Personal Statement Essay

Personal Statement Essay
Ready or not, the time is approaching for students to complete their college entrance applications.
One of the primary parts of many applications is the personal statement.
In order to help with this sometimes-difficult process, everyone will write and revise his or her
college entrance essay as a requirement in this class. Even if you are not planning to attend college
or applying to a college that does not require an essay, you still will be required to write a narrative
essay. You may find that a scholarship for which you are applying will need an essay—this one
will come in handy!
On the reverse of this handout, you will find the current University of California prompt as well as
the current Common Application prompt. If you are applying to a school which requires a
DIFFERENT prompt, please bring a copy to your teacher.
No matter which prompt you choose, your response should be around 500 words in length.
Choose your prompt: Due ________
Points Possible: _______________
_____I am applying to the University of California.
See reverse. Write both essays but choose one to submit for a grade.
_____I am applying to a school which requires the Common Application prompt.
See reverse.
_____I am applying to a school which requires a different prompt.
Please submit a copy of the prompt.
_____ I am applying to a college which does not require an essay.
Choose one of the UC prompts.
_____ I am not applying to college at this time.
Choose one of the UC prompts.
Write your first draft: Due _______
Points possible: _____________
 Complete the first draft of your essay (typed, MLA format).
 When you submit your essay as part of your application, be sure to follow very carefully the specific
directions of your chosen prompt. Failure to do so could disqualify your application.
 First drafts will be read and given peer feedback during class.
 You may choose to submit your first draft to Mrs. Malaspino for feedback as well.
 After you receive your first draft back, make the appropriate changes in your final draft.
OPTIONAL: Consult with your teacher.
Points possible: 10 BONUS
 Make an appointment with your teacher during PAWS, during lunch, or before/after school.
 Bring your draft-in-progress for feedback and guidance from your teacher.
Final Draft: Due _________________ by no later than 3:00 p.m.
All final drafts must be submitted personally to your Senior English teacher in hard copy form.
No e-mails or shared google docs.
Points possible: ______________
 Turn in your essay packet (prompt, first draft, final draft).
 For those of you actually using the essay for your college applications, I will get them back to you with
my comments in plenty of time to meet your application deadline.
University of California Personal Statement (From the UC Application Website)
Your personal statement—consisting of responses to two prompts—is your chance to tell us who you are and what’s
important to you. Think of it as your opportunity to introduce yourself to the people reading your application. Be open,
be honest, be real. What you tell us in your personal statement gives readers the context to better understand the rest of
the information you’ve provided in your application.
A few tips: Read each prompt carefully and be sure to respond to all parts. Use specific, concrete examples to support
the points you want to make. Finally, relax. This is one of the many pieces of information we consider in reviewing
your application; an admission decision will not be based on your personal statement alone.
 Respond to both questions, using a maximum of 1000 words total.
 You may allocate the word count as you wish. If you choose to respond to one prompt at greater length, we
suggest your shorter answer be no less than 250 words.
 Stay within the word limit as closely as you can.
Prompt #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.
Prompt #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?
Common Application Personal Statement (Updated for 2015):
Instructions and tips:
 You must submit only one essay, and it must be no more than 650 words.
 Note that there is actually also a minimum word limit: 250 words.
 Choose the essay prompt that best allows you to tell the application readers something about you that they won’t
get from your high transcripts and test scores.
Topics from which to choose:
Some students have a background , identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful that they believe their
application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you
experiences failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you
make the same decision again?
Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research
query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to
you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from
childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.