3. Demonstrate Interest in the

If you’re applying to multiple schools, odds are that you’ll draft a general statement of purpose and then modify it for each individual application. The key word in that sentence is modify. Do your homework on every you apply to. Make the admissions officers think fate has brought you to their doorstep, even if you’re applying to ten other schools.

4. Write a Draft

The best almost always comes from a lengthy process, rather than a moment of inspiration. Begin brainstorming ideas for your statement of purpose weeks before the application deadline (if possible), and write at least one rough draft. Don’t worry if the writing feels raw while you’re working out what you want to say. Let the first draft be exploratory. The second or third draft is the time to polish, perfect, and proofread.

5. Choose Your Angle Carefully

Your goal in a statement of purpose is to present your path through life as a story, one that the admissions committee hasn’t heard before. If you find yourself writing “As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” it’s time to revisit the drawing board. What will you bring to the classroom that no one else does?

6. Peel Back the Layers (find deeper meaning as you write)

Maybe you don’t know what your angle is. Maybe you’ve been staring at a blank page for a while now, trying to figure out how to write a statement of purpose. Many people need to start writing (and keep writing) before knowing exactly what they want to write. Start putting your thoughts down on paper, and you may see patterns and deeper meaning begin to emerge.

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