Presentation on theme: "Writing a Personal Statement Dr. Diana Betz October 30, 2013."— Presentation transcript:
Writing a Personal Statement Dr. Diana Betz October 30, 2013
What is a personal statement? A misnomer? Statement of purpose Statement of research interests and experience
They’re looking for… Your research ideas and/or professional goals A good match To see if you are…
Your statement should describe your goals in a way that: Shows you’ve done your homework on the field the program the faculty Explains why you’re a good fit for all 3!
How to write about your Research or Professional Goals Do your homework! Take notes on program and faculty websites Individualize paragraph or 2 to highlight: Program focus and/or main research topics, and how your goals align with them Faculty you’d want to work with, and what you’d want to study with them
How NOT to write about your Research or Professional Goals Don’t overshare Goal shouldn’t be to understand own or loved ones’ mental health Case-by-case basis – ask an advisor! Avoid cliches “I want to help…” “Everyone tells me I’d make a great therapist!”
They’re looking for… Your research ideas and/or professional goals Skills that prepare you for this program A good match Likely to succeed To see if you are…
Your statement should describe your skills in a way that: Selectively highlights achievements like: Classes (beyond requirements) Research assistant positions, internships, or jobs Clinical experience (if applicable) Independent research!!
Your statement should describe your skills in a way that: …and relates those achievements to necessary skills, like: Research design and statistics Knowledge of your research area of interest Independent, creative thought Sticktoitiveness Dedication to the long slog of research
How to write about your Skills: Tell the story of how you became a person capable of conducting rigorous, independent research Highlight what you learned from each achievement Explain how each step built on what came before it
How NOT to write about your Skills: Don’t repeat your c.v. word for word Don’t focus on basic requirements: show how you went above and beyond
They’re looking for… Your research ideas and/or professional goals Skills that prepare you for this program Strong writing skills A good match Likely to succeed Likely to publish and secure grants Conscientious To see if you are…
The way your statement is written should: Demonstrate that you can write like a scientist: Organized Well-supported Concise Clear Show your attention to detail Pay attention to application requirements Check spelling, grammar, formatting
How to write well: Revise, revise, revise Follow application requirements 2 statements? Particular theme? Maintain formal tone Proofread
How NOT to write well: Do NOT exceed page limit Don’t joke around or try to be cute Don’t keep your statement to yourself: you need other eyes on it!
Using Campus Resources 1.Faculty mentor(s) or advisor(s) Best resource! 2.Writing Center For mechanics, not content