The personal statement is also known as the statement of purpose or the classic essay type that is used by students to get enrolled in a college or university. Since we are dealing with the latter type, it is essential to understand that a personal statement for a university must implement more than information based on your academic merits alone. The secret trick in how to write a personal statement for university is connecting who you are with the main objectives and beliefs of the chosen university to prove and explain why you are the best fit for the academic community. You have to show what you can bring to the course and how it will help you to achieve your professional and personal objectives.
Speaking of the length of a personal statement, the majority of Canadian universities implement British academic standards. It means that you will face a limit of up to 4,000 characters. In practice, it will result in a personal statement of 500-1000 words, considering that you are implementing an A4 paper.
However, if you are planning to study Sociology, Psychology, or Literature, your personal statement can be up to 2-3 pages in length (double-spaced). If you take a look at the enrollment requirements for a university personal statement writing, you are most likely to find the word limit that is already set by the university. The most important is to avoid getting beyond the final number of words as it’s a common academic standards ethic.
What to Include in a Personal Statement: Structure Matters
Contrary to the numerous templates that you may find online as you seek personal statement editing services or brainstorm various ideas, there’s no universal way to structure your enrollment letter. We suggest taking time and explore these elements as you write by following this order:
- Talk about the primary reasons why you are choosing the university and the course.
- Discuss your current studies (if relevant) and discuss how your academic or personal experience relates to your choice.
- Talk about past experiences that have motivated you to make your choice.
- Talk about your interests and experiences by stating how getting enrolled will help you.
- Discuss your future plans after graduation. It can be anything that you plan to do.
- Include the general summary by stating why you are the right choice for the admission committee. You should provide only those things that you can prove. Do not mention anything that is hard to achieve or support by the actual evidence!
If there are any skills or special experiences that relate to the course, it is exactly what you must include in personal statement writing by offering examples and the facts (if you can provide them). As you structure your personal statement, you may start with an introduction that talks about your life or tell a story, yet it has become quite generic as of late, which is why we recommend checking this part twice for originality as you have to connect it with the final sentences to further support your point.
How to Write a Personal Statement
Learning how to write a personal statement for a university in Canada, you must start with an outline or a draft because if you want to make it successful and meaningful, it does take time. You have to start with a draft first and make sure that you edit and proofread it twice as you add ideas and play with the order of sentences. Start by exploring your motivation and asking yourself why you really want to study at a particular university. Talk about why some subject is important to you or why a particular field of science interests you.
Next, your academic ability and personal character potential matter as well! Talk about what skills you already have and how the chosen course will help you to improve your knowledge and make you a skilled professional in a particular field. Talk about the research you have done and the specifics of the chosen curriculum.
Talk about your personal experience in the field and mention the workshops and seminars you have attended, based on your course. You can talk about your prior experience and studies. Mention any volunteering experiences or the hobbies that you have that have helped you to make your choice. If scouting has helped you to develop leadership and teamwork skills, mention it as well! Finally, discuss the ways how the university's specifics fit your vision and why you are the best fit for the course! The final part is where you can let your emotions flow freely!
Personal Statement Example
Although you may have seen many personal statements for university, it's always good when you have an actual example to provide you with an idea to start with. Here is a sample of the personal statement dealing with ER Nursing of an exchange student in Canada:
Personal Statement Writing Tips
Writing a good personal statement for university is barely possible without following this checklist of Do's and Dont's that you must consider as you brainstorm the ideas and finally start writing:
- Start by exploring the university's website first, so you mention various crucial points related to your future studies. Show that you understand the subject and the enrollment requirements well.
- Talk to your family and friends as you discuss your personal and professional experiences. It will help you to remember something you may have forgotten.
- Don’t include bullet points or any lists in your personal statement. Do not make a list of your academic merits or the countries you have visited. It should be only 1-2 vital points that are related.
- If you mention a workshop you have attended, provide some evidence. Likewise, when you talk about some skills, explain them with a clear example or talk about how you have implemented them in practice.
- Do not start your personal statement with something like "I have always dreamt of becoming a nurse". It's a cliche that must be avoided.
- If you are applying for more than one discipline, make sure that there's a healthy balance between disciplines and subjects that will be learned.
- Do not use any quotes unless absolutely necessary and double-check your writing. Plagiarism is a serious issue that must be avoided!
- Always edit and proofread your writing aloud. You can ask friends to listen as they may provide helpful suggestions and/or corrections in terms of readability.
Your Personal Statement Must Be Unique!
This aspect is often ignored by future students as they tend to copy information from the university website and include it in their understanding of the course with no changes. It makes it less unique and leads to plagiarism risks even if it’s not intentional. In truth, you do not have to write in a perfect way because no person can achieve that and it’s not the point after all! Keep things natural and follow your ideas by making an outline first and taking notes!
It’s only natural to try and include everything you can to advertise yourself just like they do on TV. It’s important to avoid overdoing it by including more than you should! You have to express yourself the best way you can and always stay honest about your strengths and weaknesses as you tell about your experience and the reasons why you have chosen a particular university.
Of course, there may be certain aspects that place you in a different category because of the situation in the family or the special skills that you possess. Writing a personal statement should include these elements as well as it will help you to stand out. If you are unsure about how to develop your thoughts or need an expert to check if it sounds good, consider our personal statement writing service. Our specialists are always happy to assist you and provide you with their input as they check your ideas and help you to express them in writing!