Tips to Polish Your Personal Statement to Dental School

  • Save the Word Count Until the End: Don’t waste your time worrying about the exact length of your essay until you’ve got great content written. Then, you can clean up sentences and polish it down to the right length.
  • Keep Sentences Short and Sweet: If your sentences are lengthy, they can sometimes become confusing. There’s no rule about sentence length, but consider splitting long sentences into two parts or find more concise ways to word any long-winded sections.
  • Count Your Verbs: Applicants tend to overuse verbs. To avoid rambling, count the verbs in longer sentences and eliminate helping verbs. (Example: Replace “is going to be organizing,” with “will organize.”)
  • Choose Active Voice: Using forms of “to be” (such as “is” or ‘are”) makes your writing vague. Update “to be” with more specific, active verbs. Your writing will sound more authentic and better highlight your strengths. (Example: Replace “I am an enthusiastic leader,” with “I lead enthusiastically.”)
  • Sleep On It: If you’ve committed several hours to your Personal Statement, give it a rest. Taking a break will help your brain refresh, so you can return the essay with new ideas.
  • Read it Aloud: This essay should sound like your voice – literally you telling a story. Read it aloud more than once. Does each sentence sound like something you would actually say?
  • Ask an Outside Reader for Help: When you get to a final draft, always ask someone else to proofread it. Typos, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are harder to catch because you are too invested in the writing, so find some fresh eyes to look for errors one last time.
Chance Bodini
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Chance Bodini is a general dentist practicing in Southern California. He is also the founder of Proximal Contact, LLC where he and his team operate a family of websites dedicated to helping dentists find success including Zipistry!

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