How to Start a Personal Statement With a Quote

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A personal statement is generally used when applying for a job or for admittance into an institution of higher education. The purpose of this statement is to convey information about yourself and allow those considering you for the position to see what makes you special. While including a quotation is not necessary, you can integrate a quote into your personal statement if you feel that this quote in some way exemplifies an element of your personality. However, you must ensure that your use of a quote at the start of your statement is effective.

  • Select an uncommon quote. The purpose of a personal statement is to set you apart. Using a tired quote that everyone is familiar with will not effectively accomplish this task. Pick a quotation that most people are unfamiliar with so that it will have more impact on the readers of your personal statement.

  • Properly attribute the quote. Follow the quotation with the name of the original speaker as well as a brief statement as to who the individual is, if he is not someone who is well-known.

  • Explain the importance of the quote. If you are going to begin with a quote, you need to discuss the quote in your personal statement. Do not simply drop a quote in the beginning of your statement and then move quickly onto another topic. Clearly describe what the quote means to you.

  • Elaborate on why you selected the quote. You should have a solid reason for selecting the quote you elected to use. Make this reason clear to your readers by explaining how the quote pertains to you.

  • Keep it relevant to the task at hand. In some cases, your personal statement is intended to answer a specific question or cover a pre-set topic. Don't force a quote to fit where it doesn't. If your quote is not appropriate for the assigned topic, do not use it, regardless of how well it may describe you.

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