How to write a personal statement for graduate school

Our experts have assembled the most comprehensive course on the Internet to help you compose successful graduate school essays. The personal statement must serve as a reflection of your personality and intellect. You must sell yourself through this statement, just as you would through a successful job interview.

How to write a personal statement for graduate school

Applying to Graduate School: Bottoms and Kari L. Nysse The University of Illinois at Chicago Your first step toward a graduate degree in psychology is to apply to graduate programs that are right for you.

Know what the admissions officers are seeking

Your goal is to do everything possible to ensure admission to at least one, and hopefully more, programs. The typical psychology graduate school application package includes four crucial elements: Graduate Record Examination GRE scores, official undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement from the applicant.

Different schools, programs, and faculty members attach different relative value to each element, but all are important. In general, most programs expect applicants to score highly on each subtest of the GRE, maintain a strong GPA during college course work, submit excellent letters of recommendation, and write an impressive personal statement.

Of these four elements, students typically agonize a great deal over the personal statement, perhaps because they have never written one before, because it seems awkward to write about oneself, or because the task is not well defined by graduate programs.

In this brief article, we outline basic guidelines for writing a persuasive personal statement. Note that our own expertise is in research-oriented graduate programs; consequently, our advice is largely specific to applications to such programs.

Even so, students interested in purely applied programs should also benefit from many of our tips. Finally, keep in mind that there is no one perfect formula for a personal statement.

Example from Graduate School Personal Statement Experts

The Basics Keep four basics in mind as you write your personal statement: In general, a good personal statement will be around two single-spaced pages.

In our experience, shorter statements provide too little information; longer statements are redundant and wordy. Longer statements might be fine if you have substantive issues to discuss.

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For example, if you have a lot of research experience, you may need to exceed two pages to describe your work in sufficient detail.

Above all, aim for quality rather than quantity. No reader will appreciate your stretching two pages worth of information into six or seven pages. Remember, readers will be assessing the content of your personal statement as well as your ability to communicate effectively and concisely.

Your personal statement is your opportunity to create a good first impression. This means your writing must be clear and correct. No one is impressed by careless grammatical and typographical errors. Failure to attend to such details raises concerns about conscientiousness and reliability. Remember, paying attention to detail and writing well are extremely important research skills.

What Is the Difference Between a Letter of Intent and Personal Statement?

You also should attend carefully to your use of vocabulary. Large doses of unusual or obscure vocabulary will only distract readers and cause them to doubt your writing ability.

how to write a personal statement for graduate school

This little book is a classic for a very good reason. Do not misinterpret the meaning of personal in the phrase personal statement! Instead, think of the statement as a professional statement. Write about the activities and experiences that led you to apply to graduate school and that have prepared you for its rigors.

Provide concrete, detailed examples of your experiences and abilities when possible see below for more information about content. Above all, write in a professional tone that conveys your self-confidence: You need to showcase your abilities and convince the reader that you are smart and driven to succeed.

The personal statement is a chance to sell yourself--now is not the time to be overly humble, hiding your assets. Of course, you should not misrepresent yourself, and you should avoid sounding pompous. After you have drafted your statement, solicit detailed feedback from one or more professors and incorporate their suggestions into subsequent drafts.

It is especially useful to obtain feedback from psychology faculty, particularly those who make graduate admissions decisions themselves.Writing a Winning Personal Statement for Grad School Tips and Advice for Standing Out as a Graduate Program Candidate. Applying to graduate school can be a significant step toward reaching academic and career goals, which can make the admissions process even more intimidating.

Graduate Personal Statement: Rather than a letter, a personal statement for graduate school is an essay.

How to Write a Statement of Purpose: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

It's intended to show who you are as a person, your personal and academic goals, and why you might be a good fit for the program.

Create a captivating, thoughtful, and well-written grad school personal statement or statement of purpose. Check out Grad School Essay Writing This is the second stage in the writing personal statements for grad school.

Our highly qualified personnel will sit down with you and together you will come up with the most brilliant ideas that will help you write the ideal personal statement. Personal statements have many uses; however, the main purpose is to convey who you are, and why you’re the best person for the job.

Fish4jobs has collected the following expert advice to help you create the best personal statement, so you stand out from the crowd and land your dream job role! Graduate School - Statement. Graduate and professional schools often require some sort of written statement -- often called a "statement of purpose," "personal statement," or "letter of intent"-- .

Writing a Compelling Personal Statement