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Now that you’ve generated some ideas, get a little bit pickier.It’s time to remember one of the most significant aspects of the application essay: your audience.
This handout will help you write and revise the personal statement required by many graduate programs, internships, and special academic programs.
Because the application essay can have a critical effect upon your progress toward a career, you should spend significantly more time, thought, and effort on it than its typically brief length would suggest.
Find what is specific to you about the ideas that generated those platitudes and express them more directly.
Eliminate irrelevant issues (“I was a track star in high school, so I think I’ll make a good veterinarian.”) or issues that might be controversial for your reader (“My faith is the one true faith, and only nurses with that faith are worthwhile,” or “Lawyers who only care about money are evil.”).
Your readers may have thousands of essays to read, many or most of which will come from qualified applicants.
This essay may be your best opportunity to communicate with the decision makers in the application process, and you don’t want to bore them, offend them, or make them feel you are wasting their time.With this in mind: Imagine the worst-case scenario (which may never come true—we’re talking hypothetically): the person who reads your essay has been in the field for decades.She is on the application committee because she has to be, and she’s read 48 essays so far that morning.The statement of purpose should convince readers– the faculty on the selection committee– that you have solid achievements behind you that show promise for your success in graduate study.Think of the statement of purpose as a composition with four different parts.Often, writers start out with generalizations as a way to get to the really meaningful statements, and that’s OK.Just make sure that you replace the generalizations with examples as you revise.A hint: you may find yourself writing a good, specific sentence right after a general, meaningless one.If you spot that, try to use the second sentence and delete the first.Here you indicate what you would like to study in graduate school in enough detail to convince the faculty that you understand the scope of research in their discipline, and are engaged with current research themes. Ideally, pose a question, define a problem, or indicate a theme that you would like to address, and questions that arise from contemporary research. b) Look on the web for information about departments you’re interested in, including professors and their research.Are there professors whose research interests parallel yours? Check the specific program; many may require you to name a professor or professors with whom you might work.