This page offers some guidelines for writing personal statements and teaching statements.
A personal statement is, in fact, a research statement. You need to follow a certain structure or at least provide certain information. Try to keep it short - only one or two pages - since you are sending it to a very busy person! Try to avoid describing what you did as a child. Most academics are not interested, so including this information would most likely only hurt your application.
Describe the area of research that interests you and why. If you have already done some research work in this area, be sure to mention it. Also, explain why you think you are suitable for this area. You may also describe competitions in the area that you have done well in and special academic attainments. For example, a double major in mathematics and computer science probably set you apart from students who only studied computer science. If you have nothing special to say, then just mention briefly how you came to choose this area.
Describe research programs you have worked on (one paragraph per program.)
Explain why you feel you need a Masters degree or PhD.
Tell the reader why you want to go to that particular university. Make it easy for them:
You can also state what papers you have read from that university and what you enjoyed about them or how they inspired you. Lastly, tell them what you hope to gain from their university.
After you write a draft of your statement, please send it to your communication tutor for copy editing.