Important Guidelines on Writing PhD. Personal Statements

26th November 2018 by Varada A | SOP For PhD

Admission for doctoral and research disciplines ask for a phd personal statement besides other vital documents like a research proposal. Basically, you have to explain about the details of your project in the research proposal whereas you will be describing how you are suitable candidate for the doctoral course from personal perspective.

Mostly the applicants think it quite challenging to compose a good personal statement for phd yet it is a great chance for them to showcase their worth and sell them.

Purpose of a Ph.D. Personal Statement

If you have a unique research idea to offer the university, make it clear through your Ph.D. proposal, and you must also have some exceptional qualities to be appropriate, to carry out the work. Write it in your phd personal statement. A personal statement can be seen to as a supplementary document highlighting more about your academics, relevant work experience and inspirations for deciding to pursue a research in a particular area.

The format varies with the university to which you seek admission to. Many a times, the candidate is provided with an additional space in the application form itself to include his personal statement or some may need you to write it separately as a covering letter. So it’s necessary to check with the university norms before writing the phd personal statement.

Is personal statement a mandatory document?

This is purely under the discretion the university.  Some research programs don’t need you to submit a phd personal statement, where they intend to explore about those details in the personal interview and wanted to merely know about your project proposal.

However, some vital projects which are advertised with definite aims and objectives, where you don’t need to submit a research proposal, request for a personal statement. Because the university wants to know whether you are a good candidature for their pre-defined project work.

Who will be reading these personal statements?

It’s better to understand the audience before writing something for them. Because you can draft the essay in a convincing manner and satisfying the audience base.

The phd personal statement will be considered and read by several experienced professionals like

  1. Admissions officers – they are keen to know about the candidate’s qualifications and relevant work experience and check whether these qualities meet the standard requirements needed for the program as well as for the University.
  2. Potential administrators – mostly they observe about the applicant’s academic background and inspirations to pursue the research work in the selected area.
  3. Interview panellists – use it for preparing questions for the one-to-one interview.

Even though they are evaluating from different perspectives, you need not have to be well prepared. Knowing about the phd personal statement correctly and writing an appealing one is what needed.

What a personal statement should comprise of?

Two things are to be considered here.

  1. What project you are proposing to do?
  2. Is there any specific requirements given by the University?

The second one is more important. So get it checked before drafting your personal statement. Or else here below are some areas to cover in a personal statement for phd.

  • Academic background – Only give a brief description as to make the review officers know what you studied till now.
  • Why you are interested to carry out a research work – Talk about your motivating instances or elements. If you are submitting a separate personal letter, address more about your qualities as a Ph.D. candidate than emphasising more about the research topic. Or else, if you are applying for an advertised research program, mention about your research areas of interests and how this project proposal is of interesting to you.
  • Work experience – All these are stated clearly in your resume. But, to make your qualifications match with the requirements needed to be eligible for the research program, you have to mention about your most relevant and noticed work related experiences in your phd personal statement.
  • Extra-curricular accomplishments – Here you have to be more careful to include only the relevant skills and capabilities that you think are right in bagging you an image of a suitable candidate.
  • Short term and Long term career goals – If you can show yourself as a future visionary with definite goals the admission officers are more likely to be convinced to give you a positive affirmation.
  • Clarifications to your details in resume – The shortcomings or any gaps in your academic years in your CV can be explained with the valid and genuine reasons in your phd personal statement.

What is a personal statement’s structure?

Knowing what to include and exclude is the crucial step in writing a good personal statement. You have to plan and prepare the document. You needs to reject many irrelevant instances and facts. So it’s better to start with a rough draft.

Normally, a phd personal statement is not more than one side of an A4 paper, means nearly a length of 400-500 words. Check this with the university requisites. It’s always better to be short and precise because the readers have to finish evaluating a hundreds of personal statements in a single day and thus you have to be more careful in presenting your essay as readable and likeable.

Also, it’s advised to write the whole essay in small and concise paragraphs which are logically linked. Begin with a good introduction and conclude politely and professionally.

Use a formal language and tone and exhibit professionalism in your writing style. Standard font sixe and type are preferred by most of the international universities. Also try not to imitate someone else’s personal statement. Check online and read some sample personal statements to get a good picture about this.

Getting your final draft proof-read and edited is more important among the entire writing process. Submit an error free personal statement always. Keep sentences short and use vocabulary which is not too common and not too hard to find the meaning.

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