For this week’s blog post, I have been struggling to choose between three personal statements that I thought perfectly embodied the qualities of being both attention-grabbing and complementing to the applicant’s background.

The first one, by Mohammad O. Kahn (, was used in an application to the Undergraduate program to Connecticut College. However, I felt that it was a perfect fit for some of the Graduate School prompts I’ve seen. What I admire most about this piece is the command that the writer has over language. Describing the components of the inner ear and their utmost importance was just such an interesting approach to an essay that is truly about the student’s culture and background. The imagery is vivid, and the message clear: this is not another essay about an immigrant aspiring to the American Dream, it is about being culturally aware and seeking knowledge. I struggle to talk in more depth about this essay, because it truly speaks for itself.

The second essay that I thought was exemplary was another intended for Undergradute study at Connecticut College, by Shannon E. Keating ( Mostly, I admire this applicant’s writing style. She opens the essay with, “I’m more comfortable curled up. Erect, I ache. Stretched out straight I’m obtrusive; unfolded, I am vulnerable, and open to the elements. With limbs whining for well-worked joints, I have a body meant to bend.” When I read this, I was reminded of essays written by Hampl and Grealy, effortlessly welcoming the reader into an intimate connection and knowledge of the writer. While she touches on the idea that she is scientifically fascinated with the human body, so spends more time demonstrating just how well she knows her own. This self-awareness is so gripping, and moving, that I had to read this essay more than once before I was satisfied. I admire as well as envy a person whose writing style is so effortless and yet with such an impact. This is the kind of language and tone that I would love to be able to embody for my own personal essay.

Finally, I wanted to include an essay by a student applying to Law School ( I was impressed by the brevity and simplicity of this essay and the way that the author was able to convey the importance of his experience in so few words. In addition, the story itself really stood-out, and I believe that this is mostly due to how he framed this experience in a way that worked for him. Being able to frame a situation in order to cast yourself in the best light possible is something that I’m working on for my personal statement, and something that I think is extremely important for the finished product.

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