Writing Prompts for Students

30 Personal Statement Writing Prompts for Students

As soon as you open the application guidelines for virtually any college program or scholarship, your eyes are bound to land on two words: personal statement. This type of essay isn’t your typical homework assignment, however. It can make or break your chances of securing the oh-so-desired spot on whatever it is you’re applying for.

So, needless to say, you have to ace this essay. But it’s so much easier to do it when you have a clear question or prompt to guide you. Alas, some applications just tell you to submit a personal statement, and that’s all you get as guidance.

If that’s your case, you may be at a loss. What should you write about? And how do you stand out?

Fear not! Here are 30 fresh writing prompts from a professional paper writer online to help your creative juices flow. Let’s get started!

But First, What’s a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a type of autobiographical essay that showcases who you are and why you’re a good fit for the program or scholarship you’re applying for. Its length can vary widely, so use the guidelines in the application. Some personal statements can be as short as 250 words, while others have to be around 1,000 words long.

7 Markings of a Strong Personal Statement

What makes a good personal statement? Well, there’s no clear-cut answer since, depending on what you apply for, expectations for such essays will vary. However, personal statements that leave a lasting impression have several things in common. Such essays typically:

  • Reflect on the author’s unique voice and writing style.
  • Open with a vividly described scene that pulls the reader in.
  • Don’t contain cliché phrases like “I’m a team player” or “for as long as I can remember.”
  • Take the reader on a journey through your life.
  • Face challenges and obstacles encountered on that journey.
  • Don’t attempt to list every accomplishment of the author.
  • Focus on both the author’s aspirations and how they relate to the bigger picture (their community, academic field, etc.).

10 Personal Statement Prompts about Personal Growth

Let’s kick off our prompt list with these 10 ideas for an essay that showcases your personal growth:

  1. Reflect on a particular challenge you’ve encountered in your life or academic journey. How did you manage it? How did it impact your further studies?
  2. Describe a failure or setback you’ve had to live through. What did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a moment when you had to reconsider your long-held values or beliefs. What did you learn from that situation?
  4. Think back to the defining moment that made you who you are today. Explain what made it the defining moment and how it shaped your character.
  5. Explore a situation where you had to show resilience while navigating difficult circumstances. How did it impact your outlook on life?
  6. Share an experience that turned your worldview upside down. What was it? Why was it so impactful?
  7. Think back to a situation that forced you to leave your comfort zone. What did you learn from that experience?
  8. Reflect on a mistake you have made. How did you approach it? How did it impact your understanding of accountability?
  9. Share a story about a situation that made you stronger and more resilient, in your opinion.
  10. Describe an experience that shaped or solidified your goals and aspirations.

10 Personal Statement Prompts about Academic Achievements

If you’d prefer to focus on your academic journey in writing, here are 10 prompts for you:

  1. Have you ever had a personal project pertinent to your academic field? Share it and describe why it was important to you.
  2. Think back to the toughest part of your studies so far, be it particularly stressful finals or a challenging choice of direction. How did you manage that hardship? How did it shape your skillset?
  3. Share an extracurricular activity that was significant in your life. What drew you to it? How did it shape who you are today?
  4. Explore your research interests and how they can do good for your community and/or drive forward the academic field itself.
  5. Share your career aspirations and how the program you’re applying for can put you on the right track to achieving them.
  6. Have you ever had a mentor or role model? Share what you’ve learned from them.
  7. Reflect on your community service or volunteering activities and how they are connected to your academic aspirations.
  8. What do you consider to be your most powerful skill? How do you make good use of it?
  9. Describe an educational opportunity you’ve taken advantage of. What have you learned from it?
  10. Share the defining moment that pushed you to pursue studies in this academic field.

10 Personal Statement Prompts about Diversity and Inclusion

Some scholarships, grants, and academic programs may put diversity and inclusion under the spotlight. If that’s your case, here are 10 prompts you can take advantage of:

  1. Explore how your cultural identity has impacted your studies or your life in general so far.
  2. Think back to an experience that taught you the importance of diversity and inclusion. How did it impact your behavior and beliefs?
  3. Reflect on working with people from diverse backgrounds. How was that experience different from collaborating in a less diverse environment?
  4. Think back to an educational barrier you had to overcome because of your background. What did that experience teach you?
  5. Share a concrete example of what you have done to promote inclusion in your social or academic circle.
  6. Consider your privileges. How have they impacted your life?
  7. Share a story about collaborating with people of different generations. What generational differences have you noticed? How did generational diversity impact the process?
  8. Describe a situation where reality went against a stereotype you didn’t realize you held.
  9. Reflect on a situation that shaped your understanding of equality.
  10. Have you ever experienced discrimination? Share your story and how it impacted your character and journey.

In Conclusion

Crafting a strong personal statement is no cakewalk. You have to strike a fine balance between putting your best foot forward and coming across as humble instead of pretentious. On top of that, crafting a powerful piece of writing requires a great deal of self-reflection.

So, if you struggle with this particular type of essay, that’s normal. Besides, you can always turn to research paper writing service for assistance! Professional writers can help you polish off your writing so that your statement is well-prepared to win over the reader’s heart.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.