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Personal Statement Editing Tips

You’re slumped in your chair, staring at your computer screen and feeling – well, actually, a little accomplished. It looks like you’ve finally completed that persona statement you’ve been working on so diligently for the past few weeks! College, look out – you’ve got a new higher learner coming your way!

Wait a minute, though. Don’t count your chickens just yet. Sure, you’ve finally drafted up your personal statement, but that doesn’t mean it’s finished – not by a long shot. Before you even think about sending that statement in (a statement that will be critiqued by highly educated officers with far reaching standards), you need to edit your content. Whether it involves trimming down, bulking up, moving things around or fixing error, your personal statement likely needs an upgrade. To help you with editing your personal statement, here are some great tips to stick to:

Don’t be the only one that edits your statement. Editing on your own will not produce the same results as having someone else edit. At the very least, get input from an outside source on your statement – preferably a professor, teacher or other professional who knows what they’re talking about. They’ll help clarify confusing aspects of your statement that you may not have noticed yourself, while correcting for other, more miniscule errors.

Stay moderate about yourself. There are two pitfalls that students fall into when writing a personal statement: either they over-sell themselves, overstating all their great qualities and accomplishments; or, they under-sell, attempting to be humble and finally depreciating themselves so badly that not school would ever admit them. Don’t fall into either of these traps. Be equally honest about your strengths and weaknesses. Colleges love students that are insightful and accurate about themselves.

Make your statement unique. There are many ways to turn a run-of-the-mill statement into something exciting, unique, and even mind-blowing. It may be as simple as adding in a great leading hook – something that really grabs the reader’s attention and makes them desperate to keep reading. It may be a personal experience narrated by you, in order to emphasize your reasons for going to the college. Whatever it is, it should set your statement apart from the legions of other vying for the same college position.

Stay professional. Don’t use inappropriate, non-professional language; stick to a Times New Roman font; don’t alter the page layout. You want this personal statement to feel as professional, organized and composed as possible, so avoid and formatting faux pas.