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Personal Essays

Many colleges require a personal essay, or statement of purpose, that describes your true reasons for pursuing a graduate degree. The personal essay is a way for the admissions committee to get to know you before meeting you in person. When reading a personal essay, graduate school admission committees enjoy a great story that focuses on the applicant. But you want to be a memorable applicant, so your statement also needs to let the school know why you’ve chosen them. Ideally, you would relate those reasons to the theme of your story.

Begin your essay early – the hardest part of the essay is just starting it. Look around online for samples of graduate essays so you understand the look and feel of them before you begin. Don’t fret about this!

Some tips for writing your essay:

Demonstrate your motivation and ability to succeed

Describe your career aspirations

Be sincere

Be organized and concise in your writing

Follow the school’s directions

Avoid contractions, slang, and informal speech

On the flip side, don’t try to impress by throwing in long words – use your natural voice

Make sure your essay is readable and professional

Ultimately, your personal statement is about you

Proofread, and then proofread again


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