How long should my story be in my personal statement?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Gavanshir, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Gavanshir

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    79
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Hi, quick question,

    I'm starting my PS with a story, and I develop it to a point that it's quite long (3000 characters/660 words). I know that the preferred format is to only have a brief story or anecdote in the first paragraph but do you think there is anything wrong with this long of a story given that many of my motivations come across through the story line?

    I will fill the rest of the essay by tying in the story with my personal experiences.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Your PS should be answering two questions, "Why medicine and how have my personal experiences shaped this desire?" and "How have my experiences demonstrated my suitability for medicine?"

    Talking about motivation for 3/5s of the essay is a bit unbalanced in my opinion. The second question is just as important.
     
  4. fireflygirl

    fireflygirl The Ultimate Blindian

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    889
    Likes Received:
    22
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think paradocs gave you some good advice. Think about both those questions as you write your PS, but for now, you may want to ignore the character limit. My general approach is to get everything down that I think is important and then go back and physically look at everything that is there and see where you can tighten things a bit. Sometimes you don't realise while you're writing, how many words you use to describe something that may not need that much attention.
     
  5. Gavanshir

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    79
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Thanks for your advice, and I certainly will take them into consideration, but my main question here really is whether it is ok to have a story that takes up 2/3 of the PS since most of the essays that I've read and that have used the story telling approach, only take up the first small paragraph of the essay.
     
  6. paradocs we are

    paradocs we are In love with you

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Medical Student
    If you can still successfully answer those two questions I stated above in your PS, then no one can tell you not to take up 2/3rds of the PS on a story. However, I'm inclined to think that it will be very difficult to answer both questions sufficiently if you tell too long of a story. Also, stories in my opinion can get boring real quick.
     
  7. Orbo

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,649
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    For what its worth, my entire PS was a story and I've since been accepted to med schools. Hard to say if it was a positive or negative, but having read over it a year later, I still wouldn't have changed a word of it.
     
  8. tdsbird2

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    it should be 5300 characters...in my opinion
     
  9. Character

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,467
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    enough so that the entire ps in engaging. dont draw it out..the reader would lose interest.
     

Share This Page