A while ago, I was asked to take a critical look at a personal statement, which spanned the student's life from age two to eighteen. The personal statement made gripping reading but was far too long and the student had not been selective enough in the abundance of material she choose from. The word count ran to 1귔 words _ far too long for a personal statement. The task of reducing your personal statement can be enthusiastically undertaken, but the problem is that you need to look at your original brainstormed ideas to organise your material for the selection process. The only criterion you need to apply at this stage is this incident of sufficient interest to the admission officer.
The body _ To compose the body, go back to your theme and identify the major ideas that could support that theme (which has now become your main thesis statement). Each point should be supported by specific evidence, examples, or arguments. Quantify your achievements and use clear, positive language. Write about unique personal information because this is what the evaluations committee wants to read. Continue brainstorming. Write the topic sentence for your first body paragraph. Make sure it provides a focus for your paragraph and is not overly general. Do the same for the other body paragraphs. To generate interest, try searching for examples related to the literature (direct quotes, paraphrasing, etc.) that you can use in your first body paragraph. Use your outline as guide and present the information in full sentences that flow logically from one to the next. After writing down all your points, arrange these points such that they smoothly follow one section after another. Next, write your concluding statements for each paragraph. Note that it should clearly state the point you are trying to make and lead it into your next body paragraph. Use concrete examples from your life experiences to support your theme and distinguish yourself from other applicants.