Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • March 10, 2015

7 Secrets to Writing a Knockout Graduate School Essay

Even though it’s part of every graduate school application, it’s still one of the most common sources of anxiety for many applicants: the essay. Where do you begin? What do you write about? Even with a prompt or question to address, facing a blank page can seem daunting.

Of course, the admissions essay isn’t meant to be stressful; it’s your chance to show off who you are, in your own words, through your writing skills and professional knowledge. So to spark some inspiration, our admissions committee reveals seven tips to help you write a knockout essay that truly represents the all-star you are.

Proofread, Proofread, Proofread

Writing a great essay takes time; dashing off 500 words without reviewing it may not reveal the quality applicant that you are. Spend the majority of your time editing and re-editing your work so you can effectively demonstrate your competence and express your desire to complete a master’s degree.

Write to Impress

Think of your essay as a first impression; distinguish your professional background and clearly demonstrate how it will successfully help you in your graduate studies. There’s no room to be humble here, so use this opportunity to leave the admissions committee with the best representation of yourself as possible. 

Remain Professional

While your paper should be a personal reflection of who you are, it is still critical to keep your writing professional. Express your personality, goals and accomplishments, but make every attempt to avoid sharing too much. Maintain a formal writing style and focus on the key strengths that set you apart.

Demonstrate Passion

You chose your area of study for a reason, so be sure to explain why. Did a life experience inspire you to pursue that field? Are you focused on advancing your career? If you’re passionate about your field, your essay should reflect that.

Think Critically

Consider trends and current events in your field as you approach your writing. You should be able to demonstrate your understanding and experience in that industry. Here’s your chance to show you have the prerequisite knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a graduate program. 

Showcase Your Potential

Your ability to succeed in a graduate program is based somewhat heavily on your graduate essay. It’s one of the few chances that you have to control what the admissions committee sees when they evaluate your application. Relate how you’ve overcome obstacles, reached past achievements and plan to pursue your goals to show that you can succeed in the program.

Clarify Your Goals

Before you begin writing, think about why you want to pursue a graduate degree. Use that reason to offer clear descriptions of your goals and why a graduate degree will help you achieve them. Be concise, and most importantly, realistic.

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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