How Do You Write a Statement of Purpose for College?


Quick Answer

To write an effective statement of purpose, use energetic vocabulary and phrasing that keeps admissions readers enthralled. Avoid clichés. Follow individual schools' instructions exactly, as this demonstrates the ability to take instruction. Edit repeatedly. It is common to write seven or eight drafts before a statement is adequate.

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Full Answer

A quality statement usually opens up with a few lines regarding how the student became interested in the field or subject matter they are applying to study. Admissions persons don't want a student's life story, nor do they want material that is exceptionally personal or mawkish. The opening should just provide a good hook. Next, the student should enumerate positive aspects of her education and accomplishments without sounding excessively boastful or arrogant. Letters typically close with detailed examples of why the school in question best fits the student.

Most students applying to graduate school must outline a course of study or a specific area of interest in greater detail. Consequently, the student should also highlight certain faculty members whose research interests dovetail with hers. Writing statements of purpose is difficult because they are exceedingly short, with much information needing to be packaged effectively and eloquently in very little space. Because committees typically peruse hundreds of these statements every admissions season, standouts are the ones that are vibrant, clear, quick-paced, to the point and memorable as a result.

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