Monday, October 09, 2006
Personal vs. Purpose
Hullo there! Thanks abundantly for the blog and book. This may well be the most inane question you've gotten to date, but I'm asking anyway. Is there any difference at all between a personal statement and a purpose statement? I feel like when a program asks for the former I'm writing something more informal, centered on what my deal is personally. Whereas I'm trying to write purpose statements that are more related to questions like why grad school in creative writing, why this program, etc. So should I be thinking about these babies differently? Or should I chill out and read "personal" and "purpose" as synonymous? Or should I just chill out?
--Seeking a Cool Alliterative Codename in Wisconsin
Hullo back at you, SaCACiW. The first thing I want to say is: if a program asks for answers to specific questions, then yes, always address what the program asks you to address. That said, you should be talking about your purpose in your personal statement, and you should be talking about the personal in your purpose statement. So unless the program has clear guidelines, I think you're good to chill out.
And remember to keep your letter friendly, formal, and focused. Rock on.