How to Write a Personal Experience


How to Write a Personal Experience Essay

Your personal experiences are ironic, poignant, ordinary in a remarkable way, funny in an excruciating way and filled with bizarre "opportunities for growth." What you understand as a result of them touches a deep universal core. You have something to say. With a few structural guidelines, you'll be on your way to shaping rich essays based on the life you've lived, seen and felt.

Things you may need


? Paper

? Your natural empathy, memory and wit

? Willingness to share the personal experiences and insights of your life ?

Instructions 1. Pick your subject. You can write about your first job, outings with friends or family, a defining achievement at school, a meal you once cooked or something that entirely embarrassed you. The arcane details of your experience may be filled with comedy or wisdom. Pick a subject and write about it in the first person.

2. Name the pretext for writing this particular essay at this specific time, and know how you want to approach the subject. Your angle could be based on the time of year, a news event or a triggered memory.

3. Determine your emotional attitude about your subject. The tone of your essay could be ironic, funny, wistful, sad or argumentative.

4. Tell a story. An effective way to write an essay is to enclose it in an anecdote. Write actual scenes. Set up the essay with the beginning of a story. When you reach a point of final insight at the end of the essay, you can conclude the piece with the outcome of the original story.

5. Provide universal insight. Your deeply personal story should become everyone's story and strike a chord with anyone reading it.

Tips & Warnings

1. Start with images and ideas. It's fine if it takes a lot of drafts before you really understand what the piece is about.

2. Set a daily time for writing your essay. This regularity will help your unconscious creativity to kick in. Even just 10 minutes a day is enough to get started.

3. Tone is a fine line. Sarcasm can work if it's dignified. Best not to whine, complain, lecture or be smug. In personal experience essays, humility and humor help keep your readers on your side.

第二篇:How to write a personal statement (2) 20700字

How to write a personal statement (2)

Online applications using UCAS Apply

Now that UCAS are phasing out applications, the dynamics of the online form become more important. There are still little tricks to squeeze more words in, but take care using them, as using them will only clear you through the automatic preview – you can’t tell how it will appear to the admissions tutors.

Now that UCAS are phasing out applications, the dynamics of the online form become more important. There are still little tricks to squeeze more words in, but take care using them, as using them will only clear you through the automatic preview - you can't tell how it will appear to the admissions tutors.

Word, character and line limits

Firstly remember, there is no word limit - instead you're concentrating on a character limit (4000 characters including spaces) and a line limit

(47). Both of these must be satisfied to allow you to save your personal statement.

Checking you're within the character limit is easy, just use the “word count

Personal statement analysis

Examination of any quality newspaper will probably demonstrate that

more of the headlines address economic problems than any other topic. This is the first line of the personal statement, and so could be one of the most important things read by the university you apply to. I tried to use it to convey what subject I am taking with out sounding too full of myself - and also show I'm interested in the news.

The importance and relevance of economic related disciplines to the modern world have led me to want to pursue the study of the subject at a higher level.

Here I'm telling the reader that I think economics is a genuinely useful subject and that I would like to study it. I'm trying not to look like I'm selling myself too much by concentrating on the subject rather than myself.

I am particularly interested in the behaviour of firms and organisations from an economic point of view and I have based my A-level coursework in this field.

Here I move onto myself, I tell the reader one of my particular interests about the subject and more importantly what I did in relation to this interest. There's no point stating your interested in a subject and not saying either why or what you did about it.

During my study, I have come across many real life complexities and while attempting to explain these theories, I have developed a keen interest in analysing and understanding how the world of business is

influenced by economics.

This part is basically waffle and properly shouldn't be in the statement, its only purpose is to impress the examiner (it probably didn't work) and lead smoothly into the next paragraph.

I have created an economics revision website for A-level and GCSE students (). It is primarily intended to help younger students gain an understanding of core economic principles but has also helped me improve my own computer and presentational skills.

This is better, it says what I have done related to my subject, which wouldn't be examined or count for anything. I have also pointed out the reasons I did this and why I feel it helped me. Notice I included a URL - this can be a good idea because it gives the reader something else to look at, in my case it can show exactly how much dedication I put into creating my website and how good at it I am. I was not 100% sure it was a good idea though, there is not guidance about putting urls in personal statements and it may just seem pretentious to the reader.

I regularly read newspapers and economic publications to keep up to date with economic developments and I am able to use my mathematical and analytical skills to apply different economic theories to a range of real-life economic situations.

Again what I do to show I am interested in my subject and why. Also

a small part about my abilities to round off this part of the statement. I've really no idea how this part comes across to the reader.

Last year, I took part in an economics and business project called Young Enterprise in which I set up a small company and sold products to students at our school. I enjoyed the chance to put some of my business economic theory into practice and was able to enhance my management and communication skills. I also gained a distinction in the associated exam.

Here I talk about practical experience and what I feel I had gained from it. It tells the reader that I take part in group activities and practise group management and communication skills. It also shows that I can put the skills I have into practice by doing something like this.

To gain practical experience in the workplace, I worked for two weeks at a small software company specialising in financial software. I currently have a part time job and this has taught me much about teamwork, responsibility and time management in the workplace.

Again, discussing my work experience, I was what I did, why I did it and what I learned.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, swimming, sketching and solving puzzles and logic problems. I have redesigned and been responsible for the maintenance of my school's website ( Penultimately, instead of talking about my skills and interest in

economics, I talk about what I do in my spare time. here I elaborated a bit I don't really have much of an interest in sketching or solving puzzles and logic problems, but I do try a bit of both occasionally so thought it would be safe to put down. The main reason I put them was I though I needed some interests other than the standard reading and going out with friends. I decided not to put down my computer and web design skills because they hard been mentioned already, but did write about how I designed my schools website. I also wrote I maintained it, showing I have a position of responsibility.

I believe that I will gain a highly marketable set of skills from the study of economics at university. I have found economics to be a challenging and diverse discipline and I am interested in both macro and micro economics. It is this variation of perspective, combined with its real world importance, that makes economics an appealing subject to study at university.

Lastly I finished with a short sentence of what I thought I would get out of university. I would have put what I was going to do afterwards bout didn't really know. I rounded of my personal statement with my personal opinion of economics. Also with the first line the last line is probably quite an important part of the personal statement, so I finished with hopefully a statement of why economics was important to m, and why I wanted to study it.

Teacher advice on personal statements

The advice below is kindly used with permission from a sixth form tutor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Preliminary Comments

You may not be interviewed; the UCAS form may be the first and last word.

A word about sincerity, and the job we, as teachers, are involved with here. What you send is, by implication, endorsed and accepted by us. Your performance has to match what you say about yourself. In setting about saying it, you have a chance to examine your performance; and hopefully you will not compromise us by asking us to endorse what you know is not true.

You may, on the other hand, need extra help, e.g. in Oxbridge applications, Medicine; and it is our practice to provide back-up written support in such areas, in addition to our reference on the UCAS form. Details of the courses; arguing why you have chosen this (these) courses

Obviously, this causes problems, as there are 6 different courses; but try (where possible) - to make generally true comments about the type of courses you are applying for. At the interview itself, however - (if there is one) - you can score points by elaborating exactly what it is that you

like about that particular institution's course.

Management shadowing / other management experience / work experience

Obviously, at this stage, I am allowing for the fact that you have further things to add to your form, on account of not yet having done the above activities. At this stage, try to predict what you will learn from these things, even if ultimately you will want to adapt your draft to take new experiences into account more systematically.

A word about style

A pernicious type of language has crept in in which one develops a horrid air of self-congratulation ("I am very good at" etc.) It is our job, not yours, to say whether you have worked hard, been punctual or are very good. It is just awful to read, "I am a very keen student" or even, "I have taken my education seriously." Would you say if you hadn't? Which is not to say that all of you have: some of you have been lazy and under-achieving, on occasions - (Let's call a spade a spade). However, it's up to us to decide how much of that we can hide, and still keep our self-respect; or - (hopefully) - how much we can praise you for your attitudes and work over 6+ years. That is our job; that is what we are doing when we write a reference.

Cut pomposity

"All the way through my educational career..."

" In my long time at ****** Grammar School..."

(Even) "In my life with the school..."

Not just a few isolated examples; almost everyone writes something like this in their first draft. Just say, "At school,...." or "At St. John's School,..."

"During my period of work experience, I..." is another example of this pomposity. Just say, "In school work experience, I...".

Other awful airy-fairy phrases include: "Away from school," "I ventured abroad" - (i.e. I have visited...)- and "I have given due consideration to my next course of education."


The art of OTT! Please don't say, "I have vastly enjoyed ..... "this or that (French Grammar, Work Experience,..... you know, that sort of thing!) Just say you enjoyed it, and then go on to say what you learned from it.

"Numerous conferences" would have to be really quite a large number, when almost invariably you mean two or perhaps only one.

"I have read many, many horror novels" was another memorable offering, one year.


In short, grammar has been diabolical on occasions. "Outside of school" is not English. In this country, it is still normal to say "outside school." "Doing my studying" was another gem we once had. Look at

your English style, and ask yourself whether it is really necessary to revert to standards well below what your English teacher permitted, two years ago.

I'm, I'd, I've, etc., e.g. cut these out. They are for informal modes of communication. A Section 10 is not an informal mode of communication. It is formal English.

Show some expertise and detail

If you claim to know about Art, for example, you must prove it. I have seen many wholly-unconvincing attempts to show knowledge of Art, Travel, Architecture, Philosophy, Aeronautical Engineering, etc. On the other hand, it is impressive if you can show knowledge of wider cultural areas.

In the subject you are offering, you are not expected to be a complete expert yet, but you can convince the selector of some level of expertise, forethought and knowledge by careful thought, reading and discussion. What is an engineer? Make sure you know, before you say you want to be one.


It is possible to sound laughably amateurish in some areas, I'm afraid. One student grudgingly agreed that he did a little reading in his spare time (an English Literature student). Incidentally has it occurred to you that reading horror novels is not evidence that you should be studying

English Literature? Some people seem almost determined to "lead with their chin." Imagine the person reading this at the other end! Don't lead with weaknesses.

Don't play yourselves down

"Although only achieving a fairly mediocre standard,..."

"Although I don't really like Science all that much,..."

"On the whole, I get nowhere with such practical tasks..."

"I struggled at first,

"I'd have preferred a different work experience"

"I've at last managed to become independent"

"I've now started to show more commitment"

Then there is the approach of describing what you didn't like about aspects of your course. You must not find time for such things when you only have about 500 words to make an indelible mark on the reader of your Section 10?

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Superfluous detail

Dona??t tell them it's the Ritz Snooker Club that you attend. Who wants to know that, in Manchester? Which Scout Troop ditto; which

fencing company that you spent a week with on Work experience, ditto. Just say, "a local ..." On the other hand, it might be important if you feel that you went to a highly prestigious company, or one that is absolutely central to your hoped-for profession, e.g. in Civil Engineering, or Aero-engineering, etc etc etc. That is not superfluous.

Redundant phrases also look awful. If you say that you "... support Fulham FC, and regularly go to their matches at ..." it just looks as if you are trying to pad out your account. Don't even say you go to a lot of their home matches - (Don't use the phrase "a lot" at all!) - just stick to saying that you support them, and perhaps add a little about what you get out of that, or perhaps not.

Repeating other information on the form

Don't tell them which A Levels you are doing or what grades you got at GCSE; they can see that for themselves.

On the other hand, by all means RELATE the A Levels you are doing to the course that you want to do, in some detail if possible: i.e. in comments like "My mix of Arts and Scientific A Level subjects has ..." or"I have enjoyed focusing, during AS and A2 level study, on the particular technological subjects that I believe are my strengths, and will prepare me well for ..."

I enjoy socialising

If you sink to this level in your Section 10, I frankly don't think that

you deserve to go to University. They just are not interested in what types of pub/nightclub you go to. This would be a million miles from what you should be talking about, and suggests a lack of thought about good things that you could be saying about yourself and about your future hopes.

Ironically, though, they do want to know that you will be a convivial, interesting person to have in the department, for three, four, six years! Pulp literature

Don't spend several lines talking about your love of Terry Pratchett or Steven King! (Who wouldn't be able to put that in? You elucidating the ways in which you are supposed to be special, a little different; not the ways in which you do what about 15 million other British people do) Mention that you read newspapers, journals, if you can. If you are not reading these, then it is quite honestly time you started doing so. "I enjoy keeping informed about current affairs" and subsequently relating it to your subject, would be a good move.

Reasons for choice

You must offer convincing reasons for wanting to read a certain course.

Courses of study at school

Mention individual aspects of your A level work that have proved interesting or important, or that you have applied to the world outside,

or indeed to the course that you want to do.

Topical references

What is happening in the Health Service, in relation to medicine; how changes in the former Communist countries, Nationalism, etc. are helping shape a new international order, in relation to Economics, and how the balance may not be very stable at present in this area; new research in whatever science you claim to be interested in, environmental issues, population issues, the list could go on.

Prefect duties

Try to show the value you have gained from responsibility as prefects, if you have - or in helping out in House sport, debating or whatever. Some sense that there's satisfaction in helping in the smooth running of the school, giving back a little of what you yourself have been given, the enjoyment of helping others to succeed, the contributing to a community, etc. etc.

(Developing this) A sense of partnership

When mentioning what you have gained from work experience, don't feel ashamed or embarrassed by using a phrase like, "in the work experience arranged by the school..." It takes maturity to see and acknowledge what you have gained from things outside yourself, and admissions tutors are looking for maturity.

Your interests and achivements

Don't be falsely modest. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you are good at something. Don't forget to mention, if it's true that you won this or .that area championship. Two that recent 6th formers forgot to mention were World Junior BMX champion, and London Junior Dinghy champion!

A way of speaking (related to the above point)

feel that I do have strengths in this area (and then go on to show how you have developed them, or, better still, how you have been enabled to develop them through your time at school.)

I have been lucky enough to do work experience...

I have had the benefit of...

I have been fortunate in being with a strong Maths group, and...

Not all the time, not grovelling, just an awareness of a right way of acknowledging gifts, privileges, and showing quiet strength.

More on interests and hobbies

Don't say you like music, or reading. Give details. Show breadth. Give specific examples, e.g. what you last read, bands, composers that you like. (Be sure that you can back it up in an interview). Travel: if you have been abroad, say so, show what you have learned from this. Interests can include: photography, theatre, creative writing, cycling, discussion groups, public speaking, scouts, guides, organising school activities, religious groups (again, be specific)

What is a university?

Really advanced point: there needs to be a sense that you have asked yourself what a university is for, what study is for, what you will gain from a period of Higher education. In other words, what would a course of study do for you, how would meeting people from new kinds of backgrounds unfamiliar to you, etc. What will you find in a university that you don't find in school (e.g. vastly increased library and laboratory resources, greater variety of age, background, experience in your fellow students, far greater independence for you to decide your work patterns, vastly increased recreational activities)

Give a sense that you are looking forward to expanding your own horizons, learning new things, working hard at a topic that is really your own choice, gaining from the expertise that the HE Institutions have to offer.

What have you learned

This is the key point in all your writing of a Section 10. Whatever you write about; your lessons, your hobbies, your travels, your work experience, it is not how good you've been - (That, as I said above, is for us to say) - but what you have leared from the activity that really matters, that really impresses.

Intellectual Skills

Warning - these skills need to be thought through a little carefully by

Mathematicians - since their subject is a little difterent from all the others Divergent mentality - looking outward to the widest possible range of sources for academic inspiration

· The ability to connect different insights in a theory

· Analysis

· Prioritising

· Learning

· Ability to handle a number of different types of activity at the same time

· Creativity

· Concentration

· Like to see a long task through to the end

· Questioning type of person

· Good at making observations

· Manual dexterity

· Strong IT skills applied in all your areas of work

· Memory

· Self-critical

· Pick up on little loose ends, details of a problem and generates solutions or new ideas from that

· Competitive - likes to lead

· Enjoys swapping ideas with others - working in a team to get results -

allocating tasks to each member of the team

· Synthesising material from a variety of different sources

· Research

· Trouble-shooting

· Finding alternative solutions to the same problem

· Downright scholarship - likes amassing a large store of data, and organising it to put together compelling and rich level of argument · Using different media - internet, books, people

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