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The Personal Statement: Strategies for Supporting Freshman Applicants

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Presentation on theme: "The Personal Statement: Strategies for Supporting Freshman Applicants"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Personal Statement: Strategies for Supporting Freshman Applicants

2 Overview Purpose of the personal statement in UC admissions
Instructions and questions Writing strategies for students

3 Purpose of the Personal Statement
Part of UC’s comprehensive review process Opportunity to provide information that supports and augments the review process Helps readers know and understand applicants

4 Purpose of the Personal Statement
Adds clarity, depth and meaning to information collected in other parts of the UC application Completes the application for admission An admission decision will never be based on the content of a personal statement alone

5 A Message From UC Faculty
While it is acceptable to receive feedback or helpful suggestions, applicants’ personal statements should reflect your own ideas and be written by them alone.

6 Instructions and Prompts

7 Instructions Two questions Students respond to both questions.
A maximum of 1,000 words total If you are even one word over, you cannot submit your application. Students choose length of each response. If you choose to respond to one prompt at greater length, they suggest the shorter answer be no less than 250 words.

8 Prompt #1 [Freshman Applicants] Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.  

9 Prompt #2 [All Applicants] Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

10 Additional Comments Use Additional Comments box for clarification, expansion on important details: Additional names Visa issues Additional IB exams Describe anything else that you have not had the opportunity to include elsewhere in your application. 500-word limit The Additional Comments section is not required unless the student has been directed in another area of the application to provide more information in this section (such as the three items listed above) The University of California gives priority consideration to U.S. veterans who apply for admission. Applicants are encouraged to use the personal statement to: (1) describe how military service has been instrumental in developing their educational plans (2) indicate if s/he is entitled to educational benefits as a result of military service or the service-connected death or disability of a parent or spouse, or (3) indicate if applicant is affiliated with the military such as, but not limited to, the spouse or dependent of someone who is on active duty or a current participant in an ROTC-type program.

11 Writing Strategies for Students

12 Steps to Writing an Effective Personal Statement
Draft, Get Feedback, Revise Develop Topic and Thesis Read Critically Gather Information

13 Personal Statement: Writing for College
Unknown audience: Students write for a community of scholars. Writer-determined topics: Students choose the topics. Dig deep: Analysis and reflection are key. Personal Statement Unknown audience Writer-determined topics Analytical and reflective response

14 Important Strategies Students are encouraged to write about special circumstances that have influenced their educational experience: Re-entry Small or alternative learning environments Learning and/or physical challenges Veterans Read critically and write analytically. Think like an admissions reader by capitalizing on the relationship between readers and writers. Use a writing process. Get good feedback.

15 Think Like an Admissions Reader
All readers have expectations of writers, revealed in readers’ questions, observations and interpretations of the application. Writers fulfill readers’ expectations by addressing these questions, observations and interpretations in the personal statement. Writers can anticipate readers’ expectations by completing and critically reading their applications prior to writing a personal statement.

16 Critical Reading and Analytical Writing
Answers to L1 questions provide details in paragraphs. Answers to L2 questions are topic sentences of paragraphs. Answers to L3 questions are thesis statements of essays. Level one: Facts Level two: Interpretation Level three: Meaning and significance

17 Writing Process Read the application critically using levels of questions. Draft. Get feedback — give readers at least a week to respond. Revise for organization, clarity and meaning. Proofread.




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