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What Is an Action Statement in Writing?

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An action statement is commonly found in an individual’s personal statement. People prepare personal statements for several reasons, including admittance to college or when looking for a new job. In a personal statement, the writer explains his purpose for existence and often includes an action statement. This statement contains a list of actions the person plans on following to achieve the goals outlined in the personal statement.


People create personal statements for a number of different reasons. Some graduate schools and colleges require that all applicants submit a personal statement with their application. Other people write these statements to obtain a clearer picture of their professional life and to determine the steps they must take to become more successful. Others create a personal statement for a specific purpose in life, such as to lose weight, quit smoking or to become more involved in their community.

Role of the Action Statement in the Personal Statement

An action statement is located somewhere in the middle of a personal statement. Typically, a personal statement begins with a vision. If you're writing a personal statement, describe where you see yourself in a certain amount of time. List the goals you must accomplish to reach the vision and create your action statements. Action statements are designed to help the writer appear confident and hard-working and also show the writer is self-motivated, has a plan for life and is willing to work for it. Directly correlate these statements to your vision.

Description of Action Statements

The action statement section in a personal statement contains one-sentence descriptions of specific actions a person must follow in order to meet her goals, objectives and vision. An example of a statement a person might use on a weight-loss personal statement is “I will exercise at least three times a week.” On a personal statement for a graduate school applicant, the writer may say, “I will wake up two hours early every morning to give myself enough extra time to study.”

Action Verbs

Many people choose to write their action statements using a writing style in which each directive begins with an action verb. Some examples are “Organize a study group” and “Wake up early to study.” By writing your action statements following this method, you are emphasizing the exact action you are taking and demonstrating your strengths and skills through the chosen action verbs. This method is also more direct, and will allow your actions to stand out more.


Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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