By Maria Pittman
Do you commence with a story?
Do you begin with a reflection on the focus of your forthcoming graduate studies?
Do you start at the beginning? And where exactly is that?
If you want your graduate essay to grab the attention of the graduate admission representative, then keep reading this article…
The graduate admissions committee is looking for a snapshot of you –
Where you've been,
Where you want to go, and
What you want to do with the degree
Here are three simple tips to start your graduate essays:
1.You should start with a concise academic history of about a paragraph in length.
2.Then use up a paragraph talking about the research that you’ve done (or doing at the time).
3.Then talk about why you wished to go to that school and your career goals and how that particular graduate program would help you meet those.
The statement/essay is also where you would tackle any probable problems, such as an undergrad GPA below 3.0 or a misdemeanor conviction, etc. If you don't have those problems, great. If so, address them.
That is about it really. Your graduate school essay should really just be a summary of your total application...except... you do want to stress how the graduate program fits into your career plans particularly. You will also want to draw attention to the types of research you want to do (or the type of project you want to do for your dissertation/thesis).
When I was helping one of my friends writing graduate admissions essay this year, I divided the graduate essay into 3 parts:
Past, Present, and Future.
In our custom essays, we ask that it be a personal statement, not a story. Basically we ask them to address the following in their statement:
Why a master's degree?
Why graduate school now?
What about your background has led you to this?
You can still grab the attention of the reader by following these concepts. Try to talk conversationally, the way you wrote your question above. A little humor is OK, and you can certainly add in your accomplishments (although I assume they asked for a resume, and that will highlight those...)