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How to Write a Personal Ethics Statement (With Examples)

How to Write a Personal Ethics Statement (With Examples)
A class assignment, a scholarship requirement, or an admissions essay needs you to write the unnerving personal ethics statement. Your personal ethics statement should be drafted in a manner that is likely to impress the audience immediately.
Vrinda Varnekar
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
"Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching." - Jim Stovall, American author
Writing a personal ethics statement may seem like a daunting task, but the reality is far different. Agreed, nobody is used to writing about themselves and the beliefs they possess. But this statement is nothing but a reflection of the writer's personality on paper. The writer's ability to distinguish between right and wrong, certain beliefs and opinions are all to be included in this statement that presents your morals and personal philosophies to the reader.
Personal Ethics Statement Format
Personal Ethics Statement Format
The general format would be:

~ A striking introduction.
~ Body of the statement - this includes your beliefs, practices, and related justifications.
~ A decent conclusion.
Even though this statement is a reflection of you as an individual, it is still very important to keep in mind the reader who is going to be assessing it. The reader (in most cases, your professor or an admission committee) wants to know all about you in the best-possible way, and the only way to do this is keep your statement simple, emphatic, and honest.
There are several ways of beginning your personal ethics statement. You may choose to write a little bit about yourself in order to introduce yourself to your reader. Write about profound moments that you've experienced till now, instances from your life that influenced you, and what you feel makes you a good person. Remember to keep it short though, you wouldn't want to bore the reader with lengthy life stories! Pen down your little autobiography beforehand to avoid a messy start to your statement. For those who aren't really comfortable with writing about themselves in their statement, you may choose to begin with a quote by your favorite author that is in line with what you are going to be writing. You may also begin with the importance of personal ethics.
Body of the statement
Body of the statement
The body of the statement has to include all your core beliefs, your thoughts and opinions about what is correct individual behavior according to you, and reflect your views and philosophies. You may have to follow certain guidelines, depending on the reason why you're writing it, but the core of the essay has to be a reflection of you and your feelings. Here are a few important points to remember when writing the body of the statement.

  1. Personal ethics are beliefs that you base your opinions and actions on. Hence, it is highly recommended that you mention only the ethics that you strongly believe in. In simple words, include only the practices that you unfailingly preach. Anything that is not from your core belief system will make itself apparent and establish itself to be untrue right away. For example, if you aren't a vegetarian yourself but you write about vegetarianism being the need of the day, it will become obvious to the reader that you don't believe what you write, and the concept of a personal ethics statement will become invalid.
  2. Since childhood, you have been taught how to differentiate between right and wrong. Include those morals in your statement, and don't hesitate to provide short justifications for possessing a particular belief. Keep in mind that these beliefs belong to you, and don't exclude any thoughts that you feel may seem unusual to the reader. For instance, if you are strongly against products made from animal hide, include your honest opinion in your statement.
  3. Every statement has its own requirements, and you will have to compile only those ethics that match the nature of the statement. For example, if you are writing this statement as a prerequisite for a scholarship, you will have to write about your personal ethics regarding academics and related activities. In such a case, your views about global warming probably won't help the statement much, unless, of course, you are an environment student!
Once you have listed all your personal ethics, you can conclude your essay. It may be a good idea to conclude with the need and importance of personal ethics. You may choose to include the use of personal ethics in daily life in your conclusion. You may also want to write the ways in which following personal ethics has made you a better person.

Once you are done with writing your personal ethics statement, check it thoroughly for any factual, grammatical or spelling errors. Also, make sure that your statement is free from plagiarism and is truly a reflection of your own self.
Examples of a Personal Ethics Statement
A Generic Example Of A Personal Ethics Statement
The Oxford Dictionary defines 'ethics' as "Moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity." Ethics are an important part of our daily lives, and our personal moral beliefs are responsible for several of our judgments and actions. I believe that there are times in every individual's life when (s)he has to choose the right alternative, distinguish between right and wrong and support what is appropriate for society as a whole, which is when the personal ethics system comes into the picture.

My personal ethics consist of qualities that always help me pick the legitimate option in sticky situations. I am an honest person―the truth always matters to me more than anything else at any given moment. Since childhood, this quality has always directed me away from petty distractions that many children face at some time or the other―cheating in class examinations, and stealing, for instance. I have always stood up for what is right, and this has helped me become the person I am today.

I also consider my hardworking and sincere nature to be one of my biggest strengths. I believe honesty and hard work are intricately linked, and this has always shown me the importance of dedication and sincerity for fulfilling my ambitions, which is why, I am not afraid to take up seemingly difficult tasks. I am not afraid to stand up for what I truly believe in, and being a rational person, I rarely let emotions take control of any situation, which is extremely necessary at times when justice has to prevail.

I strongly believe that in order to receive fair treatment from others, it is very important to treat others the way you want to be treated. Thus, I try my best to be polite to everyone I meet. This ensures that I don't add to anyone's problems, if any, and assures polite interaction for most of the time.

I also deem consistency as one of the most important personal ethics one should possess. My work is always consistent in nature, and I strive hard to deliver results that are not sporadic.

However, every coin has two sides and just like my strengths, I too possess my share of weaknesses. Sometimes, I am too frank while expressing my opinions, and that has the ability of hurting people, though unintentionally. My tendency to grab the lead also sometimes labels me as a dominating person when working in a team. I also tend to react strongly to unfair criticism, which is a strength and weakness at the same time.

I would thus like to conclude by saying that personal ethics are important not only in a professional or academic setting, but also in every individual's personal life. My personal ethics will always influence my decisions and actions during any dilemma, and if I come across any more ethics that will help my personal and professional growth, I will not hesitate to adapt to them.
The Personal Ethics Statement Of An Aspiring Journalist
The Personal Ethics Statement Of An Aspiring Journalist
As an aspiring journalist, writing about personal ethics is provoking endless thoughts in my mind―what is right, according to me, and what is wrong? Are my beliefs in accordance to what society thinks and feels? Will my personal ethics help me go a long way in my career? As I go on thinking and penning down my thoughts, I am relieved, and proud to say that my list of ethics answers every question in my mind affirmatively.


I will always strive to be excellent at everything I do. I will not settle for anything lesser than the best, and will do everything I can to achieve the best results in all my professional endeavors. I will not procrastinate when it comes to my work and will deliver the expected results on or before time.


As a journalist and person, I will always be sincere and honest in everything I do. I will not bend any facts or rules just for personal benefit, and will always be dependable, trustworthy and reliable for the organization. I promise to build my reputation only on the basis of merit, and nothing else.


With integrity comes courage. I will never hesitate to stand up for what is right, and will do so even if I am in a difficult situation that demands me to ignore what is wrong. I will always support the truth and never let anyone influence me to do otherwise. I will not give in to peer pressure and will never let the fear of failing affect my actions.


I will always strive to remain humble and grounded. I will not let any accolades or praise affect my attitude, and will always be polite to my peers, superiors and juniors. I will make sure to never hurt or mock anyone intentionally.

I would like to conclude by saying that it is the responsibility of every journalist to abide by ethics that will benefit not only themselves, but also their working environment, and society as a whole, and my list of personal ethics will definitely help me fulfill this responsibility.
The Personal Ethics Statement Of A Student
The Personal Ethics Statement Of A Student
Mr. Henry Kravis, co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, famously said, "If you don't have integrity, you have nothing. You can't buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral or ethical person, you really have nothing." I agree with Mr. Kravis' views. Personal ethics are very important for every individual, be it a student, an employee, or a businessperson. I believe personal ethics are not limited to an academic setting or workplace, but extend to the family and society as well. As an individual, a daughter, and a student, I abide by some basic personal ethics which help me become a better person everyday.


I believe that to gain respect from others, you have to give it first. I strive to respect everyone I come in contact with, as I know they all might have overcome obstacles or faced tough times to get to where they are today. I don't assign respect as per status. I have immense respect for my professors, for my peers, and for everyone else who is around me.

Integrity and Honesty

Integrity and honesty are two values which I promise to abide by in every situation. I will never engage in plagiarism, cheat, or break any rules which might result in someone else getting hurt. I promise to stand up against all that is wrong, and will always support nothing but the truth.

Intellectual Knowledge

I will always strive to expand my intellectual knowledge through thorough and comprehensive reading, and attending various seminars and lectures whenever I get the opportunity.

Conducive Behavior

I will always try my best to help those in need, be it my peers, family members, or anyone else who requires it. I will never let myself become the reason for someone else's troubles and will always behave in a co-operative manner. I promise that I will always have a healthy competitive spirit, and I will never let competition affect my attitude towards my peers, superiors or juniors.

Effective Time Management

I promise to manage my time effectively and never let pressure affect me in a negative manner. I will try my best to balance my time between my studies and recreation, and will not let one aspect of my life affect the other.

I believe that all the qualities I have mentioned in my statement are necessary in order to be a good, sincere student. My personal ethics help me form judgments and base my actions in a certain way. I am confident that abiding by them will always lead me to the right path, in every phase of my life.
The outline examples given above are sample personal ethics statements that might be used as reference by students or working professionals alike. These statements are just a loose idea of what a personal ethics statement should be like. Add your list of personal ethics, compile your thoughts and opinions, and simply pen down what comes to your mind when you think of your beliefs and morals, and you're good to go!