Your graduate school admissions essay may be one of the final application pieces that you create. Your grades, your letters of recommendation, and your test scores are likely complete, and now you have several weeks to solely devote yourself to your personal statement.
Your graduate school admissions essay is an essential part of your application, as it gives you an opportunity to show schools who you are as a student and as a burgeoning professional. Here are four ways to make your essay as impressive as possible:
1. Begin with the instructions
There is no uniform structure for a graduate school admissions essay. Instead, your academic field and the program to which you are applying will dictate the type of statement that you submit. Before you begin writing, carefully review any included instructions. Certain schools will request 500-750 words in the typical five-paragraph format, while others may require a longer essay that addresses a specific question about your academic/career goals or your reasons for applying.
2. Give yourself ample time
You likely know that a compelling first sentence can entice your audience to continue reading, as well as improve the tone and impact of your admissions essay. However, it is difficult to simply sit down and write a statement that is brilliant and unique. You will need time to consider the content of your essay and to record your thoughts on paper.
One of the best ways to do this is to free write. Whether you write in phrases or short sentences, jot down interesting aspects of your profile. Include academic and career accolades, important projects, your passions, and even your failures. Devote several weeks to organizing this information, and ask your family members, friends, former professors, supervisors, and colleagues for their input.
Once you commit these details to paper, it may become far easier for you to identify that single sentence that speaks to who you are as a student and why you are applying to that particular program.
3. Link your goals to your prospective school
Your first paragraph should ideally convey why you will be successful in your career and why you are certain that the school will help you achieve your goals. Be as specific as possible. For example, your first paragraph may describe your life-long goal to make electric cars common in every household. Your supporting paragraphs can then detail how you are currently working toward that goal, and how the program in question will deepen and enhance your efforts. Whenever possible, draw specific examples from the school’s history. In this instance, you might write about the graduate school’s legacy in automotive or energy research.
4. Prove your statements
It is easy to write about your passion for energy research or automobile design. It is also easy for anyone else who is applying to this program to say the same thing. So, aim to prove your statements. Tell your reader how you research these topics outside of school or work, or how you design your own cars in your free time. If you have published scholarly articles on these topics, or if you have created design blueprints, place links to your work in your essay.
Such statements prove that you are actively pursuing your career, and that you are willing to do all you can to succeed in graduate school and the workforce.
Question about tutoring? Email email@example.com or visit http://www.varsitytutors.com, and subscribe above to receive the latest posts.