Saturday, August 27, 2011

Personal Statement Tip #1 - Hook Your Reader

So every personal statement has a couple of things in common. An introduction is one of those things. "My name is..." is such an obvious intro that'll make your trip to the slush pile quicker than you expect. You want the admissions committee to at least remain interested beyond the 1st sentence. Here's my tip:

Start off with something the admissions committee doesn't already know about you from the rest of your application materials. Draw from a personal experience that sparked your interest in the program you're applying to.

WHAT NOT TO DO: Hi my name is Jane Doe, and I'm apply to your law program, because I love intellectual property law.

WHAT TO DO: My grandmother wanted to share her stories for children with everyone she came across. She never published her work, and the day she took me to Barnes and Noble, and found her children's book on the new release stand, I knew that was something I wanted to fight against.

Okay, okay, okay, so I pulled out the grandma card. But it got your attention, right? You felt sorry for granny, who wrote tirelessly about dragons and princesses in distress, only to find out that someone she trusted plagiarized her work. This childhood memory shows the applicants personal investment in law, passion for helping others, and ethical disposition that is truly needed to fight for justice. That's a hook that'll keep them reading on.

Until next time.

PS: Happy writing!

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