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Your personal statement plays a critical role in showing the admissions committee who you are and how you’d fit into that community. Below, he offers his top four tips for crafting a personal statement that stands out. Dargan: Tip #1: Tell us what or who you are currently reading or have read in the past.How has your reading influenced what you are attempting to, or what you want to, write? One comes to an MFA program seeking a literary community, and one of the clearest ways of assessing what kind of literary community member an applicant will be is to get a sense of how and why she or he reads.
The opportunities are wide open, but one needs to be proactive about curating an MFA experience that will lead to opportunities to satisfy her or his own interests (as well as earning a living to support one’s writing).
Even if your plans are not firm, throwing out some ideas will help us develop a sense of how we can guide you and allow us to begin considering you for certain opportunities. Avoid telling us about how you’ve wanted to be a novelist since you were three years old (which many applicants actually do).
Unless there is certain terminology needed in relation to the course you’re applying for, put the thesaurus down and keep the big words to a minimum.
You only have a certain amount of space and you want to make every word count.
If you get an interview, they will more than likely ask you questions about things in your personal statement. To be different, try using words such as eager, keen, excited or enthusiastic.
If you’d made something up it will be glaringly obvious to the interviewer. You may think what you’ve done in your life/school is boring. Sophie: Always keep your personal statement simple.
Don’t worry if you have not read “the classics.” We aren’t interested in assembling a group of budding writers who have all read the same canon.
We want to know what sincerely inspires and challenges you as a unique voice.
Make sure you save it regularly, as it times out after 35 minutes of inactivity.
Here are some useful documents to get you started: This tool is designed to help you think about what to include in your personal statement, and how to structure it.