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Personal Statement

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JMD, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. JMD

    JMD Senior Member
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    How did you open your personal statement? Once I get writing I have no problem, but I am having trouble coming up with that perfect opening sentence/paragraph. What worked for all you other SDNers? What kind of approach did you take?
     
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  3. Street Philosopher

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    Start with...

    MCAT BOOYAH!

    Sure to get anyone's attention.
     
  4. Street Philosopher

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Street Philosopher:
    <strong>Start with...

    MCAT BOOYAH!

    Sure to get anyone's attention.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">UPDATE:

    Usually what works is to start with a story... like a particular scene of a story. For example:

    I was walking home when I got mugged. Hey marthafocker give me my money back, I said. He proceeded to beat the living **** out of me. From that day on I knew I wanted to be a doctor.

    Or something like that.
     
  5. Epi

    Epi Fuzzy Tiger
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    You can try to think of what you want to write in your opening paragraph first, then try and write out many differnt opening sentences. then pick the one that you like the best, or show other people and get their opinions on which one is the best.
     
  6. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    what are you going to write about?

    make it a visual start.
     
  7. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    i started mine with a 1 sentence paragraph to pull them in.
     
  8. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    feel free to PM me with what you have written, if you want an opinion on how it looks. :)
     
  9. JMD

    JMD Senior Member
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    Street philosopher, do you mind if I use the scenario that you posted.

    Oldman, thanks for offering to help. I will probably pm you tomorrow, after I have pulled all my hair out trying to come up with something tonight.
     
  10. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    it's good that you are already working on it. i started mine in may and it took 2 months to finish. i was fine tuning it forever.
     
  11. jofrbr76

    jofrbr76 Senior Member
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    i couldn't get mine started at first either. What i did was to just start writing. That's the hardest part. Just type away and revise it later. It might take a few attempts to get a good opener, but you can usually cut it down and find a decent one.

    Hope this helps, it's what a prof told me and it works.

    Joe
     
  12. Street Philosopher

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by jm1021:
    <strong>Street philosopher, do you mind if I use the scenario that you posted.

    Oldman, thanks for offering to help. I will probably pm you tomorrow, after I have pulled all my hair out trying to come up with something tonight.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">If that happened to you, then go for it!
     
  13. Drako

    Drako Senior Member
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    I am fortunate in the respect that I have had incredible experiences at my volunteer positions. The beginning of my personal statement begins with a visual image/tense dilemma that, if you are to know the whole story, actually happens mid way through my story. It is what would be called a "hook," that is used to draw in the total attention of the reader(s). It was one paragraph consisting of three sentences that described the circumstance I found myself in. Hope this helps.
     
  14. Mr. H

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    I just finished the rough draft of mine, and the admissions' committee guy who looked it over liked it! Yipee!1 I started mine with a past experience in high school that I did not know would be something I am going to become. The first paragraph doesn't have much to do with the body until the end, where I tie my experiences with what happened so long ago.
     
  15. Doctora Foxy

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    On the SDN main page, there is an essay workshop link. I have been reading it, and it is pretty helpful. They have plenty of sample personal statements that could give you a good idea of where to begin. (I love endorsing SDN <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> ==while you're at it, click the ad banner above and donate!).
     
  16. Resident Alien

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    mine was just an autobiography. worked. :)
     
  17. Acro Yali

    Acro Yali Senior Member
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    The personal statement bugged me for about 1 months when I was applying. I know you must have heard that the first sentence needs to be "catchy". What I did was that I opened in the middle of a "scene" which I was describing. Start out with an action. Don't start out by describe something...things like "My first day of volunteering at such and such hospital when a man was sent into the ER with a broken leg". Instead, say something exciting (an action) like... "the patient was rushed in to the ER with a broken leg while I was prepping the makeshift bed." An action sentence is more interesting than a descriptive sentence. Use this strategy through out your essay.

    And don't just write a list of things...find something significant abou those events...everyone is going to have volunteered/done research/good grades... you need to set yourself apart by pointing out what was unique about your experience that makes you more qualified. Example...instead of saying I did such and such research and published (something already on the CV), say something like "In one of my research experiences, I designed an experiment that was on XXX, ran it, and found out this and that..." People read statements all the time...you need to give them something to remember you by.
     

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