Director of the Applied Social Sciences degree at The University of Sheffield has written these three great peices of advice to consider when writing your personal statement:
Regardless of what you write about, make sure it is well written. Much of your University assessment will take the form of written assignments and, as an admissions officer, the first question I ask myself is, 'can this person write?'. Everything about my decision will follow from this initial appraisal. The first paragraph is particularly important in this respect. Make sure the paragraph has purpose, and each of the sentences contribute to that purpose. Whatever you do, make sure you don't over-complicate sentences with too many clauses. If a sentence requires a full stop, use one. Do not use 'fancy' grammar or language at the expense of clarity.
Many topics - such as climate change, cities, democracy and citizenship - are actually interdisciplinary in nature. So, if you are trying to appeal to an audience one that might include a Politics course, a Sociology course, and an interdisciplinary one, write about the topics that interest you rather than the general subject itself. Don't be afraid to foreground issues rather than subject areas.
Don't worry too much if you haven't developed much extra-curricula experience yet; many applicants will be in exactly the same boat. Instead, have a look around University web-pages, find out what they offer on top the degree, and then write about those key areas of experience that you'd like to develop whilst at University. Doing this will help demonstrate that you're actively engaging with the process of decision-making and that you value the capacity for development.
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- 20-10-2015 12:11