Re: Statements of Purpose and Technical Writing Graduate Studies.

Subject: Re: Statements of Purpose and Technical Writing Graduate Studies.
From: Jennifer Michele Swenson <jmb63 -at- EMAIL -dot- BYU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 10:17:23 -0700


I am currently in the same boat myself--in the process of applying to graduate
school. Personal statements should reflect who you are, not necessarily the
quantifiable things you have done which can be listed on a resume. I am fond of
telling a story--maybe relaying an experience, or two or three, in which you
were forced to resolve a conflict or make a decision. Schools want to know how
you handle certain aspects of your life, or how the things you have done will
contribute to what you will do in graduate school in a variety of ways.

Beware of "telling" too much. Give your readers lots of details about the story
or event and let them figure out the rest. Also, make sure your transitions
between subjects are strong, and try to avoid passive voice when possible.
Also, bringing the statement "full cirlce"--tying the first paragraph and the
last paragraph closely together--is often effective.

One more thing: If you have the option, try to take the GRE with pen and paper
rather than on the computer. You would get your scores immediately if you take
it on the computer, but the computerized test will not let you go back and look
at previous questions.

Good luck! I hope this helps.

Jennifer Swenson

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