How to End an Essay about Yourself
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What Is a Good Closing Sentence?
Composing the concluding sentence, think of the following: What do you want your reader to know or comprehend, and how can you express that in one complete sentence? Summarize the main concept of the passage without utilizing the exact same words twice. Include the topic as well as your thesis statement in a single sentence. Offer the viewer something to ponder.
Show readers that you have achieved what you set out to do.
What Is a Good Last Sentence for an Introduction?
What Is the Best Closing Line?
What is a strong ending statement, how do you end a self introduction in an essay, how to write a strong closing, what to say to end a paragraph.
What Is a Meaningful Ending?
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Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.
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- Applying For Scholarships
How to Write a College Essay About Yourself
David Sep 30, 2020
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The scholarship you’re applying to requires that you write an essay about yourself. Easy peasy, how hard could it be? After all, you’ve been living with yourself for the last 17+ years! You know yourself better than anybody. You open your computer to start typing but your mind goes blank. Everything that you know about yourself suddenly seems unworthy of a $5,000 scholarship.
What in the world can you write about that will spark enough interest in the scholarship committee? Before you start panicking, check out our step-by-step guide on how to write a college essay about yourself.
Step 1: Brainstorm
The first way to tackle any scholarship essay prompt is to start with some thinking. We highly suggest that you take time before starting to write to brainstorm the essay prompt. This will not only get your creativity flowing, but your essay will be more organized and cohesive.
To start brainstorming, sit down in a quiet space with a pen and paper. Think about your background, your family life, your family’s financial state, your academic history, your childhood, your education, sports you play, and anything else about yourself that makes you who you are. If you’re stuck, strike up a conversation with your parents or friends about yourself to get you rolling. Jot notes about yourself down on the paper.
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Now, it’s time to take the facts you’ve written about yourself and dig deeper. The goal of your scholarship essay is to tell a story about yourself that will convince the scholarship committee that you deserve to win. How can you turn facts about yourself into a compelling story? What information can you provide about yourself that will broadcast your character?
It helps to think about who your audience is. To do this, get to know the scholarship organization better! Visit their website and read their ‘about’ section. What do they stand for? What kind of students do they award?
Your audience might be interested in how much you studied to get your 3.8 GPA. Your GPA and test scores may have helped get you into college, but they might not be enough to win you scholarship money. Thousands of students have near to perfect GPAs, and writing about it can be a bit dry.
Your audience wants to read about the challenges you’ve faced along the way or meaningful experiences you’ve had. Did you have to watch a younger sibling every day after school because your parents were at work? Have you experienced mental health challenges or learning disabilities that have made studying hard for you? How did you decide that you wanted to study business in college? This is what we mean when we say to dig deep. Go past the surface level. Talk about the experiences you have had that have gotten you to where you are today.
Step 2: What to Include in an Essay About Yourself
A scholarship essay about yourself is obviously very broad. You can take your essay in many directions. Remember, you want to provide information about yourself that makes your essay worth reading. Including facts about yourself in your essay is fine. But, you better be seasoning those facts with a lot of flavors.
Here are some ideas to include in your essay.
Topics You Can Address in Your Essay
There are plenty of ways you can talk about yourself in your essay. Remember, your essay must focus on yourself and your personal experiences in life. You can choose one or two of the following topics as the basis of your essay.
- Experiences that have inspired your degree choice.
- Challenges you’ve faced that have impacted your life and education.
- Unique hobbies you have or the sports you play.
- How you’ve changed over the years.
- Your experiences in school.
- Professional goals you have for the future.
- Your achievements.
- Special relationships that have inspired you. If you choose this topic, remember the essay still needs to focus on you.
The topic you choose to write about should be one that you can connect back to your education or career goals. If it didn’t impact your education or career in some way, it’s likely not relevant for the scholarship.
Remember, you need to talk about the why and the how. For example, why are you pursuing a degree in law? Why did you choose this degree path? How will a law degree help you in your future? How have past experiences led you to dream of becoming a lawyer?
Step 3: Sketch an Outline
Now that you have an idea of what you’ll write about it, it’s time to get organized. Creating an outline is your final step before starting to write. Choose one or two of the topics we suggested and start breaking down what you’ll write about in each paragraph. Your essay should consist of an introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Check out our tips on what you should and shouldn’t include in your essay:
- Impress from the start of your essay.
- Place yourself in the reader’s shoes. Do you show enough of your personality in your essay? Do you convince the reader that you deserve to win?
- Do your research and learn about the organization. Try and connect yourself to their initiatives. Do you have a hobby or goal that matches the organization? What can you bring to the organization?
- Only include relevant information. If something seems unnecessary or out of place, it probably is.
- Write in the first person, this is about you after all.
- Give specific examples. Don’t say you struggled during freshman year, instead, show what that struggle looked like.
- Show off your strengths and achievements.
- Make your essay interesting! If it doesn’t captivate your audience from the start, it’s not good enough.
- Proofread and edit your essay. Those little spelling mistakes can cost you the scholarship. They are distracting and they don’t do a good job at convincing the reader that you’re professional. Everybody makes mistakes but it’s on you to check your work before submitting.
- Use the correct format .
- Write about academic weaknesses in your transcripts. This is your chance to take responsibility for the ‘D’ you received during freshman year algebra. You might write about your struggles with algebra and how you were motivated to improve by getting a tutor. Definitely do not play the victim card by blaming a teacher!
- Making mistakes is human! Write about what you learned from your mistakes and how they have made you stronger.
- Be authentic- write how you speak (of course, with correct grammar). Trying to impress with big words from the thesaurus isn’t as impressive as you think.
- Follow the essay instructions! You can write the best essay but if you don’t follow instructions, you risk being disqualified.
- Lie- Making up stories to win over the scholarship judges isn’t going to win over anybody! Lies scream inauthenticity. Trust us, it’s obvious when students lie and scholarship judges aren’t impressed.
- Brag- If you think that bragging about your 4.0 GPA is going to win you scholarship money, you’re wrong. Show off your confidence in a way that doesn’t come across as overbearing and arrogant.
- Use the essay as an opportunity to divulge your deepest darkest family secrets. This is not the place to cry your heart out or disclose personal information.
- Be vague about your professional goals. What sounds better, awarding a student with clearly defined goals or a student who doesn’t know what they want to do in life?
- Repeat the same information over and over again. You will have your readers yawning!
- Use cliches. Cliches are overused! Be bold and different.
Step 4: How to Start an Essay About Yourself
As with all scholarship essays, your essay about yourself should captivate readers from the very beginning. Start your essay with a creative introduction that will make the readers want to continue reading your essay. You may choose to start with a personal story or experience.
Avoid using cliches such as “from a young age” or “for as long as I can remember.” Also, avoid using quotes. These are other peoples’ words, not your own.
At the end of your introduction paragraph, you should have a thesis statement that makes it clear to the reader why you are applying for the scholarship. They should be able to taste your enthusiasm and understand your motivation for applying.
How to Start an Essay About Yourself Example
When it comes to my passion for teaching others, you might say I wasn’t given much of a choice in life. As the older sister of four, it was my responsibility to lead the way and teach my two younger brothers and sister. At least, I assumed that responsibility. I helped them with everything from school projects to packing for camp in the summer. It’s no surprise to me that years later, I have chosen to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Education at the University of Texas in the fall. With this scholarship, I will be able to pursue my degree in education and return to my hometown to teach in a local elementary school after graduating.
Step 5: What to Include in Your Body Paragraphs
Your body paragraphs are the meat of your scholarship essay. This is where the scholarship readers really get to know you. Your body paragraphs should each contain an argument with supporting details and examples.
Your job in these paragraphs is to bring your personality out as much as possible. You also want to connect your arguments with your educational and career goals, and of course, to the scholarship you’re applying for. Make sure you relay to the reader how the scholarship will help you fulfill your goals.
How to Write a College Essay About Yourself Body Paragraphs Example
My role as a teacher to my little brothers and sister was only the start of it. As soon as I was of appropriate age, I started babysitting my neighbors on the weekends to earn extra money. Sure, that meant sacrificing my weekend nights with friends, but I was able to save up quite a lot of money from my Friday night and Saturday night gigs. For me, it was never only about the money. I loved spending time with the little kids. I would come up with fun activities to do with them, like “restaurant night,” where we would create menus and whip up ice cream sundaes in the kitchen.
By high school, it was clear to me that I wanted to be a teacher. I took several classes in high school that confirmed this dream of mine. I particularly enjoyed my early childhood education class where I learned theories in childhood development, classroom management techniques, and about developing curriculum. I even started to write up my own curriculum and made my younger siblings be in “school,” with me as their teacher. I don’t think they were too happy about all those extra hours of school…
Over the last year, I completed an internship as a teacher’s assistant. Every Tuesday and Thursday I spent half the day working with a 3rd-grade teacher at the local elementary school. I learned so much from this experience, like how to manage behavior problems and how to encourage shy students to participate in lessons. I can’t wait to come back to my hometown and work as a teacher after college.
Step 6: How to End an Essay About Yourself
By the time you get to writing your concluding paragraph, you may feel an urge to finish up your essay quickly. But, your concluding paragraph is also important in making that final last impression. Don’t rush through it.
Your concluding paragraph should wrap up your essay while giving an overview of the main points of your essay. You should do the following in your concluding sentence:
- Restate your thesis in other words.
- Give an overview of the arguments you made in your body paragraphs.
- End your concluding paragraph with a big thought related to your future.
How to End an Essay About Yourself Example
You might say that my upbringing made me who I am today, but I think it’s a lot more than that. I wouldn’t have the confidence I have today in myself and in my future goals if it weren’t for my studies and jobs throughout high school. I am so excited to start my degree at the University of Texas and keep developing the tools and skills I need to become the best teacher I can be.
Step 7: The full Example of How to Write a College Essay About Yourself
Now that you have learned how to write a solid introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs, it’s time to put it all together. Here is the full example:
The “Tell Us About Yourself” scholarship essay prompt might feel frustrating. It can feel intimidating but it’s really not so bad once you know how to tackle it.
Use these tips and you’ll be good to go. Time to start writing!
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David Tabachnikov is the CEO of ScholarshipOwl. Formerly at Waze and Google, David is an experienced CTO/R&D manager with over 10 years of experience of leading tech teams. David fervently believes that students should have greater access to education, and is passionate about using technology to help them achieve that goal.
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How To End A Personal Statement So The Admissions Committee Remembers You
Students are often unsure of how to end a personal statement. A strong conclusion makes all the difference in whether your application gets noticed by admissions officers or not.
If you’ve just finished writing your personal statement and you’re stuck on your ending, then don’t worry! This article will walk you through the essentials of personal statement conclusions.
Avoid writing a tedious and forgettable ending for your personal statement by following these rules.
Talk About Your Main Points
Don’t end your final paragraph by stating what you’ve never mentioned in the body of your personal statement. Remember, the purpose of your conclusion is to wrap up the package.
You shouldn’t say, “My experiences kindled my passion for engineering,” if you didn’t mention these “experiences” in the first place!
So actually summarising your key main body points is a great conclusion in many cases.
Summarise Your Key Points In A Simple Way
After reading thousands of personal statements, the admissions committee will be happy to see you concluding your personal statement with a clear summarisation of the vital points.
Go over your personal statement and jot down the main takeaway of each paragraph. Once you have that list, find a way to integrate them into your conclusion.
You can dedicate a sentence to each key point, tie them all together, and you now have a conclusion that does what it’s supposed to do!
Use Your Key Points To Restate Your Passion For Your Course
If you’re wondering how to end your personal statement using your key points, use them to restate your passion for the course you’re applying for.
Say your key points including your skills and experiences, and wrap them up by saying, “With the [your specific skills] and [your specific experiences] I’ve gained over the years, I’m committed to [mention your course].”
By doing so, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. One, you’re reminding the admissions committee that you have the skill set necessary to succeed in your course. Two, you’re demonstrating your dedication to your desired course.
Double Down On Your “Why”
Another powerful ending is to remind the reader of your “why.” Many students pursue their chosen course because they’re not sure what else to take.
So being clear on your purpose immediately sets you apart from the rest.
To do this, take the most heart-moving story from the body of your personal statement on what inspired you to apply for your course. Mention the main idea of it in a sentence or two, then end with a “for this reason, I believe pursuing [mention course] is the best way to achieve my [state your why].”
If your course is related to education, perhaps your “why” is to help children learn by allowing them to show how they learn best.
Say you’re writing a medical personal statement . Maybe your “why” is to forward technology that helps safeguard the elderly from falling accidents because you witnessed your grandparent suffer injuries from a fall when you were young.
Doubling down on your “why” shows your conviction and direction on why you’re applying for your course.
Mention The Next Step Of Your Application Process
What’s the next step after the admissions committee accepts your personal statement? For many courses, they’ll call you up for an interview . Go ahead and mention this in your conclusion!
Write along the lines of “I’m looking forward to dedicating myself to this course, and I would love to receive an invitation for the interview.”
The reader will right away recognise that you’ve done your research. You know what the next step should be. You are serious about this application!
Make The Universities Excited To Have You As Their Student
Studying at a university is not merely a means to an end. It’s a profound journey in and of itself! You’ll meet new colleagues, form lifelong communities, and discover mentors who will guide you along with your future career.
Think of them when you’re pondering on how to end a personal statement. What can you contribute as a student to make the university a better place? Demonstrate your excitement in meeting them, building relationships with them, and serving them!
A statement as straightforward as “I am eager to establish new, lifelong relationships and use my [mention your skills] to help make the university a better place for learning and community-building.”
Demonstrate Your Willingness To Learn
Universities exist to train and mould students, not the other way around! A little humility goes a long way. Show yours by demonstrating your willingness to learn. Nothing excites teachers more than willing students.
To pull this off, make sure you know what values your course upholds. It could be service, excellence, inclusivity, and so on. State in your conclusion that “I’m looking forward to learning how to embody [write down the course’s values you resonate with], to grow and succeed in [mention your field of study].”
There’s so much value packed in this simple personal statement ending. Tweak it and make it yours!
Avoid Famous Quotes
Many students insert famous quotes from well-known persons when ending their personal statements. Avoid this tactic as much as possible because you’re driving attention away from YOU as the applicant.
If you want to include famous quotes, put them at the beginning of your personal statement to grab attention. To keep your reader’s attention focused on you in the end, why not come up with a memorable, relevant quote of your own?
Use The Bookend Strategy
Bookends are sturdy objects placed at either end of upright books to keep them standing. When you translate that into writing, the bookend strategy is when the introduction and conclusion statements connect to support the body between them.
You may start your personal statement with a heart-wrenching story about how you watched your beloved pet die of the wrong diagnosis. Then, for your conclusion, you can call back on this story and state how this event fuels you to pursue veterinary practice.
The bookend strategy is a clean and efficient way how to end your personal statement.
Ask Help From Your Family And Friends
If you’re still stuck on how to end a personal statement, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Approach your family and friends because they know you more than anyone. Read to them the introduction and body of your personal statement.
Ask them what particular line struck them the most. Maybe they know something about you that you missed including in your personal statement. What characteristics do they see in you that will help you succeed in your course?
Gather their answers in one place, and after reading them in one go, you now have a decent idea of what to emphasise in your conclusion statement.
Never State That It’s The “Conclusion” Or “Summary”
The most boring, generic way to end a personal statement is to write “In conclusion” or “In summary.” It’s actually one of the topics we cover in what not to put in a personal statement .
Avoid this writing style at all costs. A good conclusion statement doesn’t require explicit announcements.
By its style and structure alone, the reader knows immediately they’re about to read a lasting statement. So don’t hesitate to proceed straight to the major points. As long as the conclusion connects seamlessly with the previous paragraph, you’re good to go!
Universities hold honesty in high esteem. Show authenticity and honesty in your personal statement beginning with an attention-grabbing introduction to a strong conclusion.
The best way to radiate honesty in your personal statement is to write from the right mindset. When you work on your personal statement, your objective is to show who you are and demonstrate why you are a worthy candidate for the course .
Don’t try to impress. If you come from that standpoint, you’re more likely to add embellishments. The experienced admissions committee can smell insincere personal statements from a mile away. So stick with who you are and let your personality shine through.
Give Yourself A Break, Then Come Back To It
When working on how to conclude a personal statement, you need to give yourself time. After writing a rough draft of your conclusion statement, take a break and return to it after a few days.
When you return to it, you’ll be surprised to notice details you haven’t seen before. Edit as you like, and make it better. Keep the old versions of your conclusion at hand so you can readily compare them with your newest, edited text. Compare and choose which one sounds better.
5 Bad Examples For A Personal Statement Conclusion
These are 5 personal statement examples for conclusions that don’t meet the criteria outlined above.
- In this application essay, I have made it clear I am an outstanding candidate for a degree because I think everyone will love my positive attitude and I deserve it.
- In summary, you can see my highlighted qualifications and experience, I know they’re not the best, but I want to stress that my passion for this field is what sets me apart as a candidate. It shouldn’t matter if the others are more qualified or experienced than me.
- Remember the skills I have, that’s really what sets me apart from other students, they don’t have what it takes to break the rules creatively and not follow the book.
- Finally, I would like to thank you for considering me for this opportunity and I hope you will make the right decision by choosing me, otherwise, I may cry and be disappointed.
- As a final note, it’s easy to see how qualified I am for this degree and how I will excel in it – but you should accept me because I’m cool and will get along with everyone else.
5 Amazing Examples Of A Personal Statement Ending
- In conclusion, I am excited about the opportunity to study computer science at this university. My passion for technology, combined with my programming skills and experience, make me an ideal candidate for the program. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the research community. I am confident that this program will enable me to achieve my career goals and make a meaningful impact in the field of technology.
- In summary, I have always been fascinated by the human body and its functions. My experience in volunteering in hospitals, combined with my academic record, makes me confident in my ability to handle the rigours of a medical degree. I am excited about the opportunity to study at this esteemed university and to contribute to the field of medicine through research and patient care.
- To wrap things up, I am excited to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering at this university. My passion for designing and building, combined with my experience in physics and mathematics, make me confident that I have the knowledge and skills to excel in this program. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the field of mechanical engineering through research and innovation.
- Finally, I am honoured to be considered for a law degree at this university. My passion for justice, combined with my research skills and experience, make me an ideal candidate for the program. I am excited about the opportunity to learn from the esteemed faculty and to contribute to the legal field through research and practice.
- As a final note, I am excited to pursue a degree in Environmental Science at this university. My passion for the environment, combined with my experience in environmental research, makes me confident that I have the knowledge and skills to make a meaningful impact in this field. I am eager to learn from the esteemed faculty and contribute to the field through research and conservation efforts.
How Long Should the Conclusion To A Personal Statement Be?
A personal statement conclusion should be 150-200 words long and leave a positive lasting impression on the reader. A UCAS personal statement should be 4000 characters long, making the conclusion 705-940 characters long – this is just a rough estimation based on the average number of characters per word (4.7).
Do You Feel More Confident Writing A Personal Statement Conclusion?
To end your personal statement in the best possible way, you need to know the body’s key points. Use them as pillars when deciding which direction your conclusion takes.
Will you highlight your future goals? Maybe you want to focus on your why? Take the time to decide. And if you’re stuck, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your family and friends so you can leave a lasting impression on the applications committee.
How much did this article help you out? Don’t forget to bookmark this page for future reference!
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How to End a College Essay: 10 Tactics & Strategies
How you end your college application essay can have an important impact on how your reader experiences your essay: while we’ve seen essays that are really solid even without an incredible ending (meaning: please don’t panic and add stress to an already stressful process), we’ve also seen college essays whose endings took the essay up another level.
And we think that there are clear techniques and strategies that virtually any writer can use to uplevel the conclusion section of their college application essay.
So below, we’ll offer 10 specific approaches to endings—split into 5 that you can do with little to no planning and 5 that require some planning ahead and/or rewriting—that you can use to strengthen your personal statement.
In this post, We'll cover:
How to think about college essay endings, 3 college essay endings to avoid.
- The Two Essential Qualities of An Outstanding Ending
- 10 tactics, strategies, and techniques for making your ending stand out
A. Tactics (small changes that requires less planning ahead)
- 1. Connect to your values
- 2. The bookend or callback
- 3. The road forward
- 4. Save your thesis (or your whole intro) for the end
- 5. Connect to your career
B. Strategies (may require big changes, or more planning ahead)
- 6. The “why us?” set-up
- 7. Back to the beginning, but something’s changed
- 8. The twist/reveal
- 9. The “theater of the oppressed” ending
- 10. The ellipsis ...
Okay, so think of a movie you’ve seen that you really enjoyed for most of the way through… and then the kinda boring or cliche ending lost you. Do you want to invite that movie to hang out at your college for the next few years? Probably not.
Three mistakes we see students make when it comes to ending their personal statement include thinking that you:
Should just restate the thesis (because English class)
Have to have a great ending in mind before you start
Shouldn’t worry much because the ending isn’t all that important
But we’re here to tell you that:
Yeah, probably don’t restate your thesis—in fact, many great personal statements don’t even have an explicit thesis.
You can write a great ending even after you’ve written the rest of your essay.
A great conclusion can be an essay-maker. It can take your personal statement from “pretty good” to “outstanding”
This post will show you how.
So let’s. Talk. Endings.
By the way: I’m using the term “we” instead of “I” here because I co-wrote this piece with my long-time friend, Andy Simpson. He has 15+ years experience guiding students on essays and, like me, geeks out on this stuff.
A great personal statement ending answers the question “So what?” or “Why does this matter?”
But how do you do it?
First, how not to do it.
Don’t just repeat or restate your thesis . We know, your teacher told you to (ours did too). And it might not be a bad idea for the conclusion to your AP US History or AP English Lang/Lit paper (although even there, maybe change the phrasing a little). But probably don’t do this on your personal statement. It can feel repetitive, or basic. And you are not basic.
Don’t end with a cheesy quote or something that anyone else could have written . We’re talking about quotes like, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” or phrases like, “I learned that everything happens for a reason,” or “I learned that I too can make a difference.” And if you’ve written a draft already, take a quick look at your last lines. Could someone else have written them? If so, a) we’re glad you’re here, and b) delete them and keep reading.
Be careful not to refer to things that you haven’t really shown earlier in the essay. Sometimes we’ll read essays that end with something like, “I’m grateful for all the lessons these experiences have taught me…” but we don’t really know what those lessons are because the author didn’t tell us in the essay. If you refer to all the hard work you’re proud you did, for example, show us the hard work earlier in the essay.
What goes into a great ending?
The Two Essential Qualities of an Outstanding Ending
A great ending often has two qualities: surprise and inevitability . H/T Aristotle
Think about a great film ending—usually you feel some combination of “Whoah, I totally didn’t see that coming,” and “Ah, right, it probably had to end like that.”
We’re talking about The Sixth Sense , Inception , or Titanic . And totally j/k re: Titanic because that was a TERRIBLE ending—both Jack and Rose could’ve totally fit on that door. The boat sinking was a shocker, though, right? Does every great movie have both those qualities? No. And must you have both those qualities to get into a great college? No. But these are two good qualities to keep in mind as you read this post and write your essay.
10 TACTICS, STRATEGIES, AND TECHNIQUES FOR ENDING YOUR COLLEGE ESSAY
We’ll split this list into three categories:
Tactics: Things you can do once you’re pretty much done, or if you aren’t willing to rewrite your essay much.
Strategies: Things that, to make work, you kinda’ either have to have planned out ahead of time or be willing to rewrite some stuff.
Techniques : Small things you can do or apply to the tactics and strategies.
Important note: Not every personal statement ending will fit into these categories; they are just some ideas you can try based on some approaches we’ve seen work well for other students.
1. Connect to Your Values
This one is one of the easiest. It basically works like this: Look back through your essay and ask yourself, “What values am I showing?”
Then don’t name those values too much in the body of your essay, but do name them explicitly in your conclusion.
Here’s an example (note the values in bold ):
Upon reflection, I found that my answer didn’t exist in books or research, but somewhere very close from the beginning—my intuition. In other words, I didn’t need an elaborate and intricate reason to prove to myself that health is an inalienable right for every human being—I needed self-reflection. So I ask again, “Does every life matter?” Yes. “Do I have solid, written proof?” No. Paul Farmer once said, “The thing about rights is that in the end you can’t prove what is a right.” To me, global health is not merely a study. It’s an attitude—a lens I use to look at the world—and it’s a statement about my commitment to health as a fundamental quality of liberty and equity .
To read the entire Does Every Life Matter essay, click here.
Why This Ending Works
If you read the entire essay (at link above), you’ll see the author touches on a few different themes in his essay—heritage, community, moral behavior, etc.—but he doesn’t make them super explicit until the end. Once he names them at the end, we (as readers) go, “Ah, that’s what we thought you were talking about.”
Ending with values is also a pretty good idea because a) it shows your ability to self-reflect, and b) highlights some qualities that, oh, by the way, will be useful in college and beyond.
Heads-up that this doesn’t work quite as well if you’ve already clearly named the values earlier in the essay—in fact, it can feel repetitive. So, if you’re trying this approach, a) make sure you didn’t already explicitly name the values earlier and, if you did, b) delete or rephrase those parts of your essay so that when you name the values at the end, it won’t feel as repetitive.
And by the way—did you notice how the whole paragraph above felt repetitive? That’s because, if you were reading carefully, we already wrote before the example, “Then don’t name those values too much in the body of your essay, but do name them explicitly in your conclusion.” So, to edit, we should cut that sentence (and that’s what we’d have you do in your essay).
You’ll find another example of this type of ending in the Makeup essay (check out the mentions of “scientific inquiry,” “voice,” “connect me with others,” and more in those last lines).
2. The Bookend or Callback
Bookending involves referring to something you’ve set up earlier in the essay. It’s something comedians do a lot and refer to as a “callback.” For a few examples, check out How Dave Chappelle Delivers a Callback starting at 1:05. (Trigger warning: There’s some adult language in that video. If you prefer, here’s the Wikipedia link explaining the same concept.)
Here’s an example of a callback in a personal statement:
The essay begins ...
“I have been pooped on many times. I mean this in the most literal sense possible. I have been pooped on by pigeons and possums, house finches and hawks, egrets and eastern grays. “
And the essay ends ...
“The upshot is that I simply cannot walk away from injustice, however uncomfortable it is to confront it. I choose to act, taking a stand and exposing the truth in the most effective manner that I think is possible. And while I’m sure I will be dumped on many times, both literally and metaphorically, I won’t do the same to others.”
To read the entire “Poop, Animals, and the Environment” essay, click here.
What We Like about This Ending/Why It Works
This one is great because, on the one hand, the ending catches the reader by surprise (we didn’t see that coming!). But it also feels inevitable (because she’s calling back to something she set up at the start). That’s that surprise + inevitability we mentioned a minute ago. (Thanks, Aristotle.)
One thing that’s cool about this tactic is that you can do this once the rest of your essay is already written. And, if you do it well, it’ll feel like you planned it all along.
If you’d like one more example, check out the Endodontics essay, whose author was pretty much done but still felt like the ending was missing something. So he went back, added the detail about “mineral white or diamond white” near the beginning, then wrote a last line that linked back to it. And yet when you read it you get the sense he’d planned his ending from the beginning.
Quick note: While you shouldn’t feel like you have to use humor, the cleverness in the endings of both the “Poop” and “Endodontics” essays mentioned above do leave a nice last impression.
3. The Road Forward
There’s something beautiful and inspiring about an open road. The sense of potential and possibility it offers. The invitation it makes.
So it can be nice to end an essay with language that feels like an open road—that ends with a sense of exploration and, maybe, a little excitement.
Here’s an example from a personal statement:
“I see a reflection of myself in the divide at the 38th parallel because I see one part isolating itself in defense to outside threats, and another part coming out to face the world as one of the fastest-developing nations. Just as my shy persona before debate and extroverted character after debate are both part of who I am, the Korean civilization is also one. And just as my parents expect much from me, the first of my family to attend college, I have grand expectations for this field of study.”
To read the entire “With Debate” essay, click here.
This conclusion opens with a nice metaphor, demonstrating both the author’s ability to think creatively and generate insight. It also reminds us of the growth we’ve seen the author go through over the course of the essay. Finally, this conclusion leaves us with a nice combo of purpose and potential—and in my experience, when an admission reader senses they may be able to help someone realize their potential, they’re usually pretty excited to do that.
Who This Might Work Well for: Students Who Have Faced Challenges
If you’ve worked through significant challenges in your life, this ending might work especially well for you. Here’s an example:
“I know I’m not like many students my age, but I'm happy with who I am. I am the student who works on the weekends scrubbing restrooms, carrying trash bags and mopping kitchen floors. I am the student who won't give a second thought to missing a party to help my parents babysit my sisters or accompany them to a new job. I know that one day I will not take my family to a bowling alley to clean it but to enjoy it. And who knows maybe one day I will learn to bowl.”
To read the entire “Bowling” essay, click here.
This author answers “so what” by sharing how her experiences have shaped her values and sense of self. The details here, in conjunction with those in the body, give us a sense of the strong character she’s developed. And the hope and vulnerability of the final lines make us as readers hope for the same things for her.
But this is important: Please don’t think you need to force this—don’t build a hopeful tone at the end simply because you think that’s what your reader wants. Do so if it reflects your experience.
- Adrian’s Personal Statement
- The Little Porch and a Dog
4. Save Your Thesis (or Your Whole Intro) for the End
“But wait,” I hear you say, “I thought you were not supposed to put a thesis in your personal statement.”
Actually, I said don’t just repeat or restate your thesis. If you don’t state the main point of your essay in your body paragraphs, you might decide to include it at the end.
There are two ways you can do this, and we’ll discuss them one by one:
Variation A: The “Put Your Thesis at the End” Approach
Putting your thesis at the beginning can sometimes lead to a personal statement that feels a bit too much like one of those essays in which an author builds an argument and supports it with evidence. And although it could be argued that you’re building an “argument” in your personal statement—an argument demonstrating that you’ll bring a lot of value to a college campus—this method isn’t quite the same. We’ve found that by explicitly naming their thesis at the start, then supporting it with bits of evidence, some students create a slightly less interesting story simply because the ending often isn’t all that surprising.
One way to avoid this is by delaying the thesis ‘til the end.
In the “ Hiking ” essay, for example, the author describes a few positive experiences he’s had with Boy Scouts. But he waits until the very end to share an insight that ties all the experiences together.
Check out the “Hiking” essay here.
Heads-up: The next thing we’re about to share won’t really make sense unless you read the “Hiking” essay.
What’s neat about this personal statement is that the author touches on a few different values/sides of himself in the body paragraphs … but it’s not until the final paragraph that he claims these different sides of himself as identities. Check out that final line again: “When I'm hiking, I'm not merely a hiker ; I'm a historian , a conservationist , and a teacher all in one” (bold emphasis mine).
This ending works because, earlier in the essay, the author describes (i.e., shows us) these parts of himself through specific examples and details, then he names them (i.e., tells us) explicitly at the end of the essay. Note that if the author instead had decided to open his essay with that line, it kinda’ would’ve spoiled the ending of the movie (or, in this case, essay). The reader might’ve thought something like, “Okay, cool, guess I don’t really need to read the rest—thanks for saving me some time.” Ending with this sentence, however, creates a sense of both inevitability (since the final line pulls together the essences of the separate paragraphs, and surprise (because we didn’t think to name these different sides of him in quite this way—as identities he claims/roles he plays).
Note: To make this surprising, it was important for the author to not name these identities along the way, instead saving them for the end.
Variation B: The “Put Your Thesis at the End” Approach
Here’s an example from a student who chose to put not just one sentence in her conclusion, but her entire intro paragraph:
“My home is a dynamic and eclectic entity. Although I've lived in the same house in Cary, North Carolina for 10 years, I have found and carved homes and communities that are filled with and enriched by tradition, artists, researchers, and intellectuals. While I may not always live within a 5 mile radius of a Bojangle's or in close proximity to Lab 304, learning to become a more perceptive daughter and sister, to share the beauty of my heritage, and to take risks and redefine scientific and personal expectations will continue to impact my sense of home.”
To read the entire “Home” essay, click here.
Like the author of the “Hiking” essay above, this student does a nice job of pulling together the examples by zooming back to a wider frame of reference (but doing so with specific phrasing and language). Note that the author could have opened her essay with this paragraph, but doing so would have yielded a much more predictable (read: boring) essay.
Instead, she shows images and experiences in the body paragraphs so we get to “watch the movie” of her life before she tells us what they mean to her.
Note: In order to make this work, the author had to make sure the central topic of the essay (in this case, “home”) was super clear. She does this by repeating the word “home” at the ends of the first, second, and fourth paragraph, and in the middle of the third paragraph (she chose not to mention the word in the same place each time just to offer some variety). So if you try this one, make sure the topic/theme of your essay is clear.
5. Connect to Your Career
Quick PSA: College is not just a career conveyor belt (and colleges generally don’t see themselves that way). It’s a place where you can learn a lot about yourself and the world while, hopefully, meeting some awesome people.
Having said that, describing in your conclusion how your experiences relate to your career can be effective for a couple reasons:
It can be similar in effect to The Road Forward—we as readers like imagining the exploration ahead for the writer, and we may even want to help them on their journey.
Mentioning a future potential career can also set you up for one of the most common supplemental essays, the “Why us?” essay. If you take this approach, you can even think of your personal statement and the “Why us?” as effectively two parts of the same essay, where Part I (the personal statement) tells the story or stories of how you’ve arrived at your career path, while Part II (the “Why us?”) describes how you’ll make use of the specific opportunities at whatever college(s) you’re applying to. Some students structure their whole application like this, btw.
Here’s a quick example of a student who mentions his career at the end of his personal statement, which explores his long-held love of mazes and games:
“A few years ago I grew tired of working within the constraints of most internet games and I wanted to program my own, so I decided to learn the language of Scratch. With it, I created several computer games, incorporating such unordinary aspects of gameplay as the avoidance of time-travel paradoxes, and the control of "jounce," the fourth derivative of position with respect to time. Eventually, I came to realize that Scratch was too limited to implement some of my ideas, so I learned C#, and my potential expanded exponentially. I continue to study programming knowing that the more I learn, the more tools I have to express my creativity. To me, studying computer science is the next step of an evolution of boundary breaking that has been underway since my first maze.”
To read the entire “Mazes” essay, click here.
This conclusion has a few nice elements to it: It functions to bookend the essay (see above); it provides a wider frame/context for the specific details and experiences shared in the body paragraphs; and as mentioned above, it sets the author up for any “Why us?” essay he’ll write.
The “ Endodontics ” essay also ends this way, but where the “Mazes” author added the career connection near the end of his writing process, the “Endodontics” author actually planned his entire essay around the career that he mentions in his conclusion.
Which brings us to our next point: There’s a deeper way of writing about your career ...
6. The “Why Us?” Set-Up
What it is: A conclusion that sets up nicely for a (separate) “Why us?” essay. In some cases, the personal statement is even planned around a specific program that will be discussed in a “Why us?” essay. This can work especially well if, while researching colleges, you found The Perfect Program for you—like one that basically checks all your boxes.
The key to making this strategy work is to write your personal statement in a way that does not simply replicate the content you’ll share in your “Why us?” essay. Instead, think of your personal statement as kinda’ like sharing your “origin story” (yeah, like in a comic book or Marvel movie).
For an example of an essay that shares a budding activist’s origin story, check out the personal statement, “ The Instagram Post .” The ending reads:
“My role model Ruth Bader Ginsburg says, “dissent[ers] speak to a future age... they are writing not for today but for tomorrow.” Retrospectively, I realize that The Post was my voice of dissent―through it, I initiated a campus-wide discussion and openly challenged the majority opinion of my school for the first time. As I aspire to become a civil rights attorney and the first Asian woman on the Supreme Court (I hope it doesn’t take that long!), I am confident that I will continue to write and speak out for justice ―for tomorrow.”
To read the entire “The Instagram Post” essay, click here.
If you read the whole personal statement, you may find the ending somewhat surprising (in that you perhaps didn’t expect at the start of the essay that the author would eventually say she wanted to become a civil rights attorney) and inevitable (because this path makes sense given the trajectory she has been on since her Instagram post).
But this is really just Part 1 of her journey. The next chapter (i.e., Part 2) is essentially what she maps out in her “Why us?” essay.
You can read her “Why us?” essay for Michigan at this link .
Note how the first line of her “Why us?” essay not only references the end of her personal statement, but also expands on other interests—all of which she’ll explore in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) concentration at Michigan.
This works particularly well because she isn’t repeating too much from her personal statement; she’s expanding on it. Look at this sentence from her “Why us?” essay in particular:
“The interdisciplinary nature of PPE perfectly suits my desire to understand human beings through different lenses. I strongly believe that social and geopolitical issues must be approached in a multidimensional context--complex relationships between individuals and communities demand equally sophisticated analyses.”
These sentences help us understand her “why” and connects back to some of the themes and values of her personal statement, but here we get some more elevated language. Later in her “Why us?” essay, she names specific opportunities and classes in the PPE program that will help her achieve the goals she’s named.
For another example of this type of ending, check out “ The ‘Not Black Enough’ East-Asian Influenced Bibliophile ,” which is a bit more open-ended, but still works well. To see that student’s “Why us?” essay, click here .
7. Back to the Beginning, but Something’s Changed
What it is: You link back to the person you were at the beginning of the essay and reflect on how you’ve changed. This is similar in approach and effect to bookending, but (as you’ll see if you read the full essay linked below) it takes a lot more planning ahead (whereas bookending can often be the last thing you think of). This kind of ending will inherently show growth and reflection, two nice qualities to demonstrate in your writing.
Here’s the start of an essay that uses this strategy ...
“It was Easter and we should’ve been celebrating with our family, but my father had locked us in the house. If he wasn’t going out, neither were my mother and I.”
And here’s the ending:
“My Easter will drastically differ from past years. Rather than being locked at home, my mother and I will celebrate outdoors our rebirth and renewal.”
To read the entire “Easter” essay, click here.
By mirroring some language from the opening, you can achieve the same kind of closure that basic bookending does. But here, there’s an added element of growth, development, understanding—we see how the author has more fully stepped into themselves through the course of the narrative. There’s also a similar effect to a few of the other approaches we’ve discussed in that when we see this growth, we cheer for the writer.
8. The Twist/Reveal
What it is: You set up an expectation in the reader through the structure and focus of your essay, then pivot against that expectation in your ending. This is effective for the same reason that movies with (good) twist endings are effective—we enjoy the surprise, the revelation, the way the ending requires us to recalculate all that we’ve just seen. It also indicates a certain degree of skill and understanding as a writer, since setting up a twist that we don’t see coming isn’t easy.
Note that this is similar in effect to The Twist opening described here .
Check out the ending of this essay:
“The more I scratch off from my goals list, the more it brings me back to those days handling spatulas. Anew, I ask myself, “Is this how I want to spend the rest of my life?” I want a life driven by my passions, rather than the impositions of labor. I want to explore new paths and grow within my community to eradicate the prejudicial barriers on Latinos. So yes, this IS how I want to spend the rest of my life.”
T o read the entire “¡Ya levantate!” essay, click here.
When the writer ends the first third of his essay with “This was the scene that ignited the question in my head: ‘Is this how I want to spend the rest of my life?’ The answer was no. So I started…,” we’re expecting the rest of the essay to explore how their life has led them to an understanding of how they do want to spend the rest of their life. And they do. Sorta :). But the recall at the end and the twist in a new direction offer a satisfying reveal and require a re-evaluation of what has come before.
Note that this example also shares elements with the “Back to the Beginning, but Something’s Changed” approach.
The “Theater of the Oppressed” Ending
What it is: You put the ending of the essay in the reader’s hands. You don’t resolve it.
Check out the ending to this essay:
“Living in a low-income immigrant household has taught me to appreciate all I’ve been given. Testifying in court helped me grow as a person, has made me more open-minded and aware of the problems facing my community. And my involvement in the urban farm has led me to consider a career as a nutritionist. Though neither of my parents attended college, they understand that college is a key factor to a bright future and therefore have been very supportive. And though we don't yet have the house with the small porch and the dog, we're still holding out hope. I believe college can help.”
This one hits hard each time we read it. Those last lines are powerful, the culmination of a moving story. And the author leaves what happens next in the reader’s hands.
This technique is similar to a technique used by Theater of the Oppressed (hence the name), where actors onstage play out a conflict and then, instead of resolving it, pause to seek out input and ideas from the audience members. In the case of the personal statement, the “audience” is the college admission officer and the author says, in effect, “It’s up to you to help finish this story.”
Note that this kind of ending only works with certain kinds of challenges/circumstances. For another example of this strategy, check out the “ Growing Up in Lebanon ” essay: “And I look forward to becoming the first man in my family to finish college.” We know this is somewhat similar to the example above, but we imagine this strategy could work with other endings—and if you’ve seen one or written one, feel free to share it with us by emailing [email protected]. We’d love to see it.
10. The Ellipsis ...
What it is: Leave something unanswered, like an ellipsis. What’s an ellipsis? It’s the dot dot dot at the end of a sentence that looks like this: ...
You’ll find one example in the “Dead Bird” essay at this link . You’ll find another example in the “I Shot My Brother” essay at this link .
We’re not going to post a super in-depth analysis of these two essays simply because it’ll ruin the ending of these two (very good) pieces of writing.
But we do want to say a few things about this type of ending:
For this type of ending to work, a) the author must create a sense of suspense so that the reader wonders—and actually cares about—what will happen next, but then stops before revealing what happens next, and b) there must be a limited set of possible paths for the reader to imagine. In other words, it can’t be completely open-ended (i.e., “anything is possible”).
In the “Dead Bird” essay, for example, we sense that either a) she has come to a deeper understanding of the trauma she experienced, or b) she hasn’t.
In the “I Shot My Brother” essay—and we’re going to keep it a little vague here so we don’t ruin the ending—we sense that the author’s brother is about to reveal a) good news, or b) bad news. We also sense that the author will share with his brother the essay and it will either a) turn out well, or b) turn out poorly.
In each of these cases, though, we think we can guess how it’s going to go … and it also doesn’t really matter what happens next because already the author has gone through a major change (who they are at the end is very different from where they started).
This type of ending is really hard to pull off. We’d recommend you not obsess over using this type of ending at the expense of writing an essay that demonstrates all the skills, qualities, values, and interests that you’ll bring with you to college.
We’re actually not sure that these two essays are necessarily the best personal statement examples because, while the authors do exhibit great sensitivity and writing ability, we’re not sure these personal statements show... the skills, qualities, values, and interests that the authors will bring with them to college as well as they might.
Check out the “ If Ink Were Ants ” essay for a personal statement example that we believe does more clearly show great qualities…and ends with an actual ellipsis. Now, you don’t have to end yours with an actual dot dot dot, but you’ll see how the author does a nice job of setting up where she might go in the future without spelling it out explicitly.
In short, if you use this method, we’d recommend making your ending somewhat but not completely open-ended.
A Final Word on Endings
Having said all this … do you have to write an awesome ending to get into a great college? Not necessarily. Great students get into great schools with personal statement endings that are just so-so. The “ Arab Spring in Bahrain ” essay ending, for example, is arguably just okay, and that student still got into a Very Famous School That You Have Heard of. (We don’t like to name schools, as it can lead to copycatting.
But a great ending can leave a great last impression, as you’ll see in the examples above.
So pick one and get crackin’!
Action Item: Choose one (or more) of these ending techniques and try it out. If it doesn’t work, try another.
Andrew Simpson, CEG’s Editorial Director, has worked as an educator, consultant, and curriculum writer for the past 15 years, and earned degrees from Stanford in Political Science and Drama. He feels most at home on mountain tops and in oceans.
Top Values: Insight/Growth | Truth | Integrity
Ethan Sawyer (he/him) is the founder of College Essay Guy which means he has been eating/sleeping/breathing college essays for most of his waking hours since 2003. Each year he and his team reach more than one million students and counselors through the College Essay Guy blog, online pay-what-you-can courses, workshops, books, and one-on-one work.
Through his work he has supported, advised and counseled thousands of students through the complicated college search and application process, all while staying true to his core values of providing ease, purpose and joy in the process.
Top Values: humor, connection, family
- How to End a Personal Statement
- Tips on How to End a Personal Statement Successfully
How to Format Your Personal Statement Correctly
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It is important to write this paper according to all requirements. With this document, you must prove that you suit the chosen position and show the admission committee or a recruiter that you are much better than all other candidates. Reading this you will learn how to end a personal statement properly.
You can create a personal statement for graduate school , a university, or any other place you want to apply to. When people create this document, they often make a big mistake when they try to write those things they think the admission committee or recruiters want to see in the ideal candidate for the position. To avoid this you can look at college application essays samples prepared by an admission essay writing service to be sure you do everything right.
You should understand there is a huge difference between this essay and an honestly written one. You need to be sincere and mention only true things about yourself. Don't try to look better than you are, just try to describe yourself brightly to be selected from tons of other applicants.
Needless to say, you have to grab the officers' or recruiters' attention, otherwise, you won't get chances to apply for a position of your dream. We suggest writing this document very carefully and thoroughly because your future depends on it. In our guide, we will give some general hints on writing and paying attention to the conclusion - it is the last part of this important paper. Go ahead and keep reading to find great tips and successful examples!
How to write personal statement ? Students need to format a personal statement just like any other kind of essay. If you want to make a strong and well-structured work, follow a three-paragraph structure:
- Introduction — in this part you have to make a catchy beginning to grab the reader's attention. You have to mention the name of the company or the course and the position or degree you are applying for.
- The body part — feel free to make several paragraphs here to support your candidacy. You have to provide readers with information about your personal experiences, characteristics, skills, goals, knowledge, achievements, etc. Don't forget to write the brightest examples from your experience to prove all the qualifications you mentioned.
- Conclusion — it is a short closing paragraph where you have to thank your audience for reading. A good idea is to put a phrase you hope to hear from them soon. You need to summarize ideas shortly and wrap up your paper properly.
When you are making the conclusion for personal statement , your goal is to concentrate on the main idea of your document. Remember you should write in the laconic style to make this part short but effective. Summarize your skills and interests shortly, include your plans for the future years, and provide information about why you fit the chosen course. Be careful with the length: your personal statement conclusion should be around ⅓ of the entire paper (150-200 words). We have one more blog that has an answer on how long is a personal statement .
The conclusion of your personal statement makes the second first impression on your audience. Use these effective hints to create a bright ending that will attract your reader:
- Include key points about the qualities you expect of yourself when you graduate from the school. Explain why you want to study. Demonstrate your interest, why you have the inspiration to learn, and why you have the enthusiasm.
- You can write a short concluding story related to your experience. Don't just describe your skills the chosen course needs, but tell how you have developed them.
- Give your readers a better understanding of how you are going to use your life experience in achieving your goals. Tell about your transferable skills — this can be leadership, good organizational skills, ability to work both independently and in a team.
- Mention that you are not afraid to use your opportunity, take new challenges and solve difficult problems. Give an explanation why you fit this course. Prove that you not only fit the selection requirements, but you have made a research to realize what this course will involve.
- Restate the main idea of your personal statement to tie all parts of your personal statement together.
These are the things you should never write in your personal statement:
- End up with a question and leave your readers in a suspense.
- Writing a number of things that are not related to the main goal.
- Providing no plans for the future and no point of view.
- Choosing courses that are not related to the particular school.
- Copyright infringement (if you are using personal statement examples from other people, make sure you do not copypaste words - their rights are reserved).
If you have no idea how to create a personal statement for college , we are ready to share some useful ideas that will help you to complete this task. Read them carefully to understand what information you need to put in this paper:
- First of all, read maximum information about the course you want to choose. Make sure you started making your personal statement beforehand so that you have enough time for writing.
- Take a sheet of paper and write down your skills, achievements, experience, activities outside of school, etc.
- Compare the list with the course description, and highlight the most relevant points.
- Make a clear plan what points you're going to include in your paper. Here you need to answer two questions: "Why did you decide to choose this course?" and "Why are you suitable to study the chosen subject?".
- Try to explain why you chose a certain school among many others. For example, if you are making a personal statement for a medical school, you have to explain to the admission committee why you are interested in medicine and why you want to choose it as your future profession.
- Don't just list your personal experiences and activities, but describe them - include in your personal statement bright examples to prove them.
- Make sure your work is structured properly. Remember the entire paper should not be too long: 500 words is enough. It's not a good idea to overdo this number, because the committee doesn't read papers that don't fit requirements.
- Try to be honest and sincere, never try to write false things because it will eventually come out. Just be yourself and don't panic.
- Don't bring any unimportant information. Never include in this paper your negative experience.
- Your audience has to feel excited from the first sentence of the personal statement. Keep in mind that boring & uninteresting papers have no chances to win.
- When your paper is finished, check every page thoroughly & correct all grammar and logical mistakes .
We want to share four successful examples that can be helpful if you feel insecure concerning how to end a personal statement correctly. Read the most successful examples to help you in writing a personal statement of your own!
I am a self-motivated & responsible person & I am looking forward to challenges. I am totally ready to solve difficult problems. I know a medical career has a lot of demands & I am sure that my desire to become a good doctor & my volunteering experience in the hospital will be very helpful.
I decided to start my career in the mathematics field because I always love my mathematics studies, so I was never in a doubt about choosing it as my future degree. I hope that my experience & my willingness to learn math will help me to make a successful career of a mathematician.
I am interested in many subject areas but lately, I turned my attention to a career in the law sphere. I can pay attention to the tiniest details; I hope this will help me to become a good lawyer. I was always good at analyzing information; I am able to find strong evidence & present persuasive arguments.
Keep in mind that there is one more blog on law school personal statement . It has a useful guide and necessary tips to help with this kind of writing.
Biology is a subject that always drew my attention. I am interested in living things & evolution, & I always work hard to find explanations of everything. I am ready for the most difficult challenges & I hope that my experience in biomedical research & my ability to gather & analyze information will help me to become a successful biologist.
Economics is a challenging subject that always attracts my attention. I understand the importance of this discipline for the entire world & I have chosen it as my future degree. I believe that my ability to achieve goals & attention to details will help me to become a good economist.
We hope you have found a lot of useful information on how to end a personal statement in our article. Good luck in writing your own document on the high level & making your own bright future! You may always refer to a professional writing agency and save your time!
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So, you have reached the stage in your life where you need to decide on your occupation. What steps do you need to take to move forward confidently? First of all, decide on the educational establishment you want to connect the next four or five years of your life with. After that, the fun part comes...
If you dream of serving your community as a dentist, you’ll need to enroll into a respective higher education program and provide certain documents to the committee. One of them is your dental school personal statement, which helps grab the interest of the admissions committee.A personal statement i...
9 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself
You know yourself better than anyone else, but writing about yourself can still be tough! When applying for scholarships or to college, essay prompts can feel so general (and yet so specific!) that they leave us stumped. So we’ll show you 8 tips to write an essay about yourself, so that you can land more scholarships. (Psst – Going Merry makes applying easy .)
1. Create a List of Questions
2. brainstorm and outline, 3. be vulnerable, 4. use personal examples, 5. write in the first person, 6. don’t be afraid to show off…but stay on topic, 7. show personality , 8. know your audience, 9. proofread and edit.
Let’s start with some examples of personal essay prompts:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.
- What are your short and long-term goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
- Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?
These are just a few of many scholarship essay prompts that require you to look internally, to answer a question, solve a problem, or explain a scenario in your life.
We get it. You might not be a big fan of bragging about yourself, or you might want to keep your personal stories to yourself. But by opening up and sharing your story, you can show scholarship providers, colleges and universities who you are, and why you’re deserving of their scholarship.
(Don’t just take our word for it – check out our scholarship winners page full of students like you who were brave enough to share their stories with us).
To get started, check out these 9 tips on how to write an essay about yourself:
After reading through the scholarship essay prompt, breathe, and make a list of smaller questions you can answer, which relate to the big essay prompt question.
Let’s say the main essay prompt question asks you, “What were challenges or barriers you had to work to overcome?” Then the smaller questions might be something like:
- What is your background? Family, finances, school.
- What was challenging about that background?
- What’s your greatest accomplishment? How did you get there? How have previous challenges influenced your goals?
Think of these questions as mini-prompts. They explain your story and help you answer the main essay prompt with more details than if you just answered it without a plan in place.
After considering smaller questions, it’s time to brainstorm your answers. Take out a pen and paper – or open up a document on a computer – and take your time in answering each mini-prompt. Organize your responses in order:
- Intro to main essay prompt.
- Answer about 3 mini-prompt questions.
- Conclude by rewriting the answer to the main essay prompt with a summary of your mini-prompt answers.
This organization will help you stay on topic and answer the prompt directly. (Or check out these 6 scholarship essay examples for alternative essay structures.)
Don’t be afraid to let your strengths, challenges, and personal stories shine through in your essay! Scholarship and admissions committees love to see that you’re self-aware how you can improve as a person, or how you’ve grown because of your experiences. Honest writing can help tell the best stories (in this case, YOUR story).
Since this essay is all about you , you should make your answer as specific as possible! Avoid using generalizations (e.g., “I’m really good at music). Instead, go for more personalized statements (e.g., “My fourth-grade teacher Ms. Matay really inspired me to pursue my interest in the clarinet”). Your personal examples are what will help your scholarship essay stand out among the thousands of applicants..
You’re telling your story, so write from your perspective! You can narrate your story. You can provide an overview of what you learned from your experiences. However you choose to answer the prompt, we recommend writing in an active tone, and using “I” and “me” throughout your essay.
Most students worry about bragging in their essay, but we say go for it! This is your time to shine, so highlight your accomplishments and strengths. Review your essay to make sure that you’re keeping the tone informative and that you’re still on topic. (Brag while answering the essay prompt; don’t just mention random, unrelated but impressive facts about yourself!)You can use this brag sheet where you can brainstorm your accomplishments. While the worksheet is geared toward requesting letters of recommendation , you can still use it to write out your hobbies, interests, college list , and strengths to help you answer your scholarship essay prompt.
Just because it’s an essay doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. This essay is all about you, so let your personality shine through. If you’re the class clown, you can use a bit of humor. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, don’t be afraid to show emotion. Trying your best to express who you are as a person will have a huge effect on the admissions or scholarship committee!
If you’re applying for a scholarship, research the scholarship provider. If you’re applying to college, research the school. Understanding what makes the provider/college unique and what their motivations are, will allow you to incorporate that information in your essay. For example, many scholarships are funded by private companies that sell products. You might want to reference those products in your essay. A good example of this is Emily Trader’s essay for the Life Happens organization , where she uses her personal narrative to explain the importance of insurance planning, since that is the mission of the organization (which is funded by insurance companies).
The last step in answering your essay prompt is to double-check your work! One typo can be distracting and cause scholarship providers to scratch their head while reading the essay. ( Psst, humble brag: Going Merry’s application platform includes spellcheck because we’ve got your back .) In addition to proofreading for typos and grammatical errors, also consider whether the sentence or paragraph structure makes sense. Are you breaking paragraphs in the right place? Are you using topic sentences well to signpost your main ideas? Does the essay flow? Consider these “bigger” structural questions too. You might also want to ask a friend, family member, teacher, or guidance counselor to review your essay. They might catch something you didn’t see the first time around, and that can really help your essay! In fact, that is scholarship winner Daniel Gill ’s #1 tip. (Another tip is to apply for scholarships using Going Merry !)
Also, check out this helpful list of the 10 most common scholarship essay topics while you’re brainstorming!
Now that you know how to write an essay about yourself, it’s time to start applying for scholarships! Remember: You’ve got this.
Sign up for your free Going Merry profile . From there, you can easily upload and submit your essay for thousands of scholarships. We make it easy so you’ll only need to enter your profile information once! And then, you can apply away. In fact, we even have some bundled scholarships so that you only enter your essay once, to apply for multiple scholarships at the same time.
Or if you’re not ready to register, simply sign up to receive an email with 20 new scholarship opportunities each week. Just enter your email address below:
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How to End a College Admissions Essay | 4 Winning Strategies
Published on October 16, 2021 by Meredith Testa . Revised on May 31, 2023.
The ending of your college essay should leave your reader with a sense of closure and a strong final impression.
Table of contents
Endings to avoid, option 1: return to the beginning, option 2: look forward, option 3: reveal your main point, option 4: end on an action, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.
A bad conclusion can bring your whole essay down, so make sure to avoid these common mistakes.
Unlike an academic essay, an admissions essay shouldn’t restate your points. Avoid ending with a summary; there’s no need to repeat what you’ve already written.
Phrases like “in conclusion,” “overall,” or “to sum it up” signal that you have nothing to add to what you’ve already written, so an admissions officer may stop reading.
Stating the obvious
Instead of stating the obvious, let your work speak for itself and allow readers to draw their own conclusions. If your essay details various times that you worked tirelessly to go above and beyond, don’t finish it by stating “I’m hardworking.” Admissions officers are smart enough to figure that out on their own.
You should also avoid talking about how you hope to be accepted. Admissions officers know you want to be accepted—that’s why you applied! It’s okay to connect what you discuss in the essay to your potential future career or college experience, but don’t beg for admission. Stay focused on your essay’s core topic.
Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.
Many successful essays follow a “sandwich,” or full-circle, structure , meaning that they start with some image or idea, veer away from it in the middle, and then return to it at the end.
This structure is clean, self-contained, and satisfying for readers, so it’s a great choice if it works with the topic you’ve chosen.
In the “sandwich” essay outlined below, a student discusses his passion for musical theater. Instead of simply stating that interest, his essay starts with a funny anecdote about a minor fire that erupted on set. At the end, it returns to this anecdote, creating a sense of closure.
- Intro: I may be the world’s worst firefighter.
- Flashback to working on the school musical
- Demonstrate my passion for theatre
- Detail the story of the theater set catching fire
- Show how I made the most of the situation
- Conclusion: I proved my value as a director, an actor, and a writer that week一even if I was a terrible firefighter.
Many successful essays end by looking forward to the future. These endings are generally hopeful and positive—always great qualities in an admissions essay—and often connect the student to the college or their academic goals.
Although these endings can be highly effective, it can be challenging to keep them from sounding cliché. Keep your ending specific to you, and don’t default to generalities, which can make your essay seem bland and unoriginal.
Below are a good and a bad example of how you could write a “looking forward” ending for the musical theater “firefighter” essay.
Sometimes, holding back your main point can be a good strategy. If your essay recounts several experiences, you could save your main message for the conclusion, only explaining what ties all the stories together at the very end.
When done well, this ending leaves the reader thinking about the main point you want them to take from your essay. It’s also a memorable structure that can stand out.
However, if you choose this approach, it can be challenging to keep the essay interesting enough that the reader pays attention throughout.
In the essay outlined below, a student gives us snapshots of her experience of gymnastics at different stages in her life. In the conclusion, she ties the stories together and shares the insight that they taught her about different aspects of her character and values.
- Passionate, excited
- Sister born that day—began to consider people beyond myself
- Realizing that no matter how much I love gymnastics, there are more important things
- I’d been working especially hard to qualify for that level
- It came after many setbacks and failures
- I had to give up time with friends, first homecoming dance of high school, and other activities, and I considered quitting
- Conclusion: I’m still all of those selves: the passionate 7-year-old, the caring 11-year-old, and the determined 15-year-old. Gymnastics has been a constant throughout my life, but beyond the balance beam, it has also shown me how to change and grow.
Ending on an action can be a strong way to wrap up your essay. That might mean including a literal action, dialogue, or continuation of the story.
These endings leave the reader wanting more rather than wishing the essay had ended sooner. They’re interesting and can help you avoid boring your reader.
Here’s an example of how this ending could work for the gymnastics essay.
If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.
- Writing process
- Transition words
- Passive voice
- How to end an email
- Ms, mrs, miss
- How to start an email
- I hope this email finds you well
- Hope you are doing well
Parts of speech
- Personal pronouns
There are a few strategies you can use for a memorable ending to your college essay :
- Return to the beginning with a “full circle” structure
- Reveal the main point or insight in your story
- Look to the future
- End on an action
The best technique will depend on your topic choice, essay outline, and writing style. You can write several endings using different techniques to see which works best.
Unlike a five-paragraph essay, your admissions essay should not end by summarizing the points you’ve already made. It’s better to be creative and aim for a strong final impression.
You should also avoid stating the obvious (for example, saying that you hope to be accepted).
There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:
- A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
- A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.
Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.
When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.
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How to Write a Great End to Your Personal Statement
Hook Them Through to the End
You can hook your reader with the introduction to your personal statement . And you can wow them with magical words in your personal statement . But if you don’t write a strong conclusion to your personal statement? You’ll leave admission committees with a whimper, rather than a bang.
The conclusion forms a critical part of your personal statement. Admission committees may skip to it after reading your introduction. Or they may start with it, even before reading your introduction.
The reason they do this? To get through the many applications they have to review each cycle.
Good conclusions will deliver the points admission committees expect to see. And great conclusions will enhance their views of you as an applicant.
Here, I present how to write a great conclusion to your personal statement. This advice also works for a statement of purpose conclusion.
Where Does This Advice Come From?
Great question! It comes from my 8 years as an editor at UNESCO prior to founding DLA back in 2008 . It comes from interviews I've had with admission committee members. And it comes from 10+ years of helping our clients write great personal statements .
And the results speak for themselves. For medical residency, our clients have enjoyed a 97.4% match rate. For all other programs and schools, the rate is 100%.
See the stories DLA clients have shared about their experience .
3 Key Concepts and a Formula for Success
How do you write a conclusion in a personal statement? It starts with these three concepts:
- Avoid stating it is your conclusion;
- Avoid introducing an unsupported concept; and
- Be specific in the details.
First, I will discuss these three key concepts in detail. Then I will share my foolproof method for how to write a personal statement conclusion.
Key #1: Avoid Stating It Is Your Conclusion
A thought you may have is to start your conclusion with “In conclusion.” Or “In summary.” You want to make sure to avoid this, or anything similar.
Why is this? Program directors and admission committees see it's your last paragraph. In other words, they already know it's your conclusion. So make your personal statement great by leaving this out.
Simply, using extra words makes your writing less engaging. Wordiness can indicate a lack of diligence or maturity. It can indicate a lack of focus or clarity. And it can indicate self-doubt in what you are writing.
This is true, no matter where it may occur in your personal statement.
Instead, write your conclusion with focus and drive. Follow the path you have laid out in your introduction and body. And trust the admission committee will know they've reached your conclusion.
Key #2: Avoid Introducing an Unsupported Concept
Great conclusions advance the concepts of your personal statement. This means avoiding introducing an unsupported idea. Instead, make sure all ideas connect back to what you have written earlier.
Let's say, for example, you haven't yet discussed your love of teaching. And teaching is important to your future career. You'll certainly want to include it in your conclusion. So just make sure you've written about it earlier in your personal statement. That way, it won't come out of nowhere when writing about it in your conclusion.
If you write a new, unsupported idea in your conclusion, you may convey:
- You do not know how to effectively organize your personal statement;
- You are trying to cram too many ideas into your personal statement; or
- You are ticking off a checklist of what to say.
There are a couple of exceptions to this point. Are you an older candidate? Do you have multiple significant items you need to discuss? There may simply be not enough room for all these in the body paragraphs. In this case, your only option may be to present one in the conclusion.
In such cases, there are a few guidelines to follow. First is you must fully develop the new idea in your conclusion. You must do more than simply mention it.
Second, it must extend from a point made earlier in the personal statement. It must have a foundation.
Finally, it must dovetail seamlessly with the rest of the conclusion. And it must do so without the conclusion becoming too long. (This can be challenging, so don't be afraid to ask for help.)
Key #3: Be Specific in the Details
Key to writing a great personal statement is being specific . This means being specific both in the words you use (e.g., avoiding using “thing”) and in the details you write.
Many candidates make the mistake of being vague in the conclusion. This relates especially to what you wish to accomplish in the program. You may want to write to "increase my knowledge." Or you may want to write to "gain exposure in a variety of settings."
Can you make these more specific, so they can be more effective for you? For example, in what specific areas do you wish to increase your knowledge? What specific settings do you want to gain exposure to?
Any ways you can be more specific will make your conclusion stronger.
Formula for a Great Conclusion to Your Personal Statement
The formula I present here takes you step by step through writing your conclusion. It includes how to start the conclusion to your personal statement. It includes how to end it. And it includes how long your personal statement conclusion should be.
While the formula makes a logical progression, feel free to change it up. If you find another order works better for you, then go for it. Just make sure you have covered each item in your conclusion.
How Long Should the Conclusion to a Personal Statement Be?
There are few rules of thumb to determine how long your conclusion should be. First is it should be long enough to cover all four parts presented below. At the same time, it should not go on for too long. A good word count range is 100 to 120 words.
Part 1: Start With Your Vision for Your Future Career
The key to a great conclusion is in how you start. Start with your vision for your future career. This is a single sentence stating where you see yourself 5 to 10 years from now. Think of your vision as your conclusion's thesis statement.
The vision can be your medium-term goals, your long-term goals or both. Choose whichever option brings a better focus and context for your conclusion.
For example, you may wish to pursue cardiology fellowship after internal medicine residency.
Or you may wish, after law school, to enter private practice with time devoted to pro bono work.
But what if these goals change as you progress through the program? That's okay. You don't have to get them exactly right in your personal statement. And you don't have to stick to them just because you mentioned them.
The aim here is to demonstrate a clear vision for the path you are on. Being intentional will make your application stand out.
Part 2: Next, State Precisely What You Seek to Accomplish in the Program
After establishing your medium- and long-term goals, work backward from there. Perform a self-assessment. What precisely do you need to accomplish next? What next step will better position you to achieve your career vision?
The more specific you can be with these answers, the better. Then frame these as what precisely you seek to accomplish in the program.
This could be a specific knowledge you want to gain. It could be a specific technique you want to master. It could be specific research you want to perform. It could be a specific experience you wish to have.
For example, will you aim to apply for a cardiology fellowship? Then pursuing cardiology electives would be a goal for internal medicine residency.
What about for applying to law school? Is your long-term goal to practice in an area with litigation? Then a goal for law school would be to participate in mock trial.
Part 3: Then, Therefore, State the Specific Aspects You Are Seeking in a Program
First, you established your vision. Then you identified the next step to take toward achieving that vision. Now state which aspects would equip you to achieve that next step.
Does the program have a high rate of case types that align with your interests? Does it offer certain relevant technologies? Training in certain techniques? Particular courses or electives ?
Are there particular faculty whose research interests fascinate you?
What about elective rotations? Or partnerships available in the program?
Do they offer an elective rotation in a cath lab? That would be great for someone wanting a career in cardiology. What about a renown mock trial program? That would be great for a career in litigation.
And you can go further. Are you an aspiring Vietnamese doctor or lawyer? Do you want to work with Vietnamese immigrants? Does the program you are applying to serve such a population? Then mention that.
Geographic and Other Ties to the Program
Do you have geographic or other ties to the program? For example, do you have family or close friends in the area? Do you have colleagues who graduated from the program where you are applying? Great! This is where you would mention them.
Are you applying to programs that use the Supplemental ERAS Application ? Did you specify geographic preferences? What about a preference for urban vs. rural setting? Did you signal particular programs? Then tailor your conclusion accordingly. This is key for medical residency.
For each of your top-choice program(s), write a different version of your conclusion. Tailor it to each program.
Then group all the other programs by common features (e.g., geography). Make sure to be as specific as possible when doing so. Then tailor a different version of your conclusion for each group of programs.
Part 4: Finally, State What You Offer to the Program
Have you accomplished the above three points? Great! All that's left is to state what you offer to the program.
This is actually quite easy. Start by identifying the themes you have written in your personal statement. Check your introduction and each body paragraph. Then list these themes, in keyword form, as what you offer to the program.
In this way, you accomplish two goals. First is to wrap up your personal statement's main points. Second is to provide a forward-looking statement as you bring it to an end.
Personal Statement Examples
We tailor each personal statement we work on to the unique strengths and goals of our clients. Here are two examples of our work, shared with our clients' permission:
- Fellowship Personal Statement Example - Geriatric & Palliative Care
- Residency Personal Statement Example - Ob/Gyn, IMG With Leave of Absence
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published April 9, 2018. It was last updated for accuracy and completeness December 9, 2022.