What can you contribute to this particular degree program?If you can answer these questions in a clear and concise manner, you shouldn’t be at a loss when it comes time to put pen to paper and write your application essay.Your style of writing in the letter is a reflection of your character and personality, and you would not want that tainted by following a textbook format.
] The graduate school personal statement serves two basic purposes.
First, they show whether you know how to write a clear, coherent essay that’s logically and grammatically correct.
Remember, they’re trying to get a holistic view of your intellectual character, your ambitions, and your academic skills.
So, don’t hesitate to go beyond narrow academic experience when searching for essay topics.
What are the areas of specialty of this department, and what might it be looking for in a graduate student?
Additionally, since personal statements will most often be read as part of your "package," they offer an opportunity to show aspects of yourself that will not be developed in other areas of your application.
Personal statements are most important when you are applying to an extremely competitive program, where all the applicants have high test scores and GPA's, and when you are a marginal candidate and need the essay to compensate for low test scores or a low GPA. It's most likely that your personal statement will be read by professors who serve on an admissions committee in the department to which you are applying.
It is important in developing your personal statement to carefully consider this audience.
These days, students’ writing ability is often presumed deficient unless proven otherwise.
Second, the application essay gives you the opportunity to present the admissions committee with more of a “three-dimensional” perspective of yourself as a deserving candidate than GPA and GRE numbers possibly can.