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How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement

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❶If there is a direct question, answer it without veering off on a tangent.

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1. Don’t become a graduate school essay cliché
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Demonstrate passion

Some focus more on personal adversity while others focus more closely on professional work within the field. The writing in some of these statements is a little dry, and most deploy at least a few cliches.

However, these are generally strong, serviceable statements that communicate clearly why the student is interested in the field, their skills and competencies, and what about the specific program appeals to them.

These are good examples of personal statements for graduate school where students deploy lots of very vivid imagery and illustrative anecdotes of life experiences. There are also helpful comments about what works in each of these essays. Check out our best-in-class online GRE prep program.

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However, all of these statements are definitely pushing the boundaries of acceptable length, as all are above and one is almost words! These examples of successful essays to the University of Chicago law school cover a wide range of life experiences and topics.

Note, however, that these are all essays that specifically worked for University of Chicago law school. That does not mean that they would work everywhere. This is something that might not work well for most graduate programs.

The student accomplishes this by using clear, well-elaborated examples, showing strong and vivid writing, and highlighting positive qualities like an interest in justice and empathy without seeming grandiose or out of touch. Based on the background information provided at the bottom of the essay, this essay was apparently successful for this applicant.

While this personal statement is strikingly written and the story is very memorable, it could definitely communicate the wrong message to some admissions committees. This incident perhaps reads especially poorly in light of the fact that the military has such a notable problem with violence against women being covered up and otherwise mishandled. This student took a risk and it paid off, but it could have just as easily backfired spectacularly. In this guide, we discussed why you need a personal statement and how it differs from a statement of purpose.

Then, we provided three strong graduate school personal statement examples for different fields, along with analysis. We did a deep-dive on the third statement. Want more advice on writing a personal statement? Writing a graduate school statement of purpose? Need stellar graduate school recommendation letters?

See our 29 tips for successfully applying to graduate school. We've written a eBook about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your GRE score. Download it for free now: Ellen McCammon Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert.

She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics. View all posts by Ellen McCammon. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Try for free Login. Try our 5-day full access trial for free: Get a great GRE score.

Check out our 5-day free trial now: Ready to improve your GRE score by 7 points? You have professional and versatile writers that have helped me with my assignment. Don, Australia read all. Graduate School Essay Tips. GRE is far behind you and only last crucial stage is left - your graduate project. Entrust this final step to our experts and be sure in successful defense. What's Inside Your Graduate Paper?

We offer a great discount on graduate thesis writing! Remember me next time. Ask for a Quote Paper Type: What would you contribute to the program as a graduate student and eventual alumnus? In a crowd of candidates who also love this field presumably , what 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. Whenever possible, use stories to illustrate your interest.

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. 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.

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! Is your graduate personal statement clear, concise, and well organized? Then have other people read your essay to check for these things too.

Undergrad professors or mentors are great for this, but you can ask trusted friends too. For a truly polished graduate essay, remember the little things too, like making sure your files have easily identifiable names. And it might go without saying, but make sure you follow the directions! And last but never least: Any examples or experiences you cite should relate back to you and why you want to go to grad school. PS You can apply these tips to scholarship and grant application essays too In fact, while in the midst of earning her graduate degree, she accepted an offer to join the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts full time as their Associate Director of Volunteer Support—a role that distinctly benefits from her graduate studies.

I wish to pursue graduate study to build a stronger foundation in a skill set I love. I have been using Instructional Design in my volunteer role with Girl Scouts as a Council Facilitator for nearly four years. However, I am only mimicking the best practices set forth by the organization. Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts GSEM volunteers would benefit from greater variety and flexibility in our training offerings, and I would like to help bring that to them.

One key area that I would like to work on is creating and delivering more online webinars or hybrid trainings, which would meet the growing demand for more diverse and accessible content.

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Did we mention personal? Some graduate programs will ask you to write an additional essay about an issue within your chosen field. However, your personal statement should be about you as an individual. Write about issues only if they relate specifically to your personal experiences. For example, ‘In Africa, a child dies every minute.

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Your graduate school essays serve as the human dimension in your entire application. The essays hold your application together and truly show the adcom the one thing they want to know: WHO YOU ARE. It is for this reason that your graduate school admissions essays need to be authentic and exceptional.

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A graduate school personal statement or autobiographical essay represents a graduate school’s first qualitative introduction to the way you think and to the way you express yourself. The personal statement must serve as a reflection of your personality and intellect. I believe this holds true for all types of writing, but especially for drafting graduate admissions essays. Many writers stare at a blank screen and wonder how to begin. If you search for the perfect opening and delay writing until you find just the right angle, phrasing, or metaphor you may never write your graduate admissions essay.

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person and a scholar. This is an outstanding essay overall. --Always name your advisors and mentors. --Try and have a paper that you could submit for publication before you apply to graduate school. --When you have identified specific professors at the graduate program who could be mentors to you, mention them by name. #2. Graduate School Essay Writing The most important thing when it comes to writing a graduate school essay is that everything progresses logically, that you make a statement, go the research and cite supporting evidence, explain the evidence, and then unite it all in a clear and concise point.