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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.
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).
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.
Do not spend time relating all of your changes in majors since your freshman year.
It is, however, perfectly acceptable - especially in page-length statements of purpose - to show how internships, Advantage research fellowships, or a paper for a course shaped your ideas and plans.
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.
- 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.