What is a statement of purpose?
The Statement of Purpose (often called “letter of intent” or “application essay” by various educational institutions) is one of the most important components of your application process. This document provides the admissions committee with information that allows them to become more acquainted with who you are; what you want to study at graduate school and why; experiences you have in the field; and what you plan on doing with the degree once you have mastered it. A statement of Purpose also serves as a writing sample and interview.
Tips on Writing a Statement of Purpose
1. Be Yourself. Be mindful that you are seeking a program that is a good match for you. Do not disguise who you are or second-guess what the committee is looking for.
2. Write a Strong Opening. You want to stand out from the multitude of other applicants. Write an opening that grabs the reader’s attention. Please visit this site for assistance on writing a strong opening statement. http://web.ceu.hu/writing/s_of_p.htm 3. Frame the points you wish to make in a positive light. You do not want to reveal weaknesses in your personality.
4. Describe an important experience that is relevant to the program of interest.
It is usually good to place this portion of the essay towards the opening. This experience may have contributed to the person that you are today. Make a point to note that in your writing.
5. Be Specific, Concise, Honest and Unique.
6. Describe why you are a good match for their program. Tell the committee about your skills and interest in that particular program. Be specific and thoughtful. 7. Talk about your goals. Explain how a graduate degree will help you accomplish those goals.
8. Explain any shortcomings in your background. (i.e. You had a poor GPA during your freshman year in college. Put a positive spin on this explanation and illuminate how your GPA has improved as you matured.)