Course Description

For students, personal statements and application essays are among the most difficult and most important documents they will ever write. They are difficult because they require both introspection and polish, and important because the writer may literally be competing for tens of thousands of dollars in a huge field of outstanding candidates. A writing tutor who has provided guidance on more than a thousand graduate applications, Joe Schall advises you on how to be competitive but not cocky, informed but not formulaic, openly creative yet professional. As you consider ways to write your way into your future, count on this website to help you grow and thrive in the process.

Online Course

You can view the entire course here: Writing Personal Statements Online

Download Course Files

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Joe Schall

Joe Schall was the Giles Writer-in-Residence for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State from 1988 until 2008. He received an M.A. in English from Penn State in 1988 and a B.S. in English Education from Juniata College in 1981. He has won numerous honors for his writing and teaching, including the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers from New York University and the Wilson Award for Outstanding Teaching from Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.