To create a winning graduate statement of purpose, you need to understand the fundamental pillars of a strong essay. In this short video, Linda Abraham, CEO and founder of Accepted, will highlight what those four pillars are and how you can use that to build a solid, compelling graduate school SOP.
Full video transcript
If you’re applying to grad school, you probably have a lot on your plate. You’re juggling school, work, volunteering, family, or all the above. You are also embarking upon a process that is at best unfamiliar and at worst completely foreign to anything you’ve done before. In short, you are stressed, maybe overwhelmed with all the stuff on your plate.
You want to attend graduate school so that it can prepare you for your chosen career, but you’re not sure how to draft a statement of purpose. What do the graduate schools want? You know that competition is intense even if you have the stats, and you certainly don’t want to get rejected because of this single essay! So between the stakes and the time pressure, you’re nervous and anxious.
And you’re still wondering how to approach writing the statement of purpose.
I’d like to give you an approach. I’m the founder of Accepted and I’ve been a graduate admissions consultant for 20+ years. As the host of Accepted’s podcast, Admissions Straight Talk, and prior to that of Accepted’s online chats, I’ve conducted several hundred interviews of graduate admissions directors and deans at programs like Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, MIT, Johns Hopkins, UC Berkeley, UVA, Michigan, UCLA, Northwestern, and many others.
Based on my experience and those interviews, I’ve developed the 4 Pillars of a Splendid Statement of Purpose and I can share them with you today. Make sure you have these pillars clearly thought-out, or better yet, written down and visible as you write:
Pillar #1: A clearly thought-out, post-degree goal. That’s your guiding light and North Star. It determines your direction.
Pillar #2: Your motivation for pursuing this goal. Why do you want to go down this path? What experiences have convinced you that this is your life’s purpose?
Pillar #3: An understanding of your field. Show you know what you’re getting into by discussing times that you experienced the field or were exposed to the kind of work you intend to do.
Pillar #4: A clear reason why this program is the perfect vehicle for reaching your professional and educational goals. Why do you need this information and this program?
These pillars will really help you write your SOP, but of course just like a building consists of much more than supporting beams, your essays need more than these four critical pillars. Here’s what I’d like you to do before you write your essay so you can get additional insight on other necessary elements of a splendid statement of purpose.
1. Go to accepted.com/exemplary.
2. Download From Example to Exemplary: How to Use Sample Essays to Make Your Essay Outstanding, a succinct free guide with more in-depth advice (and links to examples) of what makes a splendid statement of purpose.
3. Follow the advice in this video and in the guide to save time and write a splendid, exemplary SOP that increases your chances of acceptance at your dream graduate programs and launches your career.
Taking these steps will help you go from stressed to done.
For individualized assistance in writing and editing your impressive top-of-the-pile admissions essays, check out Accepted’s Grad School Statement of Purpose & Essay Services – flat rate and hourly services available!
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