PS是Personal Statement的简称，是我们申请美国研究生院的重要材料之一。一份完美的PS有可能使你申请成功的机会大大增加，同时PS也是很好的认识你自己的过程。通过写PS，你将更了解你自己，清楚自己想要什么样的生活，理清自己为什么要去美国，以后将要成为什么样的人。这对申请者来说至关重要，对admission officer来说，PS是你唯一有机会向他们展示一个鲜活的你的材料。成绩单是死的，GRE和TOEFL分数是死的，而他们要找的是一个活生生的人，是一个有血有肉有思想的人，他们在众多的申请者中寻找最适合他们的那一位，你如何认识你自己？你的motivation来自哪里？你将来如何打算？这些东西都可以帮助他们走进你，了解你，认识你，然后决定是不是接受你。U of Washington的admission officer指出，他们会把申请者分成四等： "Admit with guaranteed funding, Admit with potential funding, Tabled (a sort of admissions purgatory), and Reject." It is in the case of "Tabled" and "Admit with potential funding" applications, the admissions officer reports, that the personal statement can make a
real difference: "If there is a good match between the applicant's research interests and the particular strengths of the school, this can bump them up a level or two in the hierarchy of admission."
PS的精髓在于将自己的motivation和Objective充分展现出来，它应该是personaland analytical, 任何generalization都需要避免，PS的关键在于用specific, personal details来展现你的个人魅力和强烈的motivation。
写PS时，要尽量完全的真诚。这是诉说一个你自己的故事，你不是在设法创造一个理想的申请者，而是just be yourself。任何的伪造都是很容易被识破的，只有完全敞开的真诚，才能真正打动admission officer，也才能真正的认识你自己，才能真正让你选择最适合你的graduate program。
用specific details来展现你的motivation很重要。这些specific details可以包括研究和工作经历、课程、你跟你所感兴趣的领域的人的交流、你读的书、你参加的学术报告会，以及任何可以展现你为何选择并适合这个研究领域的原因。
描述为什么这个graduate program适合你，不要用一些空洞的赞美性的语言，一定要be specific, be analytical。
修改前：In the first project Imanaged, I learned many valuable lessons about the importance of teamwork.
修改后：In the first project Imanaged, I made an effort to incorporate all my colleagues as equal members ofa team, soliciting their feedback and deferring to their expertise as needed.
修改前的这句话很空洞的讲team work，没有任何details；修改后的话就展开讲了我是怎么展现teamwork的。在写PS的时候一定要注意展开这些细节。最好的方法就是以自己的亲身经历开始，让那些展现你的quality和personality的东西自然流露出来，你的那些品质不需要总结性的generalities, 人们会从你对自己经历的specific details的描述判断出你有哪些quality。
不要用冗余的长句。短句更加有力，因为他们更加direct和to the point。举例：
修改前："My recognitionof the fact that the project was finally over was a deeply satisfying momentthat will forever linger in my memory."
修改后："Completing theproject at last gave me an enduring sense of fulfillment."
像the fact that这种词就是完全冗余的。
1. Performa self-inventory of Your Unique Experiences, Major Influences, and Abilities. Long and short term goals
4. 你的事业抱负是什么？这个graduate program对你实现事业理想有什么帮助?
Skills and Characteristics
6. 你有哪些品质有助于你在该领域获得成功？You need to make strong connections between your experiences and the qualities you wish to convey.
Seriousness of Purpose (to pursue graduate education)
? Intellectual Ability (to handle graduate study)
? Intellectual Curiosity (about the field you wish to enter)
? Creativity (as reflected in the way your mind addresses issues in the field of your choice) ? Open-Mindedness (to ideas, people, and circumstances different from your own)
? Maturity (as demonstrated by being responsible and trustworthy)
? Concern for Others (either by devoting time to social service activities such as tutoring or by being considerate and empathetic to others' feelings; the latter is more difficult to pull off in an application essay)
Initiative (as in the ability to start a project or take on a responsibility on your own) ? Enthusiasm (as demonstrated by your eagerness to engage in activities)
? Confidence (in your ability to handle difficult situations and novel challenges)
? Being Organized (as in the ability to stay on top of multiple tasks)
? Sense of Humor (as in your ability to find humor in difficult situations; in many ways this is an index of maturity)
? Diligence/Persistence (as demonstrated by your ability to stay with a task until you complete it; this is particularly relevant for programs requiring a dissertation)
? Leadership (as shown in your ability to inspire others to work together to reach a mutual goal) ? Risk Taking (as shown in your ability to deal with uncertainty in order to reach your goal) ? Insight (as reflected in your ability to use introspection to understand aspects of yourself, such as your preferences and your motivations)
? Optimism (as reflected in your ability to find positive aspects in seemingly negative situations) ? Compromise (as in your ability to be flexible in negotiating with others; at a more abstract level this can mean the ability to reconcile ideological opposites or dialectical pairs among others or within yourself)
? Overcoming Adversity (as demonstrated by your resourcefulness in dealing with serious problems such as divorce, death, illness, etc.)
7. 你所拥有的skills（比如communication,leadership, analytical)，注意用specific details来展示你的这些skills
9. 你可以贡献给你所申请的学校哪些东西？（给你的fellow students，你的faculty,你的broader community)
12. What's special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story? What details of your life (personal or family problems/history, any genuinely notable accomplishments, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants? 哪些人影响了你的选择？
13. Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (e.g., economic, familial, physical) in your life? 你所必须克服的困难？
14. Have you borne significant care-giving responsibilities for family members? For an ailing parent, a sibling, a disabled or aging relative, a child? How has this impacted your academics? Your professional life? Your goals and values? 你从小就需要照顾什么人吗？囧，这点对独生子女不利哎。。。
15. (If you live in U.S. but are not a native-born American) How did you deal with the challenges of moving to the U.S. from your home? Did you experience culture shock? How did you adapt? What was most difficult for you? What aspects of your new home did you enjoy the most? 在美国如何适应的问题，看来美国交流经历还在这个personal方面可以起到一些作用~
16. If work experiences have consumed significant periods of time during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has the work contributed to your personal growth?
17. When did you originally become interested in this field? What have you since learned about it-and about yourself-that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained? 你如何对这个领域感兴趣的？
18. How have you learned about this field-through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field?
19. Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain?
20. Can you recall a specific incident that convinced you that you had chosen the right career path?用一个具体的事例来证明你为何选择了正确的道路
2. Consult Friends, Relatives, Colleagues, or Professors for Ideas
I am applying to _________ and must prepare a personal statement as a part of that process. I want to be sure to include all relevant data about myself and my background, so I am soliciting information from various individuals who know me and whose judgment I value. Thank you for your help.
1. What do you think is most important for the admissions committee to know about me?
2. What do you regard as most unusual, distinctive, unique, and/or impressive about me (based on our association)?
3. Are you aware of any events or experiences in my background that might be of particular interest to those considering my application to graduate school?
4. Are there any special qualities or skills that I possess that tend to make you think I would be successful in graduate school and in the field to which I aspire to become a part?
上边我们讲了通过brainstorming的方式来挖掘自己，现在你手上应该有一大把的经历想要来诉说。你可以深入描述一段经历，也可以写多个经历，但是写的事情越多，每件事情可能就不能做到非常深入了。下面给出一些指导来帮助你narrow down your topic.
Finding the pattern that connects
Conveying something meaningful
Painting a complete portrait
一定要突出的unique的地方，如果你觉得实在很难做到unique，那就be more specific and personal.
Keeping your readers interest
Staying grounded in detail
Answering the question
What to avoid 一下几点千万要避免！
Resorting to gimmicks 不要用那些小花招，小伎俩，咱还是应该严肃点
Focusing on negative 应该重点突出你的positive attribute
Repeating information that's listed elsewhere in the application 千万别重复那些你在简历里已经展现出来的东西，需要展现你更加personal的东西
Being too controversial
You can describe misfortunes or a disadvantaged background, but do not use them as an excuse for bad performances or to seek pity. Doing so not only could sound manipulative, but also means that you haven't emphasized your strengths sufficiently. Thus, as in the case of weaknesses, you should bring up obstacles in your past only to show how you have overcome them.
Graduate statement themes:
? Why have I chosen to attend graduate school in this specific field, and why did I choose to apply to this particular school's program?
? What are my qualifications for admission?
? What is special, unique, or impressive about my life story?
The future over the past
Why Graduate School?
Early exposure to your field: 避免用一些陈词滥调，比如“I have always wanted to..."
Do not rely solely on your initial reason and forget to justify your choice with more recent
Goals 明确自己未来的职业发展目标。很多人可能会说自己会进入学术界，那么为了使你的goals显得与众不同一些，你必须突出自己特殊的research interest; 对于想要到学术之外的领域发展的人，必须identify a specific issue and explain the origin and evolution of your interest. Research interests 有些学校会让你写个statement of purpose来表明你的研究兴趣，你可以认为你的读者是一个faculty，但是一个不是专家的人应该也能津津有味地看下去
Addressing the school（在我们写每一个学校的PS的时候，都要做大量的搜索工作！）
You should do this research for your own sake, of course, but discussing your discoveries in your personal statement can help convince the admissions committee that you are a good fit. Avoid mistakes like discussing the school's rank or prestige, or simply offering generic praise. Instead,mention faculty members by name and indicate some knowledge of their work. Discuss your interest in becoming involved in a particular student organization or activity. Consider contacting faculty members first and discussing their current research projects and your interest in studying under them. Then refer to these contacts in your essay.(套磁的作用就出来了哦！） You may also want to discuss your interest in becoming involved in a particular student organization or activity.
mentioning several professors is not as effective as describing one in further depth
Details about the process are paramount. What we mean by the "process" is the path to achievement. The rest of the application has already summarized your accomplishments and activities. Show the reader what you did in concrete terms, and most importantly, highlight your active roles.
Remember to keep the discussion personal. Do not become bogged down in minute details and jargon. Ultimately, the focus of the story should remain on you and your growth or success. field experience
unrelated work experience
This applicant starts by noting the diversity of his ethnic and religious background. When mentioning such points, you should not assume that such diversity is an end in itself. Rather, you should show how your background and culture have shaped your perspective and given you something unique to offer. This applicant does a good job of noting how Zoroastrianism has given him guiding principles, but he never follows through to discuss concrete examples.This essay would have benefited from more details to show his diversity in more tangible terms.
This applicant's story is fascinating, at times harrowing, and ultimately triumphant. From committed social activism to drug and alcohol addiction to a reengagement with the world, the author pulls no punches in telling his unique tale. While he does not whitewash his experience with drugs and alcohol, notice how he situates it in a larger context, showing both how it made him oblivious to the things he really cared about (Third World injustices) and how his reintroduction to those things helped him pull himself out of his downward spiral. In doing so, he demonstrates both a strong social conscience and a dedication to his beliefs. Additionally, his story makes him very hard for an admissions committee to forget. Just be careful that any discussion of past mistakes or difficulties leads to an indubitably positive conclusion.
This applicant shows that you do not need to be a true one-of-a-kind to demonstrate uniqueness in the admissions process. In fact, what sets him apart is a rather typical job in the computer industry. What makes his application unique, however, is that he is applying to a geological sciences program. His interest in mathematical modeling gives him a novel area of specialization to offer to the intellectual diversity of the program.
Finally, this applicant shows that a personal, revealing story can be enough to set someone apart. By recounting a particular episode that sparked her epiphany as a writer, she gives us an in-depth look at her unique approach to her craft. Again, this essay does not discuss exotic experiences, but instead succeeds by painting a detailed, deeply personal portrait that no one else could have written.
Staying up late the night before the GRE is not a legitimate reason for a bad performance, whiledocumented sickness could be. A particularly bad semester could be explained by a death or illness in the family. If you lack research experience, you might point out the number of hours you had to work to make college more affordable for you and your family.
Your best approach might be to try to transform such blemishes into something positive bypointing out particular courses in which you performed well, especially those that were more advanced, more relevant to your intended career path, or more recent.
make sure that you do not take a contentious tone. Don't accuse your teachers of unfair grading standards or complain about lack of extracurricular opportunities at your school. Be clear that you're not trying to excuse yourself of responsibility, but emphasize that you simply want the schools to have the complete picture.