How to Write Your Graduate School Admissions Essay

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The admissions essay is often the least well-understood part of the graduate school application yet it is critical to your admissions success. The graduate admissions essay or personal statement is your chance to distinguish yourself the other applicants and let the admissions committee know you apart from your GPA and GRE scores. Your admissions essay can be the deciding factor in whether you are accepted or rejected by a graduate school.

Therefore, it is necessary that you write an essay that is honest, interesting, and well organized.

How well you structure and organize your application essay can determine your fate. A well-written essay tells the admissions committee that you have the capacity to write coherently, think logically, and do well in grad school. Format your essay to include an introduction, a body, and a concluding paragraph. Essays are often written in response to prompts posed by the grad school. Regardless, organization is key to your success.

Introduction:

  • The introduction is the most important part of the essay, especially the first sentence. The first sentence introduces your essay and a bad introduction, in person or in writing, is detrimental to your admissions chances.
  • The first sentence should be unique and compelling, possibly thought provoking or attention-grabbing.
  • First sentences may explain your desire to study the subject of interest or discuss the motivation that influenced your desire to study the subject of interest. State it in a creative manner.
  • The sentences following the first sentence should provide a brief explanation that supports the claim stated in the first sentence.
  • Your goal for the introduction is to entice the reader to continue beyond the first paragraph.

The Body:

  • The body includes several paragraphs that provide detailed evidence to support the statements made in the introductory paragraph.
  • Each paragraph should have a transition, which starts each paragraph with a topic statement that will be the theme of that paragraph. This gives the reader a heads up of what's to come. Transitions connect paragraphs to preceding paragraphs, enabling the essay to flow smoothly.
  • Each paragraph should have a resolution, which ends each paragraph with a meaningful sentence that provides a transition to the next paragraph.
  • Experiences, accomplishments or any other evidence that can support your claims should be included in the body. Future goals should also be mentioned in the body.
  • A short summary of your educational background can be discussed in the 1st paragraph of the body.
  • Personal experiences and the reasons for wanting to attend the school can be discussed in the 2nd paragraph.
  • Do not simply repeat what was stated in the application.
  • The last paragraph can explain why you are a good match for the program.

Conclusion:

  • The conclusion is the last paragraph of the essay.
  • State the key points mentioned in the body, such as your experiences or accomplishments, that explain your interest in the subject. State it in a conclusive and brief manner.
  • Convey your fit to the specific graduate program and field.

    Your essay should include detail, be personal, and specific. The purpose of the graduate admissions essay is to show the admission committee what makes you unique and different from other applicants. Your job is to display your distinct personality and provide evidence that confirms your passion, desire, and, especially, fit for the subject and the program.

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    Your Citation
    Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. "How to Write Your Graduate School Admissions Essay." ThoughtCo, Apr. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/graduate-school-admissions-personal-statement-1686133. Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. (2017, April 3). How to Write Your Graduate School Admissions Essay. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/graduate-school-admissions-personal-statement-1686133 Kuther, Tara, Ph.D. "How to Write Your Graduate School Admissions Essay." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/graduate-school-admissions-personal-statement-1686133 (accessed November 17, 2017).