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Sources for opinions on graduate application essays?

  • Thread starter Dishsoap
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Greetings all,

Are there resources around to help with writing essays for graduate applications? I have asked a few professors around my department, but as we don't have a graduate program and most of them are young professors who have only recently left grad school themselves, most of them aren't confident in their abilities to proofread essays and make suggestions.

I've also contacted my schools "career center" as they have an advisor who deals in helping students apply for graduate school, but their suggestions seemed more apt for a liberal arts major or something. For instance, when a school's prompt for their personal statement asked for research experience, the career center lady said I should cut out some discussion of my research in favor of more general "why I like science" sort of things, which seems silly.

If it were just one essay I would feel fine with posting it to a forum such as this, but the reality is that there are probably 4 or 5 unique essays needed: diversity statement, personal statement, statement of purpose (apparently those are two different things), etc. etc.

Are there any sort of resources I can use? Posting things online isn't my personal preference, but at this rate it's better than nothing.
 
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the career center lady said I should cut out some discussion of my research in favor of more general "why I like science" sort of things
Oh dear. Whenever I see professors talk about statements of purpose, that's the exact opposite of what they say.

I don't have the resources you ask of, but if you haven't already stumbled across it, see this (related) response I found the other day when doing my own research on SOPs: http://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/1529/choosing-research-ideas-to-include-in-a-statement-of-purpose
 
1,001
299
Oh dear. Whenever I see professors talk about statements of purpose, that's the exact opposite of what they say.

I don't have the resources you ask of, but if you haven't already stumbled across it, see this (related) response I found the other day when doing my own research on SOPs: http://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/1529/choosing-research-ideas-to-include-in-a-statement-of-purpose
Ah, yes! I actually have that site bookmarked as it's very useful. I think that the content I have is good for the most part, but I really think the essays could use some tweaking. My statement of purpose seems too long and I want advice on how to shorten it without leaving important things out, I'm not sure if my diversity essay sounds too whiny, etc. etc.
 

cristo

Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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Are there resources around to help with writing essays for graduate applications? I have asked a few professors around my department, but as we don't have a graduate program and most of them are young professors who have only recently left grad school themselves, most of them aren't confident in their abilities to proofread essays and make suggestions.
I would have thought young professors are the best for this sort of thing - after all, they have recently gone through the whole process on which you are embarking!

Anyway, as above, I would disagree with the suggestion to remove discussion of your research!
 

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