Graduate school personal statements
Personally, I am drawn to people who have dealt with these kinds of struggles, so these stories tend to make me like the applicants more. But that attitude is not universally shared!
On the other hand, if your personal situation is directly relevant to the academic work you want to do, it would probably be helpful to talk about it. So, for example, if you want to work on the philosophy of disability, and you have a disability, it would probably be helpful to discuss how your own experience as a person with a disability has shaped this interest, if it has.
But even in a case like this, you would do well to talk with a trusted advisor, preferably someone who is also writing one of your recommendation letters, when thinking about how to frame your personal story. Unless they are directly relevant to your interests, avoid discussion of your political views or religious beliefs and even if they are, err on the side of caution.
Perhaps your Verbal GRE score is low. Though many philosophers say that they do not care about GRE scores, my inductive evidence strongly suggests that many do. A poor GRE score is likely to hurt your chances, at least at some programs. Moreover, it may hurt by calling attention to something the people reading your application may not have been worried about before. One exception to this piece of advice is when there is a major problem with your academic record; e.
Then it is worth explaining the situation briefly, again keeping in mind the advice above about not disclosing too much. If you can, you should discuss how to discuss major issues like this with your recommendation letter writers. The assurances they can provide in their letters that the issue does not reflect your abilities or current situation may be more valuable than your own.
You should come across as an early career academic, a self-driven grown-up who can be expected to meet the demands of an exacting program. You should not come across as someone who thinks they are the next Wittgenstein, or as someone who regards themselves as an academic peer with the people reading your application. Keep in mind that whatever else it does, your personal statement provides further evidence about your writing skills, so ask at least one person who is a good writer to carefully proofread your statement.
Remember the guiding principle: do no harm. This is the piece of advice I am least confident about.
These are only meant as general guidelines. I am certain that some applicants have been helped by personal statements that violate all of them!
Having served on grad admissions at two places, this seems to me to be excellent advice. I agree with every bit of it. There are errors on the side of over-inclusion: you mention people who a are never around or are not taking on new students or are leaving, or b are not really working on the topics you are in interested in any more.
All of this makes it kind of dicey to name people, rather than areas.
Programs want people who are likely to succeed in completing their graduate work on time and getting hired in the profession. So, mention one sentence will do other interests: from cooking to camping to children—DO mention that you compete in chili cook-offs, or go camping and forage for wild edibles, or volunteer at the local library to read books at storytime on Saturday mornings. Hobbies and non-academic interests show that you are a well-rounded human being, not some nut case who is seeking nirvana through the study of Nietzsche.
Pynn, thank you for the thoughtful comments on preparing a statement of purpose.
Hi Connor, good question. I would say in general for MA applicants it is less important to have a detailed and specific statement describing your interests than it is for a doctoral program, but that may vary from program to program some departments, eg Georgia State, have fellowships reserved for people working in specific areas, and if I were applying to such a program and had the relevant interests, I would definitely play that up in my statement. What a great article I have found finally, dear author, thank you very much for it!
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And please do not stop to write them, because I am completely sure that they can help to many of other people who are looking for some help as well as me! The best of your ideas can come to your mind when you are not sitting in front of your computer and that is very much required to make your mind fresh at times because if you pay someone to write personal statements so you need to know that what is inside if that content and how that content is going to content is going to help you. In many cases, the universities I am considering mention a personal statement — one of them even has a topic for an essay in the application that is about your personal background.
I have experienced personally the speciality I want to go into — it is quite personal, therefore I shall not name it, but I think you can guess in what direction I am going. Should I mention it in my statement? It is very personal information and I am afraid that it would make a less attractive applicant.
How to Write a Graduate School Personal Statement - Kaplan Test Prep
Our expert faculty are dedicated to student success. Our music, drama and visual art programs cover the spectrum from classical to contemporary. Ensembles and activities are open to students from all majors and levels of experience. Be very intentional when constructing your personal statement. Begin working on it early so you have time to make several drafts.
Grad School Essay Writing
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Why Do You Need a Personal Statement?
Freshman and Sophomore Career Conference Nov 1, am to pm. Write clear and concise sentences. Write per the tone set by the audience and writing prompt.