Personal Statement Writing
If you’re reading this, you already know how important the personal statement is in gaining acceptance to graduate, medical, and law schools. A personal statement must be compelling, yet it is a notoriously difficult document to write.
The personal statement or statement of purpose is only one part of the application process, but it is a critical part that deserves time and careful attention if you want to increase your chances of getting an acceptance letter from your top choice school. It very well can give you an edge over other applicants.
As a person who worked at Duke University’s nationally recognized writing program as a writing consultant for more than six years, I’ve coached applicants on personal statements for a wide variety of programs and schools. I have also taught university-wide workshops on writing application essays for graduate schools (primarily Master and PhD programs) and professional schools (primarily law and medical schools).
Applicants who have worked with me have earned acceptance at a variety of universities and programs. A sampling of these include Harvard Law, Oxford University, Vanderbilt University, University of California–Berkeley, and University of California–San Diego School of Medicine.
Because our coaching and editing work is remote, I can work with someone in Houston, Miami, San Francisco, or Charlotte just as easily as I can locally in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill. Contact me today to learn more about personal statement coaching.
Personal Statement Coaching and Editing: The Process
Since starting my own business, I have continued to work with highly motivated applicants who need guidance on how best to present themselves in their personal statement. My coaching and editing process is highly collaborative. I view our work together as a partnership, where I guide you and help you communicate your message persuasively.
Here’s how we’ll work together: First, you’ll share your existing draft. If you don’t have a draft, we can dedicate our first session to brainstorming your content. Experience has taught me that the first session must be synchronous. In this session, we sometimes discover that you need to overhaul your draft. After the first session, you’ll make revisions based on our discussion.
From there, we’ll have synchronous or asynchronous sessions based on your preference and the state of your draft. I am happy to advise you on what I think will be the most effective use of your time and resources. I can also help tailor your personal statement for each school and program you’re applying to. Typically, I provide higher-level developmental editing and coaching, as well as line edits and final proofreading.
Editing for Word Count
Each program often asks for the same information but has different requirements. If you need help editing for word count, I can guide you in this process. If reducing your 1,000-word essay to 500 words overwhelms you, I can help.
Graduate and Professional School Application Supplemental Essays
My clients often ask me to review other parts of their graduate or professional school applications, which I’m happy to do. If you invest time and money into perfecting your personal statement, it can be a liability if you don’t put similar effort into other parts of your application. I have, unfortunately, seen some applications where the main essay was outstanding, but supplemental essay responses were filled with unclear sentences and typos. This is not a risk I recommend taking.
For supplemental essay questions, we can work together in a similar manner as the personal statement. These are often shorter essays, and do not require the same back and forth. It’s not uncommon to work on multiple supplemental essays in a single session.
We can also work on tailoring your statement for multiple schools in a single, hour-long session, and I can also provide feedback on your resume or CV.
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