Why is it important to write a grad school admission essay?

8th November 2018 by Varada A | SOP For Graduate School

Majority of graduate schools ask for some form of personal essays to be submitted with your admission application. Either it’s for college or grad school, the challenging part in writing such application essays lies in figuring out a most relevant and convincing theme. Once the topic is clearly identified, you can see that the ideas and words are abounding. Here, given a precise article to motivate you to start and finish off with a persuasive grad school admission essay.

Understand what the school is looking for: Not every graduate school expects the same content in application essays submitted to them. Many a schools have their own set of requisites; sometimes provided as questions or else merely as topics. They want each applicant to address these subject matters in their admission essay. Broadly speaking, the common areas relating to grad school admission essay themes are:

  • WHO ARE YOU AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM – Here you are explicitly asked to mention your details pertaining to past academic pursuits
  • WHY YOU WANTED TO JOIN US – Speak about motivational factors or elements which made you to decide upon the course and how you find the course suiting you and your interests in that field of study. Also mention why you selected the particular school.
  • WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE ASPIRATIONS – It means what you are planning to do after this grad course – to start a career or continue studies. What are your future goals?

The schools or universities may not ask these questions directly. Because, they not only want to know the answers of these questions, they also need to check your writing, thinking and presentation skills. Also, there is a test on your individual personal quality, which an applicant needs to greatly showcase in his admission essay. Go through some examples online to understand how a grad school admission essay needs to be crafted.

Each person is equipped with a number of skills and strengths. But, all of them are not at once needed for performing a particular task. Thus, while writing your admission essay, it’s important to understand what the program and the school demands for? And then orient your abilities to match the university necessities.

Tell it in an interesting way: To make a person read your grad school admission essay, it needs to be engaging from the very beginning itself. Also, it will be good, if you begin your essay with the very essence of what you are going to speak in detail. That means, put a hook or make them feel like there is some suspense in this piece of writing. This helps you to grab their attention and get them read it completely. Always check whether, what you are writing is relevant to the matter you are asked to address.

There is no globally recognised graduate school essay format. Refer some sources – on internet or from your seniors – to know the structure before you start writing one.

Keep focussed: It is obvious that you may tend to express a fact with more details than what is needed. This may lead you to get deviated away from the main subject. Hence, provide only the most relevant information or what the question asks for. Besides, it’s important that, to analyse and find that you have not missed any crucial point in your grad school admission essay. Also you need to adhere to some word limit. It is at this juncture, where the writing and creative skills could find an edge. Because, you have to write a lot many things in some hundreds of words.

For example, instead of saying I took advantage of the opportunity to do training in XYZ, use I got trained in XYZ.

Formal and standard language: Realise that you are not writing a letter to your close acquaintance. Think the essay as a face-to-face interview. Hence, you are required to use formal language in the grad school admission essay. Don’t try to bring more casual feel for your essay, for which the admission officers may consider that you are not serious or professional.

Take notes from any free sample essay for graduate school admission and comprehend the usage of vocabulary and construction of sentences.

Don’t generalise: As these essays are more personal, you ought to speak about yourself, rather than making some generalisations. It indicates that, you are applying for several other schools and thus drafted a general format to send them all. All through your essay, make “I” emphasised indirectly. But limit the use of words, “I, me, myself” etc. if not mandatorily required.

Take time: From brainstorming to submitting the final draft, you need to perform writing, editing, revising and similar actions multiple times. Thus, don’t keep aside your grad school admission essay writing task for a later time. Start early and finish well before the deadline. This also can help you in making your admission essay a flawless one, reflecting true you and convincing to get you a place in the grad school you have applied for.

Edit and proof-read: It’s not possible that you can craft your essay with all perfection at the very first time writing it. So, need numerous correction tasks to be performed.

This can be done in two steps.

  1. Re-read yourself, to know whether you have answered to the question and all relevant points are included or not.
  2. Ask for help from your friends, seniors, teachers, etc. to proofread your grad school admission essay. Most important to see whether it reflects you perfectly and present you as a fit candidate for the course and the university. Ask them to provide feedback on:
  • whether the essay is engaging and readable essay for submitting it online, turn on the spell and grammar check, but don’t blindly believe it. Try to eliminate all possible typos. These kinds of mistakes are very critical, as they can reduce the readability of your document.

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