wider passion for the degree subject they want to study. 

Not only does this Personal Statement have a story about volunteering to save an endangered species, it also illustrates this applicants’ wider worldview, and helps to explain their motivation for wanting to study Environmental Science. 

Concluding the UCAS Personal Statement

The conclusion to a UCAS Personal Statement will have to be concise, and will need to tie all of a student’s academic and extracurricular achievements. After all, a compelling story will need a great ending. 

Remember that students need to be mindful of the character limit of a Personal Statement, so a conclusion need only be the length of a small paragraph, or even a couple of sentences. 

“ After having many varied experiences, I truly think I can contribute to university in a positive way, and would love to study in England where I believe I would gain more skills and education doing a first degree than in any other country.  “

A good Personal Statement conclusion will end with an affirmation of how the student thinks they can contribute to university life, and why they believe the institution in question should accept them. Because the student in this example has a such a rich and varied international background, they also discuss the appeal of studying at university in England. 

It’s worth taking a quick look at a few other examples of how other students have chosen to conclude their Personal Statement. 

Medicine (Imperial College, London) 

Interest in Medicine aside, other enthusiasms of mine include languages, philosophy, and mythology. It is curiously fitting that in ancient Greek lore, healing was but one of the many arts Apollo presided over, alongside archery and music.   I firmly believe that a doctor should explore the world outside the field of  Medicine, and it is with such experiences that I hope to better empathise and connect with the patients I will care for in my medical career. 

You’ll notice that this example very specifically ties the students’ academic and extracurricular activities together, and ties the Personal Statement back to their values and beliefs. 

Economic History with Economics (London School of Economics)

The highlight of my extra-curricular activities has been my visit to Shanghai with the Lord Mayor’s trade delegation in September 2012. I was selected to give a speech at this world trade conference due to my interest in economic and social history. […] I particularly enjoyed the seminar format, and look forward to experiencing more of this at university. My keen interest and desire to further my knowledge of history and economics, I believe, would make the course ideal for me.

By contrast, this conclusion ties a memorable experience back to the specifics of how the student will be taught at the London School of Economics – specifically, the appeal of learning in seminar format! 

There’s no magic formula for concluding a Personal Statement. But you’ll see that what all of these examples have in common is that they tie a student’s personal and academic experiences together – and tell a university something about their aspirations for the future.

Watch: Bournemouth University explain how to structure a UCAS Personal Statement

personal statement closing paragraph example

Know the audience

It can be easy for students to forget that the person reading a personal statement is invariably an expert in their field. This is why an ability to convey passion and think critically about their chosen subject is essential for a personal statement to stand out. Admissions tutors will also look for students who can structure their writing (more on this below). 

Students should be themselves

Remember that many students are competing for places on a university degree against fierce competition. And don’t forget that UCAS has the means to spot plagiarism. So students need to create a truly honest and individual account of who they are, what they have achieved and, perhaps most importantly, why they are driven to study this particular subject.

Proof-read (then proof-read again!)

Time pressures mean that students can easily make mistakes with their Personal Statements. As the deadline grows closer, it’s vital that they are constantly checking and rechecking their writing and to ensure that shows them in the best possible light. 

Meanwhile, when it comes to giving feedback to students writing their Personal Statements, make sure you’re as honest and positive as possible in the days and weeks leading up to submission day. 

And make sure they remember the three key ingredients of writing a successful Personal Statement. 

Planning, structure and story! 

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Key Tips to Close Your Personal Statement Effectively

Table of Contents

Just as you started your personal statement on a high note, you should also end it with nothing less. Your  closing paragraph for personal statement  is your last chance to win over the admissions board. And as such, you need to ensure you leave them with a positive impression.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some effective tips to help you do just that. Aside from valuable tips, we’ll also lay out some winning examples that you can refer to.

Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know to end your personal statement in the best way possible!

Why Your Personal Statement Matters

A personal statement is basically a piece of writing that provides information about you to universities or employers. It can be used to highlight your achievements, experience, and skills. Don’t get it confused with your resume. Because while your resume only lays out matter-of-fact information, your personal statement goes much deeper.

In addition, a personal statement allows you to explain why you are interested in the course or job that you are applying for. It is, therefore, important that your personal statement is well-written and tailored to the specific requirements of the university or employer.

fountain pen on black lined paper

Make Reference to Your Opening

By ending with the same point you started, you create a sense of closure that helps the reader understand and remember your argument. Additionally, referencing your opening reinforces your main points. It ensures that the reader understands why each individual paragraph matters within the context of the larger text.

You don’t have to copy and paste your introduction. Instead, you can highlight your point of view by drawing references to your opening.

For example, if you begin your statement with your passion for studying environmental sciences, you can conclude with the following:

In light of the decrease in certain species, I am determined to defeat poachers and other human impacts that threaten our planet. I want to study environmental sciences at [University Name]. I know it can provide me with the breadth of knowledge necessary to pursue a career as a scientist. And this will be greatly helpful in my quest to protect the environment.

Write About Aspirations and Plans for the Future

In your closing, talk about your aspirations and plans for the future. Showing ambition and direction is important, as it can demonstrate that you are motivated and ready to take on new challenges. It can also leave a positive impression on the reader, making them more likely to consider offering you admission or a job opportunity.

Take time to discuss what you want from your life, future, and education. Include something such as:

I aspire to be a successful journalist and use my writing skills to make a difference in the world. I want to help people learn about important issues and share unique perspectives that often go unheard.

Pull Together Your Key Points

Admissions committee members have tons of personal statements to look through. They won’t have the luxury of time to read the entire text, so they try to catch the main points, such as

  • Your experience
  • Your academic accomplishments
  • Knowledge of the course and the learning institution
  • Your motivation and goals

This is why your conclusion can serve as the part of the whole text that briefly describes all of these points. Make sure to research the institution to know what they’re looking for. This will help you incorporate qualities in your summary that can make you a perfect match.

Don’t hesitate to restate your ideas and add emphasis to them. Write it down in a few lines and keep it concise.

Keep It Simple And Honest

Many admission officers agree that honesty is critical to a strong conclusion in a personal statement. Expert committee members can see if your statement is too good to be true. Truth is a much more important element to them than polished statements filled with stolen phrases. Remember that.

Closing Paragraph for Personal Statement Examples

For a scholarship.

I am excited to continue my academic journey at [university name]. And I would be grateful for the opportunity to receive a scholarship from your organization. I worked hard in high school and achieved excellent grades while actively participating in extracurricular activities. My determined attitude and skills, and qualifications make me an ideal candidate for this scholarship.

For a job opportunity

I am confident that I have the skills and qualifications you are looking for. I am a hardworking individual with excellent problem-solving skills. My experience working in a team environment has given me the ability to be a strong contributor to any project. I am certain that my strengths and abilities can make a positive impact on your organization.

For college admissions

Though I may not have always loved school, I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. That’s why I knew that the best college for me was somewhere with a rigorous curriculum and an excellent academic reputation. It wasn’t easy narrowing my choices down to just a few schools. But in the end, I’m confident that choosing [college name] was the right decision.

The faculty here are truly dedicated to helping their students succeed. They work hard to provide individualized attention and guidance every step of the way. With programs like study abroad, research opportunities, and a diverse student body, [college name] feels like an exciting place to be.

Final Words

Your  closing paragraph for personal statement  is your opportunity to summarize your qualifications and express why they need to choose you ! Remember to reiterate how your experiences have prepared you for this specific opportunity.

Highlight any unique qualities that make you stand out from other candidates. The tone of your concluding paragraph should be positive and optimistic. After all, you want to leave the reader with a good impression of yourself!

Key Tips to Close Your Personal Statement Effectively

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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  • How to conclude an essay | Interactive example

How to Conclude an Essay | Interactive Example

Published on January 24, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on July 23, 2023.

The conclusion is the final paragraph of your essay . A strong conclusion aims to:

  • Tie together the essay’s main points
  • Show why your argument matters
  • Leave the reader with a strong impression

Your conclusion should give a sense of closure and completion to your argument, but also show what new questions or possibilities it has opened up.

This conclusion is taken from our annotated essay example , which discusses the history of the Braille system. Hover over each part to see why it’s effective.

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

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Table of contents

Step 1: return to your thesis, step 2: review your main points, step 3: show why it matters, what shouldn’t go in the conclusion, more examples of essay conclusions, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay conclusion.

To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument.

Don’t just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction.

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Next, remind the reader of the main points that you used to support your argument.

Avoid simply summarizing each paragraph or repeating each point in order; try to bring your points together in a way that makes the connections between them clear. The conclusion is your final chance to show how all the paragraphs of your essay add up to a coherent whole.

To wrap up your conclusion, zoom out to a broader view of the topic and consider the implications of your argument. For example:

  • Does it contribute a new understanding of your topic?
  • Does it raise new questions for future study?
  • Does it lead to practical suggestions or predictions?
  • Can it be applied to different contexts?
  • Can it be connected to a broader debate or theme?

Whatever your essay is about, the conclusion should aim to emphasize the significance of your argument, whether that’s within your academic subject or in the wider world.

Try to end with a strong, decisive sentence, leaving the reader with a lingering sense of interest in your topic.

The easiest way to improve your conclusion is to eliminate these common mistakes.

Don’t include new evidence

Any evidence or analysis that is essential to supporting your thesis statement should appear in the main body of the essay.

The conclusion might include minor pieces of new information—for example, a sentence or two discussing broader implications, or a quotation that nicely summarizes your central point. But it shouldn’t introduce any major new sources or ideas that need further explanation to understand.

Don’t use “concluding phrases”

Avoid using obvious stock phrases to tell the reader what you’re doing:

  • “In conclusion…”
  • “To sum up…”

These phrases aren’t forbidden, but they can make your writing sound weak. By returning to your main argument, it will quickly become clear that you are concluding the essay—you shouldn’t have to spell it out.

Don’t undermine your argument

Avoid using apologetic phrases that sound uncertain or confused:

  • “This is just one approach among many.”
  • “There are good arguments on both sides of this issue.”
  • “There is no clear answer to this problem.”

Even if your essay has explored different points of view, your own position should be clear. There may be many possible approaches to the topic, but you want to leave the reader convinced that yours is the best one!

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This conclusion is taken from an argumentative essay about the internet’s impact on education. It acknowledges the opposing arguments while taking a clear, decisive position.

The internet has had a major positive impact on the world of education; occasional pitfalls aside, its value is evident in numerous applications. The future of teaching lies in the possibilities the internet opens up for communication, research, and interactivity. As the popularity of distance learning shows, students value the flexibility and accessibility offered by digital education, and educators should fully embrace these advantages. The internet’s dangers, real and imaginary, have been documented exhaustively by skeptics, but the internet is here to stay; it is time to focus seriously on its potential for good.

This conclusion is taken from a short expository essay that explains the invention of the printing press and its effects on European society. It focuses on giving a clear, concise overview of what was covered in the essay.

The invention of the printing press was important not only in terms of its immediate cultural and economic effects, but also in terms of its major impact on politics and religion across Europe. In the century following the invention of the printing press, the relatively stationary intellectual atmosphere of the Middle Ages gave way to the social upheavals of the Reformation and the Renaissance. A single technological innovation had contributed to the total reshaping of the continent.

This conclusion is taken from a literary analysis essay about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein . It summarizes what the essay’s analysis achieved and emphasizes its originality.

By tracing the depiction of Frankenstein through the novel’s three volumes, I have demonstrated how the narrative structure shifts our perception of the character. While the Frankenstein of the first volume is depicted as having innocent intentions, the second and third volumes—first in the creature’s accusatory voice, and then in his own voice—increasingly undermine him, causing him to appear alternately ridiculous and vindictive. Far from the one-dimensional villain he is often taken to be, the character of Frankenstein is compelling because of the dynamic narrative frame in which he is placed. In this frame, Frankenstein’s narrative self-presentation responds to the images of him we see from others’ perspectives. This conclusion sheds new light on the novel, foregrounding Shelley’s unique layering of narrative perspectives and its importance for the depiction of character.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Your essay’s conclusion should contain:

  • A rephrased version of your overall thesis
  • A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
  • An indication of why your argument matters

The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.

For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.

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Academic Personal Statement Guide + Examples for 2024

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You have a bright future ahead of you in academia and you’ve already found the program of your dreams.

The only problem? 

You have to write an impressive academic personal statement that sets you apart from a sea of applicants.

We know that writing about yourself might not come naturally. And when the academic program you have your sights set on is on the line, it doesn’t make it any easier.

But there’s no need to worry!

We’ve prepared this guide to help you write your academic personal statement and secure your spot in your program of choice.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What Is An Academic Personal Statement?
  • 7 Steps to Writing the Best Academic Personal Statement
  • An Example of a Stellar Academic Personal Statement

Let’s dive in.

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You’ll need an academic CV alongside your personal statement. Create one with ease with Novorésumé !

What Is an Academic Personal Statement?

A personal statement is an essential part of the academic application process.

Much like a motivation letter , your academic personal statement serves to demonstrate why you’re the right candidate for the course and sell yourself as a capable student.

Your goal is to show the admissions committee that they’ll benefit from having you in their university as much as you’ll benefit from joining the program.

Academic Vs CV Personal Statement

The term ‘personal statement’ can mean different things depending on your field.

In the world of job hunting, a personal statement usually refers to a few sentences that go at the top of your CV . This paragraph is meant to convey your top skills, relevant experiences, and professional goals to a hiring manager from the get-go and increase your chances of getting an interview.

However, in the world of academia, a personal statement refers to a more in-depth description of you as a candidate. 

In a nutshell, an academic personal statement shows the admissions committee your academic achievements so far, as well as what motivated you to apply and pursue this position.

Personal statements are also often required when applying for certain jobs, much like writing a cover letter . If you’re looking at a position as a faculty member in a university or other academic institution, for example, you might be asked to provide an academic personal statement.

7 Steps to Write an Academic Personal Statement

Preparation is the key to success and this is exactly where our guide comes in handy.

So just follow these steps and you’re sure to secure your spot:

#1. Read the Brief (Carefully!)

Academic personal statements aren’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all piece of writing. 

Typically, every institution has its specific requirements on what candidates should include in their academic personal statement.

To make sure you’re on the right track with your academic personal statement, read the brief carefully. Consider taking notes and highlighting important points from your program’s brief as you go through it.

Pay attention to any specific question the university wants you to answer. If you don’t address everything the admissions board expects, your personal statement will look sloppy and you’ll be considered an inattentive candidate.

Be sure to re-read the brief after you’ve finished writing your academic personal statement, too. This way you can make sure you’ve answered everything adequately and you’ll have the opportunity to correct any slips.

#2. Research the Program

Make sure you do your homework on the academic program you’re applying to.

You can’t write a good academic personal statement without research, let alone a great one. Much like researching your employer , taking the time to learn more about your desired school and personalizing your application can make a huge difference.

For example, you can dive into how your values align with that of the school you’re applying to, and how your experience and interests relate to specific things about the program. The more you focus on how you’re the right fit for this specific position, in this specific program – the better.

Carefully read through the school and program’s official pages since everything you would need to know is probably on the school’s official website. You can also ask current and former students for help but remember that whatever they say should never replace official information when crafting your academic personal statement.

#3. Plan Your Statement

An academic personal statement is meant to explain your academic interests and shouldn’t contain irrelevant details about your personal life.

Focus on why you want to study the course you’ve chosen and provide any information about your achievements so far.

Ask yourself the following questions to get the ball rolling on what to write:

  • Why do you want to study (or work) in this program? How will it benefit you?
  • How do your skills match the position?
  • What makes you stand out from other applicants?
  • What are your exact career aspirations?
  • How can you and your work benefit the institution you’re applying to?
  • If you changed fields, how did you decide to apply in this direction?
  • What insight can you bring thanks to your different experiences?
  • How will this change of field help your future career?

Write down your answer to these questions in the first draft of your academic personal statement.

#4. Look at Example Statements

Don’t hesitate to read other people’s academic personal statements online. They’re a great source of inspiration and can help get rid of any remaining writer’s block.

If you’re struggling to understand how to meet the language and formatting requirements for your academic personal statement, seeing actual examples is the best way to learn.

But be careful – don’t copy any lines you read, no matter how impressive you think they are. 

Most universities run every academic personal statement through intensive plagiarism checking, and even a paraphrased sentence could lead to your application being rejected for plagiarism.

So pay more attention to the overall structure of the academic personal statements you read, rather than copying the exact wording.

#5. Structure the Contents

There should be a cohesive argument that your entire essay follows. Each sentence and paragraph should complement and build on the one that comes before it.

The structure of your personal statement should include:

An intriguing introduction to you as a candidate

The introductory paragraph should grab the admission committee’s attention and keep them engaged.

Here you should be sure to avoid cliches like saying how you’ve “always dreamt” of graduating from this university or of studying this exact program. Instead, give an example of what really influenced you to pursue this dream.

Here’s an example:

  • I’ve always loved reading and since I was a child, it’s been my dream to graduate from Oxford University and contribute to the world of literary analysis. That’s why I spent the past year volunteering at my local writers’ society and giving constructive feedback during workshops and book discussions.
  • It wasn’t until I failed my first essay assignment in secondary school that I realized the depth that lies beneath each sentence in a given text. I began to delve into the rich layers of literary texts and the intricacies of literary analysis became my passion. Although initially challenging, the depth of understanding that this field offers about human emotions, cultural contexts, and narrative structures enthralled me. I found myself questioning the narrative structures and character motivations that I had previously taken for granted, and I was eager to understand how the subtle and often overlooked elements within a text could have a profound impact on its overall interpretation. This need to fundamentally understand a given author’s work has stayed with me since and led me to pursue literary analysis as a postgraduate student.

An engaging body

The main part of your academic personal statement should detail your interests, experience, and knowledge, and how they make you suitable for the position.

This is where you should expand on your motivation and use the following tips:

  • Why this university? Provide strong reasons for your choice, related to your future career or the institution’s reputation.
  • Mention your relevant studies and experience. This includes projects, dissertations, essays, or work experience.
  • Give evidence of key skills you have, such as research, critical thinking, communication, and time management, and explain how you can contribute to the department with them.
  • Say what makes you unique as a candidate and provide an example.
  • Explain who have been the main influences who put you on this path and why they’ve influenced you.
  • Mention other relevant experiences, such as memberships in clubs related to the subject, awards you might have won, or impressive papers you’ve written.
  • Talk about your career aspirations and how the program ties into your goal of achieving them.

Depending on the guidelines of the specific university, you could also divide your academic personal statement’s body with subheadings, such as:

  • Academic background
  • Research interests
  • Methodological approaches
  • Research experience
  • Personal experience
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Relevant skills
  • Career aspirations

A logical conclusion

Your academic personal statement needs a conclusion that ends on an enthusiastic note.

Make sure the conclusion reiterates the main points from the body of your text.

Your relevant accomplishments and desire to attend this specific program should be clear to any reader.

#6. Pay Attention to the Language

When writing the first draft of your academic personal statement, pay attention to the language and tone you’re using.

An academic personal statement is also a formal text, so your writing should reflect that. Colloquialisms aren’t appropriate, as they would take away from the well-mannered impression you want to give the admissions committee.

However, you also want your personal statement to be straightforward and avoid any complex jargon from your field of study.

For example, your opening sentence shouldn’t be overly complicated. You should communicate everything as clearly as possible, and be inclusive to those outside of your field of study since they might be on the admissions board that’s reading your academic personal statement.

Make sure that the tone throughout your text is positive and conveys your enthusiasm for the program. Your academic personal statement should show the admissions committee that you really want to be there, and why that’s beneficial to everyone involved.

#7. Proofread Your Statement

This step probably isn’t surprising to you but it’s worth paying attention to.

Your academic personal statement is a very formal document and it should be spotless. 

So, make sure it adheres to academic writing conventions . For example, contractions like “I’m” instead of “I am” are informal, and should be avoided.

Mistakes like these are very common when writing about yourself, particularly when you’re used to describing yourself in informal environments.

Carefully proofread your academic personal statement, then run it through a grammar checker like Grammarly or Quillbot, then proofread it again.

The tiniest grammar mistake or typo could make the admissions board reject your application.

Academic Personal Statement Example

Ever since my first encounter with the enchanting worlds spun by Flaubert, Balzac, and Proust, my intellectual pursuits have gravitated toward French literature. With an undergraduate degree focused on French Language and Literature, I have been fortunate to explore my passions both theoretically and empirically, embedding them within broader themes of cultural theory and comparative literature. It is with great excitement that I apply for the postgraduate research position in the French Literature program at Kent University, with the aim of contributing novel scholarly perspectives to this captivating field.

Academic Background and Research Interests

During my undergraduate studies, I delved deeply into the realms of 19th-century Realism and Naturalism. My senior thesis, which examined the dialectics of morality and social structures in Balzac's "La Comédie Humaine," was not merely an academic exercise; it served as a crucible where my theoretical understandings were rigorously tested. This research experience intensified my interest in the complex interplay between literature and societal norms, a theme I am eager to further explore in my postgraduate work.

Methodological Approaches

My academic approach is fundamentally interdisciplinary. I strongly believe that literature should not be studied in a vacuum; rather, it should be contextualized within historical, sociological, and psychological paradigms. During a semester abroad in Paris, I took courses in cultural anthropology and French history, an enriching experience that complemented my literature-focused studies. This holistic approach will enable me to contribute a multifaceted perspective to the research endeavors at Kent University.

Previous Research and Scholarly Engagements

My scholarly activities have also extended beyond the classroom. Last summer, I participated in an international conference on French Literature and Post-Colonial Theory, presenting a paper on the depictions of colonial landscapes in Dumas' adventure novels. The opportunity to engage with academics from various disciplines provided me with fresh insights and underscored the importance of collaborative research. Further, I've had the honor of having a review article published in the Sheffield Journal of Contemporary Literary Explorations, where I critiqued a groundbreaking new translation of Verne's works.

Extracurricular Contributions and Skills

In addition to my academic achievements, I have sought to enrich my department’s intellectual community. I served as the editor of our departmental journal and organized a series of seminars featuring guest speakers from the worlds of academia and publishing. My strong organizational skills, combined with proficiency in both written and spoken French and English, make me a versatile candidate capable of adding value to the French Literature program’s broader objectives.

To summarize, my deep-rooted passion for French literature, fortified by rigorous academic training and interdisciplinary methodologies, makes me an ideal candidate for the postgraduate research position in your esteemed program. The prospect of contributing to academic discourse at Kent University is an opportunity I find deeply compelling. I am especially excited about the potential for collaborative research and interdisciplinary inquiries, which aligns perfectly with my academic philosophy. I am fully committed to leveraging my skills, experiences, and enthusiasm to make a substantive scholarly contribution to the study of French Literature. Thank you for considering my application; I am keenly looking forward to the possibility of furthering my academic journey in this vibrant intellectual community.

FAQs on Academic Personal Statements

If you’re wondering anything else about academic personal statements, check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions related to them here:

#1. How do you start a personal statement for an academic job?

Applying for an academic job is different from applying for a position as a student. First, you need to establish your qualifications and enthusiasm for the role immediately.

Start by explaining your current status, for example, as a postdoctoral researcher or an experienced member of the faculty, and specify the position you are applying for. Then follow up with your research interests or personal philosophy towards teaching.

You can add a personal anecdote or compelling fact that summarizes your academic journey so far, or your passion for the field. After that, your academic personal statement can go deeper into the qualifications from your academic CV and how you’re a great fit for the position.

#2. How do I introduce myself in an academic personal statement?

The introduction of your academic personal statement is the key to grabbing the attention of the admissions committee.

Start by stating the field or subject that interests you, and why. You can share a specific personal anecdote or observation that led you to this academic pursuit and set the stage for the detailed explanation in your main body.

The goal of your introduction is to give the reader a sense of who you are, what drives you, and why you would be a valuable addition to their department.

#3. Is an academic personal statement like an essay?

Yes, an academic personal statement can be considered a type of essay.

Both essays and academic personal statements are structured forms of writing that are meant to deliver a coherent argument and are divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion. They provide supporting evidence to prove the point and maintain a logical flow to guide the reader to the final conclusion.

However, essays tend to be objective and explore a specific topic or question in depth. Academic personal statements use similar techniques but they present the candidate’s qualifications, experiences, and aspirations in a way that’s meant to persuade the admissions committee.

#4. How long is an academic personal statement?

Typically, an academic personal statement is between 500 and 1000 words long.

The exact length of the text varies depending on the university and program you’re applying to. You should always check the specific requirements for your desired program, and stick to the guidelines you find.

However, if the university you’re applying to doesn’t specify a word count, you should aim for one to two pages.

#5. What do I avoid in an academic personal statement?

Since your personal statement is a crucial part of your academic application, it’s important to avoid any common mistakes.

Make sure the content of your academic personal statement isn’t too generic. Its goal is to give insight into you as an individual, beyond what can be read in your CV . 

You should also avoid cramming too many points in your text. Your academic personal statement should follow a logical flow, and focus on the relevance of what you’re sharing about yourself and how it relates to the academic program you’re pursuing.

Key Takeaways

And that concludes our guide to writing an academic personal statement!

We hope you feel more confident when crafting your application for that academic program or faculty position you have your sights set on.

Now let’s recap what we talked about so far:

  • Academic personal statements are very different from CV personal statements. While CV personal statements are brief paragraphs at the top of the page, an academic personal statement is an in-depth text that details why you’re interested in a given position, and what makes you a good candidate.
  • The guidelines on academic personal statements vary according to the institution you’re applying to. Read the brief very carefully, and pay attention to what it says about word count and questions your personal statement should answer. Any mistakes here could result in rejection.
  • There are differences between applying for a postgraduate program and applying for a faculty position. But in both cases, you should research the exact place you want to apply to and adjust your application accordingly to match the institution’s values.
  • Always proofread your academic personal statement before sending it, even if you’re sure there are no errors.

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Graduate School Personal Statement Examples: Good, Bad, & Everything In Between

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Your personal statement should demonstrate that you have thought deeply about why you are making the decision to go to grad school and that your decision is one that will endure the challenges that graduate school presents. Sounds a little challenging? Don’t worry, this blog post will break down the strategy of writing a strong personal statement for graduate school.

Comparing Graduate School Personal Statement Examples

Below I will share types of personal statement examples: one with a strong writing approach and one that lacks clarity and may cause confusion for an admissions committee reader. Then I will describe the strengths and weaknesses of each example.

Introduction Paragraph Examples:

Ex. 1-Strong) The ocean is as fundamental to our lives as any other ecological habitat, so why don’t we have systems in place to treat it that way? Growing up in Monterey, California I was first introduced to marine biology through my advanced placement biology class. While in community college I helped form a student-led monthly beach clean-up team. This rewarding experience led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biology with an emphasis in ocean preservation. My passion for developing innovative and culturally informed approaches to marine preservation on a global scale have led me to pursue a doctorate in the field of marine biology. My desired research focus will explore solutions to the impacts of micro plastics in our ocean.

Ex. 2-Weak) Yea sure, the ocean is in a devastated condition, but what are we going to do about it? Well, with my degree in bio I plan to get a PhD in marine biology to help figure out how to address micro plastics in our ocean. I know so much already, and I just know that with a PhD I will be able to contribute on a greater scale. I know the PhD is a lot of work, but I am pretty sure I will be able to complete the program and have a great time doing so. I have always wanted to live in Santa Barbara, and that is definitely a part of my decision to apply to your program.

Conclusion Paragraph Examples:

Ex. 1-Strong) As a first generation college student, and an English language learner, my journey to receive my bachelors of science in marine biology has been tough. Along the way I have developed leadership skills, research and lab experience, as well as a refined passion for the work that marine biologists are able to do when informed by the local community members. I desire to continue my studies with an emphasis on ocean preservation research through the innovative and unique PhD program offered at UC Santa Barbara. It would be an honor to work with Dr. Jonas Mendoza and Dr. Raquel Pacheco, two professors whose work aligns with my research interests and who have been welcoming and encouraging through our email correspondence. While my research goals are ambitious, I am confident that your program offers the resources and mentorship required for a unified effort to resolve the impact that microplastics have on not only human life, but all marine animals and ecosystems.

Ex2. -Weak) I think it’s a miracle that I even completed my B.S degree! That’s how I know that with the funding and laid back atmosphere at UC Santa Barbara I can definitely complete the PhD. I’m not so interested in the teaching part, or the amount of course work I would be required to take, but I just know that once I get out there and get into the water, it will all be worth it. My research experience is competitive and top-notch, I am a great person to work with and easily make friends. I am hopeful to hear back and excited for the next steps! Thanks for reading this far.

Diving Deeper Into Personal Statement Examples

So, let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the examples above!

  • Throughout the paragraph the applicant demonstrates that they have been involved with marine biology since high school, this is important because it demonstrates their commitment to the field early on in the essay
  • The applicant mentions a desire to live in Santa Barbara, while it may be true, it is not a strong enough reason to pursue a PhD and signals to the admissions committee that you may be pursuing the program for the wrong reasons. Keep details like this out of your personal statement and focus on reasons for applying that are academically motivated.
  • The applicant concludes by mentioning the importance of a “unified effort” for their research goals. This goes a long way to demonstrate that they understand how important collaborative effort is. This helps make an applicant more attractive in the eyes of an admissions committee that must also consider the work ethic of all applicants.
  • The applicant describes their research experience as “competitive and top-notch”, even if you have the most impressive curriculum vitae focus on instead listing what you have done, with who and what they outcomes were and let the admissions committee decide how they interpret it.

So, what makes a good personal statement?

Your personal statement will be one amongst many that a committee of real people will read to assess who you are. you have to remember that the committee members do not get to meet you before they read your application materials. you cannot risk leaving out crucial information. oftentimes, students struggle to talk about themselves, they see it as “bragging” or “showing off”. it is important that you overcome your discomfort and realize that the personal statement is essentially the first impression you will make on the committee. make the most of the opportunity to introduce yourself and make sure to address the following:.

  • Why now? Admissions committees have been through graduate school. They know better than anyone that graduate school is not a choice one makes simply because “you don’t know what else to do”. Demonstrate that you are prepared for the commitment and the work by specifying why you have decided that graduate school is the best option for you at this time and that your current and past experiences align with your intentions if admitted into the program.

A good personal statement will address all of these questions and be mindful about appropriate boundaries with each. Ultimately, it will demonstrate to the committee that you are prepared for the program, that you are likely to succeed if admitted, and that you are passionate about and committed to pursuing a career in which the training and the degree that you will receive is imperative to your future goals.

The importance of a clear narrative:

A clear narrative will allow for the admissions committee to extract the necessary information about you without any hassle. Remember that you are one applicant amongst many, when writing your personal statement do not assume that your reader will know the importance of any information or the necessary context if you do not provide these details for them. Consider these tips when writing:

  • Do not overestimate the importance of proofreading! Read your essays out loud and record the audio while doing it. Does it flow? Does it answer every question provided in the prompt (if provided one)? I recommend finding at least one person who is in graduate school and preferably within your field to read your essay.

Summary and Major Takeaways

The personal statement is usually just 1-2 pages. With a document this short and with so much importance towards your chances of admission, every word matters! Consider these takeaways as you prepare and always remember you can reach out to us at Magoosh for more in-depth and personalized support.

Do this before you get to writing. Gather information from this blog post, the programs official website, any correspondence between you and professors or graduate students at each program you will be applying to, and develop a document that lists every experience and detail you wish to include. Use this as a reference as you write so that you are certain you are hitting every point.

Do not skip this step! Seek out support from current graduate students or a writing service for some feedback. Double check for any language that is too casual, or can be off putting or concerning to anyone who will review your application.

Remember that admissions committees are made up of real people who read an unbelievable amount of applications. Do your best to stand out, really think about what sets you apart and what skills you have developed throughout your life that are relevant to the program you are pursuing. After you have your first draft, focus on language and phrases that are both professional and captivating to your reader. Sprinkle in some flare!

Verónica Mandujano

Verónica Mandujano is an Admissions Instructor at Magoosh. She supports students throughout their application process in various forms including live classes on an array of topics, writing support and coaching. She is excited to be able to share from her past and current experiences as a PhD student and as an instructor at the University of California, Santa Barbara where her research employs interdisciplinary methods to address birthing justice, the colonial impacts of obstetrics, and the re-matriation of ancestral plant birthing medicine. She is a creative writer, a proud chihuahua momma, and a firm believer in never putting your taco down once you take the first bite.

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How to Close Your Graduate School Personal Statement

How to write an essay with a thesis statement.

One of the most important parts of a graduate school application is the personal statement. This essay should include reasons for pursuing graduate study, the desired area of study, intended use for graduate education, academic background and extracurricular experiences, highlight reasons for choosing that particular school and provide any other pertinent information relating to your qualifications and experience. The goal is to write a story about yourself, so the selection committee has a solid understanding about you by the end of the paper. Although the introductory paragraph is one of the most important parts of the paper, how you close your personal statement is just as critical for making a successful impression.

Tie your closing paragraph to your introductory paragraph by repeating some of the original imagery or information from the opening statement. It is important to think of the opening and closing paragraphs as bookends, which frame all of the content in between.

Develop meaningful conclusions that detail the value you have gained in your own experiences. Use what you have learned about yourself and your intended field to detail your intentions for your future goals.

Show enthusiasm about the chance to be accepted into the program for which you are applying. Make sure not to write with the assumption of actually being accepted. A good example would be, “I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my interest in your program in person.”

Keep it short, about four to five sentences is adequate. It is important to stay focused and not to add any new information in the closing paragraph.

  • Have an adviser or a professor review your paper to give you professional feedback and help you know where you might need to make revisions.
  • Start writing the personal statement long before the deadline. You need to allow time for revision and rewriting. Your personal statement is your best chance to have a competitive edge.

Limit the statement to two pages or less, unless a particular school’s program has different specifications.

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How to Write an Introduction to a Reflective Essay

How to Write an Introduction to a Reflective Essay

How to Write a Personal Statement to Get Into a University

How to Write a Personal Statement to Get Into a University

How to Introduce a Research Paper Sample

How to Introduce a Research Paper Sample

How to write a short autobiography in 5 paragraphs.

  • Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab: Writing the Personal Statement
  • Dartmouth Writing Program: Writing the Grad School Application
  • Limit the statement to two pages or less, unless a particular school’s program has different specifications.

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17 Essay Conclusion Examples (Copy and Paste)

essay conclusion examples and definition, explained below

Essay conclusions are not just extra filler. They are important because they tie together your arguments, then give you the chance to forcefully drive your point home.

I created the 5 Cs conclusion method to help you write essay conclusions:

Essay Conclusion Example

I’ve previously produced the video below on how to write a conclusion that goes over the above image.

The video follows the 5 C’s method ( you can read about it in this post ), which doesn’t perfectly match each of the below copy-and-paste conclusion examples, but the principles are similar, and can help you to write your own strong conclusion:

💡 New! Try this AI Prompt to Generate a Sample 5Cs Conclusion This is my essay: [INSERT ESSAY WITHOUT THE CONCLUSION]. I want you to write a conclusion for this essay. In the first sentence of the conclusion, return to a statement I made in the introduction. In the second sentence, reiterate the thesis statement I have used. In the third sentence, clarify how my final position is relevant to the Essay Question, which is [ESSAY QUESTION]. In the fourth sentence, explain who should be interested in my findings. In the fifth sentence, end by noting in one final, engaging sentence why this topic is of such importance.

Remember: The prompt can help you generate samples but you can’t submit AI text for assessment. Make sure you write your conclusion in your own words.

Essay Conclusion Examples

Below is a range of copy-and-paste essay conclusions with gaps for you to fill-in your topic and key arguments. Browse through for one you like (there are 17 for argumentative, expository, compare and contrast, and critical essays). Once you’ve found one you like, copy it and add-in the key points to make it your own.

1. Argumentative Essay Conclusions

The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of _____________. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as ____________, it remains clear that the benefits/merits of _____________ far outweigh the potential downsides. The evidence presented throughout the essay strongly support _____________. In the coming years, _____________ will be increasingly important. Therefore, continual advocacy for the position presented in this essay will be necessary, especially due to its significant implications for _____________.

Version 1 Filled-In

The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of fighting climate change. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as the claim that it is too late to stop catastrophic change, it remains clear that the merits of taking drastic action far outweigh the potential downsides. The evidence presented throughout the essay strongly support the claim that we can at least mitigate the worst effects. In the coming years, intergovernmental worldwide agreements will be increasingly important. Therefore, continual advocacy for the position presented in this essay will be necessary, especially due to its significant implications for humankind.

chris

As this essay has shown, it is clear that the debate surrounding _____________ is multifaceted and highly complex. While there are strong arguments opposing the position that _____________, there remains overwhelming evidence to support the claim that _____________. A careful analysis of the empirical evidence suggests that _____________ not only leads to ____________, but it may also be a necessity for _____________. Moving forward, _____________ should be a priority for all stakeholders involved, as it promises a better future for _____________. The focus should now shift towards how best to integrate _____________ more effectively into society.

Version 2 Filled-In

As this essay has shown, it is clear that the debate surrounding climate change is multifaceted and highly complex. While there are strong arguments opposing the position that we should fight climate change, there remains overwhelming evidence to support the claim that action can mitigate the worst effects. A careful analysis of the empirical evidence suggests that strong action not only leads to better economic outcomes in the long term, but it may also be a necessity for preventing climate-related deaths. Moving forward, carbon emission mitigation should be a priority for all stakeholders involved, as it promises a better future for all. The focus should now shift towards how best to integrate smart climate policies more effectively into society.

Based upon the preponderance of evidence, it is evident that _____________ holds the potential to significantly alter/improve _____________. The counterarguments, while noteworthy, fail to diminish the compelling case for _____________. Following an examination of both sides of the argument, it has become clear that _____________ presents the most effective solution/approach to _____________. Consequently, it is imperative that society acknowledge the value of _____________ for developing a better  _____________. Failing to address this topic could lead to negative outcomes, including _____________.

Version 3 Filled-In

Based upon the preponderance of evidence, it is evident that addressing climate change holds the potential to significantly improve the future of society. The counterarguments, while noteworthy, fail to diminish the compelling case for immediate climate action. Following an examination of both sides of the argument, it has become clear that widespread and urgent social action presents the most effective solution to this pressing problem. Consequently, it is imperative that society acknowledge the value of taking immediate action for developing a better environment for future generations. Failing to address this topic could lead to negative outcomes, including more extreme climate events and greater economic externalities.

See Also: Examples of Counterarguments

On the balance of evidence, there is an overwhelming case for _____________. While the counterarguments offer valid points that are worth examining, they do not outweigh or overcome the argument that _____________. An evaluation of both perspectives on this topic concludes that _____________ is the most sufficient option for  _____________. The implications of embracing _____________ do not only have immediate benefits, but they also pave the way for a more _____________. Therefore, the solution of _____________ should be actively pursued by _____________.

Version 4 Filled-In

On the balance of evidence, there is an overwhelming case for immediate tax-based action to mitigate the effects of climate change. While the counterarguments offer valid points that are worth examining, they do not outweigh or overcome the argument that action is urgently necessary. An evaluation of both perspectives on this topic concludes that taking societal-wide action is the most sufficient option for  achieving the best results. The implications of embracing a society-wide approach like a carbon tax do not only have immediate benefits, but they also pave the way for a more healthy future. Therefore, the solution of a carbon tax or equivalent policy should be actively pursued by governments.

2. Expository Essay Conclusions

Overall, it is evident that _____________ plays a crucial role in _____________. The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates the clear impact of _____________ on _____________. By understanding the key facts about _____________, practitioners/society are better equipped to navigate _____________. Moving forward, further exploration of _____________ will yield additional insights and information about _____________. As such, _____________ should remain a focal point for further discussions and studies on _____________.

Overall, it is evident that social media plays a crucial role in harming teenagers’ mental health. The analysis presented in this essay demonstrates the clear impact of social media on young people. By understanding the key facts about the ways social media cause young people to experience body dysmorphia, teachers and parents are better equipped to help young people navigate online spaces. Moving forward, further exploration of the ways social media cause harm will yield additional insights and information about how it can be more sufficiently regulated. As such, the effects of social media on youth should remain a focal point for further discussions and studies on youth mental health.

To conclude, this essay has explored the multi-faceted aspects of _____________. Through a careful examination of _____________, this essay has illuminated its significant influence on _____________. This understanding allows society to appreciate the idea that _____________. As research continues to emerge, the importance of _____________ will only continue to grow. Therefore, an understanding of _____________ is not merely desirable, but imperative for _____________.

To conclude, this essay has explored the multi-faceted aspects of globalization. Through a careful examination of globalization, this essay has illuminated its significant influence on the economy, cultures, and society. This understanding allows society to appreciate the idea that globalization has both positive and negative effects. As research continues to emerge, the importance of studying globalization will only continue to grow. Therefore, an understanding of globalization’s effects is not merely desirable, but imperative for judging whether it is good or bad.

Reflecting on the discussion, it is clear that _____________ serves a pivotal role in _____________. By delving into the intricacies of _____________, we have gained valuable insights into its impact and significance. This knowledge will undoubtedly serve as a guiding principle in _____________. Moving forward, it is paramount to remain open to further explorations and studies on _____________. In this way, our understanding and appreciation of _____________ can only deepen and expand.

Reflecting on the discussion, it is clear that mass media serves a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. By delving into the intricacies of mass media, we have gained valuable insights into its impact and significance. This knowledge will undoubtedly serve as a guiding principle in shaping the media landscape. Moving forward, it is paramount to remain open to further explorations and studies on how mass media impacts society. In this way, our understanding and appreciation of mass media’s impacts can only deepen and expand.

In conclusion, this essay has shed light on the importance of _____________ in the context of _____________. The evidence and analysis provided underscore the profound effect _____________ has on _____________. The knowledge gained from exploring _____________ will undoubtedly contribute to more informed and effective decisions in _____________. As we continue to progress, the significance of understanding _____________ will remain paramount. Hence, we should strive to deepen our knowledge of _____________ to better navigate and influence _____________.

In conclusion, this essay has shed light on the importance of bedside manner in the context of nursing. The evidence and analysis provided underscore the profound effect compassionate bedside manner has on patient outcome. The knowledge gained from exploring nurses’ bedside manner will undoubtedly contribute to more informed and effective decisions in nursing practice. As we continue to progress, the significance of understanding nurses’ bedside manner will remain paramount. Hence, we should strive to deepen our knowledge of this topic to better navigate and influence patient outcomes.

See More: How to Write an Expository Essay

3. Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion

While both _____________ and _____________ have similarities such as _____________, they also have some very important differences in areas like _____________. Through this comparative analysis, a broader understanding of _____________ and _____________ has been attained. The choice between the two will largely depend on _____________. For example, as highlighted in the essay, ____________. Despite their differences, both _____________ and _____________ have value in different situations.

While both macrosociology and microsociology have similarities such as their foci on how society is structured, they also have some very important differences in areas like their differing approaches to research methodologies. Through this comparative analysis, a broader understanding of macrosociology and microsociology has been attained. The choice between the two will largely depend on the researcher’s perspective on how society works. For example, as highlighted in the essay, microsociology is much more concerned with individuals’ experiences while macrosociology is more concerned with social structures. Despite their differences, both macrosociology and microsociology have value in different situations.

It is clear that _____________ and _____________, while seeming to be different, have shared characteristics in _____________. On the other hand, their contrasts in _____________ shed light on their unique features. The analysis provides a more nuanced comprehension of these subjects. In choosing between the two, consideration should be given to _____________. Despite their disparities, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of both when it comes to _____________.

It is clear that behaviorism and consructivism, while seeming to be different, have shared characteristics in their foci on knowledge acquisition over time. On the other hand, their contrasts in ideas about the role of experience in learning shed light on their unique features. The analysis provides a more nuanced comprehension of these subjects. In choosing between the two, consideration should be given to which approach works best in which situation. Despite their disparities, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of both when it comes to student education.

Reflecting on the points discussed, it’s evident that _____________ and _____________ share similarities such as _____________, while also demonstrating unique differences, particularly in _____________. The preference for one over the other would typically depend on factors such as _____________. Yet, regardless of their distinctions, both _____________ and _____________ play integral roles in their respective areas, significantly contributing to _____________.

Reflecting on the points discussed, it’s evident that red and orange share similarities such as the fact they are both ‘hot colors’, while also demonstrating unique differences, particularly in their social meaning (red meaning danger and orange warmth). The preference for one over the other would typically depend on factors such as personal taste. Yet, regardless of their distinctions, both red and orange play integral roles in their respective areas, significantly contributing to color theory.

Ultimately, the comparison and contrast of _____________ and _____________ have revealed intriguing similarities and notable differences. Differences such as _____________ give deeper insights into their unique and shared qualities. When it comes to choosing between them, _____________ will likely be a deciding factor. Despite these differences, it is important to remember that both _____________ and _____________ hold significant value within the context of _____________, and each contributes to _____________ in its own unique way.

Ultimately, the comparison and contrast of driving and flying have revealed intriguing similarities and notable differences. Differences such as their differing speed to destination give deeper insights into their unique and shared qualities. When it comes to choosing between them, urgency to arrive at the destination will likely be a deciding factor. Despite these differences, it is important to remember that both driving and flying hold significant value within the context of air transit, and each contributes to facilitating movement in its own unique way.

See Here for More Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

4. Critical Essay Conclusion

In conclusion, the analysis of _____________ has unveiled critical aspects related to _____________. While there are strengths in _____________, its limitations are equally telling. This critique provides a more informed perspective on _____________, revealing that there is much more beneath the surface. Moving forward, the understanding of _____________ should evolve, considering both its merits and flaws.

In conclusion, the analysis of flow theory has unveiled critical aspects related to motivation and focus. While there are strengths in achieving a flow state, its limitations are equally telling. This critique provides a more informed perspective on how humans achieve motivation, revealing that there is much more beneath the surface. Moving forward, the understanding of flow theory of motivation should evolve, considering both its merits and flaws.

To conclude, this critical examination of _____________ sheds light on its multi-dimensional nature. While _____________ presents notable advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. This in-depth critique offers a comprehensive understanding of _____________. Therefore, future engagements with _____________ should involve a balanced consideration of its strengths and weaknesses.

To conclude, this critical examination of postmodern art sheds light on its multi-dimensional nature. While postmodernism presents notable advantages, it is not without its drawbacks. This in-depth critique offers a comprehensive understanding of how it has contributed to the arts over the past 50 years. Therefore, future engagements with postmodern art should involve a balanced consideration of its strengths and weaknesses.

Upon reflection, the critique of _____________ uncovers profound insights into its underlying intricacies. Despite its positive aspects such as ________, it’s impossible to overlook its shortcomings. This analysis provides a nuanced understanding of _____________, highlighting the necessity for a balanced approach in future interactions. Indeed, both the strengths and weaknesses of _____________ should be taken into account when considering ____________.

Upon reflection, the critique of marxism uncovers profound insights into its underlying intricacies. Despite its positive aspects such as its ability to critique exploitation of labor, it’s impossible to overlook its shortcomings. This analysis provides a nuanced understanding of marxism’s harmful effects when used as an economic theory, highlighting the necessity for a balanced approach in future interactions. Indeed, both the strengths and weaknesses of marxism should be taken into account when considering the use of its ideas in real life.

Ultimately, this critique of _____________ offers a detailed look into its advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of _____________ such as __________ are significant, yet its limitations such as _________ are not insignificant. This balanced analysis not only offers a deeper understanding of _____________ but also underscores the importance of critical evaluation. Hence, it’s crucial that future discussions around _____________ continue to embrace this balanced approach.

Ultimately, this critique of artificial intelligence offers a detailed look into its advantages and disadvantages. The strengths of artificial intelligence, such as its ability to improve productivity are significant, yet its limitations such as the possibility of mass job losses are not insignificant. This balanced analysis not only offers a deeper understanding of artificial intelligence but also underscores the importance of critical evaluation. Hence, it’s crucial that future discussions around the regulation of artificial intelligence continue to embrace this balanced approach.

This article promised 17 essay conclusions, and this one you are reading now is the twenty-first. This last conclusion demonstrates that the very best essay conclusions are written uniquely, from scratch, in order to perfectly cater the conclusion to the topic. A good conclusion will tie together all the key points you made in your essay and forcefully drive home the importance or relevance of your argument, thesis statement, or simply your topic so the reader is left with one strong final point to ponder.

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 50 Durable Goods Examples
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  • Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/chris-drew-phd/ 30 Globalization Pros and Cons
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Home › University › How To Write A Personal Statement? 10 Tips + Student Questions Answered › How To Start A Personal Statement: Tips & Examples

How To Start A Personal Statement: Tips & Examples

personal statement closing paragraph example

Table of Contents

We’re regularly asked the question “ how to start a personal statement ”? It’s a challenging task for anybody but worry not as we’re here to help guide you through the process. 

The introduction is the first thing the admissions committee will read. That’s why the first sentence of a personal statement should be a catchy, attention-grabbing hook or story that grabs the reader’s attention and sets up the main point of your essay.

A lacklustre introduction may lose your readers’ interest, preventing them from reading the rest of your personal statement!

But don’t worry, this article will guide you on writing a personal statement introduction, a few examples of opening sentences and how to captivate the admissions tutors. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Top Tip: Leave Your Introduction For Last

You know what they say, the hardest thing to do is  start . So skip the introduction for now and focus on the main body of your personal statement. If you’re not sure what your main content should be, read out how to write a personal statement guide.

After nailing down the main points, you’ll have a concrete idea of how your introduction can captivate the reader and stay relevant to the bulk of the writing. Go ahead and work on the rest of your personal statement.

Come back when you’re finished! And if you’re worried about your conclusion then check out our advice on  personal statement conclusions .

2. Cut To The Chase

You only have  4,000 characters  to sell yourself as an ideal student candidate. Make each character and paragraph count! That means forget about flowery words and directionless statements. When you start your personal statement, explain your motivations for choosing your course in one or two sentences.

Although you will discuss this in-depth in the main body of content, capturing your reader’s attention with a quick overview of why you’re enthusiastic about your chosen course is crucial. That’s why capturing the reader’s attention by jumping straight to the point is key to starting a personal statement.

how to write a personal statement introductions

3. Be Specific

Never give vague details when expressing why you want to pursue your course. “I always wanted to be an engineer since I was a kid,” or “I want to become a doctor because I enjoy science” isn’t advised. 

On that note, if you’re applying to medicine refer to our guide on  how to write a medical personal statement . We suggest being more specific than that, and you can include your academic achievements too. Here are a few suggestions that may help you:

  • You witnessed an inspirational figure in your life solve a massive problem with a specific skill set (doctor, engineer, etc.)
  • While you were at a charity event, you encountered a problem that kept people in deprivation. By pursuing this course, you’re a part of the solution.
  • You’re good at, and you enjoy a specific skill set. The course you’re eyeing puts great emphasis on this particular skill.
  • There was a moment in your life when you succeeded in solving a problem. You felt significant by doing so, and you want to keep doing that for the rest of your life (teaching poor children how to read)
  • You watched a movie or read a book that ignited your passion for the course. After doing volunteer work or part-time employment related to your course, you’re determined to pursue it.

Craft a sentence or two that encapsulates the core of your “why.” Do this, and your reader will want to read more!

4. Demonstrate Knowledge In Your Chosen Course

An essential element of starting a personal statement is to express why you’re enthusiastic about taking your chosen course. You need to demonstrate that you’re aware of what you’re getting yourself into in the process. Answer any of these prompt questions for inspiration:

  • What do you find interesting about the course?
  • How do you believe the course will help you achieve your goals?
  • How will you use your chosen course to contribute to society?
  • What hurdles do you expect to encounter, and how will you handle them?

Decide which of these questions fits best into the main content of your  personal statement . Write your answer in a sentence or two, weave them into your application essay and think about the help you received from your tutors in the past.

5. Ditch The “Since I Was A Child” Line

We’re often asked  what not to put in a personal statement  and “Since I was a child” is a cliche statement that gets thrown around haphazardly. How many students have said this at least once in their personal statements?

Recalling your childhood passions is a weak “why” for pursuing your course. Why? Because the admissions committee is looking for a relevant and up-to-date reason.

When you were little, you had zero knowledge and little enthusiasm to become successful in your field. You had no idea what skillsets you needed or what other options were available to you.

But if you were to cite a recent event in your life that supports your determination to pursue your course, that screams “educated choice” right there. And  that  is what the admission committee is looking for after reading hundreds, if not thousands of introductions.

6. Brainstorm Several Versions Of Your Opening Lines

The desire to get it right the first time paralyses you from starting. So permit yourself to write freely. Write as many versions of your opening lines as possible.

Don’t worry about the grammar, spelling, or character count just yet. Type everything that goes off the top of your head. When you’re done, take a look at your list.

Cross out the ones you dislike, and encircle the ones you think have potential. Then start piecing the puzzle pieces together to check out if the intro lines fit with the rest of your personal statement. 

If you’ve found three potential opening statements, try reading them aloud together with the rest of your personal statement. Do they flow seamlessly into one another? Make the necessary adjustments. Play around with it until you feel you’ve hit the spot.

7. Make Your Opening Statement Error Free

Your opening statement is your hook line. Spelling or grammatical errors at the start discourage your reader from reading further. If you have errors at the beginning, you’ll most likely have them in your main content!

So make sure your English is simple, flawless, and straightforward. Run your personal statement through a tool like Grammarly to weed out most of the errors.

The Hemingway app is also a helpful tool for checking for passive voice and other writing problems. Take advantage of writing assistant tools, especially if you’re a non-native English writer.

8. Read Examples Of Personal Statements

Read as many personal statement examples as you can. Any that captivated you, keep them in your notes. Figure out  why  these statements stood out to you compared to the others. What elements can you place in  your  personal statement?

When reading personal statements that put you off, find out why. What characteristics do they have that elicit a negative reaction from you? List them down, and make sure you avoid them.

After this exercise, you should have a few more ideas about your personal statement introduction.

9. Ask For Feedback

Never underestimate what feedback can give you. Ask your family, friends, and acquaintances about your opening statement. Does your personality shine through? Is it straight to the point? Does it flow smoothly with the main content of your personal statement?

Listen to what they have to say. Jot down important points. You’ll need their feedback to get a second opinion on whether it works for you or not.

10. Give Yourself Time

Your chosen career depends on your college education. And a first crucial step is to convince the admission committee you’re worth accepting into your university. You have to give your personal statement your best shot. Give yourself enough time to brainstorm and think everything over.

You can’t finish a complete,  well-written personal statement  in a week. Much less overnight!

So make sure you set aside enough time to put your best foot forward. After finishing a complete draft of your personal statement, put it down. Forget about it for a few days. Then come back and reread it.

With a fresh set of eyes, you’ll notice details you may not have seen before! Revise as much as you need.

Do I Need To Write An Introduction For A Personal Statement?

Yes, we recommend writing an introduction for your personal statement as it provides context to the rest of your writing. The introduction is an opportunity to make a good first impression and capture the university admissions officer’s attention.

What is a good opening sentence for a personal statement?

Here are some examples of a good opening sentence for a captivating introduction. Note how it ties into the university degree almost straight away with first-hand experience:

  • “Growing up in a small town with limited resources sparked my curiosity and drive to pursue higher education and make a positive impact in my community.”
  • “From a young age, I have been fascinated by the intricacies of the human mind and the power of psychology to improve people’s lives.”
  • “As a first-generation college student, I am determined to break barriers and pave the way for future generations through a career in law.”
  • “My passion for sustainable design was ignited by a volunteer trip to a developing country, where I witnessed the devastating effects of environmental degradation firsthand.”
  • “A chance encounter with a blind person and their guide dog inspired me to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, with the goal of improving the lives of animals and their human companions.”

Please do NOT use these in your personal statements, use these to guide you on how you want to start your personal statement.

Can You Open Your Personal Statement With A Quote?

It is a risky move to open your personal statement with a quote and can come across as clichéd or insincere to the university admission officers. However, there are rare occasions when it can work, just make sure the quote relates to your degree and experience you’re writing about.

Get Ready To Write Your Personal Statement

How does one start a captivating personal statement? Take the time to think about what makes an effective introduction.

Read examples of personal statements from other students to glean ideas for how yours might stand out. Once you have read through some good ones, they should be more than just two or three!–look closely at what elements made them so successful. 

Then try applying those same principles on how to start a personal statement! Don’t forget to bookmark this post for future reference.

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How to Write a Good Law Personal Statement Conclusion

Thinking of ways to end your law personal statement can be difficult. This guide will help you form some ideas on how to write a good closing paragraph with a lasting impression. Read on to find out how to write a law personal statement conclusion.

Struggling with your personal statement? Book a review from one of our experts

Career goals

Very commonly, candidates put their career aspirations in the last paragraph, which makes sense because it follows the logical order of telling the reader about what you want to do with a law degree.

If you choose to do this, slightly expand on your reason behind that particular career choice and tie it back to your academic interests. This would clearly define your career goal and your motivation to study law at university .

Motivation/personal quality

If you have already written about your career goal and you need something else to make a final, closing statement, you can write something that reflects your personality and show how much it would mean to you to be offered a place. An example would be, ‘If I am given the opportunity to study law at university, I am willing to learn and better myself’. Although it might sound cliché, it is personal and meaningful. It also shows your commitment to learning and your own expectation to thrive on the course.

Expectation

Similar to ending your personal statement by talking about your career aspiration, you can write about what you are most looking forward to doing at university. For example, ‘I am looking forward to participating in mooting competitions to sharpen my skills as a future lawyer’. This not only shows what you would be doing alongside your law degree, but it also reiterates your career motivation and motivation to succeed on the course.

Place of study

Another way to end your personal statement would be making a general statement about why you have chosen the university you are applying to. While you will be sending the same personal statement to five different universities, find out something that they have in common and talk about it, but make it relevant to studying law there.

This could be an opportunity to mention certain electives, such as international law or international human rights law; going for a year abroad, or some sort of work placement that the universities have to offer.

Read first-hand accounts of studying Law at various UK universities. Take a look at our LLB Case Studies Series!

  • Read an LLB Law Degree case study from a UCL student
  • Read an LLB Law Degree case study from a Royal Holloway student
  • Read an LLB Law Degree case study from a Leicester student
  • Read a week in the life of a Newcastle student

It might be useful to talk about what you are hoping to gain out of a law degree in your law personal statement conclusion, such as skills that prepare you for legal practice. During the LLB, you will develop many academic skills, such as critical reasoning, analytical and legal research skills that are extremely important for a legal career. Let the reader know that you look forward to developing those skills to equip you for a successful legal career. This shows that you understand what it takes to study law and your motivation to succeed.

  • How to Structure Your Personal Statement for Law
  • Things to Avoid in Your Personal Statement for Law

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  1. How to End a Personal Statement With a Lasting Impression

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  2. How to End a Personal Statement With a Lasting Impression

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  6. How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

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  6. About the Personal Statement

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  1. How To End A Personal Statement: Great Final Paragraphs

    The table below gives some examples of ways in which you might evidence your suitability in your final paragraph. They won't all apply to you, but the chances are that you will recognise some of these aspects from your own preparation for higher education, and be able to include them:

  2. How To End A Personal Statement: Make A Lasting Impression

    Say your key points including your skills and experiences, and wrap them up by saying, "With the [your specific skills] and [your specific experiences] I've gained over the years, I'm committed to [mention your course]." By doing so, you're hitting two birds with one stone.

  3. How to end your personal statement

    A good ending can link back to what you claim at the beginning or be a short summary as to what you're looking forward to at university, new challenges etc… or even your commitment as to why you would be an ideal candidate (without bragging). Read more here about how to begin a personal statement.

  4. The Personal Statement

    1. The general, comprehensive personal statement: This allows you maximum freedom in terms of what you write and is the type of statement often prepared for standard medical or law school application forms. 2. The response to very specific questions:

  5. How to End a College Essay: 10 Tactics & Strategies

    3 College Essay Endings to Avoid The Two Essential Qualities of An Outstanding Ending 10 tactics, strategies, and techniques for making your ending stand out A. Tactics (small changes that requires less planning ahead) 1. Connect to your values 2. The bookend or callback 3. The road forward 4. Save your thesis (or your whole intro) for the end 5.

  6. How to End a Personal Statement: Writing a Memorable Conclusion

    ‍ When you know how to end a personal statement, you boost your chances of making a lasting impact on the admissions committee. It's all about making sure they remember you in a positive way. Crafting a compelling personal statement is the cherry on top of your college application essay.

  7. How to End a Personal Statement: Strong Tips And Examples

    Personal statement conclusion examples How to close a personal statement Concluding the results of a completed job is always the most pleasing step in doing anything. Moreover, you can see with your own eyes the way you have passed to achieve your aim. The same regards personal statement conclusions.

  8. The Best Ways How to End a Personal Statement Properly

    5 Great Examples of a Personal Statement Ending Personal Statement for a Medical School Personal Statement for Mathematics Personal Statement for a Law School Personal Statement for a Biology Personal Statement for Economics It is important to write this paper according to all requirements.

  9. Finished! University experts on how to end your personal statement

    Short answer: yes, it does. Your personal statement is your one chance to speak directly to the universities where you're applying - and the ending is where you can leave them with the right impression. "A strong conclusion is essential to leave no doubt in the reader's mind that you deserve an offer," says Bangor University's Emma Harris.

  10. How to Write a Strong Conclusion to Your Personal Statement

    How do you write a conclusion in a personal statement? It starts with these three concepts: Avoid stating it is your conclusion; Avoid introducing an unsupported concept; and Be specific in the details. First, I will discuss these three key concepts in detail. Then I will share my foolproof method for how to write a personal statement conclusion.

  11. 10 Personal Statement Essay Examples That Worked

    Personal Statement Examples Essay 1: Summer Program Essay 2: Being Bangladeshi-American Essay 3: Why Medicine Essay 4: Love of Writing Essay 5: Starting a Fire Essay 6: Dedicating a Track Essay 7: Body Image and Eating Disorders Essay 8: Becoming a Coach Essay 9: Eritrea Essay 10: Journaling Is Your Personal Statement Strong Enough?

  12. How to start a personal statement: The attention grabber

    1. Don't begin with the overkill opening Try not to overthink the opening sentence. You need to engage the reader with your relevant thoughts and ideas, but not go overboard. Tutors said: 'The opening is your chance to introduce yourself, to explain your motivation for studying the course and to demonstrate your understanding of it.

  13. How to Write a UCAS Personal Statement [With Examples]

    The character limit which UCAS sets for the personal statement is very strict - up to 4,000 characters of text. This means that students have to express themselves in a clear and concise way; it's also important that they don't feel the need to fill the available space needlessly. Planning and redrafting of a personal statement is essential.

  14. Key Tips to Close Your Personal Statement Effectively

    For college admissions Final Words Just as you started your personal statement on a high note, you should also end it with nothing less. Your closing paragraph for personal statement is your last chance to win over the admissions board. And as such, you need to ensure you leave them with a positive impression.

  15. 16 Winning Personal Statement Examples (And Why They Work)

    1. Personal statement example for graduate school A personal statement for graduate school differs greatly from one to further your professional career. It is usually an essay, rather than a brief paragraph. Here is an example of a personal statement written for graduate school admission: Jean Smith

  16. How To Write an Attention-Grabbing Personal Statement

    Generally, a small paragraph is enough in the body of your personal statement for an employer or recruiter. Related: 10 best skills to include on a CV. 6. Conclude your statement. End with a strong conclusion that summarises what you have already discussed and will leave a lasting impression on your reader.

  17. How to Conclude an Essay

    Step 1: Return to your thesis To begin your conclusion, signal that the essay is coming to an end by returning to your overall argument. Don't just repeat your thesis statement —instead, try to rephrase your argument in a way that shows how it has been developed since the introduction. Example: Returning to the thesis

  18. Academic Personal Statement Guide + Examples for 2024

    Academic Vs CV Personal Statement 7 Steps to Write an Academic Personal Statement #1. Read the Brief (Carefully!) #2. Research the Program #3. Plan Your Statement #4. Look at Example Statements #5. Structure the Contents #6. Pay Attention to the Language #7.

  19. Graduate School Personal Statement Examples: Good, Bad ...

    Below I will share types of personal statement examples: one with a strong writing approach and one that lacks clarity and may cause confusion for an admissions committee reader. ... Conclusion Paragraph Examples: Ex. 1-Strong) As a first generation college student, and an English language learner, my journey to receive my bachelors of science ...

  20. How to Close Your Graduate School Personal Statement

    A good example would be, "I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my interest in your program in person." Keep it short, about four to five sentences is adequate. It is important to stay focused and not to add any new information in the closing paragraph. Tip

  21. 17 Essay Conclusion Examples (Copy and Paste)

    Version 1 Filled-In The arguments presented in this essay demonstrate the significant importance of fighting climate change. While there are some strong counterarguments, such as the claim that it is too late to stop catastrophic change, it remains clear that the merits of taking drastic action far outweigh the potential downsides.

  22. How To Start A Personal Statement: Tips & Examples

    Type everything that goes off the top of your head. When you're done, take a look at your list. Cross out the ones you dislike, and encircle the ones you think have potential. Then start piecing the puzzle pieces together to check out if the intro lines fit with the rest of your personal statement.

  23. How to Write a Good Law Personal Statement Conclusion

    Expectation. Similar to ending your personal statement by talking about your career aspiration, you can write about what you are most looking forward to doing at university. For example, 'I am looking forward to participating in mooting competitions to sharpen my skills as a future lawyer'. This not only shows what you would be doing ...