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Personal Statement


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How long should my personal statement be? I keep reading one page in some blogs and two pages in others. Should I just make it enough to cover what I want to? And has anyone ever mentioned their research experience in personal statements or should I leave that to my resume?

 

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I think you should mention your research experience, they usually want your educational background and professional experience mentioned in the letter of intent and that seems to fall under that. I agree that it should be concise but you don't want to leave anything out either.

Edited by smarieSLP2b
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Many of my universities mention the exact length they want. Definitely keep it as concise as possible, and from what I can see, two pages double-spaced appears standard unless said otherwise. Research experience would certainly be something important to mention, but don't just restate what's in your resume - use the statement to discuss the research in depth and how it will benefit you as a graduate student.

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I agree be concise but make sure you put everything in you want to say, but also make sure you don’t repeat.  I would also spend time editing and see someone (or multiple people) would mind reading it and giving you comments and feedback.  This takes time though.  Good luck! 

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First, be sure to follow the schools requirement to the letter. 751 words will be disqualified automatically if they ask for 750. Don't do that to yourself. If there is no specific requirement, shoot for about 800 words which should be 1-page, single spaced, 12 point font. If you double space it, two pages is good. I just went back and looked - mine ranged from 450 to 821. The 821 is the one for the school I went to and its 1.5 pages with 1.5 spacing. 

I have some writing exercises somewhere on my blog that were helpful for me when I wrote mine, but try writing eeeeevverything first and then keeping that in a separate word doc. When you write each statement for each school, you can copy in pieces and cut it down to size. 

And ditto what @LaceySpeechie said about research: "Research experience would certainly be something important to mention, but don't just restate what's in your resume - use the statement to discuss the research in depth and how it will benefit you as a graduate student."

I hope that helps! 

 

Edited by mcamp
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When they ask why you chose this program? How do you all answer that question? I want to stand out but it always seems cheesy. I try to add terms and vocabulary they use from their home page but I feel stuck. Any advice?!

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9 hours ago, Ggslpa said:

When they ask why you chose this program? How do you all answer that question? I want to stand out but it always seems cheesy. I try to add terms and vocabulary they use from their home page but I feel stuck. Any advice?!

Just be honest if you can! I said that i liked that the cohort is small (which I read here!) and that the location is great. I mean, I phrased it in better terms than that, but I think if you're truthful you won't sound cheesy.

Another option is to look up the faculty and see if any of them are doing research in your area of interest. I did this for one program (didn't get in, but still a good option).

Of course, if the only reason you're applying is because it's a cheap program, maybe come up with something else!

Edited by bibliophile222
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Thanks. Great idea. A small cohort is a great addition to why I like the program. I'll take a look at their faculty too!

11 hours ago, bibliophile222 said:

 

Just be honest if you can! I said that i liked that the cohort is small (which I read here!) and that the location is great. I mean, I phrased it in better terms than that, but I think if you're truthful you won't sound cheesy.

Another option is to look up the faculty and see if any of them are doing research in your area of interest. I did this for one program (didn't get in, but still a good option).

Of course, if the only reason you're applying is because it's a cheap program, maybe come up with something else!

 

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