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.
Tension is one of the second most important elements in writing, closely allied to suspense _ the "what happens next" ingredient. The problem for many students is to try to condense the personal statement into 600 words. Obviously, the admission officer knows you only have this limited space, but nonetheless does judge you on the four minutes it takes to read your personal statement, if your personal statement includes tension and suspense _ it is sure to be a winner. The secret to a good personal statement is not to give away too much to quickly, keep us guessing, hanging onto every word, thus building up tension and suspense. In order for there to be tension in your personal statement, there must be (or have been) something important at stake. Perhaps this was your family life or what you believe is your future. Perhaps the reason why you chose the course you wish to study. Whatever it is, by not divulging the outcome too soon, you will maintain the reader's interest for that much longer. The following personal statement starts with a powerful suspense filling introduction: