How to Write a Personal Statement in 200-300 Words

Books in shelf.jpg

Writing about yourself can be challenging. Many colleges and graduate and professional schools ask for a personal statement as part of their application process. You can tackle this assignment and put your best foot forward in no more than 300 words. The key is to write with a goal in mind.

1 Write in a first-person narrative voice

Write in a first-person narrative voice, using the pronoun "I." A personal statement is written exclusively from your perspective.

2 Define you

Define who you are and stick to the script. Maybe you are a aspiring musician seeking to study at a conservatory abroad. Perhaps you are a calculus whiz who wants to apply mathematical theory to solve a unique problem.

3 Include more details than you need

Include more details than you need, and then eliminate any redundancy when you edit. A 200- to 300-word limit translates into one large paragraph or a mini-essay with a beginning, middle and conclusion.

4 Describe a personal hardship

Describe a personal hardship and how you overcame it. It might be to your advantage to pull at the heartstrings of the person reading your personal statement.

5 Embellish your writing with rich vocabulary and anecdotes

Embellish your writing with rich vocabulary and anecdotes to put your personal stamp on your statement. The reader should feel like she is having a conversation with you.

  • Avoid including religious or political viewpoints, as they can be controversial.
  • Proofread carefully for spelling and grammar.

After receiving her journalism degree from Long Island University, Andrea Della Monica worked for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area. As a winner of George Polk award, Della Monica has been interested in advancing press freedoms. In recent years, she has successfully pursued public relations work for major community activist organizations and special interest publications.