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How to write a personal statement for history

Tips for convincing history tutors that you deserve a place on their course

H istory is the tenth most popular subject to study at degree level in the UK, and with many universities forgoing candidate interviews, your personal statement is the most important way to make yourself stand out. The competition is fierce (the top universities require grades of A*AA), and a muddled or mediocre statement will harm your application.

So how can would-be historians impress application tutors? Dr Elizabeth Tingle, of Plymouth University, wants the statement to reflect the candidate who wrote it. She says: "When we talk about originality in personal statements, we really mean individuality."

Southampton University's Dr McHugh agrees that many applications are "too generic and vague. We want to get a sense of who you are as an individual, and what kind of student you would be."

This individuality should not be achieved through wild or outrageous methods; your statement doesn't need to be written in old English, or abstractly represent the consciousness of Thomas Cromwell. If you do something outrageously different, there's probably a reason why no one's done it before.

Instead, a personal statement should show something of you as a person, and convey your own unique engagement with history. Dr Ryrie, historian of religion at Durham says:

"The kind of personal statement that warms an admissions tutor's heart is the kind which is honest: which describes, in genuinely personal terms, quite why the student loves the subject, and conveys something of their passion for it".

'Passion', however, is a controversial word. UCL's Dr Jason Peacey complained that "it gets a bit tiring reading hundreds of forms where the student proclaims that they have a 'passion' for history".

Dr Ansari, head of history at Royal Holloway, agrees, and wants "genuine expressions of interest in history, but not in terms of 'I am passionate about...'. Simply wanting something strongly is not enough".

You need to convince admissions tutors that you have the intelligence and academic ability needed to successfully undertake a degree in the subject.

Dr Peacey says: "Students don't always do enough to explain what it is about history that interests them, why this interest can only be met by undertaking more study at a higher level, and what should make me think that they have the potential and ability to study at this level".

The same sentiments are also mentioned by Dr McGladdery, admissions officer at St Andrews. "Studying and writing about what happened in the past has little purpose if students cannot develop the skill of critical evaluation. Historiographical awareness is very important, as is the ability to present an opinion supported with evidence and cogent analysis."

Students who show that they have considered the subject in relation to other academic avenues are likely to impress. As Dr Gadja, of Oxford university, says:

"Historians like to take insight from a huge range of perspectives, so we are always delighted when students can demonstrate how their interest and ability at foreign languages, philosophy, or political thought, literature, and so on, might intersect with their historical interests, and be of use in their development as historians".

A clear, competent analysis of the ways in which your different subjects interact, and how this has aided your ability as a history student, can be a valuable inclusion in your personal statement.

Dr Gadja says that it is important to mention extra-curriculur interests. For Gadja, an interest in visiting museums, going to public lectures, and anything that shows an interest in history beyond the demands of one's A-level course, would be relevant.

If you have had any relevant work experience, do mention it, but it must have had a definite impact on your approach to thinking about history. If you haven't managed to gain experience in a historical field, though, don't worry too much.

Gadja says: "we certainly don't look for relevant work experience when making decisions – most applicants will not have had the fortunate opportunity to work in jobs relating to the heritage industry or similar, and that doesn't put them at a disadvantage at all".

Mention of non-academic areas in which you are wonderfully talented should be limited to a couple of sentences at most, and should always be linked back to the ways in which they have contributed to your academic or personal development; such as by improving time-management, or organisational skills.

Dr Simon Smith, of Oxford University, say: "Unlike some US universities or colleges, UK universities are not seeking to admit quotas of musicians, sports people, or thespians."

It is important to write the statement in clear, concise prose, avoiding the use of formulaic words or phrases. Dr Peacey says:

"If I had a pound for every time I had been told that history is important because, as George Santayana said, those who fail to understand the mistakes of the past will merely repeat them... then I would be a rich man indeed."

Try and avoid stilted references to the "eternal value" and "enduring fascination" of the past. Far more impressive is to explain and analyse what it is that makes you so interested in history, and specific areas in particular.

Above all, you should engage with the concepts that you are discussing, rather than just stating them. As Dr Ryrie says:

"Make us feel that you are a person of vision and imagination, for whom your outstanding A-level performance is just the beginning."

Avoid anything bland or dull, and make the personal statement a reflection of your individual talents and interests. You want your statement to be different and engaging, otherwise it will slip through admissions tutors' fingers without leaving a mark.

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How to Write a Personal History

Last Updated: February 27, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Pete Canalichio . Pete Canalichio is a Brand Strategist, Licensing Expert, and Founder of BrandAlive. With nearly 30 years of experience at companies such as Coca-Cola and Newell Brands, he specializes in helping brands find the most authentic parts of their story to build a brand strategy. Pete holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS in Physics from the United States Naval Academy. In 2006, he won an MVP Award from Newell Brands for his contributions to their Global Licensing department. He’s also penned the award-winning book, Expand, Grow, Thrive. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 171,693 times.

Writing your personal history is something that you may do either as part of an application or as a literary endeavor. In a personal statement for an application, you will need to provide information about history that proves you have the knowledge and experience necessary to perform certain tasks. A personal history, written for your own enjoyment or for publication, will relate your life’s story, requiring some research and a much larger time commitment. With some preparation and a little time management, you will be able to write a strong personal history that will impress an application committee or entertain readers.

Writing a Personal Statement for an Application

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Creating Your Own Personal History

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How to Write a Strong Personal Statement for Graduate School

A student sits on his laptop at the Silo at UC Davis.

You’ve made the exciting decision to pursue a graduate degree. Congratulations! There are a wide range of graduate programs to explore , and once you’ve selected the right program for you, it’s time to begin the graduate application process. 

The statement of purpose and personal history statement are key components of the UC Davis graduate school application . With fewer than 4,000 characters allowed for each essay, these statements can seem particularly daunting. However, each one has a specific purpose for showcasing your academic journey and creating a holistic application.

Below, we’ve analyzed the differences between the statement of purpose and personal history statement and provided tips for writing these graduate school admissions essays. 

Statement of Purpose and Personal History: What’s the Difference?

A student examines chemicals through a beaker while wearing a lab coat and goggles.

The statement of purpose shares your academic objectives with the admissions committee and explains why you want to obtain a graduate degree. The personal history statement provides background about who you are and how your experiences have shaped your interests and ability to overcome challenges. Each essay has specific goals to showcase your experience, passion and story. 

How to Write a Strong Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should highlight your academic preparation , motivation and interests, along with any specializations and career goals that contribute to your program of study. As you write your statement of purpose, it should encompass some of the following:

The statement of purpose should also address why you want to pursue the particular graduate degree program at the university and what your goals are in pursuing a degree. Remember, the statement of purpose should explain exactly that, your purpose for becoming a graduate student. This is the primary way it stands apart from your personal history statement. 

What to Include in Your Personal History Statement

A student smiles as she inspects yellow liquid underneath a microscope, while her professor watches on.

The personal history statement helps the reader learn more about you as an individual and potential graduate student. Use this opportunity to describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Tell a story that  includes any experiences, challenges or opportunities relevant to your academic journey. Consider how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field.

A strong personal history statement begins with an authentic voice and personal narrative. This can reflect your journey to graduate school, any obstacles you’ve encountered, and how you've overcome challenges. Talk about your personal goals and dreams. Explain what motivates and drives you toward this degree. The more your personal statement tells your school about you as an individual, the more it will stand out. Don't write something to impress someone else. This includes language, style and tone. Authenticity is important and resonates well. Tell the truth, in your voice, from your perspective. Use your story to connect.

More Tips and Resources for Applying to Graduate School

Applying to graduate school may be daunting to some, but UC Davis has a variety of resources to help you create a strong graduate school application. Check out the Applying to Graduate School: A Guide and Handbook for ideas and worksheets on how to construct your essays. Or visit our Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services website for more graduate school prep resources. 

Paul David Terry is the assistant director of special interest and affinity networks and alumni diversity lead at the Cal Aggie Alumni Association. He oversees the UC Davis Health Improving OUTcomes blog and enjoys cycling and brewing ginger beer.

Heidi Kerr works as the content and media manager at UC Davis’ Graduate Studies. She has worked as a communications professional at multiple higher education institutions and is passionate about promoting student success.

The authors acknowledge current and former leaders from Pre-Graduate/Law Advising in Office of Educational Opportunity and Enrichment Services, especially Annalisa Teixeira, Ph.D. and Cloe Le Gall-Scoville, Ph.D., who granted us permission to reference Applying to Graduate School: A Guide and Workbook .

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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:

General advice

Answer the questions that are asked

Tell a story

Be specific

Find an angle

Concentrate on your opening paragraph

Tell what you know

Don't include some subjects

Do some research, if needed

Write well and correctly

Avoid clichés

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


Personal History Statement Example

A personal history statement should be about the History and diversity program in which you are enrolling. The University of Oxford and the University of California instruct students to write personal statements.

How To Write A Personal Statement For History

Personal history example sample#01, example of personal history statement sample#02, final thoughts.

You can take help from our writers while writing your history personal statement Oxford and personal history statement California.  

The Personal History Statement (also known as the Personal Statement) describes what distinguishes you from others. The Personal History Statement has a somewhat predictable form than the Statement of Purpose and can be prepared in various ways. Reading other people’s MA history personal statement examples or personal history statement graduate school examples could give you some concepts, styles, and story topics to adapt to your scenario.

It’s Good To Know: Physics Personal Statement

Personal History Examples

personal statement history

My fascination with history began when I heard about my grandparents’ tribulations when they first arrived in England from Guyana. This family experience is the product of social, economic, and political pressures, and I’d like to pursue a history degree at university because it would allow me to study a variety of topics.

The fact that we are not bound to accept a universal truth is one of the things that fascinates me about history. Rather, we are encouraged to reach our own individual conclusions about the true significance and legacy of historical events. We can learn about our world’s social and economic evolution by studying history. This information is essential for both understanding and appreciating human beings.

For my History A-Level, I studied the Civil Rights Movement, which allowed me to hone these evaluative skills and come to analytical conclusions about the level of change in race relations in America. This prompted me to view the documentary “The Murder of Emmett Till” and read Adam Fairclough’s “Better Days Coming,” both of which helped me understand the issues African Americans faced as a result. These, combined with both the recent killings of unarmed black individuals by American law enforcement officials and the need to remind people on social media that “Black Lives Matter,” led me to believe that little has changed in terms of racial relations in the country.

My A-Level topics revolve around history. The novel “Heart of Darkness” and its historical background in English Literature are intimately related to my present history course, which examines the reasons for European colonization and decolonization in Africa . This piqued my interest in imperialism, prompting me to attend a discussion by Professor Denis Judd about his book, “The Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj.” Furthermore, in my sociology class, we compare the past to the present to comprehend social advancements from various sociological views, such as the emergence of feminism over time.

Joining my college’s Law Support Group has allowed me to put my debate abilities to good use. I’ve learned how to weigh many opinions to present a convincing and fair argument, from watching real court cases at The Old Bailey to participating in mock trials on themes like the legalization of euthanasia. Being a member of my college’s History Club and subscribing to the “BBC History Magazine” has allowed me to stay up to date on historical events and engage with people who share my passion for the subject. 

I hope you will consider my personal statement history.

5 Sentences About Circus

personal statement history

I’m fascinated with how history has shaped the world’s top economies and established the standards for the social values that surround us; this demonstrates the impact of history on the current world’s quest for a much more prosperous future that enables us to flourish. History allows us to comprehend the basis of modern civilizations as well as the lives and philosophies of individuals who envisioned them. By examining these variations in social norms, I hope to gain a better understanding of human mistakes and how we may incorporate them into our daily lives to ensure a secure future. The impact of history on the world around us has always captivated me, which is why I’m interested in it.

My interest in history is a result of my learning and practice. I was fortunate to broaden my knowledge outside of the classroom by visiting historical sites such as Hampton Court Palace and St Paul’s Cathedrals, which piqued my interest in studying other times and our forefathers’ histories. After researching civil rights in the United States, I read Adam Fairclough’s “Better Day Coming.” I watched documentaries on the subject to expand my knowledge of historical moments and events that have had enormous impacts on the world and continue to have importance in today’s society. One topic, which is not part of the school curriculum, is

what piqued my attention was ancient Chinese dynasties, which have given me insight into the evolution of Chinese culture before and following the 1911 uprising, as well as a better understanding of the reasons of later leaders such as Mao Zedong and Sun YYat-Sen

My visits, along with a desire to learn more, inspired me to study A-levels in Classical Civilisation and History, allowing me to broaden my understanding of both ancient and current history. This has equipped me with the ability to assess changes in; Trends and interpretations in different parts of the world and across time. In AS history, I focused on the struggle and change in 19th and 20th century Britain, with special attention to the changing role of women. By studying this, I was able to acquire a better knowledge of how different groups in society gained more social and economic freedoms, as well as the various means they had to employ to do just that. In addition to History and Classical Civilization, I am currently studying Mathematics, and so, as a result, I have been selected to represent my school in high school and college math competitions. My interest in mathematics has given me a better knowledge of more advanced analytical and problem-solving techniques, which has improved my history studies. 

I’m hopeful for my selection in the History graduation/master’s program. 

Graphic Design Personal Statement 

If you are still unable to write a history personal statement for yourself from any of the above personal history and diversity statement sample, don’t hesitate to contact us for help.  

You can download a personal history statement example pdf  for taking ideas from.



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Our review panel has been working in academic and non-academic writing for more than 1 decade.

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Tips for Drafting a Free Example of Personal History Statement

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A personal history statement can be crucial to many applications, from university admissions to job search processes.

This blog will provide readers with a guide to writing an example of a personal history statement that is effective and meaningful. Read on to learn tips to draft an example of personal history statement .

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What Is a Personal History Statement?

A personal history statement is an autobiographical essay describing an individual’s activities, experiences, and accomplishments . It should be written clearly and directly, focusing on key events or achievements.

The purpose of a personal history statement is to provide insight into the individual’s background, motivations, challenges, and successes.

Tips for Writing an Example of Personal History Statement

1. Begin by determining your purpose for writing the statement – Are you writing it for university admissions? A job application?

2. Brainstorm ideas about what to include in your statement- Consider experiences from childhood through adulthood that helped shape who you are today.

3. Write down key points – Make sure these are easy to find when drafting your statement.

4. Write an outline – This will help you organize the flow of your essay and stay on track.

5. Write the main body of the personal history statement

Begin with a strong introduction that outlines who you are, followed by a few paragraphs describing key events or experiences that have shaped you.

6. Conclude with reflections on what you have learned from these experiences and how they have prepared you for the next step.

7. Proofread and edit – Make sure there are no errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation before submitting your example of personal history statement .

Examples of Personal History Statements

man jumping on edges

Personal history statements can be written in many different ways, depending on individual experiences. To give an idea of what a personal history statement might look like, here are two examples:

I am a 22-year-old recent graduate from Montshire University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Growing up, I overcame many obstacles and adversities, including poverty and homelessness.

Despite these hardships, I was able to find strength through my family and succeed academically, graduating at the top of my class. My experiences have taught me resilience, hard work, and dedication – essential qualities needed for success in any field. In the future, I hope to use my knowledge and experience to make a positive change and impart in the lives of others.

I am a 45-year-old veteran of the US Army, serving for over 20 years. Growing up in an unstable home environment caused me to develop resilience and independence at an early age.

My experiences in the military were also hugely influential as I was able to travel around the world. I gained valuable life lessons that have helped shape who I am today. After leaving active duty, I returned to college and obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Now, I hope to use my education and experiences from both my civilian and military life to help lead successful businesses in the future.

A personal history statement is a great way to provide meaningful insight into an individual’s background, motivations, and successes . By following the tips outlined in this blog, you are on your way to writing an effective example of a personal history statement. This will demonstrate your capabilities and achievements. Good luck!

Tips for Drafting a Free Example of Personal History Statement

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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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History Personal Statement Example (Oxford University)

My interest in History was first sparked during a remembrance service at the Menin Gate. Hearing the bugles bellow out the 'Last Post' to a crowd of thousands, instilled in me a deeper appreciation of the past, and the sacrifices that were made to sculpt the world we live in today. The development of creed across time is something that intrigues me. Outside of school I have developed my knowledge of such manifestations through immersing myself in Hobbes' 'Leviathan', and also reading about Callicles in Plato's 'Gorgias'. I found it intriguing that the development of societal structure and legitimate governments differ in various civilizations, whether this is through the Qing dynasties' centralisation of power or perhaps classic republicanism in the days of Cicero. Moreover, I have taken an interest with the works of Locke and Hobbes on the structure of the perfect state. The disparity between differing ideologies is an imperative part of History for me, as it stretches across society as a whole.

During my studies through History I have become familiar with British political History, mostly centred on the 20th century. Such study in school has driven me to delve into further reading around the period, whether this is through learning more about the chance factor of a simple dentist appointment which allowed Churchill to take the reins of Britain in Roy Jenkins' 'Churchill', or perhaps the reading of 'Imperial Transform' by Aldrich. Interesting comparisons are drawn between France and its Empire as a whole. Whilst France yielded to an era of democracy, its Empire was still controlled by the aristocracy which I found fascinating. I have begun to understand the ubiquity of History through my other academic studies. I have become aware of how History has altered through the study of English Literature. Studying English has armed me with powerful analytical and comparative skills, as well as a wider understanding of modern historical issues. This was formed through the reading of 'Darkness at Noon', which explores the presence of Communism in modern society. Studying Geography has showed me how climate has affected the course of History. Reading 'Guns, Germs and Steel' by Jared Diamond showed me how a fragmented Europe harnessed the power of outside invention and use it to dominate the world. I was ultimately drawn to research The East India Company as a result, and became fascinated at how it subjugated the eastern world in terms of trade.

My dedication to academia is reflected in my position as Head Boy. Such a position demonstrates my commitment to an institution as well as possessing a good level of communication. Additionally to being Head Boy of the College, I am part of a successful debating society. This has given me the opportunity to travel across the country with a few moments of success along the way, including best speaker at Liverpool University. Debating has developed not only my communication skills, but also my ability to work within a team, and speak publically as well. I am also fortunate enough to be a part of a school reading program, in which I help younger students with reading difficulties develop. Doing so not only has developed me as a person but more so those I read with as well.

My passions are not just limited to academia however, as outside I am a great lover of Music, whether this be listening to or playing guitar. For me Music and History are intertwined as they both offer inspiration to many and act as a challenge as well. As with History, Music is crafted slowly over time showing the desire and passion to succeed in something which you love. Armed with a passion for History, I happily anticipate spending the next few years of my life immersed in as many aspects of History as possible. Thereby furthering my own understanding of the past and how it has crafted the world we live in today

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This personal statement was written by Matthew103542 for application in 2014.

Matthew103542's university choices Oxford University The University of Warwick London School of Economics University College London

Green : offer made Red : no offer made

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Thought I'd upload my ps, in the hopes that it will help some of you, in applying to university.

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Writing Center

Personal statements.

What is the Personal Statement?

Graduate schools, fellowships, grants, and other competitive programs often require each applicant to submit a short essay about her history and goals. These essays are sometimes written in response to very specific questions; sometimes, they’re written in response to a generic prompt. In both cases, the good personal statement carefully balances its author’s history and aspirations.

Unlike much academic writing, personal statements are not necessarily thesis-driven. They tend to offer instead a narrative of development or illustrate a match between applicant and program. This does not mean the statement should narrate the applicant’s resume. Applicants should ask instead how the statement can enhance a particular element of the resume. Each applicant should ask how she might tell a compelling story about how and why she was drawn to a particular field of study, program, or career path.

How to Write a Personal Statement

Start by examining the prompt. Oftentimes, applicants are asked very specific questions about why they are applying to a particular program and what, specifically, qualifies them to be part of that program. Think about the question you’ve been asked. Also, no matter how tempting it is, do not submit the same personal statement to multiple programs if those programs are asking different questions. Tailor each statement to each question.

Decide how your experience is different, interesting, or special. Personal statements succeed when they are specific. Don’t say you want to go to medical school because you want to help people or you want to be a veterinarian because you like animals. Instead, tell a story about Megan, the seven-year-old leukemia patient you met when you volunteered in the cancer ward of Boston Children’s Hospital in April 2008. Or, instead, describe how you watched Dr. Phillips, the local veterinarian in the Chicago suburb where you grew up, reset the broken leg of your neighbor’s Irish Setter, Morris, after the dog had been hit by beat-up Camaro on Oak Street.

Research the program. The program you’re applying to is also unique in some ways, and you should make it clear that you chose it carefully from among its competitors. Think about how your goals will best be served by this particular fellowship, internship, or university. Again, be specific. Any MBA program will grant you the “skills you need” to succeed in the business world. What will this specific MBA program do? Is the actuarial class taught by the president of the Casualty Actuarial Society? That would be important if you’re more interested in becoming a casualty actuary instead of a pension or health actuary.

Make your goals clear. Just as your past is interesting and specific, so is your future. What do you plan to do, and how will this program help you do it? Do you want to develop long-term convection models for the eastern seaboard? Or become a choreographer for a major ballet company? How do you plan to get there, and how does this particular program fit into that plan?

Once you’ve thought about your history and your goals, start writing. It’s often very tempting to put this off. Writing a personal statement is stressful. But it’s important to start writing as soon as possible—especially because you’ll be revising again and again. Show how your personal history relates to your goals, and how you’re a good fit for this particular program. If your first attempt looks halting and a little half-baked, don’t worry. The first draft is supposed to look this way.

Revision is where the real work begins. Read through what you’ve written. Ask yourself what works and what doesn’t:

After looking over your writing, rewrite. Then, rewrite again.

More Revision

Once you feel the personal statement says what you want it to say, show it to somebody. The Writing Center can be useful here. It might also be useful to get feedback from a professional in your field. Many personal statement conventions are discipline-specific. What works in the hard sciences might not work in the humanities; what works for business majors might not work for artists.

Social Psychology Ph.D. Personal Statement  (pdf)

Medical School Personal Statement  (pdf)

School of Pharmacy Personal Statement  (pdf)

NEAG School of Education Personal Statement  (pdf)

English Ph.D. Statement of Purpose  (pdf)

Instructions on personal statements from other universities

Indiana University

woman shaking man's hand in a professional setting

Writing the Personal Statement

Helpful tips and advice for drafting a compelling personal statement when applying for graduate admission.

Make sure to check the appropriate departmental website to find out if your statement should include additional or specific information.

What does this statement need to accomplish?

The personal statement should give concrete evidence of your promise as a member of the academic community, giving the committee an image of you as a person.

This is also where you represent your potential to bring to your academic career a critical perspective rooted in a non-traditional educational background, or your understanding of the experiences of groups historically under-represented in higher education and your commitment to increase participation by a diverse population in higher education.

What kinds of content belongs here?

Anything that can give reviewers a sense of you as a person belongs here; you can repeat information about your experiences in your research statement, but any experiences that show your promise, initiative, and ability to persevere despite obstacles belongs here. This is also a good place to display your communication skills and discuss your ability to maximize effective collaboration with a diverse cross-section of the academic community. If you have faced any obstacles or barriers in your education, sharing those experiences serves both for the selection process, and for your nomination for fellowships. If one part of your academic record is not ideal, due to challenges you faced in that particular area, this is where you can explain that, and direct reviewers’ attention to the evidence of your promise for higher education.

The basic message: your academic achievement despite challenges

It is especially helpful for admissions committees considering nominating you for fellowships for diversity if you discuss any or all of the following:

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How to Write Your Personal Statement | Strategies & Examples

Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 28, 2022.

A personal statement is a short essay of around 500–1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you’re applying.

To write a successful personal statement for a graduate school application , don’t just summarize your experience; instead, craft a focused narrative in your own voice. Aim to demonstrate three things:

This article guides you through some winning strategies to build a strong, well-structured personal statement for a master’s or PhD application. You can download the full examples below.

Urban Planning Psychology History

Attend one of our upcoming livestreams and have your draft reviewed by an admissions essay coach. We’ll tell you if you’re on the right track and explain how you can strengthen your case.

Want some extra inspiration? Watch recordings of past grad school essay livestreams.

Table of contents

Getting started with your personal statement, the introduction: start with an attention-grabbing opening, the main body: craft your narrative, the conclusion: look ahead, revising, editing, and proofreading your personal statement, frequently asked questions, want some extra inspiration.

Before you start writing, the first step is to understand exactly what’s expected of you. If the application gives you a question or prompt for your personal statement, the most important thing is to respond to it directly.

For example, you might be asked to focus on the development of your personal identity; challenges you have faced in your life; or your career motivations. This will shape your focus and emphasis—but you still need to find your own unique approach to answering it.

There’s no universal template for a personal statement; it’s your chance to be creative and let your own voice shine through. But there are strategies you can use to build a compelling, well-structured story.

The first paragraph of your personal statement should set the tone and lead smoothly into the story you want to tell.

Strategy 1: Open with a concrete scene

An effective way to catch the reader’s attention is to set up a scene that illustrates something about your character and interests. If you’re stuck, try thinking about:

To write an effective scene, try to go beyond straightforward description; start with an intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in, and give concrete details to create a convincing atmosphere.

Strategy 2: Open with your motivations

To emphasize your enthusiasm and commitment, you can start by explaining your interest in the subject you want to study or the career path you want to follow.

Just stating that it interests you isn’t enough: first, you need to figure out why you’re interested in this field:

Tips for the introduction

Once you’ve set up the main themes of your personal statement, you’ll delve into more detail about your experiences and motivations.

To structure the body of your personal statement, there are various strategies you can use.

Strategy 1: Describe your development over time

One of the simplest strategies is to give a chronological overview of key experiences that have led you to apply for graduate school.

Don’t try to include absolutely everything you’ve done—pick out highlights that are relevant to your application. Aim to craft a compelling narrative that shows how you’ve changed and actively developed yourself.

My interest in psychology was first sparked early in my high school career. Though somewhat scientifically inclined, I found that what interested me most was not the equations we learned about in physics and chemistry, but the motivations and perceptions of my fellow students, and the subtle social dynamics that I observed inside and outside the classroom. I wanted to learn how our identities, beliefs, and behaviours are shaped through our interactions with others, so I decided to major in Social Psychology. My undergraduate studies deepened my understanding of, and fascination with, the interplay between an individual mind and its social context.During my studies, I acquired a solid foundation of knowledge about concepts like social influence and group dynamics, but I also took classes on various topics not strictly related to my major. I was particularly interested in how other fields intersect with psychology—the classes I took on media studies, biology, and literature all enhanced my understanding of psychological concepts by providing different lenses through which to look at the issues involved.

Strategy 2: Own your challenges and obstacles

If your path to graduate school hasn’t been easy or straightforward, you can turn this into a strength, and structure your personal statement as a story of overcoming obstacles.

Don’t focus too heavily on negatives, but use them to highlight your positive qualities. Resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance make you a promising graduate school candidate.

Growing up working class, urban decay becomes depressingly familiar. The sight of a row of abandoned houses does not surprise me, but it continues to bother me. Since high school, I have been determined to pursue a career in urban planning. While people of my background experience the consequences of urban planning decisions first-hand, we are underrepresented in the field itself. Ironically, given my motivation, my economic background has made my studies challenging. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship for my undergraduate studies, but after graduation I took jobs in unrelated fields to help support my parents. In the three years since, I have not lost my ambition. Now I am keen to resume my studies, and I believe I can bring an invaluable perspective to the table: that of the people most impacted by the decisions of urban planners.

Strategy 3: Demonstrate your knowledge of the field

Especially if you’re applying for a PhD or another research-focused program, it’s a good idea to show your familiarity with the subject and the department. Your personal statement can focus on the area you want to specialize in and reflect on why it matters to you.

The personal statement isn’t a research proposal , so don’t go overboard on detail—but it’s a great opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the field and your capacity for original thinking.

In applying for this research program, my intention is to build on the multidisciplinary approach I have taken in my studies so far, combining knowledge from disparate fields of study to better understand psychological concepts and issues. The Media Psychology program stands out to me as the perfect environment for this kind of research, given its researchers’ openness to collaboration across diverse fields. I am impressed by the department’s innovative interdisciplinary projects that focus on the shifting landscape of media and technology, and I hope that my own work can follow a similarly trailblazing approach. More specifically, I want to develop my understanding of the intersection of psychology and media studies, and explore how media psychology theories and methods might be applied to neurodivergent minds. I am interested not only in media psychology but also in psychological disorders, and how the two interact. This is something I touched on during my undergraduate studies and that I’m excited to delve into further.

Strategy 4: Discuss your professional ambitions

Especially if you’re applying for a more professionally-oriented program (such as an MBA), it’s a good idea to focus on concrete goals and how the program will help you achieve them.

Don’t just state the position you want to achieve. You should demonstrate that you’ve put plenty of thought into your career plans and show why you’re well-suited to this profession.

One thing that fascinated me about the field during my undergraduate studies was the sheer number of different elements whose interactions constitute a person’s experience of an urban environment. Any number of factors could transform the scene I described at the beginning: What if there were no bus route? Better community outreach in the neighborhood? Worse law enforcement? More or fewer jobs available in the area? Some of these factors are out of the hands of an urban planner, but without taking them all into consideration, the planner has an incomplete picture of their task. Through further study I hope to develop my understanding of how these disparate elements combine and interact to create the urban environment. I am interested in the social, psychological and political effects our surroundings have on our lives. My studies will allow me to work on projects directly affecting the kinds of working-class urban communities I know well. I believe I can bring my own experiences, as well as my education, to bear upon the problem of improving infrastructure and quality of life in these communities.

Tips for the main body

Your conclusion should bring the focus back to the program and what you hope to get out of it, whether that’s developing practical skills, exploring intellectual questions, or both.

Emphasize the fit with your specific interests, showing why this program would be the best way to achieve your aims.

Strategy 1: What do you want to know?

If you’re applying for a more academic or research-focused program, end on a note of curiosity: what do you hope to learn, and why do you think this is the best place to learn it?

If there are specific classes or faculty members that you’re excited to learn from, this is the place to express your enthusiasm.

Strategy 2: What do you want to do?

If you’re applying for a program that focuses more on professional training, your conclusion can look to your career aspirations: what role do you want to play in society, and why is this program the best choice to help you get there?

Tips for the conclusion

You’ll be expected to do a lot of writing in graduate school, so make a good first impression: leave yourself plenty of time to revise and polish the text.

Your style doesn’t have to be as formal as other kinds of academic writing, but it should be clear, direct and coherent. Make sure that each paragraph flows smoothly from the last, using topic sentences and transitions to create clear connections between each part.

Don’t be afraid to rewrite and restructure as much as necessary. Since you have a lot of freedom in the structure of a personal statement, you can experiment and move information around to see what works best.

Finally, it’s essential to carefully proofread your personal statement and fix any language errors. Before you submit your application, consider investing in professional personal statement editing . For $150, you have the peace of mind that your personal statement is grammatically correct, strong in term of your arguments, and free of awkward mistakes.

A statement of purpose is usually more formal, focusing on your academic or professional goals. It shouldn’t include anything that isn’t directly relevant to the application.

A personal statement can often be more creative. It might tell a story that isn’t directly related to the application, but that shows something about your personality, values, and motivations.

However, both types of document have the same overall goal: to demonstrate your potential as a graduate student and s how why you’re a great match for the program.

The typical length of a personal statement for graduate school applications is between 500 and 1,000 words.

Different programs have different requirements, so always check if there’s a minimum or maximum length and stick to the guidelines. If there is no recommended word count, aim for no more than 1-2 pages.

If you’re applying to multiple graduate school programs, you should tailor your personal statement to each application.

Some applications provide a prompt or question. In this case, you might have to write a new personal statement from scratch: the most important task is to respond to what you have been asked.

If there’s no prompt or guidelines, you can re-use the same idea for your personal statement – but change the details wherever relevant, making sure to emphasize why you’re applying to this specific program.

If the application also includes other essays, such as a statement of purpose , you might have to revise your personal statement to avoid repeating the same information.

During our livestream sessions, we invite students to submit their personal statement drafts and receive live feedback from our essay coaches. Check out recordings of our past sessions:

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Personal Statement Help

What is a personal statement.

A personal statement is an essay written by a student applying to either a college or university. A personal statement is written and then uploaded to UCAS and is then attached to any university applications that the student may then make.

If you need more information check out our personal statement advice articles .

How to write a personal statement

There isn't a clearly defined personal statement template for you to use as each person's statement is different.

When it comes to writing a personal statement for universities, your personal statement should touch on your passions, your interest in the course, why you're applying for the course and why you would be an asset to the university you're applying to.

Talk about the clubs and societies that you belong to, any work experience you may have and any awards you might have won.

If you're still looking for information check out our article on how to write a personal statement .

How to start a personal statement

When it comes to starting your personal statement, the best thing to do is to be succinct and to have enough tantalising information to keep the reader informed and eager for more.

Your introduction should touch on your personal qualities and why you are applying for the subject you're applying for. Keeping things short and sweet means that it also allows you to break your personal statement up, which makes it easier for the reader.

We have plenty of advice for students that are wondering about what to include in a personal statement .

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Writing the personal statement.

16 August 2022 – Peter Kopp , Rachel Gross and Lee Bishop

graduate school , applications , graduate programs , graduate students , writing

Image of writing tools: pen, paper, and computer keyboard.

Photo credit: Pete O’Shea, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The National Council on Public History has a wonderful guide for students applying to graduate school , but it offers limited advice on how to write your personal statement. Prospective public history graduate students could benefit from insights about what graduate faculty are looking for in these short essays.

In this post, we will draw from our experience directing the Public History Program at the University of Colorado Denver , but are confident that these suggestions will be useful no matter where you apply. CU Denver graduate student Lee Bishop offers their perspective in italics at the end of the topics we cover.

First, the basics:

Educational and professional background

Image credit: Jorditebe, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Some students will be applying to graduate programs with extensive coursework and internship experience; others will not. What matters in your statement is not how much experience you’ve had, but that you are clear about your educational background and how it shaped your interest in the field.

Think of this section as an intellectual autobiography. Was there a class you took that inspired you to pursue public history? A job that cemented your interest in museum education? A historic house you researched for a course that left you thinking you could interpret it better for the contemporary moment? Note that these questions cover your educational and professional background. Avoid stories, for example, about tourist experiences you may have shared with your family or friends. Explain how you intellectually came to the field of public history.

When I first started writing my statement, I was worried I had no experiences to talk about. But once I got going, I found that I ran out of room for everything. Hopefully, you’re going to grad school because you’re interested in pursuing this field, so you’ll probably find public history showing up more in your past experiences than you expected. Even seemingly unrelated experiences (that internship I did with Girl Scouts) might be relevant when you take a closer look (during the internship, I wrote a badge program on local women’s history).

Professional goals

The strongest statements we receive contain clear professional goals and articulate how and why our program will allow the author to succeed. The authors may explain, for example, that they seek a career as a curator in a small museum and follow up by explaining how specific courses or internship possibilities at our institution align with those goals. Not all applicants need to state such a clear career trajectory, but the more specific an applicant can be, the better. Prior to crafting the statement of purpose, make a list of your career goals and the knowledge and skills you want to acquire and refine in graduate school.

Maybe you noticed some holes in your resume while you were writing that last section. It can be a great show of self-awareness to name the skills you’ve still yet to learn. If you already know everything, then there’s no reason to invest in grad school.

Timothy Dilich, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Research individual programs

Not all grad programs are the right fit for you , so be sure to enumerate why you are applying to a particular program. In short, the statement should explain why you are a good fit for that program. For instance, our colleagues in the Public History Program at Colorado State University specialize in Cultural Resource Management (among other areas). If you are applying there, your personal statement should attest to your interest in CRM.

By contrast, we do far more work with museums at CU Denver. If you are applying to our program but write all about CRM, it will be clear to the readers that CSU would be a better fit. This is the reason that every personal statement should note the specifics you are seeking in a grad program. Are you eager to pursue a museum studies certificate? Would your already extensive museum work experience be strengthened by coursework in digital history, a particular program strength at CU Denver? If you know the answers to these or similar questions, address them in this section. The key is to take time to do the research and reflect upon it.

This was the advice I could have benefitted from the most. Truth be told, I wanted to go to CU Denver because it was close to home, so I hadn’t considered the “why here?” question much before writing my statement. Researching for my statement offered me a great opportunity to consider how and if the program’s strengths matched my personal goals.

One great resource to help you learn more about your prospective programs (and narrow your search) is the NCPH Program Guide . But you should also talk to your prospective professors. Don’t hesitate to email them with questions, or even to call them. In doing so, you will gain information to write about in your statement and demonstrate your commitment to the program.

Promoting yourself for unique opportunities

Show familiarity with the program you are applying for by commenting on specific experiential or financial opportunities about the program that made you want to apply. At CU Denver, for instance, we offer a competitive paid fellowship that pairs students with different departments at History Colorado, our state historical society. Our department website and application materials describe this fellowship. An applicant to our program would do well to name their interest in that fellowship or similar opportunities. The more detail you can give about how a potential scholarship or fellowship might fit into your program of study, the more convincing you will be as a candidate. Also, be clear if you are excited about research and teaching assistant opportunities.

When it comes to promoting yourself, don’t be afraid to talk yourself up. Your statement is your time to shine, not your time to be humble, so steer clear of qualifiers like “I think” and “I hope.” At least in this statement of purpose, you will!

Addressing professors or program directors

Your application will be stronger if you can show that you’ve researched faculty members. In this portion of the statement, you should name specific professors you anticipate working with as well as why you’d like to work with them. You might even mention specific courses that these professors teach that you would benefit from taking. Naming professors in a personal statement does not mean you are tied to them indefinitely; instead, it shows you’ve carefully perused the faculty webpages and understand the department’s specialties.

It’s a lot like the academic version of internet vetting your best friend’s crush. But this time, it’s totally cool. A quick Google search brought up a recording of a presentation Dr. Kopp gave last year on Cascade hops, and Dr. Gross has her own website , which I definitely used when writing my statement.

We’d like to encourage our colleagues at other institutions to be gracious when encountering quirks in statements of purpose, precisely because many prospective students get so little guidance or may even receive conflicting advice from advisors or mentors.

For prospective students, we hope these recommendations show how the document can be enlightening to graduate admissions faculty—and hopefully to you, as well. Careful crafting of the statement should help you better understand both why you are applying and what you hope to get out of your graduate school experience. As professors who read these each year, we approach the documents with excitement; we are always eager to see what excellent students we will get to meet.

~Peter A. Kopp is associate professor and co-director of the Public History Program at the University of Colorado Denver.

~Rachel Gross , an assistant professor and co-director of the Public History Program at the University of Colorado Denver, is finishing a book on the history of the outdoor industry.

~Lee Bishop is a masters student at the University of Colorado Denver and an Educator Performer at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

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Successful Personal Statement For History At Oxford

Author: Rob Needleman

Table of Contents

Welcome to our popular Personal Statement series where we present a successful Personal Statement, and our Oxbridge Tutors provide their feedback on it. 

Today, we are looking through a History applicant’s Personal Statement that helped secure a place at Oxford University. The History Course at Oxford combines the examination of large regions over extended periods of time with more focused work on smaller social groups, shorter periods and particular themes.

Read on to see how this candidate demonstrates that they can understand and analyse history.  

Here’s a breakdown of the Personal Statement (the applicant uses most of the 4,000 characters available):


The universities this candidate applied to were the following:

Enrolling on our Oxbridge History comprehensive Programme will give you access to Personal Statement redrafts. 

Your tutor will give you actionable feedback with insider tips on how to improve and make your Personal Statement Oxbridge quality for the best chances of success.  

History Personal Statement

My passion for history can best be explained by discussing the period of German Unification, which displays the most engrossing virtues of studying the subject. Firstly there is great scope for debate and exploration of the interlocking causations, examining the relative importance of Bismarck’s own role against the military strengthening of Prussia or the shifting international relations. But most interestingly it is a defining period in the shaping of modern Europe and the way in which it links the past to the present is most fascinating. Studying this period reveals how international relations progressed after the Napoleonic era leading to the way in which Germany was unified through war and thus became a country built around war. It is therefore arguable that this era created the state which would then trigger the two wars which have shaped the modern world. This period shows how history can give us a more rounded understanding of the world we live in, linking our mysterious and intriguing past to our all too familiar present surroundings. It is partly this, which motivates me to study history as in doing so I gain immense satisfaction from learning how our world has evolved.

An understanding of history also provides a fundamental backdrop for any other areas of study. I have found this through my other A-Level subjects, for example historical knowledge of politics in Britain was essential to AS politics, particularly when studying the political situation in Ireland. An understanding of past conflicts is indispensable when it comes to managing contemporary politics. Furthermore, whilst taking French the study of Un Sac De Billes by Joseph Joffo unearthed experiences of living under Vichy France. To learn a language fully it is important to immerse oneself in the culture and history of the country in order to develop a more rounded understanding of the people who live there. Thus it seems that history is inescapable; it not only provides vital background knowledge but also helps bring to life every other academic subject, which is why in my opinion, it is the most important.     

During my A Level history course, the Napoleonic era particularly fascinated me and I pursued my interest through further reading, looking specifically at Napoleon’s downfall, an area I found most compelling as it offers the greatest exposition of the psychology of this exceptional man. I read Digby Smith’s ‘The Decline and Fall of Napoleon’s Empire’ as well as Zamoyski’s ‘1812’. I picked up on several themes throughout Zamoyski’s book and developed my own opinions such as sympathetic stances towards General Barclay and the Tsar, but was particularly intrigued by how Napoleon let his ego drive his pre-war diplomacy and how Napoleon’s own role in the breakdown of the Treaty of Tilsit perhaps triggered his eventual downfall. The fact that I was so gripped by so many different themes within an historical study of one war also reveals another aspect of history that is so appealing to me. It offers vast numbers of different avenues to pursue in one’s research, whether it is Napoleon’s diplomacy or the fallibility of the Russian command.

Outside of my academic studies, I am a dedicated sportsman but have particularly flourished musically as a cellist, obtaining a grade 8 standard in year 11 and am a committed member of various ensembles. Music has coloured my historical studies, for example, I played various Shostakovich symphonies coinciding with my study of Stalinist Russia at GCSE, each with a very different feel depending upon his relationship with Stalin, but perhaps most moving was playing his 10 th symphony, a purely self-indulgent expression of relief after the death of the dictator. It is impossible to appreciate this great work without its historical context, which transforms the piece into something personal, attaching the listener emotionally. History is not only fascinating in itself, but it enriches our appreciation of all other interests.

For more inspiration, take a look through our other successful Personal Statement a nalysis articles:

Successful Personal Statement For Computer Science At Oxford

Good Points Of The Personal Statement

The student speaks intelligently and successfully links their interests – both within history and outside of history – to the study of history on a wider scale. The statement is well organised and reads well. Paragraph three, in particular, has many strong points with a greater focus on what really interests the student and why. The student does well to focus on the different areas of exploration within history showing a strong awareness of the nuances within historical study.

Bad Points Of The Personal Statement

The statement focuses too much on what the student knows, rather than what interests the student – the first paragraph, in particular, reads too much like an essay, and less like an exploration of why this student actually wants to study history. The student risks falling into a trap of trying to teach and impress the admissions tutor with their knowledge instead of offering a more personal approach. The student also needs to try to avoid repetition, for example ‘most interestingly’ and ‘most fascinating’ within the same sentence in order to ensure the whole statement flows better.

UniAdmissions Overall Score:

This is a very strong, well-written Personal Statement. The student has clearly proved they can both understand and analyse history. The student perhaps needs to focus more on their own motivations behind studying history, but overall, the statement suggests a student with great potential and zeal for the subject. What would make the student stand out even more is a stronger closing statement – something to bring the whole personal statement together.

This Personal Statement for History is a great example of a strong, well-written Statement. The candidate’s interest and achievements are clearly shown which is vital to Admissions Tutors.

Remember, at Oxford, these Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them.

There are plenty more successful personal statements and expert guides on our Free Personal Statement Resources page.

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Stanford University

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Writing Your Personal Statements

Your personal statement must demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have considered graduate school and their specific program seriously. It’s your opportunity to summarize your academic and research experiences. You must also communicate how your experiences are relevant to preparing you for the graduate degree that you will be pursuing and explain why a given program is the right one for you.

The personal statement is where you highlight your strengths. Make your strengths absolutely clear to the reviewers, because they will often be reading many other statements. Your self-assessments and honest conversations with peers and advisors should have also revealed your strengths. But you must also address (not blame others for) weaknesses or unusual aspects of your application or academic background.

Your personal statement should focus on two main aspects: your competence and commitment.

1. Identify your strengths in terms of competence that indicate that you will succeed in the grad program and provide examples to support your claims. Start your statement by describing your strengths immediately. Because faculty will be reading many statements, it’s important to start off with your strengths and not “bury your lede.” Consider traits of successful graduate students from your informational interviews, and identify which of these traits you have. These traits could involve research skills and experiences, expertise in working with techniques or instruments, familiarity with professional networks and resources in your field, etc.

Vannessa Velez's portrait

My research examines the interplay between U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy during the Cold War. As a native New Yorker, I saw firsthand how dramatically my city changed after 9/11, which prompted my early interest in U.S. policy at home and abroad. As an undergraduate at the City College of New York, I planned to study international relations with a focus on U.S. foreign affairs. I also quickly became involved in student activist groups that focused on raising awareness about a wide range of human rights issues, from the Syrian refugee crisis to asylum seekers from Central America.

The more I learned about the crises in the present, the more I realized that I needed a deeper understanding of the past to fully grasp them. I decided to pursue a PhD in history in order to gain a clearer understanding of human rights issues in the present and to empower young student-activists like myself.

— Vannessa Velez, PhD candidate in History

Addressing weaknesses or unusual aspects

2. Explain your commitment to research and their graduate program, including your motivation for why you are applying to this graduate program at this university. Be as specific as possible. Identify several faculty members with whom you are interested in working, and explain why their research interests you.

Jaime Fine's portrait

I am definitely not your traditional graduate student. As a biracial (Native American and white), first-generation PhD student from a military family, I had very limited guidance on how best to pursue my education, especially when I decided that graduate school was a good idea. I ended up coming to this PhD in a very circuitous manner, stopping first to get a JD and, later, an MFA in Young Adult Literature. With each degree, I took time to work and apply what I’d learned, as a lawyer and as an educator. Each time, I realized that I was circling around questions that I couldn’t let go of—not just because I found them to be fascinating, but because I did (and still do!) feel that my research could help to bridge a gap that desperately needs bridging. Because my work is quite interdisciplinary, I strongly feel that I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this line of research without the degrees and life experience I gained before coming to this program.

— Jamie Fine, PhD candidate in Modern Thought and Literature


Statement of Purpose: subtle aspects

Stanford University

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  1. PDF Personal Statement Sample #1

    Personal Essay have The Ensworth School, which I attended for thirteen years, to thank for instilling a love of history within me. In particular, I have to thank two of my favorite and most impactful teachers at Ensworth, Mrs. Roberts and Mr. Jackoboice, who both taught history.

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  5. How to Write a Strong Personal Statement for Graduate School

    The statement of purpose and personal history statement are key components of the UC Davis graduate school application. With fewer than 4,000 characters allowed for each essay, these statements can seem particularly daunting. However, each one has a specific purpose for showcasing your academic journey and creating a holistic application.

  6. 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:

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  8. 16 Winning Personal Statement Examples (And Why They Work)

    Here are 16 personal statement examples—both school and career—to help you create your own: 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.

  9. Personal History Statement Example |May 2023

    The Personal History Statement (also known as the Personal Statement) describes what distinguishes you from others. The Personal History Statement has a somewhat predictable form than the Statement of Purpose and can be prepared in various ways.

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  11. Tips for Drafting a Free Example of Personal History Statement

    A personal history statement is an autobiographical essay describing an individual's activities, experiences, and accomplishments. It should be written clearly and directly, focusing on key events or achievements.

  12. History Personal Statement Example (Oxford University)

    History is the infinite path of human existence; a perpetual cycle of life itself. Our knowledge of historical accounts and events are assisted through the branches of Literature. Without this, it would be impossible to understand the concept of time and the influential presence of people from past humanities. Pursuing a course which combines...

  13. Personal Statements

    Writing a personal statement is stressful. But it's important to start writing as soon as possible—especially because you'll be revising again and again. Show how your personal history relates to your goals, and how you're a good fit for this particular program. If your first attempt looks halting and a little half-baked, don't worry.

  14. Writing the Personal Statement

    The basic message: your academic achievement despite challenges It is especially helpful for admissions committees considering nominating you for fellowships for diversity if you discuss any or all of the following: Demonstrated significant academic achievement by overcoming barriers such as economic, social, or educational disadvantage;

  15. Personal statement advice: history

    Writing a personal statement for history? We asked admissions tutors what they're looking for - and it's all down to demonstrating your interest over and above the syllabus. 'Why do you love history? Which period or approach particularly appeals to you, and why? What new insights has studying history given you? Why do you want to study it further?

  16. How to Write Your Personal Statement

    Published on February 12, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on November 28, 2022. A personal statement is a short essay of around 500-1,000 words, in which you tell a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why you're applying.

  17. 500+ Personal Statement Examples

    A personal statement is a chance to tell your university all about you - a good personal statement is one that showcases your passion for the subject, what inspired you to apply for the course you're applying for and why you think you would be an asset to the university. ... Personal Statement . History. 9 History statements have been ...

  18. Writing the personal statement

    First, the basics: Unless otherwise indicated in application guidelines, we suggest using no more than two single-spaced pages with clear paragraph breaks. Rather than discuss your passion for public history, stick to the specifics outlined here.

  19. Successful Personal Statement For History At Oxford

    This Personal Statement for History is a great example of a strong, well-written Statement. The candidate's interest and achievements are clearly shown which is vital to Admissions Tutors. Remember, at Oxford, these Admissions Tutors are often the people who will be teaching you for the next few years, so you need to appeal directly to them. ...

  20. Writing Your Personal Statements

    Your personal statement should focus on two main aspects: your competence and commitment. 1. Identify your strengths in terms of competence that indicate that you will succeed in the grad program and provide examples to support your claims. Start your statement by describing your strengths immediately. Because faculty will be reading many ...

  21. History Masters Personal Statement Sample

    History & Archaeology Applications Advice. This is an example personal statement for a Masters degree application in History. See our guide for advice on writing your own postgraduate personal statement. The Black Lives Matter protests over the last few years have sparked interesting debates about the role of nationality, memorial and history ...