The graduate school essay is one of the most frustrating papers a student can ever be asked to write. It is a high-stake project that determines whether or not one gets admitted to an advanced degree program. Of course, applying to graduate school is often seen as an essential step towards attaining educational and career goals. The expectations make the admissions process an intimidating process.
Over the past months, top colleges have witnessed an average increase in graduate school applications by about 18 percent. Even before the pandemic, the competition for limited spaces in top graduate schools was already high. The recent rise in applications means that students need to be more creative and effective when seeking admission to their dream universities.
This article summarizes valuable tips on how to write an admissions essay for graduate school. Here, students can find all the information they need to ace this crucial element of the graduate application process.
What Is the Graduate School Application Essay?
The application essay is an often-indefinable component of the graduate school admission process. However, it serves a crucial and clear purpose in the eyes of admission officials. The essay offers students a chance to bring life and personality into their applications, demonstrating why they deserve a slot among the limited opportunities.
However, unlike the college application essay for undergraduate programs where students may offer quippy stories, the personal statement for grad school ought to be more focused on career and academic goals. Thus, in this paper, the applicants are expected to indicate what motivates them, their reasons for applying to graduate school, and how their expertise and achievements offer value to the learning institution.
In other words, a spectacular grad school essay should give admission officials an insight into who you are, your competence, and your values. Don’t forget to explain why you think the program and the college would be an asset to you.
Please note that there are often different types of prompts for personal statements. Irrespective of the prompt you choose for your essay, understand that each personal statement is unique. Strive for brevity, making sure that you cover these aspects:
- What program would you like to study in graduate school;
- Why the program is ideal for your career and academic goals;
- Why you have chosen to study at the specific university.
At the very least, dedicate at least a paragraph for each of these issues, making sure that your essay contains an attention-grabbing introduction. Before you get started, consider reading through well-written online examples of personal statements for graduate school. From these, you can get ideas on how to tackle your project.
How to Write an Essay for Graduate School: What Are the Components?
The grad school essay is an opportunity for admission officials to get to know you. It is where you articulate your goals, passions, and ambitions. The objective is to boost your prospects by showing what you bring to the course and how you propose to benefit.
In other words, a good essay should be a selling document, marketing your abilities and motivations. This is the ideal place to highlight the information that admission officials are unlikely to find elsewhere in your application.
Since the personal statement is unique to the applicant, there is no universal recipe for creating a winning document. However, some crucial elements constitute quality grad school essays. Here are significant components of a great individual statement:
Graduate Essays Are Focused
Writing about oneself can be one of the most challenging undertakings. Students often get carried away, falling into the temptation to tell everything about themselves. However, a good personal statement graduate school writer understands that there is a length restriction for the project, and focus is required.
In any case, the admission officials will have tons of applications to go through and won’t have time for lengthy and tedious texts. Note that the personal statement is not an autobiography that details all your experiences. It should not be used to regurgitate or explain all the information contained in your resume.
Instead, focus your essay on one or two scenarios or stories and write on them well. Remember, the paper’s objective is to land you an interview, which will allow you to provide more information on your abilities. For the personal statement, use the space provided to tease the admissions officials, allowing them to get an insight into your skills and want to know more.
You can tell the rest of your story during the interview process. Applicants ought to limit the scope of their statements to the final years of their undergraduate programs. Admission officials will be more interested in how your experiences during your undergrad years shape your academic and career visions. You can learn what else to include from well-written personal statements graduate school examples online.
Graduate School Essays Use a Narrative Style
Expertly-written documents are created with a clear purpose, and readers are quickly drawn to them. Avoid the temptation to turn the project into a creative and edgy assignment. Instead, use a narrative structure, telling a story that will keep your readers engages and intrigued. Feel free to use anecdotes to support your narrations whenever necessary.
Admission officials have tons of applications to review. They want unique papers that stand out from the pool. Also, most colleges look for students who will be interesting to work with and support during development. To create an exceptional essay, choose those critical points about yourself and pick the experiences and moments in your life that show those points. For instance, if you have volunteered abroad, you can discuss how working with the local community influenced your career and education ambitions. Once you are done, don’t forget meticulous graduate school admission essay editing.
Good Essays Demonstrate Broad Understanding
Besides presenting a focused narrative, graduate school essays should show why the candidates want to attend the specific academic program. You also need to demonstrate how attending the program will influence your place in academia, both in the local and global context.
Experts suggest that the best graduate essays show candidates’ understanding of the big picture of their fields. Demonstrate your knowledge of how the program will shape your role in your community after graduation. If needed, get assistance from a reliable graduate school admission essay editing service.
Good Essays Show Honesty and Vulnerability
Most students applying for graduate school often feel that they should demonstrate how impressive and highly accomplished they are when writing their essays. However, an essential element of your application is to be as honest with the information presented as possible.
Showing a sense of vulnerability allows your audience to connect with your content. Instead of using the essay to brag about your experiences and accomplishments, show self-awareness by acknowledging your weaknesses and faults. Note, however, that vulnerability ought to be presented as something that spurs growth instead of an excuse for mediocrity in specific academic areas.
How to Start a Graduate School Essay: Writing Tips
One of the most challenging aspects of creating exceptional personal statements for grad school is getting started. However, as long as you remain organized, the process can be straightforward. Here are some tips to get you going.
Read and Understand the Instructions for the Graduate Admissions Essay
One of the best ways to start any written academic project is by making sure you know what is expected. Unfortunately, some grad school papers offer little guidance on how students ought to tackle their essays. Instead, you may only get directions to expand on why you wish to apply for the specific graduate program.
Others provide specific instructions on how students should write, format, and present their essays. You may even find information on the required word count and method of submission.
Like with every other project in academia, it is crucial always to read and understand the task requirements before getting started. Even expertly crafted essays will be discarded if they fail to address the prompt or ignore the indicated word count.
Understand Your Audience
Another crucial aspect of how to write a personal statement for graduate school is the readers. The best grad school essays show awareness of the audience and consider how the writing may be received. At this stage in your education, you should understand how to examine your writing from the admissions officer’s perspective. What would appeal to you as a reader in their shoes?
Remember that the admissions officials are tasked with reading and sorting through tons of application essays. As such, strive for brevity and remain aware of how your audience may perceive your stories or words. Make good use of active language and employ transitions to set the right tone for your essay. Finally, don’t forget about an attention grabber in the introduction and a concise conclusion to wrap things up.
Edit and Proofread Your Writing
Serious applicants must take time to ensure their grad school submissions are perfect and free of errors and typos. At this level, essays with spelling and grammar mistakes are unacceptable. Remember, the personal statement is an indicator of your abilities as a student.
So, before you submit your application, spend some time editing your essay and checking for clarity, grammar, tone, content, and style. You could also hire a professional graduate school essay editing service to guide you with revising your work.
Concluding Remarks on How to Create Stellar Essays
Along with other documents, graduate students are expected to submit exceptionally written essays. These essays outline the learners’ experiences, skills, and unique motivations that make them ideal candidates. Given the significance of this document, it is understandable if you doubt your ability to complete it on time. However, with proper planning, careful research, and detailed editing, you should be able to ace your personal statement grad school.