Need help starting your Personal Statement? Watch

Birmingham City University
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Not sure where to start with writing your Personal Statement? Just starting to feel overwhelmed by the approaching deadline? Here's our top tips to help you make a dent in it and be on your way to writing an amazing statement.

Sometimes it's easier to just start jotting ideas down quickly, in no particular order and then worry about the full structure afterwards. It might sound backwards but sometimes leaving your opening line till the end is the best way to go.

1. Write like you
Try not to go crazy with the Thesaurus. You want this to be a representation of your recent personal and academic achievements that really shows off who you are. Sometimes a less is more and simple sentence is more effective than reeling off as many fancy words as possible.

2. Break it down
Try not to worry about tackling everything at once. Break the statement down into bite-size chunks and deal with one at a time. Creating a brainstorm for each chunk might help you as well. Similar to writing an essay sometimes it's helpful to write out a list of all the points you'd like to include to help you stay focused.

3. Use examples - back yourself up!
This is another benefit of using a list. For each point you want to mention think about what example you can use to demonstrate why you should be given a place on the course you're applying for. Every bit of your personal statement should be answering that question so use examples when highlighting you strengths and qualities.

4. Now write your opening line.
Try to avoid cliché lines like 'when I was young...'' Keep your opening line simple and concise and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the course and university.

5. Check, check and check again!
Once you have your first draft, get other people to critique and read it over for you. Maybe ask a teacher or professional in the field if you can. Avoid pretentious language or giving the impression you've swallowed the dictionary. Read it out to yourself and others, checking your grammar, punctuation and tone of voice throughout.

If you're still struggling give us a shout and we'll see if we can help give you some more pointers!

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