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Many applicants find it challenging to write a personal statement because there is no clear prompt to guide their writing.An effective personal statement conveys how your background and experiences have shaped your career goals, how you are well matched to your chosen career and provides insight into your character and maturity. If you are asked to write a generic personal statement, pretend that the prompt instead requires you to discuss how your experiences, interests, and abilities have lead you to your chosen career.Perhaps the best piece of advice I can offer on writing your admissions essay is to solicit feedback from many sources, especially faculty.
The best way to avoid writer's block is to write something, anything.
The trick to beginning your essay is to not start at the beginning.
Rather, researchers desire to share their knowledge through peer interaction and publication.
So, if you want to join the ranks of your target program’s dynamic team, you must demonstrate a strong motivation to conduct research and equally impressive writing skills.
The other parts of your graduate school application tell the admissions committee about your grades (i.e., transcript), your academic promise (i.e., GRE scores), and what your professors think of you (i.e., recommendation letters). With so many applicants and so few slots, it's critical that graduate admissions committees learn as much as possible about applicants so as to ensure that they choose students who best fit their program and are most likely to succeed and complete a graduate degree.
Despite all of this information, the admissions committee does not learn much about you as an individual. Your admissions essay explains who you are, your goals, and the ways in which you match the graduate program to which you are applying.Granted, the argument concerns your capacities for graduate study and the outcome can determine the fate of your application. 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.Some graduate programs request that applicants write a more generic autobiographical statement, most often referred to as a personal statement.A personal statement is a general statement of your background, preparation, and goals.You likely will not (and should not) use all of the information that you gather. As you consider your essay, plan to discuss the information that supports your goals and what is most important to you. Discuss the ways in which your background and competencies overlap with the graduate program's requirements and training opportunities. Pay attention to whether faculty take on students or appear to have openings in their labs.Evaluate all of the information you gather and determine your priorities. Writing an effective graduate admissions essay requires knowing your audience. If you're applying to a doctoral program, take a close look at the faculty. Peruse the department page, faculty pages, and lab pages.Graduate applications often ask that applicants write in response to specific statements and prompts.Most prompts ask applicants to comment on how their backgrounds have shaped their goals, describe an influential person or experience, or discuss their ultimate career goals.It should come as no surprise that most applicants do not enjoy drafting their graduate admissions essay.Writing a statement that tells a graduate admissions committee all about you and can potentially make or break your application is stressful.