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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

How to write a personal statement?

Hey guys, I'm struggling with writing my personal statement for college apps. Should it be more narrative or formal? How can I make it unique? Thanks for any advice you can share!

6 months ago

Hi there! Writing a personal statement can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can make it unique and engaging. Here's some advice to help you get started:

1. Tone: Aim for a balance between narrative and formal. You want to showcase your personality and maintain a conversational tone while still being organized, thoughtful, and well-written.

2. Focus on storytelling: Tell a meaningful story that reflects your unique experiences and perspectives. Often, the strongest personal statements are centered around a specific event or moment that helped shape the person you are today.

3. Be genuine: Be true to yourself in your writing. Share your honest thoughts and feelings about the topic you choose, as this will create an authentic connection with the reader.

4. Originality: Avoid clichéd topics (e.g., sports victories, overcoming adversity) unless you have a truly unique take on them. Instead, think about what sets you apart from other applicants and how you can showcase that in your personal statement.

5. Reflect on growth and lessons learned: Describe how the experiences you write about have shaped your growth as a person. What did you learn from them, and how can you apply those lessons moving forward?

6. Structure: While there's no one-size-fits-all template for personal statements, it's essential to have a clear structure. Start with an attention-grabbing opening to draw the reader in, then develop your story and provide context. Finally, tie everything together in the conclusion and connect it to your aspirations for college and beyond.

7. Revise, revise, revise: Don't be afraid to make multiple drafts of your personal statement. Get feedback from teachers, friends, or family members, and take time to refine your essay until it feels polished and represents your best work.

For some more advice, check out this CollegeVine article, which is all about tackling the Common App personal statement prompts: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-write-the-common-application-essays

Also take a look at this article full of examples of real personal statements: https://blog.collegevine.com/personal-statement-essay-examples

Remember to enjoy the process and take pride in crafting a personal statement that genuinely reflects who you are. Good luck!

6 months ago

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