9. Plagiarize your statement, or submit content you paid someone to write _ Most grad and professional school applicants have not read hundreds of personal statements and are unaware of how unique each person's writing style is. It really doesn't take much for admissions committees to note that the language and style of a candidate's personal statement is different from the writing found in other parts of the applications. There are also a few dozen so_called sample personal statements on the internet that are frequently copied and submitted as the applicant's own essay. Committees are well aware of this! You can also hire someone to write a personal statement for you. It may sound great to you, but you should realize that such essays are based on a template that they just customize for you, using the same paragraph organization and phrases. It's a smart move to get an expert to help you revise and polish your words into a persuasive statement. It's risky to plagiarize a statement from the internet, or hire someone to write the whole statement for you.
Engage the Reader from the Start. When it comes to your application, all the information you submit is already set in stone__ except the personal statement. This is your chance to get your program's attention, especially if you feel that your MCAT scores or GPA may be lacking. You want your reader to be interested from the very start of the essay. Admission committee members are often short on time and may be more likely to gloss over your essay if it has a generic, flat, or boring beginning. One way to begin an essay is with a personal vignette__ a quick snapshot of a moment in your life that relates to your decision to apply to medical school. Consider the following two opening statements: a) I've always known that I want to be a doctor. Since my first encounter with death, I've recognized that it is my responsibility to help people. b) The lights flashed, and the sirens wailed as I watched the ambulances cart my next_door neighbor to the hospital. I was ten years old, and it was my first encounter with death. Do you see how the second example engages the reader's attention right away? It is a snapshot rather than a factual statement, which immediately catches the reader's interest. Personal vignettes are not the only way to start your essay, but they are easy to shape into engaging opening statements.