Personal Essays and Statements of Purpose
Answer the questions that are asked
If you are applying to several schools, you may find questions in each application that are somewhat similar, but don't be tempted to use the same statement for all applications. Answer each question being asked, and if slightly different answers are needed, write separate statements.
Tell a story
Demonstrate through concrete experience. One of the worst things you can do is to bore the admissions committee. If your statement is fresh, lively, and different, you'll be putting yourself ahead of the pack and making yourself memorable.
Don't, for example, state that you would make an excellent doctor unless you can back it up with specific reasons. Your desire to became a lawyer, engineer, or whatever should be logical, the result of specific experiences that are described in your statement.
Find an angle
If you're like most people, your life story lacks drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding a unique angle or “hook” is vital.
Concentrate on your opening paragraph
The lead or opening paragraph is generally the most important. It is here that you grab the reader's attention or lose it. It becomes the framework for the rest of the statement.
Tell what you know
Too many people graduate with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the profession or field they hope to enter. Be specific and relate what you know about the field in the language professionals use. Refer to experiences (work, research, etc.), classes, conversations with people in the field, books you've read, seminars you've attended, or any other source of specific information about the career you want and why you're suited to it. When you are selecting experiences, be sure to consider the appropriateness of this content.
Consider the appropriateness of the content
There are certain things best left out...