Presentation on theme: "Presented by Heather Urschel-Speir Writing & Tutoring Center Presented by Heather Urschel-Speir Writing & Tutoring Center."— Presentation transcript:
Presented by Heather Urschel-Speir Writing & Tutoring Center Presented by Heather Urschel-Speir Writing & Tutoring Center
Preparation Read the prompt (if there is one) carefully. Write it yourself. Tailor your answers for each program, and answer every question. Go through as many drafts as necessary. Research the school and do background research on topics (if given). Look at samples (but don’t use them as your own!). List experiences and free-write or mind map to get things going.
Think of a HOOK/ANGLE to focus & unify your statement. Focus on EXPERIENCE rather than opinions. Use concrete DETAILS. Plan on describing negative experiences POSITIVELY. Show COMMUNITY connection. Reveal your personality and your UNIQUENESS. Add the UNEXPECTED. Focus on the PAST as much as you can. Don’t just tell what... tell WHY! Focus on APPROPRIATE and RELEVANT experiences. Show you can speak as a member of the DISCIPLINE. FOCUSING your Statement
Writing Your Statement DO Concentrate on the OPENING paragraph. Use a DELIBERATE organization. Be YOURSELF and Be REAL. Make smooth TRANSITIONS. Offer sentences with VARIETY.
Writing Your Statement DON’T Don’t list or tell “the whole story.” It’s depth, not breadth, they are looking for. Avoid clichés at all costs. Avoid emotional language, slang, and exaggeration. Avoid sounding conceited, pedantic, or patronizing. But also avoid sounding insecure. If it is boring to you, it will be boring to them. Avoid gushing, begging, and pandering (telling them what you think they want to hear). Avoid controversial political and religious subjects.
Organizing your statement INTRODUCTION: “hook” your readers. They may read ONLY this paragraph. Tell a story, describe an event, unpack a meaningful quote. This paragraphs SHOWS who you are. BODY: experiences, accomplishments, skills, and knowledge that show you are THE ONE. Organize by grouping “like” things: periods of time, forms of experience, places you worked, courses that inspired you, or whatever is particular to your own story. CONCLUSION: include links to the beginning, plans for the future, what you’ll bring to the program.
Before you send it out... Use the checklist for revision and polishing. Have multiple people read it, using these checklists. Send out a perfect draft with NO spelling, formatting, or mechanical errors. Use a sensible font size and style, with sensible margins (standard: Times New Roman, 12pt., one-inch margins). Send the right statement to the right place. Print your statement on good quality white paper and dark black ink.
Sample Intro One “My dream of being a lawyer dates back to my early childhood, when I spent many a lazy summer afternoon watching reruns of Perry Mason on TV. When I was sixteen, I once tried to talk myself out of a speeding ticket the Perry Mason way: “Isn’t it true that I was not in excess of the posted speed limit? ISN’T IT TRUE that, seeing me driving along in a car that you could never afford on a policeman’s salary, you were overcome by a fit of jealousy and rage? ISN’T IT TRUE that YOU are the guilty party here, SIR?” It didn’t work out for me. But my hope is that, after law school, I’ll be able to pull it off.” What do you think of this statement? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Sample Intro Two “Ever since I was young, I have always wanted to be a doctor. I have always enjoyed helping people, and I want to do it for a living. In particular, I would like to do medical research where my work would have a positive effect for many people.” What do you think of this statement? What are its strengths and weaknesses?