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It could be an explanation of why you should receive a bunch of money to study or it could be a detailed account of what you plan to do with all of that money. Use spell and grammar check, even if you made an A in English 11. Do not say "I would be an excellent graduate student because . ." Rather: "I believe that I have been well prepared to do graduate work because . ." Never praise yourself directly; let your details and evidence illustrate/demonstrate how good you are. (3) Your statement of purpose should be as specific as possible.Academic/Project Proposal-Common Elements: - A description of your course of study or project; topic(s), research focus, degree goals, methodology, itinerary, (budget). Avoid "very." On the other hand, you are not a worm. I know this is difficult, but you have to make your decision - even if you change when you are in graduate school.
- Maintain focus; establish a consistent story line. Often, examples of behavior demonstrate an idea better than an adjective. -Does your introduction capture the reader's attention? -Have you checked for grammatical and spelling errors? Thank those who assisted in the application or wrote letters of recommendation. The only way to know what's really going on in a graduate department is to ask questions. Most financial aid comes from the universities; if they want you, they will support you, and there are always loans, particularly for medical and law school. You can fudge a little if they ask for a 250 word essay as long as it fits in the space provided. If activities are asked for, make a working list first, then use only those which are important to you or relevant to the application (broadly interpreted). Certain activities are generally considered "good things." They include clubs associated with your major (includes AFS for poli sci/law), newspaper, debate. List high school activities only if (1) you are asked for them or (2) they are really major.
Consider one or two anecdotes that can help you focus and give a human face to your discussion. -Does the essay present you as you wish to be seen? Being an officer in AED or ACMS or Beta Chi is useful for science applications; being a member of the marching band probably isn't. Do not assume that anyone else recognizes Furman Acronyms - CESC should be translated into community volunteer, or spelled out. Also course numbers mean nothing - give names of courses currently taken if they inquire. When you list activities, do so in order of importance - it doesn't hurt to throw in an unrelated activity at the end of a three line space to fill up the space and show how well-rounded you are. Major means National Merit Finalist, major scholarship winner, national award in anything (NEH, Younger Scholars grant or president of Boy's Nation, etc.) Basically they don't matter anymore. Essays are either general (writing a 1000 word intellectual autobiography is the worst) or slightly non-specific "What is your purpose in pursuing graduate study?
-Why you have chosen this course of study (at this particular institution, in this particular country). "History" is not narrowed enough; American history is very broad; Colonial America is fine.
-Or why you want to undertake this project in this particular setting. Choose information and ideas that are not reflected in other parts of your application. On the other hand, don't indicate that you want to spend the next five years working on the Mexican-American War.
Start gathering material on yourself and build a file or resume. School and community activities (high school and college) c. You may be asked to write essays on these topics: a. Be sure to allow them at least two weeks (more is better) to prepare the recommendation and be sure to let them know what the deadlines are. References: This part of your application carries a lot of weight; don't take it lightly! Pick references who will give you a good recommendation. Include your special interests and abilities, career plans, and life goals, etc. There is no such thing as automatic admission - even if you are applying to your home state university. Remember that highly qualified students from throughout the nation apply to the best graduate programs: you need to be competitive by writing the best application that you can. Aim for no later than a January 15 mailing date (January 1 is better).
Describe Your Plans Essay
Grade point average, class standing, courses selected (know area of study) b. Work or volunteer experience-Special or unusual learning experiences f. Many times what you think is insignificant could be valuable to put on an application. Read a GOOD newspaper; broaden your global knowledge. Continue to examine and refine your personal goals. Check to see if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for you. Then you can transfer or type your answers on to the application form. It should deal with your personal history, family background, influences on intellectual development, the educational and cultural opportunities (or lack of them) to which you have been exposed, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you. (Early means by Thanksgiving.) Otherwise - do it over Thanksgiving or Christmas vacation.Ask them if they have any problems writing a letter for you. If you have to choose, pick references who know you rather than those with prestige. Pick references who will get their letters in on time. Give them adequate information to write a good letter of recommendation. Most scholarship applications require one or more of the following: an application form, a personal essay (150-1,000 words), a copy of your academic transcript, and letters of recommendation. It should not be a recording of facts already listed on the application or an elaboration of your statement of proposed study. See if the department you are applying to wants GRE achievement tests.A copy of the scholarship application, your resume, etc. - Personal statements are short; identify a few points (3-4) that you want to develop; let the other aspects of your application present other important information. Be sure to have at least 2 other people read your essays. Even if you do not win a fellowship the fact of having to define your goals is useful. Graduate schools take themselves seriously and think well of their own programs: do not ever condescend. When you indicated that you know a school's strengths, its special collections, its faculty, you indicate your own intelligence. (Many schools do not require.) How many recommendations are required? Consider applying to at least 5-7 graduate schools.Combined Statements (Rhodes, Luce, Mitchell): - This statement combines elements of the academic proposal within the framework of a personal reflection. The tone should be neither too academic nor too personal. They are read as indications of clear an organized thinking and effective communication. Plan to experiment and try completely different versions. Show your work to a number of readers whose comments you respect. It is easier to use boilerplate essays (and you will use some), but the more you can refer directly to the university, the better.- It should not force an unrealistic unity; you are not a totally unified person. Aim for economy, enthusiasm, and directness; eloquence is welcome, but not at the expense of substance or honesty. Make sure all information is accurate and that you will be prepared to discuss in some detail anything you mention. Consult especially your department advisor and ask your readers to tell you what questions your essays raise that you might not have considered. They are impressed if you refer to their strengths, faculty members with whom you would like to study, library resources in your area of interest, internship possibilities.This point is especially valid if one of you is in science. Tell them what you want to do; ask for their advice. If a faculty member in your department has an advanced degree from a university you are applying to, be sure to have that professor write for you. If you have an A paper from the professor you ask for a reference, bring it along with you (together, if possible, with a resume) so that the faculty member can be specific in his or her comments. If a graduate department wants you sometimes they will put pressure on colleagues in another department to accept a spouse. The best references generally come from instructors who have taught you recently, and better yet, have had you for more than one class. Generally it is wise to answer all the questions on a separate piece of paper. One is a personal statement; the other is a proposal or statement of intent. A personal statement should be a narrative giving a picture of you as an individual. Find out the due date - and if they use rolling admissions, complete early. Contact three individuals (generally faculty) to act as references. There are two main types of essays you would be asked to write.- It should balance both components together effectively. (5) Avoid philosophizing, discussion of your political, religious, or moral principles, or discussions of the role of your discipline in LIFE.- The balance of these two aspects will vary according to what best represents you and your goals. Make certain you understand the question or the topic. Most committees see far too much of this sort of thing - it is cliched.