The body of your personal statement should contain compelling stories from your life and personal insights that demonstrate who you are and how you standout from other applicants (Source).
But those persuasive pieces are only effective when they serve to illustrate your ultimate goal or motivation for writing the essay; your big “reason why.” Without connecting your stories and insights to a powerful “reason why,” you personal statement can become a series of unrelated anecdotes that may be interesting, but they don’t tell an admissions committee why you are the applicant they should select for the position.
I like to call your “reason why” your Destination. Your Destination is where your essay is headed, and the persuasive stories and insights are the vehicle that drives your reader to your Destination.
Conclusions to Reach at the End of Your Essay:
- You want to be of service in a meaningful way
- You have a love of research
- You want to be a leader or a teacher
If you brainstorm your stories and insights first, it will be much clearer to you which Destination to select because your stories will logically fit with one or two Destinations. Narrow your choices to one or two Destinations to give your personal statement focus. It’s better to be specific and exhaustive with one Destination than to only scratch the surface of several Destinations.
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