Common Errors in Composing Personal Statements _ The following lists some of the more common errors in most compositions: In appropriate use of punctuations such as excessive commas, and incorrect placement of apostrophes and quotation marks, colons, and semi_colons. When in doubt, consult a basic style guide to check your usage. _ Contractions. Contractions dramatically reduce the formality of your composition. Use the more formal "cannot," "would not," or "should not," instead of "can't," "won't," or "shouldn't." Slang and common colloquial words and expressions. Words and phrases like "a lot," "ain't," "got," "big," "for sure," "gonna," "sort of," "kinda," and the like should never be used. Clichés. These make your writing informal and unintentionally funny. However, when employed correctly, they can actually help add variety to your essay. Repetitive use of words such as ("likewise," "thus," and the like). Keep a thesaurus handy so that you can vary your language. However, do not use "big" words just to impress the reader. Vagueness. This may lead to open interpretation that does not express your ideas as well as more precise words would. "A few" or "enough" can often be replaced by a word that is more precise. Phrases such as these will only leave the reader confused. Make your claims clearer and justified. Steps to Follow to Ensure the Further Improvement of a PS
Planning Part A _ Flesh out the information you can provide including your experience/motivations. Writing prompts will give you cues for the content when you hit the writing stage. Here are some questions that you could use to formulate information: _ Who do I really think I am? Who do others think I am? (include characteristics and skills e.g. loyal, hardworking, born leader, attention to detail)_ What has caused changes to who I am over the years? How have I grown as a person and what caused these changes or growth? How did these experiences affect me? What makes me unique? This is an extremely hard question to ask ourselves without filling in cliché's. This is a great time for honesty and self reflection to kick in. You may in reality be like a lot of other people; however, no two people experience the same thing in the same way with the same results. Here is one of the great answers I have enjoyed in the past "Yes, I am unique, just like everybody else." add a BUT on to that and I am sure it will get you thinking. If you're really stuck it is time to do the trusted colleagues, friends and family survey _ you might be surprised with what comes up.