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You don’t have to be one hundred percent certain about your future plans; no one will pull your application essay before you graduate and express shock and disappointment if your interests happen to change.But generally, going to graduate school is a huge commitment.The statement of purpose should give the committee a sense of who you are and how you have personally interpreted events in your life.
It needs to make you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants and yet stay within the genre-based expectations for a statement of purpose.
This resource provides information on writing statements of purpose specifically for graduate school applications. Although they may sound similar, each program’s statement prompts asks for slightly different pieces of information about who you are.
If it has a good instructor to student ratio, how will that benefit you?
If what separates the program from the rest is that it provides excellent field training before you graduate, how will you take advantage of this? You may also talk about your goals after grad school. Does the program have a good history in helping other students get there?
For example, if your essay focuses on how family has played an important role in your decision to go to graduate school, do not throw in an experience from your trip to a foreign country as another factor in your decision making process unless it is strongly tied with the overall theme of family. Strong statements of purpose answer four important questions that inform admissions committees of who you are professionally and personally.
First: what kind of work are you interested in doing in graduate school?Conversely, others may ask you to answer a series of very specific questions such as your reasons for applying to their program in particular, how your background fits into your professional goals, how your past achievements would aid you during your time in graduate school, and what you have learned from your prior professional experience.Regardless of the particular kind of writing situation, attempt to fit your narrative into one unifying theme.You may be fortunate to have two or three similar prompts for a few programs, but even then, remember that you must meld your own interests with the opportunities available at each particular program--so, no two statements should read exactly alike.In essence, be prepared to draft (and continuously revise) dedicated statements for each program application. Attempt to create one unifying theme in your narrative.Graduate program committees receive dozens—sometimes hundreds—of applications each year.Make your voice stand out among the rest by showing that you are not only professional but that there’s a person behind the important decisions you have made.Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.It is important that you not just rephrase whatever is on your CV or resume because this won’t get at the meaning behind your experiences.A job or a class may have lasted only a few months, but it may have been the impetus for you to go to graduate school because of a unique experience that occurred there.