Writing a personal statement does not have to be rocket science; however, if you're not careful, you could easily jeopardize your personal essay and compromise your chances of getting accepted in the school you prefer. If you think you can write about anything in your personal essay, you better think again and think hard. Not everything you might want to share will make the right impact, and failing to comply with essay rules and guidelines could cost you your acceptance. Here are some of the more common ways for you to mess up your personal statement and some tips on what you can do to keep yourself from doing so. Using plagiarized content Personal statement examples can serve as excellent guides when it comes to writing your personal essays. However, using the actual content of these samples and passing them off as your own is one surefire way to jeopardize your personal statement. Plagiarizing other people's work so that your personal essay appears highly interesting is a sign of incompetence and irresponsibility. Surely, you would not want to communicate these poor qualities to the selections committee. If you must, make use of personal statement examples, you need to use them only as guides. You can use the outline as a sample, so you will know which experiences to include in your essay and which ones to leave out. Focusing on negativity People face problems from time to time; however, there are those who have faced graver trials than others. If you are one of those people who's had your fair share of problems, make sure that you adopt a positive attitude despite the challenges, and reflect this attitude in your personal statement. Wallowing in negativity will give off an unfavorable vibe, and enumerating all the trials you've been through will no longer make your essay an interesting read. Failure to comply with essay requirements Different schools will have different requirements when it comes to writing personal statements. Typical requirements and guidelines include the word count, number of paragraphs, fonts, document size, and deadline of submissions, among others. More than writing a personal statement that will pique the interest of your readers, following the set guidelines is no less important. By following correct instructions, you are essentially communicating to the selections board that you are willing and able to stick to the rules. The personal statement is one of the most important requirements for college admissions. Along with your GPAs, SAT requirements, and recommendations, a high quality personal essay is one requirement you should never leave out. There are many ways for you to make your essay more compelling than others, such as looking into personal statement examples as guides. Nonetheless, you can also screw up your admissions essay by committing the above-mentioned mistakes. The important thing is to stick to the rules, while writing a lively, original, and creative personal essay. About the Author Ikaterina Herzegova-Chan is a reliable source of personal statement examples online. She has been writing personal statement examples and guides for incoming students applying at different colleges and universities.