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Admissions Essay Help

  • Admissions
  • Thread starter Angry Citizen
  • Start date
  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Well, pursuant to my other thread (Undergrad Engineering Schools), I've decided to apply at the two big name universities and see what happens. They require a couple essays. One is a topic of special interest to me. The other is a 'statement of purpose' essay.

I'm doing the former on fossil fuels. It's not directly related to my major, but it's something I feel very strongly about. It's supposed to be about one page in length, and doesn't say anything about citing sources or being an 'academic paper'. The prompt specifically says: "Choose an issue of importance to you – the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope – and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation." My question is, do admissions essays typically cite sources and do all that jazz?

The latter I'm completely clueless about. The prompt and the title do not match up. Just what IS a statement of purpose essay? The prompt says:

"The statement of purpose will provide an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that you feel could add value to your application. You may also want to explain unique aspects of your academic background or valued experiences you may have had that relate to your academic discipline. The statement of purpose is not meant to be a listing of accomplishments in high school or a record of your participation in school-related activities. Rather, this is your opportunity to address the admission committee directly and to let us know more about you as an individual, in a manner that your transcripts and the other application information cannot convey."

But that has nothing to do with my purpose of entering a university for an education. In fact, it seems a lot like an optional essay one can do, with the following prompt:

"There may be personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information. You might include exceptional hardships, challenges, or opportunities that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, personal responsibilities, exceptional achievements or talents, educational goals, or ways in which you might contribute to an institution committed to creating a diverse learning environment."

My question is, just WTH is a statement of purpose all about, and, judging from the prompts, what is the difference between the statement of purpose and the optional essay?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Anyone? I need to get started on this as soon as possible.. deadline's are approaching fast, so forgive my impatience.
 
  • #3
I would talk about certain things that I would want to accomplish at said university, which professor/s I would hope to do research with and specifically what kind of research. Perhaps there are some clubs/organizations that are related to your major that you would want to get involved in as well.
 
  • #4
6,814
12
Let me ask you two questions:

1) Why are you going to college?


2) Why do you think they should let you go to college?

Think about it for a moment. Write that down, and then edit those two for essay one and essay two.
 

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