Starting A Personal Statement With A Question

My family has been an important source of support in all of the decisions I have made, and Zoroastrianism’s three basic tenets—good words, good deeds, and good thoughts—have been my guiding principles in life.”Although the question asks the applicant to describe his influences, he need not restate that line.

Moreover, he can delay explaining the context of his upbringing.

This is unnecessary and more than likely to bore your reader right out of the gate.

You should be able to demonstrate your reasons without relying on such a bland summary sentence.

If, on the other hand, you are tempted to use the first sentence to explain context, you should respect the reader’s intelligence enough to save that context for later, once you have grabbed the reader’s attention.

Consider the following example, taken from this essay:“Perhaps the most important influence that has shaped the person I am today is my upbringing in a traditional family-oriented Persian and Zoroastrian culture.With the 2015-16 college admissions season officially underway, many rising high school seniors are beginning to tackle one of the most critical, confusing, and stressful parts of the college application: The personal statement.The personal statement, traditionally the main Common Application essay, is the application component in which students have the most control and the best opportunity to let the university get to know a little more about them.See below for a list of approaches to your graduate school essay introduction.Some people will start with a compelling experience but will insist on prefacing that experience with a very generic statement such as: “From the first time I looked through a microscope, I knew that science was my calling.” Often, the reason people will open with such a statement is that they feel compelled to restate the question in some way.The remainder of the essay does not purport to solve the problem, but rather to demonstrate her in-depth understanding of it and the level of her commitment to her cause.Instead of dealing with external issues, you can also discuss personal difficulties and how you have struggled through them.The same warnings apply here that we enumerated for humor in the Tone section.Try to be subtly and creatively clever rather than outrageous.Many students make the mistake of over-explaining what the rest of the essay will be about in the introduction, when really this can be developed gradually throughout the essay.Instead, you should get straight to the point, and not waste space with introductory sentences that will be covered in the body of the essay.

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