Personal Statement

Hi everyone! I am working on my graduate applications and was hoping to get a little feedback on my personal statement. Below is my very first draft and the topic is simply my reasons for pursuing graduate study and a career in speech-language pathology. I know it is very very rough at this point, but let me know if I am even on the right track. Thanks!


Growing up I watched as my little brother, a child with Asperger Syndrome, struggled to communicate his emotions and needs. As a result of his inability to express himself, he would fall into tantrums and tears. At ten years of age he finally began receiving assistance from a variety of professionals, including a speech-language pathologist. In the years following, that once frustrated boy found relief and was at last able to share with us his thoughts and feelings.

            During my sophomore year of college I took a position through the school district as a substitute educational assistant, allowing me to work closely with speech-language pathologists in many different programs. It was here that while creatively trying to elicit any words I could from toddlers during play time and snack, I found my passion for early intervention.

            This past semester I participated in an undergraduate seminar, a class based on research and the academic field, which allowed me to spend time in the lab of a professor here at State University. During my time in the class and lab I have been able to run experiments and view the inner workings of a career in academia, sparking my desire to undertake a master’s thesis relating to early intervention.

            The experiences of seeing my brother overcome his frustration with the help of a speech-language pathologist, experiencing the joy of assisting children in early intervention, and (something about seeing scientific progress for the field being made) are my reasons for pursuing graduate study in communication disorders and ultimately a career in speech-language pathology. As a current student at State University, it would be an amazing opportunity to continue my education here in the graduate program of communication disorders.


I am in no way a pro at writing statements as I am in the midst of that very task myself, but these are my opinions/suggestions:
-I don't think you need the opening line "While I have always...". I think starting with "Growing up..." is much better.
-The research paragraph needs some help I think. You said the word research five times in three sentences. It was a little repetitive in that aspect.

Maybe something more like this:
During the past semester I participated in a class based on research and the academic field. This opportunity allowed me to spend time in the research lab where I have been able to conduct experiments and interrupt the results. This chance has furthered my interest and I want to expand my knowledge even deeper.

Finally, I don't like closing with "these are my reasons...". Sum up what you said and finish strong.

Sorry if this said more negative than positive things, I wasn't attacking I swear! :) And please excuse any grammatical/spelling errors, I am an SLPA in an elementary school and there is indoor recess! Eeeeek!
Thank you so much! I think all your advice sounds great. The research paragraph definitely needed help. And I don't mind negative as long as it's constructive :) I need all the help I can get!

Watch out for running kids and flying basketballs! :P
You're making progress! I like how each paragraph focuses on a specific aspect of your life - it helps the essay to flow nicely. You probably already know this, but you'll definitely need to beef it up a bit, each paragraph should have about 5 sentences.
I'm only allowed 300 words :( but yes I would have loved to add more. That's exactly 300. Thanks for the comment!
Really coming along nicely. I like it much better then the first draft.

In your subbing paragraph there is one sentence that starts off a little bit confusing... "It was here that while..". I think that could be cleaned up a little and it will help the flow. In the final paragraph I still am not a huge fan of using the phrase "these are the reasons why". I think you can imply that without saying it and it will make your writing more "grown up".

But like I said, huge improvement! I think for only being allowed 300 words you are really close to getting your point across perfectly. :)