Something that many people get too lazy to do (including me, I am very guilty of this), is not asking people to proofread their work before submitting it. The first program I applied to this year rejected me and I couldn’t figure out why. I thought my application had been flawless. I told them why I wanted to do their program and answered all their questions they had with accuracy. Upon going back to my personal statement later, I instantly found many grammar and punctuation mistakes. That was embarrassing. I’ll admit that it was a rush job, and I had not even asked anyone to read over it for edits and opinions.
I will not be making the same mistake this time. These applications are much more important and need to be looked over by multiple people for anything I couldn’t see. I have a habit of leaving out words or misspelling tiny things that I shouldn’t have. It’s always hard to ask someone to critique your work, but an outside eye is really needed, especially when it comes to something as important as an application essay.
Use Facebook as a way to ask friends to be a proofreader. You’ll hopefully get a few people who are willing, and then you’ll get a diverse group who will give you different perspectives on your writing. I’ve only had two people read it so far and I’ve already reworked a lot of my statement. Sometimes when you’re engrossed in your own paper, it’s hard to see the things that other people won’t miss. Sentences that may flow to you, won’t to others. Word choices could be funky. It’s good to get a different perspective on the words you’ve written.
So I say this, don’t be afraid to pass your statement around. The worst thing you can do is keep it to yourself. Get at least three people to give it a quick read and it will help you immensely with your progress. Find a friend who has already been accepted to grad school. They’ll know what to look out for and can be a great help. Have your parents read it, teachers, friends. Anyone can give you a new way of looking at it.