Graduate School Personal Statement Vs Statement Of Purpose

"One major mistake I see all the time is students who try to tell too much in the personal statement," says Radunich."Tell one or two specific stories or scenarios really well instead of having a broad focus and attempting to tell your life story.

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As they write, students should remember that admissions personnel must read many personal statements and sort through thousands of applications.

Being conscious of how words or stories may be perceived by those with experiences different from their own can be invaluable to students.

The goal of the essay is to get an interview, one-on-one face time that will you allow you to divulge more.

Use that personal statement to tease them just enough so they feel like they need to get you in for an interview to learn the rest of your story." The best personal statements have clear purposes and easily draw readers in.

This narrative essay combines specific, self-reflective anecdotes with details about past experiences (internships, volunteer experiences, etc.) and a clear delineation of a student's goals and interest in the prospective graduate program to provide a fuller picture of the applicant.

This combination, often unaccompanied by an explicit writing prompt or set of instructions, can make even the most practiced essay writers freeze up.It's important that students remember to keep anecdotes relevant to the specific programs to which they are applying and to make it clear how the experiences led them to those programs.Along with a focused narrative, grad school applicants should demonstrate for the admissions committee why they want to attend this program and how doing so relates to their place academically, locally and globally.Depending on the program and writing prompt, a personal statement and a statement of purpose may fill the same need in the eyes of the admissions committee.In cases where both are required, however, things can get a little tricky.Strong personal statements demonstrate awareness of audience and how content may be received.Radunich advises applicants to think about their essays from admissions deans' perspectives: What would and wouldn't you want to read it if you were in their shoes?A personal statement is a short essay that introduces a grad school candidate and his or her personal reasons for applying to a particular program.While metrics such as GPA and test scores can give an admissions committee an idea of a student's qualifications, they are impersonal and don't indicate whether a candidate would be a good fit for a given program.Students should be cautious about turning their personal statements into risky or edgy creative writing projects and instead maintain a strong narrative structure using anecdotes for support when necessary."Everyone loves a coming-of-age story," Radunich says.

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