ICS 139W Fall 2015, Emily Navarro

(assignment adapted with permission from Deva Ramanan)

Personal Statement

For this assignment, you will prepare a personal statement, similar to one you may be required to write for application to graduate school (e.g., an MBA) or fellowship. Select one of the following questions to answer with an essay of approximately three pages:

Due dates:
• October 1—Draft for peer review in class
• October 15—A final revision of your personal statement is due at the beginning of class. As always, all previous versions and peer reviews should be included with your paper submission. It's a good idea to re-read the Writing Assignment Requirements sheet before submitting each assignment.

We'll use 3 categories (total of 100 points possible):

* Critical Thinking and Analysis: 34 points

The draft clearly answers one of the stated questions (the reader

should be able to easily identify which prompt was used). The draft is

written with a target audience (admissions officer, or fellowship

commitee member) in mind, emphasizing qualities of the applicant that

will make him/her a successfull addition to the target school. Beyond

just a statement of facts that answer the given prompt, the draft

includes thoughtful evaluations and assessments of such statements.

The draft addresses any possible weaknesses in an applicant's

background. Finally, the draft displays some originality that

separates it apart from most statements that an admissions officer

will encounter.

* Development and Structure: 33 points

The organization is apparent, coherent, and contributes to the overall

goals; the insightful, specific, focused development of the main

purpose/thesis is effectively organized in paragraphs; transitional

devices (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/574/1/) help to

develop one idea from the previous one or identify their logical

relations; the reader is effortlessly guided through the 

chain of reasoning or progression of ideas. Parallel structure is used

to emphasize common relationships between ideas


* Language and style: 33 points

The prose is consise, in that does not contain unncessary words or sentences.

Sentences are correct in that there no fragments

(http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/620/1/) or dangling

modifiers (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/597/1/).

Sentences are clear with naturally flowing subordinate clauses, strong

action verbs, unambiguous pronouns, and limited use of nominalizations

and double-negatives (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/600/1/). The propose is

written with the appropriate level of formality. The prose is written

in a consistent tense (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/601/04/)  and voice

(active vs passive).