light bulb symbolizing personal statement introduction ideas

Writing the Personal Statement Introduction

This week, we will begin the writing process with the personal statement introduction. Previously, we have discussed brainstorming for the personal statement. You should already have identified your theme characteristics, supporting experiences, and introductory story. This article will discuss using your introductory story to craft an interesting and effective personal statement introduction.

The personal statement introduction has two main functions. It should present the purpose of the essay and attract the reader’s interest. For a medical school personal statement, the purpose of the essay is to prove that the writer should be offered admission to medical school. You will attract your reader’s attention with your introductory story. Before you begin writing, it is worthwhile to re-evaluate your introductory story to make certain it will lend itself to a strong personal statement introduction.


Step 1: Take inventory

Take inventory of you introductory story:

-Is it interesting?

-Does it relate well to your theme characteristics?

– Is it simple enough to be described in a paragraph?

-Is it true?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, you should strongly consider choosing another topic for your introductory story. If you are able to answer ‘yes’ to all of the questions, you are ready to begin writing your personal statement introduction.


Step 2: Beginning to Write

It is now time to begin writing. You should begin by telling you introductory story. Take care to provide details, especially when they relate to your theme characteristics. Although there is no absolute requirement for length, you should aim for your introductory story to be approximately 200 words. If it is significantly longer, you risk losing your reader’s interest. A much shorter personal statement introduction likely does not have enough detail to be effective.  The final writing step of the personal statement introduction is to draw some conclusions from your introductory story. For example, what did you learn from the experience? How did the experience affect your decision to pursue a career in medicine?

You should now have the beginnings of a great introductory paragraph. Do not worry if it is not perfect. Feel free to correct anything that glaringly wrong, however, do not spend too much time with revisions at this point. There will be plenty of opportunities later in the process to refine and perfect your essay.