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How to Use Feedback Effectively in Personal Statement Writing

Writing a personal statement can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to incorporating feedback effectively. Feedback is an essential part of the writing process, as it helps you improve your work and make it more impactful. However, not all feedback is created equal, and knowing how to use it effectively can make a significant difference in the quality of your personal statement. In this article, we will explore the best practices for using feedback effectively in personal statement writing, backed by research and real-life examples.

Understanding the importance of feedback

Feedback plays a crucial role in personal statement writing. It provides you with an outside perspective on your work, highlighting areas that need improvement and offering suggestions for enhancement. Without feedback, it can be challenging to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your personal statement, making it difficult to make necessary revisions.

Research conducted by Hattie and Timperley (2007) found that feedback has a significant impact on student learning. According to their study, effective feedback can improve student achievement by up to 70 percentile points. This demonstrates the power of feedback in enhancing the quality of your personal statement.

Seeking Feedback from the Right Sources

When it comes to personal statement writing, not all feedback is created equal. It is essential to seek feedback from the right sources to ensure its effectiveness. Here are some key considerations when choosing who to seek feedback from:

  • Academic Advisors: Academic advisors are knowledgeable about the requirements and expectations of personal statements. They can provide valuable insights and guidance based on their experience.
  • Professors or Teachers: Professors or teachers who are familiar with your academic abilities can offer valuable feedback on the content, structure, and overall quality of your personal statement.
  • Peers: Peers who have gone through the personal statement writing process can provide a fresh perspective and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Professional Editors: Professional editors specialize in reviewing and editing personal statements. They have the expertise to provide comprehensive feedback and help you polish your writing.
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It is important to seek feedback from multiple sources to gain a well-rounded perspective on your personal statement. Each source will bring a unique viewpoint and offer different insights, allowing you to make informed decisions about revisions.

Receiving Feedback with an Open Mind

Receiving feedback can sometimes be challenging, especially when it involves criticism or suggestions for improvement. However, it is crucial to approach feedback with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. Here are some tips for receiving feedback effectively:

  • Listen attentively: When receiving feedback, give your full attention to the person providing it. Avoid interrupting or becoming defensive, as this can hinder the feedback process.
  • Ask clarifying questions: If you do not understand a particular comment or suggestion, ask for clarification. This will help you fully grasp the feedback and its intended meaning.
  • Take notes: Take notes during the feedback session to ensure you capture all the important points. This will help you remember the feedback later when making revisions.
  • Reflect on the feedback: After receiving feedback, take some time to reflect on it. Consider the validity of the comments and how they align with your goals for the personal statement.

Approaching feedback with an open mind allows you to make the most of the suggestions and improve your personal statement effectively.

Implementing Feedback Strategically

Once you have received feedback on your personal statement, it is time to implement it strategically. Here are some steps to follow when incorporating feedback:

  1. Review the feedback: Take the time to thoroughly review the feedback you have received. Pay attention to recurring themes or suggestions that multiple sources have mentioned.
  2. Identify areas for improvement: Based on the feedback, identify specific areas of your personal statement that need improvement. This could include content, structure, clarity, or grammar.
  3. Create a revision plan: Develop a revision plan that outlines the changes you will make to address the feedback. Break down the revisions into manageable tasks to make the process more organized.
  4. Make revisions gradually: Instead of trying to tackle all the revisions at once, make them gradually. Focus on one aspect at a time, such as improving the introduction or strengthening the supporting evidence.
  5. Seek feedback on revisions: Once you have made the initial revisions, seek feedback again to ensure that the changes you have made are effective. This will help you fine-tune your personal statement further.
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Implementing feedback strategically allows you to make targeted improvements to your personal statement, resulting in a stronger and more compelling final draft.

Reflecting on the Impact of Feedback

After incorporating feedback and finalizing your personal statement, it is essential to reflect on the impact that feedback has had on your writing. Consider the following questions:

  • How has the feedback improved the overall quality of your personal statement?
  • What specific changes did you make based on the feedback?
  • Did the feedback help you clarify your thoughts and strengthen your arguments?
  • How has the feedback influenced your writing style and approach?

Reflecting on the impact of feedback allows you to recognize the value it has brought to your personal statement writing process. It also helps you become more receptive to feedback in the future, knowing the positive outcomes it can yield.


Using feedback effectively in personal statement writing is crucial for improving the quality and impact of your work. Seeking feedback from the right sources, receiving it with an open mind, and implementing it strategically are key steps in this process. Reflecting on the impact of feedback allows you to recognize its value and become more receptive to it in the future. By following these best practices, you can enhance your personal statement and increase your chances of success in achieving your goals.

Remember, feedback is not meant to criticize your abilities but to help you grow and improve. Embrace feedback as a valuable tool in your personal statement writing journey, and you will see the positive impact it can have on your work.

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