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Tips for Students: How to Write a Graduate School Essay Using Examples

From writing a personal statement to completing an essay in graduate school, graduate school essays are a common requirement for students. Before they can enroll in a graduate school, the student will typically have to create a personal statement. This statement must demonstrate their knowledge and writing ability, so it must be written well. Asking for help, using an example and editing thoroughly will all help ensure that the student is able to finish the best essay.

The Number One Rule

The admissions office reads thousands of personal statements a year, so they may not be entirely focused on a single paper. They will notice if the paper has careless typos. If the typo could be caught by a word processor, it should not be in the paper. Using editing software, the student should carefully go through the document. They can also try reading the paper aloud so that they can actually hear the errors.

Toss Out the Resume

If the student was applying for a job, they would use their resume to write a cover letter. A personal statement should not sound like it was written from a resume checklist. The ideal personal statement will incorporate accomplishments naturally into the paper. Ideally, the statement will be oriented toward the student's goals in life. The best personal statement are focused on plans for the future and not the past.

Avoid Generalities

Everyone writes that they learned the value of a good work ethic. Conquering struggles, learning to work hard and setting goals are some of the most common statements made in this type of statement. Instead of using a generality, students should get specific. They learned to work hard, but how was it accomplished? By using actual stories and incorporating personal details, students can make their essays stand out from the pile of applications.

Gimmicks Always Fail

The admissions committee has seen it all. In the past, students have submitted personal statements that were formatted like miniature plays, in prose or in rhyming couplets. As a rule, gimmicks do not impress the admissions committee. They tend to be harder to read and slightly annoying for the reader.

Focus on a Good Topic

Sensitive topics should always be avoided in a personal statement. Writing about a recovery from an abortion, crack addiction, rape or other personal matters could impress the committee. There is a greater chance that one of these topics will offend a member of the committee, and the student will not get accepted to the school. Rather than risk an entire education, students should stick to safer topics.

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