Examples of Awesome Personal Statements

Write your own awesome personal statement with our COLLEGE APPLICATION ESSAY LAB, which will guide you through the process, providing tips and even more examples along the way.

Before you start, check out our own sample essays—or scroll down for the Best of the Web. Whether you’re an athlete, a minority, or no one special (or, uh, probably some combination), we’ve got you covered.

No One Special

Minority

Athlete

Emotional Hardship

Physical Hardship

International Student

Special Skills

Non-Traditional Age


Some are surprising and some are clever, but they’re all good examples of a “hook,” not
the kind with the pointy
mustache
but something that writers use to grab their reader’s
attention and make them want to keep reading.

Grab Them with the First
Line

Stanford Magazine compiled the following list of great
opening lines written by hopeful Stanford applicants.

Essays That Worked
Connecticut College posts a list of college essays “that worked.”

More Essays that Worked
Hamilton College provides access to some of their favorite application essays.

Other
Resources for College Essay Writing

Writing the Personal
Statement

The Purdue Online Writing lab offers a guide to writing all kinds of personal
statements.

Application Tips:
Tackling the Personal Essay

Abc.com provides some good tips on approaching the personal essay.

10 Tips for Writing the
College Application Essay

The famous U.S. News & World Report offers some writing advice.

The Elements of Style
Flip through this famous guide to writing by William Strunk, Jr. that many
students and teachers use. Read the 1918 version for free online.

Get Your Writing On
Some great handbooks on writing by writing guru Andrea Lunsford.

Grammar Resources
The University of Chicago’s guide to grammar.

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