Writing Secrets: How To Write A Statement Of Purpose For PhD
Graduate school is a time to focus and use all of your determination. Because of the strictness and demands of graduate schools, admissions committee take your statement of purpose seriously as a means of analyzing your potential. They use it see if you have what it takes to succeed.
Different graduate schools will ask different things for the statement of purpose. But in general, every graduate school is asking you for the same four items:
- They want to know what you want to study when you are in graduate school.
- They want to know why you want to study that.
- They want to know what level of experience you have in your field.
- They want to know what your plans are with your degree after you have it.
These committees want a candidate who has clear research interests. They want a candidate who cares deeply about their discipline and has the background to support that passion. They want a candidate who is diligent and will stay committed for the duration of their learning.
While you have to stay focused in your statement of purpose, you also want to avoid being boring. Try and distinguish your essay using unique and relevant information. Discuss an idea within your field that is intellectually stimulating for you. Write about something aside from yourself, if you have the chance. Remember that you want to talk about an idea that demonstrates your passion for your field. This will go much further than just describing your passion.
Try and avoid including the paragraph that explains to the review committee how well rounded you are. Don’t talk about what you love cooking, or how you play golf every weekend. Colleges want to see that you are well rounded like this, but a graduate school does not. They want someone who is focused, something who has a great mind and will put that mind toward mastering a specific subject. They really don’t care that you play intramural volleyball or make a mean lasagna.
What they do care about are the activities that can support your suitability for acceptance. They want to see where you have completed research, what undergraduate classes you took that had field work requirements, and any work, school, or personal experience you have which speaks to your abilities to complete challenging coursework and challenging research.
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