In this special week-long introductory session of the personal statement workshop, we are pulling essays submitted from the comments section through our free essay submission process and providing you, and our users, with a more thorough analysis of their essays.
Since examples often make better teachers than words, pay close attention. You may find just the advice you were looking for.
We will present you with the original essay and then our suggestions.
Use this as a guide to see where you can improve your own writing and of course, as always, respect the work of others. It should go without saying this is not yours, so don’t plagiarize.
Essay 1: A Physician Assistant Changed My Life
Suggestions and Revisions
By: Sue Edmondson (The PA Essay Collaborative)
A Note to Josh:
The opening two paragraphs of your essay are excellent. They grabbed my attention immediately, and made me want to keep reading. That’s your goal!
You could eliminate a few words to make it flow better. For example, here’s a revised sentence.
I’m guessing you won’t miss any of the deleted words.
You don’t need the third paragraph at all. It’s lucky that you have such a wonderful mom, but the information about her doesn’t help the admissions folks know you better. Omit it and use the space to elaborate on your qualities and skills. The problem continues in the fourth paragraph.
It’s good to explain that health issues impacted your grades (Admissions Directors want to know why they weren't good), but the details aren't necessary.
Take this revised sentence for example: “After College, my physician assistant Michael Johnson used his intuition and skills to discover I suffered from hypothyroidism. His diagnosis and treatment have helped to improve my energy, mental acuity, and metabolism.” It says everything the reader needs to know.
While it’s great that you do amazing volunteer work, you’ll need to explain how those experiences contribute to the skill set you’ll need as a PA.
Delete many of the details and focus on things akin to your statement: "I will never completely understand the gamut of emotions that abused children and women have gone through but I empathize with them having uncertain health and understand how to communicate and help them. By contributing to their lives, I found fulfillment as a member of a healthy community; treating individuals of all backgrounds with respect and grace, treating individuals of all backgrounds with respect and grace.”
Your ability to empathize and communicate with those less fortunate is well established. What else have you learned? Has the volunteer work increased your leadership or decision-making skills? Your ability to work as part of a team? Have you needed to remain calm when shelter clients are upset?
I’m assuming you don’t have job or shadowing experience in the medical field because it’s not in your essay, so you’ll need to beef up skills you've acquired in other aspects of your life.
What you also need to do is explain more specifically why you want to be a PA. There are a million things you could do to help people in the way you mention in your last paragraph — many in the medical profession. Why not be a nurse or a doctor?
Your job is to convince the admissions folks that being a PA is the only option that interests you and to show that you have much to offer their program.
Go back through your essay and scrutinize every sentence. Does it help Admissions Directors and faculty know something new about you? If it doesn't, out it goes.
By the way, ditch the exclamation point. Never use them in essays. Your words should be the exclamation point.
Best of luck,
Now you can have extra peace of mind
We offer a bit of free guidance to anyone who takes the time to submit their essay in the comments section of the blog. But your essay deserves more than just a quick spell check or a read through from a parent or relative.
For as little as $59.99 you can have:
- Personal guidance from our team of professional writers, with inside knowledge into the PA school personal statement.
- Telephone consultations are included with purchases of two hours or more. It's often hard to communicate exactly what you want hundreds of miles away; for this reason, we offer the option to edit right alongside us over the telephone while sharing in real-time over Google Docs.
- We provide feedback, advice and help with brainstorming and topic creation.
- We will help with a "final touch up" before the big day in case your essay needs a few minor changes.
- And yes, of course, there is more 🙂
Here is what one of our recent clients had to say:
We are currently accepting essays in all iterations. We have flexible pricing and can do everything from a single one-time edit to a full-service review that will take you from beginning to a finished product. Hurry, as we can only accept a few essays each month.
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View all posts in this series
- How to Write the Perfect Physician Assistant School Application Essay
- The Physician Assistant Essay and Personal Statement Collaborative
- Do You Recognize These 7 Common Mistakes in Your Personal Statement?
- 7 Essays in 7 Days: PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 1, “A PA Changed My Life”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 2, “I Want to Move Towards the Forefront of Patient Care”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 3, “She Smiled, Said “Gracias!” and Gave me a Big Hug”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 4, “I Have Gained so Much Experience by Working With Patients”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 5, “Then Reach, my Son, and Lift Your People up With You”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 6, “That First Day in Surgery was the First Day of the Rest of my Life”
- PA Personal Statement Workshop: Essay 7, “I Want to Take People From Dying to Living, I Want to Get Them Down From the Cliff.”
- Physician Assistant Personal Statement Workshop: “To say I was an accident-prone child is an understatement”
- 9 Simple Steps to Avoid Silly Spelling and Grammar Goofs in Your PA School Personel Statement
- 5 Tips to Get you Started on Your Personal Essay (and why you should do it now)
- How to Write Your Physician Assistant Personal Statement The Book!
- How to Write “Physician Assistant” The PA Grammar Guide
- 101 PA School Admissions Essays: The Book!
- 5 Things I’ve Learned Going Into My Fourth Physician Assistant Application Cycle
- 7 Tips for Addressing Shortcomings in Your PA School Personal Statement
- The #1 Mistake PRE-PAs Make on Their Personal Statement
- The Ultimate PA School Personal Statement Starter Kit
- The Ultimate Guide to CASPA Character and Space Limits
- 10 Questions Every PA School Personal Statement Must Answer
- 5 PA School Essays That Got These Pre-PAs Accepted Into PA School
- 7 Questions to Ask Yourself While Writing Your PA School Personal Statement