It is often said that personal statements are often autobiographical. This may well be true, because a wise maxim is "write about what you know." And, if there is one thing we all know more about than anything else it is our own lives. Often students only write about the reasons why they wish to embark on a particular university course and many personal statements lack emotion, suspense, and tension. However, in a work of fact, emotion, is a key ingredient in successful personal statements. And, while students life's may differ considerably from one other, we will each have known the full gamut of emotions. It is important when writing your personal statement that you convey a sense of place to your reader and the way to do that is with the five senses sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. It is all too easy to forget that scenes, which are indelibly etched on your own mind, will not be equally clear in the reader's unless you make them so by your writing.
Address Your Weaknesses (If Necessary). The personal statement presents an opportunity to address weaknesses in your applications and offer explanations as to why things went wrong. Drawing attention to the low points in your application is a risky business, and pulling this off correctly can be tricky. If you feel it necessary to justify or explain something, first ask yourself the following two questions: a) Is this issue worth mentioning? b) Does your explanation legitimize the deficiency? For example, there is no need to address the fact that you received a B in physics. On the other hand, a failing grade in physics is something that is probably worth addressing. If you failed physics because you found it too hard or simply got lazy, it is better to leave the issue unmentioned. A deficiency resulting from circumstances beyond your control, such as an illness or death of a loved one, is something that the admissions committee and your interviewer should know about. When addressing a weakness or deficiency, strive to incorporate that section into your essay so that the essay maintains its flow and focus. Suddenly presenting an idea without connecting it to the rest of your essay will seem jarring and out_of_place to the reader. If the issue is important enough, you may in fact want to build your entire essay's theme around that point.