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
8. Show your inferiority complex or your superiority complex _ Many applicants have trouble striking the balance between promoting themselves and not coming off as arrogant in their personal statement. A personal statement is a marketing document and has to showcase your strengths. Yet many applicants err on the side of humility, such as using self_deprecating language; or describing weaknesses and previous failings without explaining how they've worked to turn those weaknesses into strengths. Admissions committees do not admit candidates out of pity! Other applicants err on the side of conceit, giving the impression that they don't really need any advanced training because they know so much about the field and have so much experience. They fail to describe what they expect to gain from a specialized course of education. You want to walk the line between these extremes. Assert that you are very well_qualified to begin this course of study, and that you have the preparation, motivation, maturity and focus they seek. Then stress your planned specialization, what you will gain from attending their program, and how you need the training they offer to succeed as a professional.