Step three: structure your personal statement

It is important to structure your statement so that it reads well. Write your personal statement as a piece of continuous prose, like an essay. Don't use bullet points. 

You might want to use the following structure: 

  • Introduction 
    • Your introduction should be short and explain why you are excited to study your chosen course. 
    • The strongest introductions often have an academic focus, so think about the background reading you have done. 
    • Avoid phrases like ‘I have always’ or ‘from a young age’ or anything similar. Focus on a particular thing that interests you about your chosen field. 
    • Top tip: if you’re struggling, leave your introduction until the end. Once you have written the main body of your personal statement, it will be clear what your strongest motivations for applying are. You can then integrate this into your introduction. 
  • Main Body 
    • The main body of your personal statement should comprise examples that demonstrate your preparedness for your chosen course. 
    • Start by choosing 3 or 4 examples. Refer back to Step One for an idea of what examples you might include here. Try to have at least one example that focuses on academic reading related to your course. 
    • Avoid simply listing skills or qualities and explain your skills and experiences in detail. When writing about skills or qualities, make sure you show that they are relevant for your future studies. 
    • Top tip: think academically. When choosing your examples, imagine you are an admissions tutor: are you showing your subject knowledge through detailed examples? Are you showcasing the skills you need to succeed on your chosen course? 
  • Conclusion 
    • Your conclusion should summarise the key points of your statement and remind the admissions tutor of your strengths. 
    • This is also a good opportunity to write about your plans for the future. How does the course you’re studying fit into your bigger picture? 

Next step: check your personal statement.