In this third installment of my 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 detailed analysis of their essays.
This third submission is by Gabe. It details his life growing up in a small town in Mexico, his time working with underserved communities and a particularly memorable patient encounter in a remote village of Guatemala that changed his life forever.
We will present you with the original essay and then our suggestions.
As always, use this as a guide to see where you can improve your own writing, and respect the work of others. It should go without saying this is not your work, so don’t plagiarize.
Suggestions and Revisions
You have an impressive resume and have chronicled it very well. You did an excellent job with just a couple of words — "confining wooden chair in a small hovel" of describing Jane Doe's living conditions.
Of course, I still have suggestions, including a couple of grammar/writing tips. First, when you include dialogue, preface it with a comma, not a colon. You don't need to explain that PA is the acronym for physician assistant.
Whenever you have the opportunity to use active verbs, take it. For example, here's a stronger way to write your opening two sentences:
You could leave out some details about your work with Jane and your childhood experiences to write more about your shadowing experiences. Omit the information about Jane's children entirely. It's wonderful that you helped them with their homework, but that information doesn't add anything here. As to their health care, when you talk about your own experiences as a child, you've made the point. It's like repeating a car chase scene in a movie. You don't need more than one. In fact, there are many places to cut or shorten sentences because you've made your point already. Read your essay carefully and be ruthless about taking out unnecessary words. There are many.
Your sentence starting with "After meticulous research" should be the start of a new paragraph. (I'm not sure if the formatting on the website changed your paragraphs, but they should be shorter rather than longer. Start a new one with "Jane is seen regularly," too). Then add more detail about why you want to be a PA as opposed to another field. Why not be an MD?
I love the way you tied your current job's limitations to your goal of becoming a PA. That's excellent.
You have a great start. All you need is a careful edit and a few additional sentences about your shadowing experiences to help your readers understand why the PA profession is for you.
Best of luck.
What is Your Worth?
It has been said that "Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment". This is our philosophy at the personal statement collaborative.
Our value is determined not by our success but by your success. Nothing compares to the feeling we get when we hear that you have received an interview or been accepted into PA school.
This is why we do what we do, it is why we dedicate extra hours, time and personal care to each of our clients. I have been in your shoes and I know how stressful and frustrating the process can be.
If you need help, we are here for you, as colleagues and as friends.
Don't miss a post in this series!
Are you enjoying this workshop? Before you go make sure to sign up for automatic email updates from the blog or subscribe with Feedly. And if you haven't already, sign up for the FREE email newsletter (down below) or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll definitely respond, and I look forward to meeting you!
- Stephen Pasquini PA-C
Photo credit: Pax on Both Houses
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