You already know how to write an academic essay: It should capture your genuine personality, explaining who you are beyond a series of grades, test scores, and after-school activities.
Bookmark Remember when you sat down to write your undergrad application essays? It was your chance to show colleges the real you—and the world was your oyster! You could talk about your favorite book character, a beloved hobby, or a cause near to your heart.
Like so much of the application process, grad school essays are similar to undergrad…but not quite the same. You need to take a more strategic approach. The grad school application essay—aka letter of intent, personal statement, statement of purpose, etc. Oh, and it should also give the admission committee a good sense of who you are and what you value at the same time.
No big deal, right?
All that being said, a lot of the advice that helped you write your undergrad essay still applies: Essay requirements will vary from school to school, but you will likely be asked to write — words. Common graduate application essay prompts include the following: Why do you need this degree at this juncture in your life?
What are your short- and long-term career goals? What are you most proud of? And the big one: Regardless of the prompt you choose, the graduate admission committee should come away from your application essay knowing these three things: The following best practices will take you the rest of the way to a winning grad school application essay.
Be specific Stay focused on your academic field and use specific, discrete examples. Was there a clear moment when you knew you had found your calling? Did a particular class assignment, volunteer experience, or work project solidify your interest?
Why exactly do you need grad school to achieve your goals? Show them your passion for your field of study. Why do you love it? Why do you want to contribute to it?
What about it challenges and excites you? What specifically attracted you to the school? What would you contribute to the program as a graduate student and eventual alumnus?
Stand out In a crowd of candidates who also love this field presumablywhat sets you apart? As you consider possible graduate admission essay topics, look for the story only you can tell. So if you are considering a potentially well-tread topic, try to approach it in a unique way.
Be relevant You can talk about special skills, like a foreign language, computer programming, and especially research in your essay.
And you can talk about your academic achievements, internships, published work, and even study abroad experiences. They all make great graduate personal statement fodder.
But relevancy is also key. Explain any gaps Your grad school application essay is also an opportunity to explain anything in your academic record that might raise an eyebrow among the admission committee, like a semester of poor grades, time off in your schooling, or a less-than-perfect GRE score.
Use active language, smooth transitions, an attention-grabbing opening, and a strong conclusion. People relate to stories; tell yours and tell it well.
Edit—and have others edit too Set aside time to edit your graduate application essay, checking for style, tone, and clarity as well as grammatical mistakes. Here are my copyediting tips!In addition to standardized test scores and transcripts, a personal statement or essay is a required part of many college applications.
The personal statement can be one of the most stressful parts of the application process because it's the most open ended. A goal statement, otherwise known as a statement of purpose, is a common element of many college applications. Follow the college's submission instructions closely.
For example, if an application tells you to write about your career goals, you would write a much different essay than if the. A goal statement, otherwise known as a statement of purpose, is a common element of many college applications.
Follow the college's submission instructions closely. For example, if an application tells you to write about your career goals, you would write a much different essay than if the. The personal statement essay is your chance to state your achievements and qualifications in a manner that will be compelling to admissions committees.
Most of the other components of your application are numbers (test scores, GPA, etc.) or out of your control (letters of recommendation). The grad school application essay—aka letter of intent, personal statement, statement of purpose, etc.—is your chance to breathe some life and personality into your application.
But unlike your undergraduate essay, where you might’ve offered a quippy story, your grad school application essay should be more focused on your academic and.
In addition to standardized test scores and transcripts, a personal statement or essay is a required part of many college applications. The personal statement can be one of the most stressful parts of the application process because it's the most open ended.