Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tips on the Statement of Purpose

Samara wrote:

How about approaches to the statement of purpose? I know you shouldn't talk about your childhood love of books, but I'm having a hard time coming up with concrete things to say. One of my mentors said think about your influences, think about formative events, think about what you want to accomplish, but I think I'm seriously psyching myself out on this one. Any other tips?


Hi Samara,

Tom addresses the statement of purpose in the MFA Handbook, and if you read the section that deals with that, you'll find he has a lot of suggestions re: things to address... in fact so many it'll be impossible to address them in 500 words, but it's worth a look if you're short on ideas. And I'm sure many others on this blog would be able to provide you with good advice.

As for my own advice--I've written a couple of successful personal statements that got me the creative writing fellowships I was asking for, and here's what has always been my approach. Once, when I attended a statement of purpose workshop, the big secret given to participants was this: a statement of purpose is not a resume in narrative form; it is a plan that outlines the relationship between the candidate's past, present, and future.

You have to convey two things: (1) How the past has brought you to where you are now; i.e. what literary influences and formative events have led you to decide, "Yeah, I want to get an MFA!"; what prior qualifications (academic, professional, extracurricular, voluntary, etc.) are going to serve you well in the program. (2) How your experience in the program is going to help you accomplish what you want to accomplish in the future; i.e. how will the MFA experience impact your career as a writer, and what do you expect to learn or gain from the program that will help you in whatever you choose to pursue after the MFA? Remember to consider both your short- and long-term goals.

In a nutshell, you've got to show how the past helped you to grow into someone ready, at present, for an MFA, and you've also got to show how you think the MFA experience will help you in your plans for the future. Hope this isn't too formulaic, but it's always worked wonders for me. Just make that your answers to the above questions are specific and concrete.

41 comments:

Vince said...

Wait...so is it okay to talk about your childhood love of books, or whatever?

Bolivia Red said...

Talk about your love of books and/or writing only if you can get particular about it--that is, if you have a moment that illustrates what started that love, or if a particular experience with a book or story set you on fire (either literally or figuratively, the literal fire story would be unique and interesting). Don't mention a generalised love of reading/writing because almost all of us had that.

If that moment you decided you had to write came a little later in life for you, then focus on that instead. Maybe you could include half a line like, "Though I've always been a big reader, I decided I must be a writer when...." (That stinks, but you get the idea.)

Samara said...

Hey, thanks! This is valuable advice.

Anne said...

it is a plan that outlines the relationship between the candidate's past, present, and future.

This is a fabulous summary of what a statement should do (or at least, of one way it can be written). Thank you!

Emily said...

Is there a big difference between a Statement of Purpose and a Personal Statement? I've heard many different answers to this question.

Dharam said...

If you are applying to a Ph.D. or Masters or Bachelors degree in Arts & Science, Dentistry, Doctorate, Research, Education, Engineering, Hospitality Management, Law, MBA, Medical, Music, Nursing, Psychology or Teaching, here is a resource for sop writing: http://essaylabb.com/sop-personal-statement-essay-writing-service-under-graduate.htm

media said...

nice blog indeed.

check out http://graduatestudiesinusa.blogspot.com/2008/05/free-gre-downloads.html for gre downloads.. i found it really useful

dissertation said...

Whenever i see the post like your's i feel that there are still helpful people who share information for the help of others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.

Dissertation Writing Help

james said...

Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.
................................
write term papers-Essay Writing Help

emily said...

this kind of blog always useful for blog readers, it helps people during research. your post is one of the same for blog readers.

Thesis Papers Writing

Dissertation Help said...

Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! "This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!"
--------------------------------
Dissertation Help

Melany Flemmings said...

Interesting Article. If possible, as you gain expertise, It is extremely helpful for me. Many thanks for sharing so helpful information!

hotels los angeles

DEWHURST TOULSON said...

One of my mentors said think about your influences, think about formative events, think about what you want to accomplish,
research paper samples

mapmystudy said...

Thank you for the informations. mapmystudy.com provides assistance in reviewing statement of purpose (SOP) and Editing SOP for Study Abroad university applications

Akira Dania said...

These are really some interesting tips about writing Phd personal statements and will sure help in preparing an impressive personal statement if followed properly but you have to make sure that you add your own experiences in a positive way.

Linda jack said...

Thanks for the information.

Ayesha Anwar said...

Thank you for these far-fetched tips, now I have enough guidance for writing mba statement of purpose but still I would appreciate if anyone suggest me highly experience consultant for a detailed assistance.

nutlis adward said...

It's really very interesting post. All the comments are very helpful and very good. Thanks for sharing.
statement services

nutlis adward said...

Magnificent post. I appreciate this. Your composing capability and tips are so high. It is useful data, I wish so. Carry on. Have a nice day
personal statement for doctoral program

mika thambayong said...


Thank you for presenting your points and providing this information. I have learned something about this topic. baju profesi anak , baju pilot anak , baju profesi anak

Sohel Parvez said...

There are various companies available which offered Recommendation Letter for MBA, writing services like essay writing, research paper writing and many more. These companies write research paper and this will be very advantageous for you.

Ebnul Khan said...

Great tips to write SOP for MBA admission in higher ranked universities. I this will also help me to get admission with funding. So, I'm going to prepare a statement of purpose for project management now.

Ebnul Khan said...

It is great to see you are writing about how to write great SOP for masters courses. I hope your tips will help me to get admitted. I will try to use your tips to prepare a statement of purpose for ms in electrical engineering shortly.

saikot said...

I've read your article. It is obviously informative. Our psychology personal statement also may help anyone to understand what's required, and we customize it so that one can gain an ideal result from our providers.

Liza Safarova said...

If you're going to study abroad but your academic results are not very high, you can multiply your chances for success due to excellent statement of purpose. You can order qualitative statement of purpose here: Essayservice.

Hannah Road said...

I'd like to advise one reliable essay writing service, which can help you with your motivation letter. This service would be excellent for students because their prices are moderate while the quality is high. Here is their website: http://professional-essay-writing.com.

aman deep said...

Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about -
Packers and Movers Hyderabad
Packers and Movers Mumbai
Packers and Movers Chennai
Packers and Movers Noida

aman deep said...

This article is really fantastic and thanks for sharing the valuable post.
Packers and Movers Delhi
Packers and Movers Bangalore
Packers and Movers Gurgaon
Packers and Movers Pune

aman deep said...

Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write
Packers and Movers Thane
Packers and Movers Navi Mumbai
Packers and Movers Ghaziabad
Packers and Movers Faridabad

Octavio Johnson said...

As a graduating student, I think that the statement of purpose is the hardest thing I will ever write.
Statement of Purpose

Apoorva Joshi said...

Cabs in bangalore
Cabs in chennai

Cabs in delhi

Cabs in hyderabad

Cabs in kolkata
Cabs in mumbai

prem chand said...

Holi 2016 Images , Holi 2016 Sms , Holi 2016 Quotes , Happy Chocolate Day 2016 , Chocolate Day 2016 images , Happy Chocolate Day Sms , Chocolate Day 2016 Messages , Happy Hug Day 2016 , Hug Day 2016 images , Happy Hug Day Sms , Hug Day 2016 Messages , Happy Kiss Day Sms , Kiss Day 2016 Messages , Happy Kiss Day 2016 , Kiss Day 2016 images , Holi Images Pictures for Facebook and Whatsapp Status , Holi Photos , Holi Pics , Holi Pictures Holi

Inderpreet said...

Hi!

I got my statement of purpose written by http://www.dissertationdesire.com/ They do produce a good quality work but then they are from India. I got the SOP well written but then I told them to get it proofread by someone from England or USA. They got it done. I had planned for this extra service to make sure that their English is of top university level. The charged me for this extra service but then the work was absolutely good. I liked it and of course the university liked it too because I got admitted in a top university! However, I think that they should have got it proofread on their own instead of me telling them. I don’t say that the earlier SOP produced by them was bad but yes it did have some grammatical mistakes which then needed a proofreader. They are not cheap but yes they are legit. This was just my experience and the experience of my boyfriend with them. Hope it was helpful!

Abhi K said...

Best packers and movers in Nagpur, household shifting service in Nagpur, home relocation in Nagpur, car carriers service in Nagpur, car transport in Nagpur. packers and movers Nagpur

prem chand said...

Nice article is provided by you admin, thanks for this article becoze it helped me lot and below we have some stuff which our topic to write article so please checkout them.
Happy Holi 2016
Holi Messages Wishes Sms , Holi 2016 , Happy Holi , Facebook Whatsapp Status , Holi 2016 Images ,

Holi
Happy Holi Images , Happy Holi Pictures , Happy Holi Greeting , Happy Holi Wallpapers , Happy Holi Wishes , Happy Holi Sms , Happy Holi Quotes , Happy Holi Messages , Happy Holi Song ,

Happy Holi 2016 , Happy Holi 2016 Messages , Happy Holi 2016 Sms , Happy Holi 2016 Pics HD Images Ecards , Happy Holi 2016 Messages Msg Hindi Quotes Sms
Holi 2016 , Happy Holi Messages , Happy Holi Sms
Happy Holi , Holi 2016 Messages , Holi Sms

Abhi K said...

Best packers and movers in Meerut, household shifting service in Meerut, home relocation in Meerut, car carriers service in Meerut, car transport in Meerut. packers and movers Meerut

Rahul Singh said...

Happy mothers day
Mother's day
mothers day
when is mothers day
mothers day quotes
happy mothers day images
mothers day date
mother day
mothers day poems
happy mothers day quotes
happy mother's day
mothers day messages




mothers day messages
happy mother's day
happy mothers day quotes
mothers day poems
mother day
mothers day date
happy mothers day images
mothers day quotes
when is mothers day
mothers day
Mother's day
Happy mothers day

pankaj mishra said...

ANZAC DAY IMAGES
BOSTON MARATHON 2016
EARTH DAY IMAGES PICTURES
GREETING CARD MOTHER'S DAY
THE VOICE SEASON 10

Sham Bahadur said...

Earth Day
Earth Day 2016
Happy Earth Day
Happy Earth Day 2016
Earth Day Quotes Wishes Images Photos Poster
Earth Day Wishes
Earth Day Messages
Earth Day Quotes
Earth Day Saying
Earth Day Images
Earth Day Posters
Earth Day Banners
Earth Day Images Pictures Posters for Facebook abd Whatsapp

Mothers Day
Mothers Day 2016
Happy Mothers Day
Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day 2016
Mothers Day Quotes with Images
Mothers Day Wishes
Mothers Day Messages
Mothers Day Quotes
Mothers Day Saying
Mothers Day Images
Mothers Day Poems

Mothers Day
Mothers Day 2016
Happy Mothers Day
Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day 2016
Mothers Day Wishes Quotes with Images
Mothers Day Wishes
Mothers Day Messages
Mothers Day Quotes
Mothers Day Saying
Mothers Day Images
Mothers Day Poems

prem chand said...

Memorial Day
Memorial Day 2016
Happy Memorial Day
Memorial Day Images
Memorial Day Quotes

Fathers Day
Fathers Day 2016
Happy Fathers Day
Fathers Day Images
Fathers Day Quotes

Ramadan Mubarak
Ramadan Mubarak 2016
Ramadan Mubarak Images
Ramadan Mubarak Wishes
Ramadan Mubarak Quotes Sms

Ramadan Mubarak
Ramadan Mubarak 2016
Ramadan Mubarak Images
Ramadan Mubarak Wishes
Ramadan Mubarak Quotes Messages

Eid 2016
Happy Eid
Eid Mubarak
Eid Mubarak Images
Eid Mubarak Wishes
Eid Mubarak Quotes

Rahul Singh said...

Happy fathers day
fathers day 2016
Happy fathers day 2016
fathers day Quotes
fathers day images
father's day
fathers day wishes
fathers day pictures
fathers day sms
fathers day cards
fathers day gift ideas
fathers day 2016 images


Happy memorial day
memorial day
memorial day wishes
memorial day cards
memorial day 2016 wishes
memorial day images
memorial day speech
memorial day pictures
memorial day 2016

eid
eid mubarak 2016
eid mubarak images
eid al fitr
eid celebration
eid mubarak 2016 images