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Do not blame others for a weakness, although circumstances beyond your control are reasonable to explain. A well crafted, coherent essay can really help with the admissions decision.
(7) If you have a transcript "problem" - a 'C' in a major subject, a weak term, obviously missing course work - the statement of purpose may be an appropriate place to explain the problem.
Some applications will provide separate space for such a discussion.
-Use this discussion to present a compelling snapshot, of who you are and what contributions you want to make, and to indicate what your priorities are and the kinds of intelligence and passion you bring to your work. -Did another person review your essay for possible mistakes? " The shorter the answer is, the more direct, specific and to the point your answer must be.
-In this regard, you may also want to weave in some mention of any skills or resources that may particularly recommend you. -Would you remember your essay if you read two hundred others? There is no pre-determined right answer: make sure your essay is coherent, brief, and well organized. General Rules: (1) Be sure your grammar, spelling, and punctuation are correct.
-Why you have chosen this course of study (at this particular institution, in this particular country). "History" is not narrowed enough; American history is very broad; Colonial America is fine.
-Or why you want to undertake this project in this particular setting. Choose information and ideas that are not reflected in other parts of your application. On the other hand, don't indicate that you want to spend the next five years working on the Mexican-American War. The best references generally come from instructors who have taught you recently, and better yet, have had you for more than one class. Generally it is wise to answer all the questions on a separate piece of paper. One is a personal statement; the other is a proposal or statement of intent. A personal statement should be a narrative giving a picture of you as an individual. Find out the due date - and if they use rolling admissions, complete early. Contact three individuals (generally faculty) to act as references. There are two main types of essays you would be asked to write.Use your personal statement to say what others could not say. It's best to have one specialist and one lay reader. It is especially crucial to maintain contact if the scholarship is renewable. Find out if you must meet specific conditions to have your award renewed. Your application will be evaluated on the basis of GRE/LSAT/Medcat scores; transcript; application including essay or statement of purpose; recommendations. Determine your choice by speaking with department faculty, checking rankings, and taking with currently enrolled alumni. If geography is important, limit your search to schools in the area (applications cost money.) Remember that southerners can survive Iowa, Michigan, or Massachusetts winters. In humanities and social science, there is less money available. Use space provided or pay attention to word limitations.-Personal statements are read quickly and often in bulk; yours should be a pleasure to read: it should start fast, quickly taking the reader into the heart of your discussion. Be ready to prepare multiple drafts of your writing. -Are you concise enough to adhere to the limits in length? The individuals who wrote letters in support of your application will also appreciate a note from you. The numbers - grades and scores - you can't do much about it now, although you should prepare thoroughly for the achievement tests, but you can make the writing of your application strong. It helps if they are Furman graduates; otherwise, call departmental secretary and ask for names and phone numbers. You don't have to attend a private university; there are many public schools that are just as good, and the difference in cost is astonishing. Type when lines are narrow and there is little space; word processors are useful for longer questions. There is a type-writer available in the Office of Educational Services. Sign and fill out the recommendation release forms before you give them to faculty. If the application indicates a paragraph length space, give them one - not one sentence and not a page.-Evidence that your plans are consistent with your preparation, academic qualifications, and long-range goals. This is your chance to supplement your application with other information you want readers to know. Think of your application essay(s) as a part of a larger whole (including the letters from your recommenders, and any other supporting documents such as a list of activities and awards, resume, or transcripts). Consider your audience; write for an intelligent non-specialist. Show a sense of confidence - avoid "may" or "might" - use declarative verbs.-Evidence of project feasibility: knowledge of programs, courses, and facilities; cooperation of host institutions and individuals (professors with whom you wish to study; have they sent or are they willing to send a confirmation of their support? - Perhaps why you are choosing a new area of study, or what makes your project particularly timely. Make sure the terminology will be understandable to someone outside your field. Do not try to guess what the selection committee might be seeking; they want to know you, not a fabrication. An application is a writing sample; all the rules of good writing (clarity, conviction, and correctness) apply. (4) Tailor your essay to the school you are applying to as much as possible.- Maintain focus; establish a consistent story line. Often, examples of behavior demonstrate an idea better than an adjective. -Does your introduction capture the reader's attention? -Have you checked for grammatical and spelling errors? Thank those who assisted in the application or wrote letters of recommendation. The only way to know what's really going on in a graduate department is to ask questions. Most financial aid comes from the universities; if they want you, they will support you, and there are always loans, particularly for medical and law school. You can fudge a little if they ask for a 250 word essay as long as it fits in the space provided. If activities are asked for, make a working list first, then use only those which are important to you or relevant to the application (broadly interpreted). Certain activities are generally considered "good things." They include clubs associated with your major (includes AFS for poli sci/law), newspaper, debate. List high school activities only if (1) you are asked for them or (2) they are really major.Consider one or two anecdotes that can help you focus and give a human face to your discussion. -Does the essay present you as you wish to be seen? Being an officer in AED or ACMS or Beta Chi is useful for science applications; being a member of the marching band probably isn't. Do not assume that anyone else recognizes Furman Acronyms - CESC should be translated into community volunteer, or spelled out. Also course numbers mean nothing - give names of courses currently taken if they inquire. When you list activities, do so in order of importance - it doesn't hurt to throw in an unrelated activity at the end of a three line space to fill up the space and show how well-rounded you are. Major means National Merit Finalist, major scholarship winner, national award in anything (NEH, Younger Scholars grant or president of Boy's Nation, etc.) Basically they don't matter anymore. Essays are either general (writing a 1000 word intellectual autobiography is the worst) or slightly non-specific "What is your purpose in pursuing graduate study?This point is especially valid if one of you is in science. Tell them what you want to do; ask for their advice. If a faculty member in your department has an advanced degree from a university you are applying to, be sure to have that professor write for you. If you have an A paper from the professor you ask for a reference, bring it along with you (together, if possible, with a resume) so that the faculty member can be specific in his or her comments. If a graduate department wants you sometimes they will put pressure on colleagues in another department to accept a spouse.