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Personal Statement Assignment

Write a “personal statement” that would be appropriate as part of an application to graduate school, for law school, for admission to a particular program (like the College of Education at EMU), for a scholarship, etc.  Your personal statement should be based on a real situation– see below. As a result, the audience, purpose, and length of the statement is going to vary a bit.

Write a memo to me that describes the specific audience and purpose of your personal statement. This is a document written directly to me where you explain your goals and challenges with the assignment. This memo should be about a page long. Use Google Docs for all stages of this assignment. If appropriate, you can attach a copy of the instructions for the personal statement you are writing.

Why I am assigning this project:

The personal statement is a common writing genre for students who are applying for scholarships, internships, degree programs, graduate school, law school, etc. It is also an opportunity for you to articulate your educational/professional goals to the rest of the class (both me and your classmates) in a short essay.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Your personal statement should be written as a response to a real world situation. This is an important part of the assignment since so much of  what you’ll write for a personal statement depends on the audience and purpose of the personal statement. If you are planning on writing/required to write a personal statement for some other purpose, use that for this assignment. If you have been thinking about applying to graduate school or some other opportunity that requires a personal statement, do a little research about the requirements for that specific personal statement. If you really can’t come up with a real world experience, let me know.
  • As part of your memo, include a link to and a description of the personal statement. This is important since all of you will be writing personal statements based on slightly different instructions, so that’s information that your classmates and I will need to have to understand your personal statement.
  • Be sure to keep in mind the strategies for writing an effective personal statement as described in our assigned reading.
  • Both the personal statement and the memo about the statement must be free of unacceptable errors and all of the deadlines must be met. Too many errors and/or lateness will hurt your grade.
3 Comments
  1. Ashleigh Swinehart permalink

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rMzY_XtZgTSPJX6btik2-hjLdMTEkmR-dxp4WtUOMzE/edit

    An important note when reading my personal statement: I am a Japanese and Culture major, not a teaching major, but an application to the JET Program was the closest topic I could relate to in terms of an application. Also, the link below includes what is required to apply to the program.

    http://www.us.emb-japan.go.jp/JET/application_documents.html
    (#7 Specifically)

    • Steve Krause permalink

      You’re getting about three or four steps ahead of the process here, Ashleigh.

      First, take a look at the calendar. We’re going to first talk about each others’ drafts for the personal statement in some peer review groups. I’ll set up the groups and give everyone some directions as to how that will work. That will start on Wednesday, September 17.

      Second, you’ll want to make some revisions and changes to your statement after the peer review process. After all, you will get some feedback from others on making it better then and you might get some different ideas after seeing what others wrote.

      And third, the final draft isn’t due to me until Friday, September 26. You will hand in your personal statement and your writer’s memo via the dropbox on emuonline. We’ll talk about how that will all work a little later.

  2. Ashleigh Swinehart permalink

    I apologize for getting ahead… I was kind of confused about how people were going to see my piece to review it. Sorry.

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