Many aspiring students assume that graduate school applications resemble those completed years ago for undergraduate programs. Instead, most are shocked to find a far more rigorous process—as it is no longer enough to submit a transcript and SAT scores. With today’s graduate applications, purpose takes on an oversized role.
Tap Into Your Emotions
The best thing you can do as you draft your personal statement is to think carefully about why you want to attend grad school and what you will take away from the experience. Your statement of purpose could include every essential requirement outlined by the school and still feel hollow to the reader. But, if you connect to genuine emotions before you begin writing, the end product will feel far more persuasive. Without a true appeal to emotion, you risk coming across as inauthentic and lacking in the very sense of purpose you claim to possess.
The big picture may drive home your desires for graduate school, but details also matter. Keep the following in mind as you develop and submit your statement of purpose:
1. Edit and proofread your statement
Typos and spelling errors suggest that you are not equipped with the communication skills or attention to detail necessary for graduate-level coursework.
2. Use concise language
There's no need for flowery descriptions. Avoid unrelated anecdotes that distract from your statement's overarching theme. Include just enough details to set yourself apart without losing the reader's interest or attention.
3. Maintain a confident tone
This is your opportunity to sell yourself, much as you would in a job interview. An assertive approach can overcome multiple flaws in your statement of purpose, but a weak tone will cause decision-makers to think twice.
4. Seek feedback
If possible, ask friends, family members, or coworkers to read your statement and offer insight. Does it truly reflect the unique qualities that set you apart? Does it clarify your post-grad career plans? Readers should let you know if your statement accurately conveys your personality and your calling. Consider their feedback as you embark on a second draft.
The biggest takeaway is this: Don't be intimidated by the grad school statement of purpose. At JWU, we give students the option to fill out a statement of purpose form in hopes that it will streamline the process. Ultimately, writing down your goals gives you the opportunity to share your passions and shine a light on your promising future.
If you’re interested in earning your graduate degree online, learn more about JWU Online. We offer a variety of online graduate degrees that can help further your career. For more information, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].