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Overcoming Writer's Block in Graduate School Personal Statements

When fall starts to give way to winter, there are several things we can always accurately predict. There will be lots of leaves to rake, the days will get shorter and a lot of extremely talented graduate school applicants will struggle with writer's block.

These are the five things you need to do to overcome your writer's block:

1. Set a first draft deadline within the next few hours and stick to it.

Undergraduate students (and grad school applicants have achieved 'legendary status' for their abilities to complete papers in short order. Harness this talent you have deep within you to produce that first draft and get going!

2. Talk it out.

If you don't want to ask your significant other or trusted friend or family member to hear you out, then use a mirror. It's easy and extremely effective.

3. Eliminate your distractions.

Drafting your grad school personal statement certainly qualifies as worthy of a special trip to a library or park (weather permitting), so don't be afraid to go to whatever reasonable length is necessary to rid yourself of your distractions.

4. Jump in wherever.

Writer's block, quite simply, means you're having trouble getting something – anything – on that blank sheet of paper (or word processor file as the case may be). Since you don't currently have an introduction, body paragraphs or a conclusion – just jump in and resign yourself that you will worry later about how to tie everything together.

5. Do NOT worry about grammar.

And also on the subject of pulling everything together later, the first draft is not the appropriate time to concern yourself with any grammatical or style issues. Get your story down first and remember that the first draft is appropriately referred to as a rough draft!

Are you struggling with writer's block? We can help you select the best topics for your graduate school personal statements and ensure the admissions committees see you in your best possible light. To get started, please call us at 1.800.809.0800 (+1 703.242.5885 outside the US and Canada) or email us right away!


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