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.
Another problem often discovered at this stage is the presence of too many short sentences and paragraphs that seem choppy and abrupt. As a solution, try to develop these into longer, more graceful sentences. Formal writing generally utilizes longer sentences, so try using more compound and complex sentences. Using long sentences add flavor and variety to your writing, not to mention the fact that it also showcases your proficiency with words. You can also consider the word_count limit at this time and begin omitting unnecessary details that may only bog down your essay and make it unfocused. How can information be "condensed" while keeping the essence and maintaining the relevance of the essay? You can remove adverbs and excessive modifiers, as well as transform detailed sections to general statements.