1. Does your Personal Statement make a good case for why you should be accepted on the course?
2. Do you give evidence of your interest in – and suitability for – that course?
3. Do you give evidence of your skills, achievements etc?
4. Do you relate these achievements (and the lessons you have learnt from them) to the course you want to do?
5. Have you left out any achievements that would support your case?
6. Have you organised this information in (roughly) 3-5 logical sections (eg subject relevance, school achievements, outside achievements/interests etc)? (These will be your paragraphs.)
7. Does the first sentence of the first paragraph make you sound interesting – and does it encourage the reader to read on!?
8. Does the first sentence of each following paragraph act as a ‘topic sentence’, ie summarises what that paragraph is going to tell the reader? (You can test this by taking out a yellow marker and highlighting the really important sentences: they should be appearing at the start of each paragraph!).
9. Is the last sentence going to leave a good impression?
10. Are you using the kind of language that the reader will expect? (Not too posh; not too slangy)?
11. Have you kept to the rules (eg length)?
12. Have you asked a good proofreader to check grammar and spelling? Don't rely on your computer!
'Beautifully written ... a rare good autobiography'
Talks now available: topics include the rise of the baby boomers and memories of a country newspaper 50 years ago. Click for details
Winning the publications game: the groundbreaking book on writing scientific papers.