Writing the Statement of Purpose
Dr. Carla Trujillo
UC Berkeley College of Engineering
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
1. What they read between the lines: motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student 2. Emphasize everything from a positive perspective.
3. Demonstrate everything by example. Don't say directly, for example, that you're a persistent person; you must demonstrate it. 4. You don't want to make excuses, but you can talk about the mistakes you've made as a learning experience. 5. If there is something important that happened (poverty, illness, excessive work, etc.), which affected your grades, go ahead and state it but write it affirmatively; that is, in a way that shows your perseverance. 6. Make sure everything is linked with continuity and focus. 7. 500-600 words, 1 to 1-1/2 pages typed, single-spaced.
ACTUAL WRITING OF THE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
There are 3-4 parts to the statement:
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
This is where you tell them what you want to study. For example, M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in dynamics and controls. PART 2:
Summarize what you did as an undergraduate:
Important class or classes you took which stimulated your desire for graduate study; specific project or class? Research you might have done. Indicate with whom, the title of the project and what your responsibilities were. Write technically; it's professors, not secretaries, reading this. Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, or researching a product or apparatus. PART 3:
If you graduated and worked for a while and are returning to grad school, indicate what you've been doing while working: company, work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned. PART 4:
Here you indicate what you want to study in graduate school in greater detail. This is a greater elaboration of your opening paragraph. Indicate area of interest, then state questions you might have which are associated; i.e. what...
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