Let’s imagine the following: you’re going to commence writing your graduate school statement of purpose to apply to a number of universities. The most terrifying thing, in your opinion, is not what exactly you should write there but rather what you should avoid like plague. In fact, you dread the prospect of being dismissed by the admission committee as its members might disapprove of your ideas.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is a crucial aspect when it comes to the enrolment process, but there’s no point in making too much fuss about it. Chillax, look on the bright side of life, and read the following list of things to avoid in the graduate statement of purpose:
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- Typos and punctuation or grammar errors. Proofread and revise your paper as silly mistakes make a bad first impression as far as your personality is concerned.
- Colloquial expressions and informal language. Idioms, slang and/or jargon, fancy similes, as well as old-fashioned units of vocabulary shouldn’t be used in formal writing.
- Contractions (aren’t, can’t, won’t, didn’t etc.) should be avoided in a formal graduate statement of purpose too. Remember that it’s not a letter to your close pal, so it’s not the time to dispense with the formalities.
- Simplistic or long-winded sentences. Always stick to a golden mean and prove that you’re a dedicated professional by means of your writing and opt for the most appropriate sentence structures.
- Highly debatable subjects. It’s paramount to forego the pleasure of attempting to bring people round to your point of view on some controversial issues unless they are related to your areas of interest.
- Stretching the truth. However tempting it might be to embellish your writing sometimes, avoid the things that are untrue and concentrate on your real strengths, experiences, and personality traits instead.
- Shambolic layout of the main ideas. Remember that every piece of writing must have an organized structure so that the readers will be able to follow the writer’s train of thoughts easily.
- Uncertainties and generic structures. In all probability, examiners won’t particularly relish your writing replete with words and phrases like “I guess,” “I’m not sure,” “possibly,” and “presumably” or too general statements like “many people find that…”
Bear in mind though that the graduate statement of purpose must inform the admission committee members of some meaningful details as to why exactly you’d prefer getting this graduate degree and what you want to do with it in the near future. So, never leave out some relevant details that show various facets of your personality. Use your common sense to determine what’s generally irrelevant or ask more experienced people for advice.
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At the end of the day, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with a decent graduate school statement of purpose once you know the strategies to write it with flying colors. Fingers crossed that the abovementioned tips will help you to make a positive long-lasting impression on the admission committee by means of your exemplary writing skills. Best of luck!