There are many articles and even books about how to write it, for example, here. However, no one will explain every step and every word you should write. We are not going to do it, too, nevertheless, we aim to provide you with a grounding introduction that will guide you through the dark forest of questions about preparing your personal statement.
First Things First
The content of any personal statement may differ depending on the kind of grant or scholarship you are applying for. However, the main aspects remain: before you start to write anything, you should define your goals. Which goals? You should know specifically what you want to do after receiving a grant and why you need it. Take a while and think about your future projects and things you want to do.
Now when you know your main purpose of gaining a scholarship, try hard to show the future reviewers you are appropriate for such task. Of course, the whole personal statement is an essay where you try to persuade others to give you a scholarship. However, there are different ways of doing it and different aspects you need to cover in your statement.
The first thing you should concern is how your previous occupations and activities relate to your main goal. Take a moment and think of your past. Try to find certain experiences you gained in your life that influenced your nowadays interests. By interests we mean your main goal for scholarship. It is mostly your projects or degree. Let us be more specific.
For example, you are planning to enter the biological department. Think about your childhood and remember how your dad bought you a microscope. Then write in your personal statement that this microscope helped you to compare theory with practice while learning biology at school. In case you want to write a Master’s paper on a certain writer or school of thought, you can write about the time when you read his book for the first time or when you heard a speech devoted to the field of interests at the conference.
It is important to skip those moments that are less valuable for your future projects and field of specialization. Of course, you may have visited certain painting courses, but if you are applying for a physical degree, those courses may be skipped. Keep in mind your main purpose of surfing through your memory, you need to persuade readers that the subject you are interested in is one of your biggest lifelong occupations. You need to show it is not made up by accident in order to get a grant or a scholarship.
Accomplishments and Knowledge
As long as you have defined your focal point and described your lifelong way to it, you need to prove that you are the one who is able to achieve that goal. Come back to your journey within your memory and look for those accomplishments which will help you be more persuasive. Those can be certain conferences you attended as a speaker, certain laboratory researches you made during your studies or even an article in a student magazine connected to your main theme.
You may also name your professors or other mentors who helped you to become such a skilled and trained student. It will be a good idea to write about something that will show your proficiency in that subject. At the same time, do not write too much, you have limited amount of words.
Take a Moment to Thing About Future
You have shown the steps you made in order to be the person you are now. The next is the prognosis of your future with and without a grant or a scholarship. The main aim of that paragraph is to make reviewers think that the next most logical step for you is to get a grant. Do your best to be more precise and very clear. It is not enough to write that you think this scholarship is a logical continuation of the way you have gone till now. The reviewers should understand it by themselves while reading your statement.
This is a reason not to be lazy and conduct a research about probable universities, professors and courses that you will be able to see and try after receiving your grant. When you gathered enough details about your probable future environment and tasks, you can write a comprehensive paragraph, where you will show all the possibilities the grant will provide you with.
What Do I Do After?
The next step is to mention your own usefulness. Your prognosis goes on and you imagine yourself after finishing your studying or project. Here you need to focus on two things. Firstly, keep in mind to write about your own personal and professional growth. If it is an international grant, do not forget to mention a positive impact of your project and future researches on your country. Secondly, you should explain the reviewers why there is any need for them to give you a grant. Here you imagine yourself contributing to their organization or university, or multicultural relations.
A lot of people in spite of writing a conclusion repeat their introduction. This is not how it really works. Of course, your conclusion should resemble the beginning of your statement. Moreover, it should resemble everything you talked about, however, it should be a conclusion and not a review of previous paragraphs.
If you wrote every paragraph correctly then by the time you came to conclusion you should already have it in mind. It should be seen as a logical conclusion, but also as a remarkable one. Be sure to write anything that will stand out against other possible conclusions. In such way you will be remembered by the reviewers and get more possibilities to be selected for a grant or a scholarship.
In the end, be sure that you do not have any grammatical mistakes. Ask your friends and colleagues to check your statement. Other people may see things you forgot to include or those that are extra. In order to complete everything in time, try to start your work on this very special kind of paper in advance. The earlier you start, the better results you will have. Good luck with your task!