Choosing a Unique Title for a Personal Statement
I had a friend who was an editor for a well-known poetry journal. If she did not like the tile of a submitted poem, she would not read the poem. That is a bit extreme and harsh, but a title of any piece of writing is most important. The title must beckon to the reader to sit down, read, and stay awhile.
Your personal statement is a piece of writing that defines who you are to a person who has never met you. Your title must be strong and interesting enough that the admissions director is magnetically drawn to read the personal statement, so he or she can discover more about you.
Tricks of the Trade
There are a few writing and reading tricks that can be used to draw the admission personnel to your paper. When writing your personal statement title choice consider:
- The top left corner of any piece of writing is where readers are first drawn to and it is where readers will spend most of their reading attention. This is a proven fact that business majors learn in Marketing 101. Start the title with a strong noun or an unusual verb, not an article or preposition. Put as much punch in that left corner as you can.
- Alliteration can be our friend. We when repeat the same sounds in a row, the words roll off of our tongues. The words flow smoothly. Consider using alliteration in the title. I do not recommend that every title word has the same sound, or it may end up sounding like a nursery rhyme.
- Keep the title short. People are busy and they do not want to read a title that is two or three lines long. An extremely long title means the writer did not know where to cut and edit words. The reader is going to assume that the paper will be just as wordy as the title.
- The title needs to be unique. If you are writing a personal statement about a car wreck you had as a young person and how you learned from it, do not call the paper “The Car Wreck.” You have to be more creative than that.
None of these tricks are difficult to implement, so use them. These four simple tips can help you with creating the perfect title for your personal statement!
Writing an application paper is not an easy task. You have to interest the admissions committee while being sincere, realistic and simply being yourself. However, there are several tricks and secrets that any student may use to secure a place in a respected college or university. Our educational resource has been created for this exact purpose - help you get into your dream school.
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Examples of Awesome Personal Statements
Article Type: Tasty Bits
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
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.
UC Berkeley Has a Say
Check out the University of California at Berkeley’s guide to writing the personal statement.
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.
A Guide to Grammar and Writing
A cool interactive guide to grammar.
The University of Chicago’s guide to grammar.