Personal Statement 101: Getting Started

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After you've taken some time to brainstorm what content you want to include in your personal statement, it's time to actually start writing!  There's no denying this can be difficult.  My advice is to just start writing.  You can always go back and edit your essay later, but just get some words down on paper.  

It's okay if you don't initially write your thoughts out in the order you'll use them in your essay, but take the subjects that you brainstormed and spend some time writing about them.  Try to avoid lists, but describe your experience or story.  Expand on what you've learned through that example, and how it will impact you as a PA student or as a future PA.  

Once you have some rough thoughts on paper, try to put them in order.  It's important that your essay has a good flow, and so think about the order of your story.  How did you come to the decision of becoming a PA? If your essay is choppy or out of order, it will be confusing to your reader, and you will risk losing your reader.  Usually, your most interesting or meaningful story will be your best bet for an introduction.  

Try to make sure there are no unanswered questions.  Even if you aren't able to go into as much detail as you would like to due to the 5,000 character limit, keep in mind that you may be able to explain further in supplemental essays or during an interview.  If your essay makes questions come up, that might also make your reader lose interest.  

So here's your challenge - turn off your phone, set a timer for 30 minutes, sit down and write one full page about why you want to be a PA!  Just let your words pour out, and see where it takes you.