Graduate School Application Essay Advice

Graduate School Application Essay Advice-84
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.

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If you don’t do what they ask, the reader may wonder if you will be able to follow directions in their program.

Make sure you follow page and word limits exactly—err on the side of shortness, not length.

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.

Write technically, or in the style of your discipline.

Professors are the people who read these statements.c) End your statement in a positive manner, indicating your excitement and readiness for the challenges ahead of you. What the admissions committee will read between the lines: self-motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student. Emphasize everything from a positive perspective and write in an active, not a passive voice. Demonstrate everything by example; don’t say directly that you’re a persistent person, show it. If there is something important that happened to you that affected your grades, such as poverty, illness, or excessive work, state it. Make sure everything is linked with continuity and focus. Unless the specific program says otherwise, be concise; an ideal essay should say everything it needs to with brevity.Write it affirmatively, showing your perseverance despite obstacles. Approximately 500 to 1000 well-selected words (1-2 single space pages in 12 point font) is better than more words with less clarity and poor organization.Applications that have several short-answer essays require even more detail.Get straight to the point in every case, and address what they’ve asked you to address.If you graduated and worked prior to returning to grad school, indicate what you’ve been doing: company or non-profit, your work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned.You can also indicate here how this helped you focus your graduate studies.You may want to start by just getting something—anything—on paper. Think about the questions we asked above and the prompt for the essay, and then write for 15 or 30 minutes without stopping.What do you want your audience to know after reading your essay? Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, organization, or anything else. For help getting started, see our handout on brainstorming. Find the most relevant, memorable, concrete statements and focus in on them.Tell them what you’re interested in, and perhaps, what sparked your desire for graduate study.This should be short and to the point; don’t spend a great deal of time on autobiography. Indicate with whom, the title of the project, what your responsibilities were, and the outcome.


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