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Sample Personal Statement for Political Science

personal statement template politics

by Talha Omer, MBA, M.Eng., Harvard & Cornell Grad

In personal statement samples by field.

The following personal statement is written by an applicant who got accepted to several top graduate schools in political science. Variations of this PS got accepted at Duke, UCLA, and NYU. Read this essay to understand what a top personal statement in political science should look like.

Sample Personal Statement for Graduate School in PoliSci

It was not until I studied the introductory “Political Thought” course during my undergrad that I discovered my passion for political philosophy. Studying ancient and modern political thought allowed me to get introduced to the thought experiments of political thinkers to construct novel political concepts. This enabled me to relate the theory to other branches of political science. However, the courses I studied at the undergrad level were introductory, hence, not enough to quench my thirst for philosophical thinking.  

The best thing that happened to me because of studying these courses was that I started thinking along the lines of philosophy. After my undergrad, I engaged in various endeavors, which also included working as an HR Manager. However, the intrigue that originated after studying the Political Thought courses kept pushing me towards further academic pursuits. I applied to the program of MA Political Science at Central European University and got in. It was here that I discovered that I needed to cover immense ground in Political Theory. The fortunate thing was that I was not confused about the line I was supposed to tread, which was political theory.

Therefore, I opted for the same line and selected electives accordingly. In the mandatory course of Political Theory, I got introduced to more profound philosophies, particularly related to liberal egalitarianism. I hadn’t read those theories before, and the start of the course was not as rosy as it was in the courses of Political Thoughts back in my bachelor’s. However, my professor, Dr. Moles, encouraged all students to participate in the rigorous debates surrounding those philosophies.

The whole process happened to be very enriching. My brain started working in that direction, and I kept philosophizing about different political ideas even during my leisure time. The unfortunate thing that happened during this course was the aggravated anxiety I was going through. The condition took a toll on my studies, and I had to seek help from the medical center at my university. There was a time when I thought I would not be able to complete my master’s. However, thanks to the encouragement of my professors and peers, I was soon back on track amid psychological challenges. After studying political theory courses from Moles, Miklosi, and Kis, I concluded that I wanted to conceptualize responsibility in egalitarian distributive justice. It was mainly due to my reading of luck egalitarianism. Under the guidance of Professor Moles, I completed my thesis on the topic of “Individual Choice and Responsibility in the Backdrop of Just Institutions.”

After my master’s, teaching was the first option that occurred to me. Therefore, I sought employment in higher-education-teaching and got employed as a lecturer. It has been a challenging yet enriching experience. I am still teaching in the same organization. I teach courses ranging from qualitative research methods to International Relations (IR). I enjoy teaching IR courses, and the most exciting thing about them is that my knowledge of political theory helps me have a profound understanding of global political issues.  

In addition to the intrigue of engaging in different philosophical debates, teaching various courses and applying my theoretical knowledge galvanize me to further advance my understanding. The important thing is that I want to produce coherent research along the lines of political and social theory. For this to happen, it is imperative to pursue a doctorate. If I get the chance to enter a doctorate, I shall research along the lines of the Theory of Justice, Liberal Rights, Marxist critique on liberal rights, etc. I am also writing a research paper on “The Moral Status of Potential Immigrants from the Rawlsian Original Position.” The topic has the potential to be converted into comprehensive doctorate research.

Numerous universities in the USA have excellent political theory faculty, and many are working in my area of interest. If I get the opportunity, I shall be able to pursue my interest in becoming a teacher and researcher. I have survived the events which could have instilled hopelessness in me. However, on the contrary, my determination shows that I have cultivated enough resilience to tread the trajectory toward my passion.

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  • Politics Personal Statement Examples

The following 3 personal statement examples for politics are for inspiration and guidance for students who are applying to politics at UK universities. These examples will give you a sense of the structure of personal statements for politics. Also, the tone is appropriate to use for university applications. 

Hopefully, political personal statement examples will help you write a compelling statement that will help you stand out as an applicant for a political course.

Personal Statement Examples for Politics

We are all affected by politics, and to ignore it is to be in the dark about how the world works. People have acquiesced to unjust institutions and unfair political practices because of ignorance of politics. I am interested in studying Politics so that I can gain the knowledge and analytical skills to understand the workings of the world and therefore inform the public about pervasive injustice as a foreign correspondent or political reporter.

As evidenced by my A-Level English Literature results, I have a gift for language and understanding texts. Due to my talent, I initially decided to study Literature and American Studies. Although I began these studies, I found Literature to be too detached from reality and unable to help me understand politics or fulfil my ambitions. After much reflection, I made the difficult decision to withdraw and pursue my primary interests closer to home.

My reading for American Studies, however, was very helpful in helping me gain an understanding of American politics, a subject I am looking forward to studying at university. Because of America’s unrivalled power, no one is untouched by its politics, which makes it the most important to understand all national politics. Moreover, the pace of political change and the polarisation of the parties make for fascinating reading, especially through the lens of the Huffington Post, my favourite American news outlet. Barely 2 years following Obama’s victory, Republicans are back on the offensive, winning control of Congress with the support of the ‘Tea Party movement. I’d like to learn more about how such religious grass-roots groups can coexist with established political parties in the setting of one of the world’s most secular constitutions.

In its foreign policy announcements, America sometimes uses the word democracy loosely. As well, I am interested in studying Democratic Theory to better understand how democracy has triumphed in the West and its pros and cons. I am a member of the Electoral Reform Society, which seeks to find a more representative electoral system that better reflects the wishes of voters in the UK. In reading Plato’s Republic for Philosophy A-Level, I have become aware that democracy may have deeper, intrinsic weaknesses. The anti-democracy argument of Plato has some problems, since it seems to only apply to direct democracies and assumes that philosopher-kings are apt to rule. However, his benevolent tyranny model still has appeal, which may explain why democracy has not yet reached every country, much to the chagrin of Washington.

By studying philosophy at A-Level, I have improved my argumentative skills and learned how to present clear and logical arguments. My political essays or seminars at university will benefit from this knowledge when I argue my case. On the other hand, my History A-Level has prepared me for understanding the genesis of contemporary political events through historical research skills.

Aside from school, I am preparing myself for university life and my future career by pursuing an internship at BBC Look East and volunteering for the Green Party. I plan to become very politically active at university. I’d want to join the student union and advocate for Green Party ideas. To better prepare myself for the media world, I would also like to write for and help edit a student newspaper.

I am committed to using my education and extracurricular experiences at university to not only gain the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field of journalism, but also to cultivate compassion within myself. This increased sense of empathy will drive me to actively seek out and bring to light instances of injustice, with the ultimate goal of creating a more equitable and fair society.

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As someone who has been surrounded by political discussion and debate from a young age, it is no surprise that politics is a subject that I am deeply passionate about. My parents’ involvement in local council affairs sparked my interest in the subject, and I have been fortunate enough to gain valuable work experience as an intern at the Home Office in London.

During my time at the Home Office, I had the opportunity to work closely with senior officials and meet with ambassadors from various countries, including Germany, India, and the United States. These experiences only served to further fuel my ambition to pursue a degree in politics. I am particularly interested in studying the sociological context of politics and understanding how human social behaviour shapes and is shaped by a country’s political structure. I am also intrigued by the various social issues that have political significance, such as race, gender, national identity, the environment, and the impact of new technologies.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I have also been active in extracurricular activities that have helped to develop my leadership and management skills. I have held several positions of responsibility, including head of the boarding house at my junior school, captain of the school netball team, and managing director of a Young Enterprise group. These experiences have taught me how to take charge and work effectively with others.

I am a hard-working and determined student with a clear set of goals and a strong commitment to achieving them. I am confident and have a strong personality, but I am also humble and aware of how much I have left to learn. My curiosity drives me to seek out new ideas and perspectives, and I am always eager to broaden my understanding of the world around me. I believe that I have the necessary qualities and drive to succeed as an undergraduate in the field of politics.

As a young person, I was deeply affected by the events of 9/11 and the London bombings, which I watched unfold on television. These events sparked my curiosity about the world and drove me to learn more about different political viewpoints. I wanted to understand why certain events happened and how they were shaped by different perspectives.

Through my A-level study of history, I have seen how minor political changes make huge impacts on the world. The story of political evolution over the past 200 years fascinates me, as it explains how and why we ended up where we are today. I have come to understand the deep-rooted connection between politics and everyday life. This is particularly evident in countries which have gained independence from Britain, as governments attempt to find their feet. The histories of relatively new nations such as Zimbabwe and Pakistan are important to look back on, to help us understand how and why they operate as they do today. In the UK, I find the story of devolution in Wales an interesting one, especially as so much of the population remains ambivalent about it.

I have always had a passion for language and have studied Welsh, French, and English at the AS level. In English, I analysed the speeches of politicians such as Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher and considered why they were effective. While studying French, we compared the political systems of France and the UK. However, the political system that interests me the most is that of the USA. The system of checks and balances is a unique and interesting model, and the role of the American president as “Leader of the Free World” is constantly evolving and impacting global society. I also find the British political system to be very intriguing and hope to gain a thorough understanding of its complexity.

I have held several leadership positions at my school, including being a form representative and perfect, and serving as a Student Ambassador. These roles have required me to communicate with my peers and present their requests to staff, which has taught me the importance of sometimes making sacrifices to achieve a goal. I have also participated in the Young Interviewer competition and represented my school at a national debating tournament at Durham University. This experience introduced me to the world of political debate and required me to work in an effective team under time pressure. This year, I made it to the national final of the Welsh Schools’ Debating Championship. Through debate, I have learned to consider different viewpoints on various political, social, and moral issues and to present my arguments. These skills have also been helpful in my written work.

I have been actively involved in politics, including participating in the local election campaign for a Conservative candidate and being a member of the Young Conservatives. I also attended a rally with David Cameron in Bristol, which gave me an understanding of the important role played by grassroots politics and the work that goes into campaigning. I am deeply interested in current affairs, both in the UK and internationally, and am particularly interested in the current coalition government and its successes and challenges. I read the Guardian and have read several political memoirs, with a particular interest in the accounts of Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell, whose experiences have had a significant impact on my understanding of politics.

I hope to fully engage with the various political societies and activities offered at the university and deepen my understanding of global politics through my studies. After completing my degree, I hope to be involved in politics in some capacity, whether through a government career or potentially as a parliamentarian.

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Personal statement

The quality of an applicant's personal statement is very important at LSE. The School does not interview for places so this is an applicant’s only opportunity to demonstrate they are a good fit for the course. Applicants should consult the advice here, as well as advice from UCAS when preparing to complete this section of their application. 

Please note that writing a personal statement following the guidelines below does not guarantee an offer of admission. Personal statements are looked at on a comparative basis and there is a great deal of competition for places at LSE. 

LSE does not accept additional or supplementary personal statements. We can only consider the personal statement submitted via UCAS.

Writing your personal statement

We expect that your submitted Personal Statement is structured and coherent and that you fully utilise the space available on your UCAS application form. We expect that you have checked spelling, punctuation, and grammar and that your Personal Statement flows in a logical order. We expect that your Personal Statement is entirely your own original work. We reserve the right to reject your application where it has been found that a statement has significant similarities to a previous submission or has been created with the use of Artificial Intelligence.

Before you start writing, do your research

Before you start writing your personal statement, you should visit our course guides . These guides give information on the course content of each of our undergraduate programmes. 

When assessing your personal statement our Admissions Selectors will look at how well your academic interests align with the LSE course. So, for example, the Anthropology Admissions Selector is likely to prefer a statement which focuses mainly on social anthropology - which is taught at LSE - over one which suggests the applicant is very interested in biological anthropology, or a combined degree with archaeology, as these courses are not offered at the School. 

Similarly, a personal statement which shows an interest mostly in modern international history (the focus of LSE’s International History course) is likely to be more competitive than one which shows a significant interest in ancient history, as LSE does not offer any ancient history units.   

If you are applying for a range of slightly different courses, we recommend that you focus your personal statement on the areas of overlap between them, so that your statement appeals to all of your UCAS choices. It is important to note that LSE does not accept replacement or supplementary personal statements. 

What to include in your personal statement

Your personal statement should discuss for the most part your academic interest in the subject you wish to study. One way to think about the personal statement is to reflect on what we expect from LSE undergraduates: we ask them to learn about topics relevant to their course, through reading or other experiences, and then discuss the ideas they have encountered in academic essays. This is the skill we look for in the personal statement and we recommend at least 80% of your statement should be dedicated to this type of academic discussion. 

How you show your wider engagement with your subject is entirely up to you. Our Selectors look for students who can best reflect on the experiences and academic ideas they have encountered through the opportunities available to them, not those who have had the best opportunities. If you are not sure where to start, you could try listening to podcasts of LSE public events or look in the prospectus for examples of suggested reading. Remember we are interested not just in a list of what you have read/encountered, but evidence you have reflected on the academic ideas. 

To help you begin, there are several questions you could think about:

  • Why have you chosen the course? What attracted you to the subject? Which aspects of the subject have interested you sufficiently to want to study it at degree level? Is there a specific area of the subject you wish to focus on? What are the big issues in the subject, and what do you find most interesting about them? What are your thoughts on these topics?
  • Have you developed your subject interest outside of your school studies? For example, have you undertaken any additional reading to broaden your knowledge of the subject? Have you attended lectures or explored online material relating to the subject? What did you find interesting in your reading/in the lectures you attended and what are your thoughts on the topics covered?
  • Have you gained any skills from your other school subjects that complement your application to study your chosen subject? Have you had the opportunity to undertake work experience relevant to your application? If you did, how did this experience give you a wider understanding of the topics you will study at university?
  • Have you attended any schemes or activities at LSE or other universities, such as Summer Schools, Saturday Schools, LSE Choice, etc? What you have learned from these? Have they furthered your knowledge of or interest in your chosen subject?

If you are applying for deferred entry, as well as thinking about the questions listed above, you may also wish to indicate (briefly) why you are taking a gap year and what you plan to do during the year. 

If you are applying as a post-qualified student (ie, you have already received your final results), you may wish to mention briefly what you have been doing since your exams. 

Please note : You are not expected to simply answer all of the questions above; these questions are merely intended to give you some guidance as to what to think about when writing your statement. 

Extra-curricular activities

At LSE you are admitted to study a particular degree course so the majority of your personal statement − at least 80% − should focus on your academic interest in that subject. Many students like to include some details of their extra-curricular activities such as involvement in sports, the arts, volunteering or student government. As our Selectors are most interested in your academic interests, we recommend that no more than 20% of your statement is spent discussing extra-curricular activities. 

Applying to combined degree programmes

LSE offers a number of combined degree programmes. If you are applying to one of these programmes, you are advised to give equal weighting to each subject in your statement. For instance, if you are applying to our Politics and Economics degree, you must show evidence of interest in both subjects; a statement weighted towards only one aspect of the degree will be significantly less competitive.

Example of a poor personal statement

"I have always dreamed of coming to LSE since I was young. It has been a dream of mine to study at this institution, which is well renowned for its social science courses.  

I am currently studying History, English and Business and Management at Higher level and Italian, Maths and Chemistry at Standard level in the International Baccalaureate, and feel that these subjects are providing me with a solid background for university study.  

I want to study History because I want to be a world class Historian, and feel that this degree will help me. I am especially interested in Ancient History, particularly the history concerning the Roman Empire. I am fascinated by the way in which the empire was run, and the events that led to its downfall.  

"I was the captain of the school football team, and this has taught me the importance of working together as a team, and allowed me to prioritise my time between my studies and football practice. I feel that this has provided me with the experience to successfully balance my academic and social life, and I plan to continue this balance whilst at university.  

It is my dream to become an alumnus of the School, and I am sure that as I am the top student of my class, you will offer me a place."  

This brief example of a personal statement is poor. The applicant has mentioned an interest in history but they have not discussed this in depth or shown any evidence of wider engagement with the subject. Where the applicant does talk about history, the discussion is superficial and focussed on ancient history, which LSE does not offer as part of our history course. 

The applicant has specifically mentioned LSE, which is likely to be unattractive to their other choices, and has wasted space listing their International Baccalaureate subjects, which would be shown in the qualifications section. The applicant has described how a history degree will help them get the job they later want, rather than what they are looking forward to studying during the degree. 

The applicant has reflected on the transferable skills they have developed leading the football team. This is good, but it would be nice to see the same level of reflection applied to academic topics - this student has spent more time talking about football than about history. 

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UCAS reference Your teacher's reference: what we're looking for

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Effective Political Science Masters Personal Statement for School

Table of Contents

Are you looking for guidance on how to write your political science masters personal statement ? You’ve come to the right place!

You are just starting your academic journey or have several years of experience in the field. A well-written and persuasive personal statement is essential when applying for a master’s degree program. This blog post will provide tips and advice on crafting an impactful personal statement that will help set you apart from other applicants. 

We’ll also share some dos and don’ts and examples of successful statements. By the end of this post, you should have all the knowledge needed to move forward with your statement confidently. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Role of a Political Science Masters Personal Statement

When applying for a master’s degree program in political science, you will likely be asked to submit a personal statement. This statement is an opportunity for you to share your academic and professional achievements , demonstrate why you are passionate about the field.

Express what unique skills or perspectives you can bring to the classroom. It should also explain how this program would help you reach your career goals.

Your statement should be exciting and engaging while showcasing your best qualities and strengths. A well-crafted statement can make all the difference when convincing an admission’s committee that you will be a valuable addition to their program!

Tips for Crafting Your Statement

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1. Keep It Concise

Your personal statement should be no more than one page long, so keep your writing brief and focused. Stay calm in the details and maintain sight of the main point.

2. Showcase Your Strengths

Make sure to highlight any skills or characteristics that make you stand out from other applicants. Include prior work experience in the field, leadership roles held during college, volunteer activities, etc.

3. Be Specific

Avoid using generalizations and use concrete examples when possible to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the subject matter.

4. Show Passion

It’s essential to convey a genuine enthusiasm for political science and explain why you are passionate about the field.

5. Proofread

Make sure to read and re-read your statement for any typos or grammatical errors before submitting it. It’s also a good idea to have someone else review your work to ensure it is clear and concise.

Examples of Successful Statements

Here are some examples of successful personal statements that can give you an idea of what yours should look like:

“I am applying for a master’s degree in political science because I believe this program will provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge. I need this to pursue a career in public service and policymaking. My long-term goal is to serve my community by advocating for social and political reforms. I have had prior experience in the field working on campaigns for local elected officials. I am passionate about developing innovative solutions to complex challenges. With a master’s degree in political science, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of our current political climate. And learn how it impacts the lives of the folks in my society and beyond.”

“I believe that having an advanced degree in political science is essential. It will be helping me reach my long-term career goals of becoming a policy analyst. My enthusiasm for the field has been fueled by my coursework at college. And also my internship experience with a non-profit organization focused on youth advocacy. Through this program, I hope to develop the analytical skills needed to understand and assess the complexities of today’s political landscape. I am eager to contribute my knowledge, skills, and passion for this field to the classroom and beyond.”

“As a student of political science, I am passionate about the power that knowledge has to create positive change in our world. My studies have opened my eyes to the powerful impact that politics can have on people’s lives. This passion drives me to pursue a career in public service. I believe that a master’s degree in political science will help equip me with the skills and knowledge necessary. This way, I have to be an effective advocate for social issues. I also look forward to gaining further insight into existing governmental systems and exploring new possibilities for reform. With my degree, I hope to make meaningful contributions to my community by bringing diverse perspectives together and developing innovative solutions.”

Template to Try

“I am applying for a master’s degree in political science because ___________. My long-term goal is to ___________, and I have had prior experience in the field ________________. With an advanced degree, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of _________ and how it impacts the lives of those around me. I believe that my knowledge, skills, and passion for this field can contribute to the classroom and beyond.”

Your personal statement should effectively express why you are an excellent fit for the master’s degree program in political science. State how it can help you reach your career goals. Keep these tips in mind as you craft your statement, and remember to proofread before submitting! Good luck!

Effective Political Science Masters Personal Statement for School

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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  • Politics Personal Statement

Politics Personal Statement Example

Sample statement.

Politics and its influence on world events is all too clear from following news and current affairs on TV, websites and newspapers. Even as a small child I was avidly interested in news, preferring adult news programmes such as Newsnight. The complexity of relationships between groups of people is fascinating and the way in which national governments devise and implement laws and regulations and how governments respond to international events never fails to intrigue me.

My interest in current affairs has been deepened by studying political events in history, both at GCSE and A level. I have combined history with Politics and Economics at A level and applying for a university place to study politics and economics at undergraduate level is an obvious next step for me. I look forward to being involved in debates and in learning more about the international response to the terrorist threat. The need to balance the needs of economics, cultural beliefs and international relationships is something that I would be keen to explore further.

Discussing political ideas with others who have deeper knowledge of particular events or ideologies has strengthened my knowledge and my motivation to study politics at a higher level. For the last two years I have been a member of a political debating club, which is allied to my local university and this has brought me into contact with students, postgrads and researchers and tutors. At first I listened intently and followed the debates but as my confidence has grown and as I have read more widely I now participate more, having been a speaker at two debates in the last year.

Last summer I obtained a placement to shadow some of the campaign managers for a councillor in a local election. I experienced at first hand the background work involved, from designing and printing fliers to canvassing door-to-door and attending councillor surgeries. A major feature of this was researching an application by a large company to build a wind farm development in the area. This brought into focus the need to balance the good of the community and the country as a whole (greener power generation) and the objections of the local people who were living within sight of the massive wind turbines.

My interested in economics has also developed through my part-time job as a sales assistant in a local clothes store chain. The full impact of the current recession was really brought home to me by talking to the manager of the store. Although we seemed very busy, a Saturday is much different to a quiet weekday and I saw the efforts made by the staff to promote and sell their goods to meet monthly sales targets with great difficulty.

Outside work and study, I love to play chess and have reached the finals of several national championships. I also swim regularly and have worked as a lifeguard at a swimming pool during the holidays.

I have chosen your university because it allows me to do a combined honours degree that focuses on politics and economics equally. It has also been important to choose a course that offers a wide range of modules within each subject to enable me to pursue by special interests in the role of terrorism in our modern world and its economic and social impacts. 

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Create a form in Word that users can complete or print

In Word, you can create a form that others can fill out and save or print.  To do this, you will start with baseline content in a document, potentially via a form template.  Then you can add content controls for elements such as check boxes, text boxes, date pickers, and drop-down lists. Optionally, these content controls can be linked to database information.  Following are the recommended action steps in sequence.  

Show the Developer tab

In Word, be sure you have the Developer tab displayed in the ribbon.  (See how here:  Show the developer tab .)

Open a template or a blank document on which to base the form

You can start with a template or just start from scratch with a blank document.

Start with a form template

Go to File > New .

In the  Search for online templates  field, type  Forms or the kind of form you want. Then press Enter .

In the displayed results, right-click any item, then select  Create. 

Start with a blank document 

Select Blank document .

Add content to the form

Go to the  Developer  tab Controls section where you can choose controls to add to your document or form. Hover over any icon therein to see what control type it represents. The various control types are described below. You can set properties on a control once it has been inserted.

To delete a content control, right-click it, then select Remove content control  in the pop-up menu. 

Note:  You can print a form that was created via content controls. However, the boxes around the content controls will not print.

Insert a text control

The rich text content control enables users to format text (e.g., bold, italic) and type multiple paragraphs. To limit these capabilities, use the plain text content control . 

Click or tap where you want to insert the control.

Rich text control button

To learn about setting specific properties on these controls, see Set or change properties for content controls .

Insert a picture control

A picture control is most often used for templates, but you can also add a picture control to a form.

Picture control button

Insert a building block control

Use a building block control  when you want users to choose a specific block of text. These are helpful when you need to add different boilerplate text depending on the document's specific purpose. You can create rich text content controls for each version of the boilerplate text, and then use a building block control as the container for the rich text content controls.

building block gallery control

Select Developer and content controls for the building block.

Developer tab showing content controls

Insert a combo box or a drop-down list

In a combo box, users can select from a list of choices that you provide or they can type in their own information. In a drop-down list, users can only select from the list of choices.

combo box button

Select the content control, and then select Properties .

To create a list of choices, select Add under Drop-Down List Properties .

Type a choice in Display Name , such as Yes , No , or Maybe .

Repeat this step until all of the choices are in the drop-down list.

Fill in any other properties that you want.

Note:  If you select the Contents cannot be edited check box, users won’t be able to click a choice.

Insert a date picker

Click or tap where you want to insert the date picker control.

Date picker button

Insert a check box

Click or tap where you want to insert the check box control.

Check box button

Use the legacy form controls

Legacy form controls are for compatibility with older versions of Word and consist of legacy form and Active X controls.

Click or tap where you want to insert a legacy control.

Legacy control button

Select the Legacy Form control or Active X Control that you want to include.

Set or change properties for content controls

Each content control has properties that you can set or change. For example, the Date Picker control offers options for the format you want to use to display the date.

Select the content control that you want to change.

Go to Developer > Properties .

Controls Properties  button

Change the properties that you want.

Add protection to a form

If you want to limit how much others can edit or format a form, use the Restrict Editing command:

Open the form that you want to lock or protect.

Select Developer > Restrict Editing .

Restrict editing button

After selecting restrictions, select Yes, Start Enforcing Protection .

Restrict editing panel

Advanced Tip:

If you want to protect only parts of the document, separate the document into sections and only protect the sections you want.

To do this, choose Select Sections in the Restrict Editing panel. For more info on sections, see Insert a section break .

Sections selector on Resrict sections panel

If the developer tab isn't displayed in the ribbon, see Show the Developer tab .

Open a template or use a blank document

To create a form in Word that others can fill out, start with a template or document and add content controls. Content controls include things like check boxes, text boxes, and drop-down lists. If you’re familiar with databases, these content controls can even be linked to data.

Go to File > New from Template .

New from template option

In Search, type form .

Double-click the template you want to use.

Select File > Save As , and pick a location to save the form.

In Save As , type a file name and then select Save .

Start with a blank document

Go to File > New Document .

New document option

Go to File > Save As .

Go to Developer , and then choose the controls that you want to add to the document or form. To remove a content control, select the control and press Delete. You can set Options on controls once inserted. From Options, you can add entry and exit macros to run when users interact with the controls, as well as list items for combo boxes, .

Adding content controls to your form

In the document, click or tap where you want to add a content control.

On Developer , select Text Box , Check Box , or Combo Box .

Developer tab with content controls

To set specific properties for the control, select Options , and set .

Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each control that you want to add.

Set options

Options let you set common settings, as well as control specific settings. Select a control and then select Options to set up or make changes.

Set common properties.

Select Macro to Run on lets you choose a recorded or custom macro to run on Entry or Exit from the field.

Bookmark Set a unique name or bookmark for each control.

Calculate on exit This forces Word to run or refresh any calculations, such as total price when the user exits the field.

Add Help Text Give hints or instructions for each field.

OK Saves settings and exits the panel.

Cancel Forgets changes and exits the panel.

Set specific properties for a Text box

Type Select form Regular text, Number, Date, Current Date, Current Time, or Calculation.

Default text sets optional instructional text that's displayed in the text box before the user types in the field. Set Text box enabled to allow the user to enter text into the field.

Maximum length sets the length of text that a user can enter. The default is Unlimited .

Text format can set whether text automatically formats to Uppercase , Lowercase , First capital, or Title case .

Text box enabled Lets the user enter text into a field. If there is default text, user text replaces it.

Set specific properties for a Check box .

Default Value Choose between Not checked or checked as default.

Checkbox size Set a size Exactly or Auto to change size as needed.

Check box enabled Lets the user check or clear the text box.

Set specific properties for a Combo box

Drop-down item Type in strings for the list box items. Press + or Enter to add an item to the list.

Items in drop-down list Shows your current list. Select an item and use the up or down arrows to change the order, Press - to remove a selected item.

Drop-down enabled Lets the user open the combo box and make selections.

Protect the form

Go to Developer > Protect Form .

Protect form button on the Developer tab

Note:  To unprotect the form and continue editing, select Protect Form again.

Save and close the form.

Test the form (optional)

If you want, you can test the form before you distribute it.

Protect the form.

Reopen the form, fill it out as the user would, and then save a copy.

Creating fillable forms isn’t available in Word for the web.

You can create the form with the desktop version of Word with the instructions in Create a fillable form .

When you save the document and reopen it in Word for the web, you’ll see the changes you made.

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Judge fines Donald Trump more than $350 million, bars him from running businesses in N.Y. for three years

The judge who presided over a civil business fraud trial against Donald Trump on Friday ordered the former president, his sons, business associates and company to pay more than $350 million in damages and temporarily limited their ability to do business in New York.

Judge Arthur Engoron ordered the former president and the Trump Organization to pay over $354 million in damages , and barred Trump “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of three years,” including his namesake company.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office brought the case, said that with pre-judgment interest, the judgment totals over $450 million, an amount “which will continue to increase every single day” until the judgment is paid.

“Donald Trump is finally facing accountability for his lying, cheating, and staggering fraud. Because no matter how big, rich, or powerful you think you are, no one is above the law,” James said in a statement, calling the ruling “a tremendous victory for this state, this nation, and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules — even former presidents.”

The ruling also bars Trump and his company from applying for any bank loans for three years.

In his first public remarks after the ruling, Trump said, “We’ll appeal and we’ll be successful.”

Speaking to reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Friday night, Trump bashed the ruling as “a fine of 350 million for a doing a perfect job.” He also repeated previous attacks by calling the judge “crooked” and the attorney general “corrupt.”

Trump did not take any questions from reporters after speaking for about six minutes.

The judge’s decision is a potential blow to both Trump’s finances and persona — having built his brand on being a successful businessman that he leveraged in his first run for president. Trump is currently running for the White House for a third time. This case is just one of many he is currently facing, including four separate pending criminal trials, the first of which is scheduled to begin on March 25.

Engoron also ordered the continued “appointment of an Independent Monitor” and the “the installation of an Independent Director of Compliance” for the company.

In posts on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump called the ruling “an illegal, unAmerican judgment against me, my family, and my tremendous business.”

“This ‘decision’ is a complete and total sham,” he wrote.

During the trial, Trump and executives at his company, including his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, attempted to blame exaggerated financial statements that were the heart of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ fraud case on the accountants who compiled them. Engoron disagreed.

“There is overwhelming evidence from both interested and non-interested witnesses, corroborated by documentary evidence, that the buck for being truthful in the supporting data valuations stopped with the Trump Organization, not the accountants,” he wrote.

In explaining the need for a monitor, the judge cited the lack of remorse by Trump and his executives after the fraud was discovered.

“Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological. They are accused only of inflating asset values to make more money. The documents prove this over and over again. This is a venial sin, not a mortal sin. Defendants did not commit murder or arson. They did not rob a bank at gunpoint. Donald Trump is not Bernard Madoff. Yet, defendants are incapable of admitting the error of their ways,” Engoron wrote.

“Defendants’ refusal to admit error — indeed, to continue it, according to the Independent Monitor — constrains this Court to conclude that they will engage in it going forward unless judicially restrained,” he added.

The ruling also bars the Trump sons — who’ve been running the company since their father went to the White House — “from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation or other legal entity in New York for a period of two years.” Both were fined over $4 million, plus interest, for their roles in the scheme.

Donald Trump Jr. posted on the social media site X that “We’ve reached the point where your political beliefs combined with what venue your case is heard are the primary determinants of the outcome; not the facts of the case! It’s truly sad what’s happened to our country.”

In a statement, Eric Trump called the judge “a cruel man.”

“He knows that every single witness testified to that fact that I had absolutely NOTHING to do with this case (as INSANE as the case truly is),” Eric Trump said.

He also attacked the ruling as “political vengeance by a judge out to get my father.”

 Trump attorney Alina Habba called the verdict “a manifest injustice — plain and simple.”

“Given the grave stakes, we trust that the Appellate Division will overturn this egregious verdict and end this relentless persecution against my clients,” she said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Trump Organization called the ruling “a gross miscarriage of justice. The Trump Organization has never missed any loan payment or been in default on any loan.”

High legal costs

An appeal in the case would likely take years, but Trump could have to post a bond for the full amount if he does so.

Read more: Trump faces about $400 million in legal penalties. Can he afford it?

The judgment is the second this year against Trump after he was hit last month with an $83.3 million verdict in writer E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case against him. Trump has said he plans to appeal that verdict as well, but would have to post a bond for that amount as well.

James had been seeking $370 million from Trump, his company and its top executives, alleging “repeated and persistent fraud ” that included falsifying business records and financial statements. James had argued those financial statements were at times exaggerated by as much as $2.2 billion.

James contended the defendants used the inflated financial statements to obtain bank loans and insurance policies at rates he otherwise wouldn’t have been entitled to and “reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains.”

Trump had maintained his financial statements were conservative, and has called the AG’s allegations politically motivated and a “fraud on me.”

“This is a case that should have never been brought, and I think we should be entitled to damages,” Trump told reporters when he attended closing arguments in the case on Jan. 11.

Trump testimony knocked

The monthslong civil trial included testimony from Trump and his oldest children . The former president was combative in his day on the stand, blasting James as a “hack” and calling the judge “extremely hostile.”

Trump repeatedly complained about Engoron before and throughout the trial, and the judge slapped him with a partial gag order after he started blasting the judge’s law clerk as well. Trump’s complaints led to a flood of death threats against the clerk, as well as Engoron, court officials said, and Trump was fined $15,000 for twice violating the order.

Among the examples cited as fraud by the attorney general’s office during the trial was Trump valuing his triplex home in Trump Tower in New York City at three times its actual size and value, as well as including a brand value to increase the valuation of his golf courses on the financial statements, which explicitly said brand values were not included.

Another example pointed to by the attorney general clearly got under his skin — a dispute over the value of Mar-a-Lago, his social club and residence in Florida. Trump’s financial statements from 2011 to 2021 valued Mar-a-Lago at $426 million to $612 million, while the Palm Beach County assessor appraised the property’s market value to be $18 million to $27 million during the same time frame. Trump had also fraudulently puffed up the value of the property by saying it was a private residence, despite having signed an agreement that it could only be used as a social club to lower his tax burden.

Trump maintained during the trial the property was worth much, much more .

“The judge had it at $18 million, and it is worth, say, I say from 50 to 100 times more than that. So I don’t know how you got those numbers,” Trump testified, adding later that he thinks it’s actually worth “between a billion and a billion five.”

In his ruling Friday, Engoron said he didn’t find Trump to be a credible witness.

“Overall, Donald Trump rarely responded to the questions asked, and he frequently interjected long, irrelevant speeches on issues far beyond the scope of the trial. His refusal to answer the questions directly, or in some cases, at all, severely compromised his credibility,” the judge wrote.

Michael Cohen testimony ‘credible’

James’ investigation into the former president’s business began in 2019 as a result of congressional testimony from his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen , who told the House Oversight Committee that Trump would improperly expand and shrink values to fit whatever his business needs were.

Cohen testified during the trial about his role in the scheme, and said while Trump didn’t explicitly tell him and then-Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to inflate the numbers in the financial statement, he was like a “mob boss” who tells you what he wants without directly telling you.

Trump claimed Cohen’s testimony exonerated him while also painting him as an untrustworthy liar because he admitted having previously lied under oath.

In his ruling, Engoron called Cohen an “important witness” and said he found his testimony “credible.” “This factfinder does not believe that pleading guilty to perjury means that you can never tell the truth. Michael Cohen told the truth,” the judge wrote.

Former CFO ‘evasive’

Engoron was less forgiving about former Trump CFO Weisselberg, who previously pleaded guilty to carrying out tax fraud at the company.

Weisselberg’s “testimony in this trial was intentionally evasive, with large gaps of ‘I don’t remember.’”

“There is overwhelming evidence that Allen Weisselberg intentionally falsified hundreds of business records during his tenure” at the company, the judge wrote. “Weisselberg understood that his assignment from Donald Trump was to have his reported assets increase every year irrespective of their actual values. The examples of Weisselberg’s intent to falsify business records are too numerous to itemize,” he added.

The judge permanently barred Weisselberg “from serving in the financial control function of any New York corporation or similar business entity operating in New York State,” and ordered him to pay the $1 million he’s already received from his $2 million separation agreement from the company as “ill-gotten gains.”

AG initially sought less

James filed her suit seeking $250 million in damages from Trump in 2022, and the judge appointed a monitor to oversee the company’s finances that November.

In a summary judgment  ruling the week before the trial started, Engoron found Trump and his executives had repeatedly engaged in fraud. The “documents here clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business, satisfying [the attorney general’s] burden to establish liability as a matter of law against defendants,” the judge wrote, while denying Trump’s bid to dismiss the case.

Engoron summarized the Trump defense as “the documents do not say what they say; that there is no such thing as ‘objective’ value; and that, essentially, the Court should not believe its own eyes.”

The order, which Trump appealed, held that Trump’s business certificates in New York should be canceled, which could have wreaked havoc on Trump’s company and forced the sell-off of some assets.

Engoron backed off of that decision in his ruling Friday, saying the addition of the “two-tiered oversight” of the monitor and the compliance director makes that move “no longer necessary.”

Trump had complained about the summary judgment ruling while he was on the witness stand. “He said I was a fraud before he knew anything about me, nothing about me,” Trump said. “It’s a terrible thing you did.”

personal statement template politics

Adam Reiss is a reporter and producer for NBC and MSNBC.

personal statement template politics

Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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Letitia James: the New York state attorney general who brought down the Trump Organization

James faced a barrage of personal attacks through the trial, but won a ‘tremendous victory’ in her highest-profile case to date

On the morning closing arguments were to begin at Donald Trump’s drama-filled New York fraud trial, a small crowd of protesters briefly blocked traffic to denounce the former president. “No dictators in the USA,” the group chanted.

When a black SUV rolled up to the courthouse, the protestors changed course. “Thank you, Tish! Thank you, Tish!” they cheered as Letitia James ascended the courthouse steps.

The end of Trump’s fraud trial marked the closing of the New York attorney general’s highest-profile case to date. Though a team of lawyers from her office led the case, James has been the public face of the trial since its start. Sitting behind Trump in court and sometimes casting meme-worthy, incredulous looks at Trump and his team, she has inevitably become a target of his vitriol inside and outside the courtroom.

“I DID NOTHING WRONG, MY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ARE GREAT, & VERY CONSERVATIVE, THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE HIGHLY POLITICAL & TOTALLY CORRUPT NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS,” Trump wrote, in all caps, on Truth Social in January. “THE CORRUPT AG WANTS $370M AS BUSINESSES FLEE NEW YORK. THEY SHOULD PAY ME.”

James kept her comments on the trial brief, posting summaries of the trial’s happenings each week on social media and sometimes offering comments outside the courthouse. On the last day of the trial, long after Trump had left the courthouse after delivering a bizarre closing statement, James told reporters: “The personal attacks don’t really bother me.”

On Friday, James was given a stunning victory . The judge overseeing the case, Arthur Engoron, handed her almost everything she had asked for. Trump was fined more than $350m plus pre-judgment interest and he and his eldest sons were banned from doing business in New York for years.

“Today, justice has been served. This is a tremendous victory for this state, this nation and for everyone who believes that we all must play by the same rules – even former presidents,” James said in a statement. “For years, Donald Trump engaged in massive fraud to falsely inflate his net worth and unjustly enrich himself, his family and his organization.

“Now, Donald Trump is finally facing accountability for his lying, cheating and staggering fraud. Because no matter how big, rich or powerful you think you are, no one is above the law.”

Donald Trump lashes out at 'crooked' judge as Letitia James condemns 'tremendous fraud' – video

It is an argument that James campaigned on when she ran for the attorney general seat in 2018. At the time, the position was embroiled in scandal following abuse accusations against the former attorney general, Eric Schneiderman.

Raised in Brooklyn with her seven siblings, James attended public schools before getting her law degree at Howard University in Washington DC. She rose through the ranks as a public defender before entering New York politics as a councilmember and then as public advocate, the first Black woman to hold the watchdog role and one where she filed a record number of suits on behalf of people with disabilities, seniors and tenants.

When she won the attorney general’s office, another first for a Black woman, James vowed to “take that power back” from corporations and corrupt politicians.

“The law is the great equalizer and the biggest pillar of our democracy,” she said in her inaugural speech in 2019. “I will shine a light into the murkiest of swamps and act as a steward of justice.”

Even as Trump’s fraud trial comes to an end, James is pursuing other high-profile cases, including a civil case against top officials of the National Rifle Association (NRA). James has accused them of violating non-profit law by using NRA funds for their personal benefit.

The case could ultimately see the dissolution of the once-powerful gun lobbying group. Wayne LaPierre , the longtime NRA president at the center of the case, resigned in early January before the trial began, in what James said in a statement was an “important victory” for the case.

James has also found rivals in the Catholic church, which she has sued for mishandling child sexual abuse, and the NYPD over its treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020. James also filed a lawsuit against Pepsi in November over its single-use plastic polluting the Buffalo River in New York, teeing up a major environmental lawsuit against the beverage company, which is based in New York.

Critics of James – a longtime New York City councilwoman before she became the state’s attorney general – are usually political or legal opponents like Trump, and have tried to paint her as an opportunist who uses her office to grab national attention.

When James investigated former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, once an ally, for sexual assault, Cuomo accused her of using the investigation for political motives.

“There are many agendas and there are many motivations at play,” Cuomo said during his farewell address in August 2021, after James’ investigation found that he had sexually assaulted 11 women.

When it came to Trump’s trial, he lobbed similar accusations against James, saying inside and outside the courtroom that she was conducting a “witch-hunt” in pursuing her own political agenda.

“She’s a political hack, and this is a disgrace that a case like this is going on,” Trump said during one of the untethered rants he made on the witness stand in November. “This is a political witch-hunt, and I think she should be ashamed of herself.”

Serving as a state attorney general is seen as a good launching point for a shot into a state’s governor’s mansion. James briefly ran for governor in 2021, a campaign that lasted only six weeks. She dropped out of the race when it became clear that much of the state’s Democratic party stood behind Kathy Hochul, the lieutenant governor who replaced Cuomo after he resigned.

When James dropped out of the race, she said she had to “continue my work as attorney general”. At the time, her office was well underway in its investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances.

“There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway and I intend to finish the job,” James said.

It is unclear what specific ambition James has for her future, especially given that there are no term limits on New York’s governor or its attorney general.

While James has positioned herself as an ally to Hochul, who is seen as a more moderate Democrat, she has distanced herself from the governor on some issues. In August, James took the unusual step of declining to represent Hochul over the handling of migrants who were being brought to the state. Hochul was focused on requiring only New York City to house migrants, a requirement James said she believed applied to the whole state.

For now, James has continued to emphasize that her focus is on the cases in her office. When she was running for her second term in 2022, a race she would win by nine points, her Republican opponent told the New York Times that she had lost sight of New York taxpayers while focusing on her own political ambitions.

In response, James told the Times that ignoring Trump or the NRA would have been a “dereliction of my duty”.

“We’ve been very active,” she told the paper. “And I make no apologies, because this is who I am, and this is what I do.”

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Your personal data is political: W&M computer scientists find gaps in the privacy practices of campaign websites

The first large-scale analysis of its kind analyzed 2,060 House, Senate and presidential campaigns from the 2020 United States election cycle.

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According to researchers from the Secure Platforms Lab, data privacy is a bipartisan issue and regulations are needed to prevent political campaigns from misusing user data. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Would you trust a random political canvasser to do whatever they wanted with your resume, your friends’ email addresses – and perhaps your profile pictures? That’s precisely what you may be doing when interacting with political campaign websites, according to a new study  published in the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P) by researchers from William & Mary, Google and IBM. Two W&M doctoral students in computer science – Kaushal Kafle and Prianka Mandal – respectively served as first and second author.

The underlying research has already been presented at many events – including the  2023 Commonwealth Cyber Initiative Symposium , where it won the Best Poster Award.

“The only thing users can really do to keep their data safe is to not provide it in the first place,” said co-author Adwait Nadkarni , Class of 1953 Associate Professor of Computer Science and  Secure Platforms Lab lead at William & Mary. 

The study examined 2,060 House, Senate and presidential campaigns from the 2020 United States election cycle, representing the first large-scale analysis of the privacy practices of political campaign websites. Those campaigns, the study revealed, often retained extensive private data for an unspecified amount of time, generally provided incomplete or no privacy disclosures and were likely to share data with other campaigns or sell them post-election.

Highly private data was often collected alongside contact information, the study found, allowing campaigns to build user profiles without their explicit consent. The often undisclosed use of trackers gave campaigns access to user browsing habits, exposing them to microtargeted political ads that have often been  defined as manipulative and as a potential danger to democracy .

Nadkarni remarked that this work “just happened to fit” with the data  and democracy  initiatives from the university’s  Vision 2026  strategic plan, as well as the  proposed new school in Computer Science, Data Science, Applied Science and Physics .

The research process also highlights another Vision 2026 pillar – careers .

“This paper came out of an existing collaboration with IBM Research,” said Nadkarni. “The way these collaborations usually work is having students intern with collaborators, working on collaborative research as part of their internship project.”

What data are we surrendering?

Political campaigns, Nadkarni explained, are classed as nonprofit, receiving less scrutiny than commercial enterprises. They collect data of significant value but still aren’t subject to the same regulations applying to businesses.

Over two thirds of the 2,060 campaigns examined were found to collect personal information through their websites, with the most collected data being email addresses (99%) and phone numbers (62%). Other data types ranged from political opinions to social media information and, in rare cases,  data such as union status and race, defined as “highly sensitive” by the researchers.

A few campaigns also obtained information about people other than the user – thus without consent.

Kaushal Kafle presented the poster for this study at the CCI Symposium 2023, Apr. 17-18, 2023.

The researchers performed two additional studies to understand data sharing implications. Thirty-one percent of campaigns shared email information with other political entities, but over one third of these didn’t mention data sharing in their privacy policy. Sixty-one percent of campaigns using fundraising platforms did not have a privacy policy at all.

None of the campaigns disclosed how long they would retain user data. “So, what happens to that data after the campaign ends? You should accept that it is going to remain there in perpetuity,” said Kafle.

Researchers also conducted a security risk analysis and found out that campaign websites were generally secure, although a small number included malicious outbound links that weren’t adequately vetted. Seventy-three percent of campaigns used trackers: Of these, almost two thirds didn’t have a privacy policy; among those that did, one in four did not mention trackers.

Privacy as a bipartisan issue

The study did not disclose or discuss political affiliations of candidates. However, its dataset remains open in order to enable future research.

“Privacy really is a bipartisan issue,” said Nadkarni. “We didn’t want the message to become ‘this particular party isn’t doing privacy right,’ but rather ‘there needs to be a legislation to actually make everybody follow best-practice guidelines.’” 

Retaining data in perpetuity does not only represent a privacy issue, the study argued, but also a security problem due to the potential for data leaks. All campaigns come to an end, but their URLs and the associated user data can be bought by offshore entities for potential malicious use.

Previous studies and news articles, the researchers said, had indicated it was not uncommon for candidates to switch party affiliation after their campaigns. “If you had donated to their campaigns, you may not agree with their current position, but your data still remains with them,” said Nadkarni.

Users, Nadkarni remarked, are not currently in control. The only immediate countermeasure is not volunteering information, especially about third parties, and sharing the bare minimum of data required when donating to a campaign.

“But what users can do in the long term is ask their lawmakers to make regulations to prevent campaigns from misusing data,” he said. “Just like there have been movements to rein in for-profits and their use of information, there needs to be a similar push for regulating political campaigns.”

The  Voter Privacy Act Bill  introduced in Senate, which follows the blueprint of the European Union’s  General Data Protection Regulation , represents an effort in this direction.

The researchers also reached out to campaigns directly, which opened to some positive interactions. Many campaigns, being grassroots-run, didn’t have the technical expertise to protect the data; Nadkarni said that further research will be looking at examples of “good” campaigns to offer a good blueprint of how to safeguard privacy in the political campaign space.

The research team will be also looking at campaigns from the upcoming 2024 federal elections, having already analyzed campaigns from the 2023 Virginia elections.

Kafle said that their paper aimed to raise awareness of how non-profit entities were processing data. He said that their poster had already attracted considerable interest at different venues.

“I think almost everyone perceived this to be a bad situation, but to be staring at that in numbers was something else,” he said. “We intend to increase public attention and awareness on this topic as one the key outcomes of this study.” 

Antonella Di Marzio , Senior Research Writer

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Why the Case Against Fani Willis Feels Familiar to Black Women

In interviews, professional women were dismayed by the personal attacks on the Georgia prosecutor, but not surprised.

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A portrait of Fani Willis, the district attorney of Futon County, Ga.

By Clyde McGrady and Katie Glueck

Tangala L. Hollis-Palmer felt a sense of pride when she learned that Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., and one of the nation’s few elected Black female prosecutors, would lead the election interference case against former President Donald J. Trump.

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But that pride would be tempered by dismay as news emerged of Ms. Willis’s personal relationship with a fellow prosecutor, Nathan J. Wade , an outside lawyer she hired to help run the case. Ms. Hollis-Palmer, a Black, 40-year-old attorney from Mississippi, is mostly upset at critics trying, she said, to discredit Ms. Willis. At first, she was skeptical of the allegations. But when Ms. Willis herself conceded the relationship, Ms. Hollis reserved some disappointment for the prosecutor who should have used a “little more discretion and a little better judgment,” she said.

Mr. Trump and several co-defendants are calling Ms. Willis’s hiring of Mr. Wade a conflict of interest and want Ms. Willis and Mr. Wade disqualified, potentially upending a critical case against the former president and doing grievous damage to Ms. Willis’s reputation.

“We just have to be so careful when we are in these positions to not give people the ammunition to come after us,” Ms. Hollis-Palmer said.

On Thursday, a Georgia judge is scheduled to hear evidence on the relationship between the two prosecutors.

A defense lawyer for one of Mr. Trump’s co-defendants argues that Ms. Willis’s hiring of Mr. Wade is a “form of self-dealing” that provides Ms. Willis with incentive to keep the case going.

Mr. Wade has earned more than $650,000 since his hiring in 2021 while also spending money on joint vacations he has taken with Ms. Willis, issues that will be central to the hearing this week. Ms. Willis has said that the costs of joint personal travel have been “divided roughly evenly” between her and Mr. Wade.

Interviews with a dozen Black women at varying stages of their careers found them to be painfully conflicted about Ms. Willis’s situation and her treatment in the public eye.

To many, there is something galling about watching Mr. Trump and his allies attack Ms. Willis over a consensual romantic relationship when he has faced accusations of sexual misconduct and assault. Mr. Trump was recently ordered by a Manhattan jury to pay $83.3 million to the writer E. Jean Carroll for defaming her after she accused him of a decades-old rape. A civil jury also found Mr. Trump liable for sexually abusing Ms. Carroll.

Some lamented Ms. Willis’s conduct as a mistake, but not one that should remove her from the case against Mr. Trump. Others, thinking about their own experiences in the workplace, suggested another concern: They feel that Black women are held to a different standard and that Ms. Willis should have known that her identity, along with the enormous political stakes of the case, would create a white-hot spotlight on her personal conduct.

“I can’t sit in judgment of her as a human being, but I can say, in terms of her role as a public prosecutor, yeah, she showed bad judgment,” said Donna Brazile, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee, adding that she had always kept a clear separation between her own personal and professional life with “a bright red line.”

She said Ms. Willis faced “vitriol” and “racial animus” as a woman of color in a position of power.

But, Ms. Brazile said, some of the attention is to be expected for a high-profile person involved in a high-profile case, especially one that concerns a former president of the United States.

“She is undergoing public scrutiny — she’s a public official,” Ms. Brazile said. “Comes with the territory.”

Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Ms. Willis’s office, declined to comment.

The discussions about race, gender and Ms. Willis’s dilemma have played out in group chats with text messages flying back and forth, in kitchen table discussions between couples and at student hangouts.

“We deal with the sexism as well as the racism,” Ms. Hollis-Palmer said. “But sometimes the sexism is a little worse.” She practices law with her husband and said that when they walk into a courtroom, people automatically assume that he’s the lead counsel. “A lot of times people have thought that I was his assistant,” she added.

When publicly discussing Ms. Willis’s predicament, some women of color have tried to walk a tightrope of empathy and anger.

Those conflicting feelings played out during a recent discussion on the daytime talk show “The View.”

“I’m very pissed off, too,” said the co-host Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, who is a Nicaraguan American. “Because when you are a woman of color in such a high-profile position, you know that the scrutiny that’s going to befall you is greater than on anybody else, and she needed to have kept her house clean.”

The co-host Sunny Hostin, who is Black and Latina, chimed in, “Your stuff cannot stink,” before adding that she agreed with Ms. Navarro-Cárdenas.

In some cases, the concerns about Ms. Willis’s treatment are balanced with uneasiness over how her behavior could jeopardize a potential Trump conviction.

“My initial reaction was that it seemed to be kind of a halfhearted attempt to get the entire case thrown out, which I thought was just an incredible stretch,” said Faith Udobang, 25, president of the University of Chicago Black Law Student Association.

But now she is worried that the misconduct accusations against Ms. Willis could delay the outcome until after the election.

“I believe the American people deserve to have adequate information once they go to the polls,” she said.

Some legal observers have said the attempts to disqualify Ms. Willis rest on shaky legal ground. They say the allegations against Ms. Willis have nothing to do with whether or not Mr. Trump interfered with the state’s election in 2020, and conspired to subvert the will of Georgia voters. But lawyers for defendants could use the misconduct allegations to undermine perceptions about the fairness of the prosecution by calling into question Ms. Willis’s judgment.

In a January address at one of Atlanta’s oldest Black churches, Ms. Willis suggested that her critics are playing the “race card.” She defended her hiring of Mr. Wade and said that his “impeccable credentials” were only being questioned because they are both Black.

“Obviously, it was in somebody’s interest to bring her down,” said the former Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Democrat of Illinois and the first Black woman to serve in the Senate. “The fact that she’s a high-profile Black woman just means that she’s a bigger target.”

Others are less sure that race or gender are central to fueling the accusations, but instead argue that anyone in Ms. Willis’s position would be the target of personal attacks from Mr. Trump.

Luci Walker, a 54-year-old data analyst from Decatur, Ga., said she doesn’t believe Ms. Willis’s race or gender had played a role in the scrutiny.

“It would be some reason or another, but I think they might just be looking for excuses to get out of it, or to get her off the case,” Ms. Walker said.

Leah D. Daughtry, a veteran Democratic strategist, said that the focus on Ms. Willis’s personal life was, in some ways, in keeping with the kind of attention that follows many in public life. But there is an added complication for Black women, she said.

“There are people who will be emboldened and invigorated by the fact that she’s a Black woman and make it, then, their business to go further and farther than they may have gone,” she said. It is “easy to argue that white men are not often held to the same scrutiny.”

She pointed to the many accusations of misconduct Mr. Trump has faced, including from Ms. Carroll.

“No one made that a disqualifier,” she said of the current Republican presidential front-runner. “But for Fani Willis, the fact that she’s in a consensual relationship with another adult person somehow makes her disqualified, or unqualified, to continue the work that she’s been doing. In that sense there’s a double standard, absolutely.”

Glynda C. Carr, the leader of Higher Heights for America, an organization focused on engaging Black women in politics, said she had been raised with the idea that Black women must be “twice” as good to navigate challenging dynamics in the workplace.

“Yes, we have a playbook about how we have to be twice as better, that we have to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s,” she said. When the public thinks Black women have made a mistake, she added, they “fall harder on the sword.”

Audio produced by Patricia Sulbarán .

Clyde McGrady reports on how race and identity is shaping American culture. He is based in Washington. More about Clyde McGrady

Katie Glueck is a national political reporter. Previously, she was chief Metro political correspondent, and a lead reporter for The Times covering the Biden campaign. She also covered politics for McClatchy’s Washington bureau and for Politico. More about Katie Glueck

Our Coverage of the Trump Case in Georgia

Former president donald trump and 18 others face a sprawling series of charges for their roles in attempting to interfere in the state’s 2020 presidential election..

RICO Charges:  At the heart of the indictment in Georgia  are racketeering charges under the state Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act . Here’s why such charges  could prove to be a powerful tool for the prosecution .

Who Else Was Indicted?:   Rudy   Giuliani , who led legal efforts in several states to keep the former president in power, and Mark Meadows , the former White House chief of staff, were among the 18 Trump allies  charged in the case.

Plea Deals: Sidney K. Powell , Kenneth Chesebro  and Jenna Ellis  — three lawyers indicted with Trump in the case — pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors   against the former president.

Lt. Gov. Burt Jones: Since the indictment of Trump and his allies, a question has gone unanswered: Would charges also be filed against the longtime Trump supporter? It is now up to a state agency to find a special prosecutor to investigate him .

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Trump ordered to pay $454 million in fines and interest in NY business fraud case

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  • Donald Trump has been ordered to pay about $454 million in total penalties after a judge found that Trump, his company and others fraudulently inflated assets to boost his net worth and get financial perks.
  • That includes about $355 million in disgorgement and more than $98 million in prejudgment interest at a 9% annual rate.
  • Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron also barred Trump for three years from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation, or applying for loans from any New York chartered or registered financial institution.
  • "Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological," Engoron wrote in a scathing ruling.

A New York judge on Friday ordered Donald Trump to pay about $454 million in total penalties as part of his ruling in the former president's civil business fraud trial.

The staggering figure includes about $355 million in disgorgement, a term for returning ill-gotten gains, plus more than $98 million in prejudgment interest that will accrue every day until it is paid, according to a spokesperson for the attorney general's office.

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron also barred Trump from running a business in New York for three years.

The former president also faces a three-year ban on applying for loans from financial institutions registered with the state.

"New York means business in combating business fraud," Engoron wrote in the 92-page ruling.

The judge delivered the final decision from the trial, which was held without a jury.

"We've employed tens of thousands of people in New York, and we pay taxes like few other people have ever paid in New York," Trump said in remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort after the ruling. "They don't care about that. It's a state that's going bust because everybody's leaving."

His attorney Chris Kise said in a statement earlier Friday that Trump "will of course appeal."

The former president "remains confident the Appellate Division will ultimately correct the innumerable and catastrophic errors made by a trial court untethered to the law or to reality," Kise said.

The appeals process could take several years to resolve.

The explosive trial stemmed from New York Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit accusing Trump, his two adult sons, his company and top executives of fraudulently inflating Trump's assets to boost his stated net worth and obtain various financial perks.

"There simply cannot be different rules for different people," James said in a statement celebrating the ruling Friday afternoon.

"Everyday Americans cannot lie to a bank to get a mortgage to buy a home, and if they did, our government would throw the book at them," James said.

James had asked Engoron to ban Trump for life from New York's real estate industry, and for $370 million in disgorgement.

Instead, Engoron fined Trump $354,868,768 in disgorgement. He also ordered Trump to pay a total of $98.6 million in prejudgment interest, which will accrue at an annual rate of 9%.

The grand total, including disgorgement and interest, for all defendants in the case: just under $464 million.

Of that sum, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who took over the Trump Organization after their father became president in 2017, have been ordered to pay more than $4 million each.

Eric and Donald Jr. also face two-year bans from serving as officers or directors of any New York corporation or legal entity.

Co-defendants Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's former chief financial officer, and the company's comptroller, Jeffrey McConney, are permanently banned from controlling the finances of a New York business, Engoron ruled.

But the judge vacated his own prior directive to cancel the defendants' business certificates, meaning he is no longer pursuing what some legal experts described as a "corporate death penalty" for the Trump Organization.

The decision is only the latest court-ordered punishment imposed on Trump, who is running for president while dealing with numerous criminal and civil lawsuits. Last month, a jury in a separate civil case in New York federal court ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million for defaming writer E. Jean Carroll when he responded to her claim that he had raped her in the mid-1990s.

Trump is the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, setting up a likely rematch with President Joe Biden , who beat him in 2020.

Lawyers for Trump and the other defendants quickly blasted Friday's ruling, accusing the judge and the prosecutor of political bias and warning that the outcome will drive business away from New York.

"Countless hours of testimony proved that there was no wrongdoing, no crime, and no victim," Trump attorney Alina Habba said in a statement.

But Engoron wrote in his ruling that the statute used in the case does not require that a victim lose money.

"It is undisputed that defendants have made all required payments on time; the next group of lenders to receive bogus statements might not be so lucky," he wrote.

"Defendants submitted blatantly false financial data" as they sought to borrow more money at better loan rates, "resulting in fraudulent financial statements," Engoron wrote.

He also pointed to the Trump team's legal defenses, saying they proved the company and its officers would keep operating the same way they always had unless he forced them to change.

"When confronted at trial with the statements, defendants' fact and expert witnesses simply denied reality," the judge wrote.

Their "refusal to admit error" led the judge to conclude "that they will engage in it going forward unless judicially restrained."

"Indeed, Donald Trump testified that, even today, he does not believe the Trump Organization needed to make any changes based on the facts that came out during this trial," Engoron wrote.

"Their complete lack of contrition and remorse borders on pathological."

Read more on this Trump fraud trial

  • Trump lashes out at financial monitor in business fraud case after she reports errors
  • Trump storms out of fraud trial after judge clashes with his attorneys, fines him $10,000 for violating gag order
  • New York AG pushing for lifetime Trump ban cites Martin Shkreli ruling

Trump has frequently raged against his many legal battles as "witch hunts," claiming they are part of a Biden administration-backed conspiracy to tank his political ambitions.

He vociferously denied all wrongdoing in the New York fraud case, blaring his claims of total innocence on social media, at the courthouse and even on the witness stand.

Trump claimed to be worth far more than what was reported on his financial statements, while asserting that a disclaimer on the records protected him from liability for any inaccuracies.

But Trump and the other defendants were found liable for fraud by Engoron before the trial even began.

In a bombshell pretrial ruling, Engoron granted summary judgment on James' main cause of action — that the defendants committed fraud in violation of New York law.

Engoron found that Trump's statements of financial condition between 2014 and 2021 overvalued his assets between $812 million and $2.2 billion.

The ruling razed Trump's defense claims, accusing him and his co-defendants of trying to convince the court to "not believe its own eyes."

The trial was conducted to determine the amount to be paid in penalties and resolve other claims of wrongdoing from James' lawsuit.

The trial also doubled as a soapbox for Trump to air his grievances about his perceived political foes, including those sitting feet away from him in court.

On the witness stand, Trump railed against Engoron and James while defending the values that were reported on his statements of financial condition. Trump also tore into another key witness, his former fixer and personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump had directed him to falsely manipulate his net worth.

Trump's venting brought consequences. On the second day of the trial, Engoron imposed a narrow gag order after Trump repeatedly targeted the judge's principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, who sat in court.

Trump violated the gag order twice within four weeks, catching fines totaling $15,000.

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Politics and International Relations Personal Statement Example 1

Politics can be seen as essentially a convention inextricably linked to the birth of diversityand conflict,but it can also be seen as a willingness to co-operate and act collectively.Mypassion to study politics further is unrelenting.The current lack of political participationin modern society intrigues me.I am certain that over time, political participation hasdeteriorated due to society simply losing interest,therefore it is my desire to examine society closely and calculate why general political participation by the mass hascrumbled,most importantly,who the fault lies with.This is one of many reasons that I feelpolitics and international relations would be an excellent combination to study.

Studying Politics and International relations will enable me to combine a subjects which I have loved since being first introduced to Nigerian politics through my uncle who was a senator,conversations with him increased my interest for politics.As an enthusiastic and highly motivated student I would love to experience and face the challenges which such a prestigious course would offer me.Studying Government and Politics at A Level reinforced my appreciation for these subjects.I understand that the disciplines are interlinked with one another, particularly when concerned with the welfare of our society.Politics deals with the distribution and the exercise of power while International Relations examine the relationship between countries and policies that are formulated.What I intend to study is not just how the policies are formed but the moral and the principles behind them and why they are successful or unsuccessful in society.Studying sociology at A level has enabled me to look at the sociological perspective of international relations and also compare any theories and political ideologies.My study of Media Studies at A Level has enabled me to develop the analytical skills required to fully understand complex texts and has provided me with the knowledge of the influence of media in politics and the importance for politicians of having the media on their side.

My passion for these subjects extends beyond an academic aspect;I have a passion for the field.I enjoy reading books such as The Globalization of World Politics,this will enable me to have a broad knowledge of international relations and to what extent its effects are seen in modern society.I often attend public debates held at parliament,particularly House of Commons,these have expanded my knowledge on topics ranging from political ideologies international policies,all of which I have found extremely useful.Being a part of"Think Outside"debating group,I represented my school on a range of debating topics,with successful results.Last year I travelled to South Africa where I had an insight into the culture and tradition of the indigenous people,this deepened my political and cultural knowledge and also emphasised the importance of family structure,education and socialisation in society. Having visited various countries and learning about their policies and how they are made and to what extent it benefits their society has inspired me to pursue a career in international relations and politics.

It is a passion of mine to learn new political and international approaches and analysis which will give me the proper foundations and broaden my knowledge.The aforementioned reasons drive my will to study politics and international relations;I believe it will give me the confidence that will make me better able to deal with the high demands of this course.Being a part of school council also head prefect ultimately inspired my drive for debating in which I represented my debating group at national competitions.At the age of 15 I was elected as my local youth mayor in which I served for 1 year this enabled me to experience the political life in a micro scale. Ultimately,I am proud of my ability to balance both study and a school life successfully.

Profile info

This personal statement was written by HeyZee for application in 2012.

HeyZee's university choices University of Sussex The University of Sheffield The University of Kent University of Exeter The University of Hull

Green : offer made Red : no offer made

HeyZee's Comments

im a normal that decided to use a non basic structure, my advice will be do not use the structure the colege gives u if you want to create a WOW personal statement, think of it like this how can you expect to make an extravegant p/s with a basic structure

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Personal statement example ba politics and sociology personal statement.

Submitted by Emma

BA Politics and Sociology Personal Statement

The world of politics is always evolving - there are always new policies or new concepts to consider, explore and analyse. Just as the progression politics and the dynamics of society have informed the modern political world, the shaping of policy and the progression of our current society and political atmosphere will inform the society of the future. Class, gender, ethnic background and sexual orientation play a determinative role in both voting habits and policy formulation, proving that Sociology is essential when it comes to the study of politics. Historically, class has played a massive part in voting behaviours, but with an increasingly diversified society and an advance in technology, this behaviour has undergone change, and since the 1970s, class voting has declined. Despite this, society and our political atmosphere has become increasingly polarised, something which I am particularly interested in. I have read ‘#republic’, which was very insightful in exploring the way in which social media shapes politics, and the effects of digital democracy. I agree partly with the idea Cass Sunstein expresses, that the advancement of technology, particularly in terms of personalised social media algorithms, has had a strong influence on the polarisation of modern politics.

The way we relate to one another can be attributed to both social and economic policy, for instance the societal effects of Thatcher’s policies, and the introduction of neo-liberalism into British politics, can be seen in an increase in self-interested and individualistic voting, and a decrease in social capital. Applying this view to my History course has been fascinating; our study of communist government, and the way social policy has affected society in the USSR and the Republic of China, have provided a great contrast to my perspective on Western social policy. Similarly, in English Literature we have studied The Handmaid’s Tale, which provides a view of the societal effects of a fictional religious military dictatorship, particularly focusing on the culture of suspicion which has been seen in totalitarian regimes in both Western and communist states.

My interest in politics and sociology has developed in my study of Government and Politics, as in class we learn about the formal processes of government, the history and development of ideologies, and we engage in class discussions - these I particularly enjoy as while they are useful in expanding my knowledge, debating is particularly beneficial in refining and nuancing my arguments. We have had particularly interesting in-class debates on the use of Trident, in which I argued for its abolition, as I believe it to be economically ineffective. Although I understood the evidence provided by those who defended it in terms of security, I ultimately wasn’t persuaded to completely reverse my view, but thinking about the reasoning behind the opposition’s argument shaped my own opinion. I engage with politics outside of my course, taking part in protests for equal rights and treatment as part of the Stand Up to Racism and Free the Nipple protests. I lead my college’s socialist society, where we lead discussions on current affairs, socialist philosophy and how that is applied in politics today. I also attend and speak at debate club, and during secondary school I took LAMDA exams in Verse and Prose and Speaking for Performance, and I took part in the West Sussex Youth Speaks contest, in which my team reached the semi-final. These activities have developed my skills in communication and public speaking, which I plan to further develop in both the pursuit of a Politics and Sociology degree and extra-curricular activities at university.

After university, I aspire to a career as a civil servant. I am deterred from pursuing a career in the forefront of politics, as I find the point scoring soundbite culture of modern mainstream politics distasteful and see the civil service as a more productive political organ.

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  1. Politics Personal Statement Examples

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    PERSONAL STATEMENT EXAMPLES Politics personal statements . Discover personal statement examples written by students accepted onto politics and related courses. Read through the examples to help shape your own personal statement. All Statements Search Politics Courses.

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  6. Politics Personal Statement Examples For UCAS Application

    2 Jan,2023 Alan Withworth The following 3 personal statement examples for politics are for inspiration and guidance for students who are applying to politics at UK universities. These examples will give you a sense of the structure of personal statements for politics. Also, the tone is appropriate to use for university applications.

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    I feel that this has provided me with the experience to successfully balance my academic and social life, and I plan to continue this balance whilst at university. It is my dream to become an alumnus of the School, and I am sure that as I am the top student of my class, you will offer me a place." This brief example of a personal statement is poor.

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  27. Politics and International Relations Personal Statement Example 1

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  29. BA Politics and Sociology Personal Statement

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