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Writing a Graduate School Statement of Purpose

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Writing a Graduate School Statement of Purpose [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2017, 10:05
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Writing a Graduate School Statement of Purpose



Most graduate programs require students to write one or more essays as part of the application process. MBA programs often ask applicants to answer several specific essay questions. For instance, several MBA programs ask students to discuss a time when they failed or to describe a situation in which they had to deal with conflict. If you are applying to an MBA program, it is very important that your essays clearly answer the specific questions.

Unlike MBA programs, many other graduate programs have a more general essay assignment. These general essays may be called a statement of purpose, personal statement, a study plan, or other similar names. The topics that you should address in this type of essay are your interest in the field, your background in the field, your short- and long-term goals, and your interest in that particular university.

Before you begin to write your essay, you should spend some time thinking very carefully about your answer. You will want to have many detailed examples that support your points. The worksheet on the following page is one way to begin to generate ideas. You can also use other pre-writing techniques like brainstorming, clustering, or free writing, if you prefer. Brainstorming means simply listing all the details that come to your head without worrying about their order or importance. To begin clustering, circle your main idea in the center of the page and use other circled ideas and connecting lines to show associated ideas. Free writing means simply writing down all your thoughts without worrying about grammar, spelling, or organization. Each of these methods is an excellent way to discover your ideas.

You may also find it helpful to look at other students’ essays before you begin to write. You should find enough sample essays in this forum.

Once you have generated ideas and examples, you are ready to write. If the university specifies a certain length, follow it. Many schools require an essay between 300 and 500 words. Remember that longer is not necessarily better!

After you complete your draft, ask a classmate to use the peer review sheet that follows to edit your draft. As you prepare your final copy, your essay should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman, and you should proofread carefully for grammatical and spelling errors. Good luck!
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Re: Writing a Graduate School Statement of Purpose [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2018, 02:51
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Great post. I think it's abundantly clear that this post is trying to be general, and it gives some great advice on writing a statement of purpose that everyone should read. Of course you should know the conventions of your field and you should use the appropriate language, formatting, structure, etc. conventions that apply in your field. But doing research about the program and about yourself is important no matter what field you are in.
Re: Writing a Graduate School Statement of Purpose   [#permalink] 31 Jan 2018, 02:51
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