Is it appropriate to address the reader in a Personal Statement?

<p>Since you use first person, can you also use second person?</p>

<p>The prompt is to write about something in my life that is unnoticed and why it's important to me, and I want to write about music. I'd like to mention that the reader's first impression would be that music is NOT unnoticed, but then I'd continue to say why it is.</p>

<p>So basically is it alright to say "you" in a personal statement? Not continuously, just in the beginning.</p>

<p>If you think it’s not too formal sounding for your voice, I’d use “one” instead of “you”.</p>

<p>In this case, you are not really addressing a specific person, but a particular point of view. Since you can’t be certain what your specific reader’s actual first impression would be, it would be more appropriate to use “one”.</p>

<p>e.g. “One might think that music is such a pervasive part of our society that it can never go unnoticed, but…”</p>

<p>If you think that sounds to stuffy for you, though, “You” would be acceptable as long as you make it conditional. e.g. “You might”, “you may”, “Perhaps you”, etc.</p>

<p>Just don’t make the cringe-inducing mistake of presuming to know what the reader is thinking. e.g. “You think my academics are not quite good enough for Elite U, but let me tell you why they are.” Thankfully, your intended usage is far more tasteful than that.</p>

<p>I think it is, just don’t use it too much. This(in my opinion) is fine: Do you ever wonder if aliens exist? And I agree with dreamschldropout’s cringe worthy example.</p>

<p>Well, as a general rule of thumb, you should avoid the second person as much as you can in your essays. In some instances it can be okay, but keep in mind that this is a “Personal” Statement and therefore there should never really be an instance where you absolutely must address the reader. Keep the essay focused on yourself – not the reader. </p>

<p>Thank you for the responses! I think I will use “one” and see how it sounds with the entire essay, and if it doesn’t match/sound right I’ll change it to you (and only use it in one instance). Glad to know it isn’t completely taboo :)</p>