Grad School EssaysRegardless of what graduate program you choose to pursue, whether it is a master’s or Phd, or whether it is for admission to law school or business school, you will need to write an application essay, also known as personal statement or statement of purpose.

Grad school essays will, for most candidates, be the hardest part of the application. There is no success recipe for writing a perfect personal statement. However, there are multiple resources both online and in print that provide writing tips for graduate school applicants. Some services even offer personalized feedback and custom coaching sessions, but between application fees, test fees and other fees, getting personalized writing tips could break your budget. We have compiled some overall tips to help future applicants have a better grasp on how to write a personal statement.

Grad School Essays Guide

Make sure you know what each grad school program/school requires when it comes to the statement of purpose. Touch upon all the information they require.

Regardless of what program you will pursue, think of the application essay as a job interview on paper. It will have to reflect skills that neither your transcript, standardized tests, nor your resume can show.

Key questions your essay has to answer: “Why do you want to pursue a degree in this particular field?”, “Why did you choose a program at this university?”, “Why should we accept you?” or in other words “Why would you be a great candidate for this program?”

Tailor your essay to each program; do not have the same essay for multiple programs. In this way you can “sell” yourself as the candidate each program is looking for.

Turn negatives into positives. If you had to work your way through school and hence your grades were not quite stellar, underline the positives in the experience and show what you learned from those experiences. Being too dramatic or too apologetic is not the best strategy.

Look up sample personal statements online as to get a sense of how some of these essays are written.

Have friends, coworkers, and/or professors read over your essay. The more feedback you get, the better. But always remember, your essay is your “business card” and you should be 100% comfortable with what you submit in your application.

Be patient, as writing is a continuous process that takes time and energy.