Composing an Effective PS _ Now that we have provided an introduction of a PS's characteristics as well as a rundown of its basic components, let us turn our attention to the most important step in the process_composing the PS itself. It would be unwise if you started writing without a clear direction or goal. Personal Statements can vary in word count and style. However, what they have in common is they comprise an attempt to explain your point of view. They should therefore be skillfully written in the sense that the information they present is clear and informative. To achieve this end, a process of preparing, drafting, and polishing needs to be followed. Preparing and planning your essay
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.