Shahbaz Shaikh works on getting
into college at the Career Center
Tawab Fakhri/Courier Photo
For those who missed the after school University of California workshop, here is a summary of the meeting that was conducted by Theresa Vidaurri, an Early Academic Outreach Program representative. A personal statement is used to give context to a studentĒs life as well as depth to the studentĒs profile. It is your chance to reveal information that your test scores and grades cannot show statement readers. The UC Personal Statement is not about being flowery or excessively wordy because that becomes a waste of words. Do not attempt to be funny or clever, but do be sincere and use your words to advance your arguments.
Personal Statement #1: Describe the world you come from- for example, your family, community or school- and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
Critical Questions for Prompt #1:
—What about my community, family, or school has influenced me (negatively or positively)?
—Dreams and aspirations?
—How has my background influenced those dreams and aspirations?
Tips from Theresa Vidaurri:
Readers do not want to know about your world, but rather you inside of the word and what youĒve done because of your experiences. Provide concrete examples and show how those examples speak about you as an idividual.
Personal Statement #2: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are.
Critical Questions for Prompt #2:
—What am I proud of achieving?
—What specific examples are there than can highlight that achievement?
—What made me take on this challenge?
—What was challenging about it?
—How was it overcome?
—How did I grow as a result?
—What does this experience say about me?
Tips from Theresa Vidaurri:
Be sure to stay clear and concise when answering this prompt, there is no reason to fill in the page with flowery words or vivid descriptions. This is not the time to tell a story, it is a time to tell the details that prove your point.
Things to remember for your statements overall:
—Have a thesis that directly answers the questions at hand. It serves as a roadmap to the whole paper and tells the reader how you interpreted the topic.
—Remember to answer all parts of the question and to talk about yourself, not about other people. Listing accomplishments is not the point of a personal statement, pick one and use specifics to support your thesis. Be straightforward and do not attempt to be funny and do not use quotations.
—One draft is not enough; get it edited by people who do not know you well to get the best feedback.