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
How to write a medical school personal statement: Motive _ Third is having a compelling motive. It's the underpinning of the whole essay. Unless you speak to a compelling motive, the default result from the reader's point of view is this student is writing a general medical school essay, but doesn't really know why. You've got to be willing to flaunt the motivation and be really willing to shout at the top of your lungs standing on a chair in the middle of a crowded auditorium. Be THAT committed to what you have to say. All of this sounds incredibly unrealistic and incredibly overdone, but once you put these concepts down on paper, the very act of reading mutes so much of the impact of language, that you've got to be willing to trust that you can be very committed and very over the top in how you articulate, and it will still carry off.