Writing a personal statement for a scholarship or a graduate program might be a nightmare, at least for some people. Do you know what to include in a good personal statement? Here are some tips from the University of York.

DOs

These are what you should include in your personal statement:

  1. The reasons why you would like to take the programme and what you want to get out of the MA. Try and be more specific than ‘to teach’ or ‘to do a PhD’
  2. Why you would like to take the Programme offered by this university.
  3. What option modules you might be interested in
  4. What topics you might be interested in for writing your dissertation (if you already have an idea) [If you are applying for a graduate degree]
  5. What prior work/study experience you have relevant to the programme

DON’Ts

These are what you should NOT include in your personal statement:

  1. Irrelevant biographical detail (we do not need to know about your childhood or what your parents do)
  2. Anecdotes and ‘sayings’; stick to the facts
  3. You must not copy phrases from generic templates from the internet (e.g.. ‘it has been my dream since childhood…’); write the personal statement in your own words. This is really important because you will need this skill when writing your assignments
  4. Do not include more than one page; you may be asked to resubmit your personal statement if a significant portion is irrelevant

Source: University of York

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