Personal Statements

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by jammy, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. jammy

    jammy New Member

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    I've been working on my Common App. essay and my West Point Personal Statements this past week. While the Common App. Essay involves creativity (recounting a life-changing experience, a lesson learned, etc), I'm wondering if the Personal Statements should be creative too. As my guidance counselor said, "Your goals with the Common App. Essay are to tell the reader about yourself and, above all, not to bore the reader." I've been using imagery, metaphors, and allusions in my Common App. Essay, but I'm thinking the place for that is not in a West Point Personal Statement.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks
     
  2. 845something

    845something Member

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    Recommend not getting too fancy here. The English department may like it, but military writing is meant to convey your thoughts concisely. You want to stand out, not bore the reader (since everyone answers the same three questions), but not be so over the top that you seem aloof.
     
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Agree with 845something for a different reason. Unless you have some unique experience, many kids may think their lives are special or different, but most kids live a normal life. When there are kids with personal tragedies (I.e. sickness, death, poverty, and etc) talking about some project, sports event, incidents involving friends, and etc seems unimportant to me. I serve on my. MOC nomination board. A question I like to ask is what is the biggest failure of your life and what did you learn from it. Most of the time, there is a big pause, than I throw a life line - it's okay to not having make any big mistake so far in your life so far, how about just a lesson you learned from a mistake.
     
  4. jammy

    jammy New Member

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    OK, I just don't want to misuse a type of writing in the wrong context. I thought maybe if I was writing what everyone else was writing then, while it may be boring, I'd be showing my genuine interest in joining the military. I'll make it more interesting without making something minor into a traumatic life event.
     
  5. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Again, my personal opinion.

    Typical SA applicants are high school kids. on average that lives a "boring" life. Yes, clubs, sports, volunteer work, internships, and etc could be very exciting, but do you think to folks that served in the military for many year and combat experience (most folks on the admissions team) find above things exciting? My opinion, the candidate essay is more about your basic writing ability and your personal statements on "why," (kids have many different reasons to attend a SA, but regardless it's about becoming a military officer and serving your country) not a chance to impress the admissions office to get extra points.
     

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