Creative Writing News

10 Statement Of Purpose Examples: How To Wow The Admission Committees Of Fully-Funded MFA Programs With Your Personal Statement (Guide + Samples +Tips)

Have you been struggling to write your personal statement or sop reading some good statement of purpose examples and mfa personal statement samples can make your application season easier and less stressful. also, it helps to read practical advice by professors who have sat on mfa in creative writing admissions committees, particularly professors who know what makes a good mfa personal statement..

This article will take you through the process of writing an SOP. Attached, herein, are 10 statement of purpose examples (or 10 MFA Personal Statement examples, if you like), contributed by writers who gained admission into fully-funded MFA in Creative Writing programs. We’ve also shared tips from creative writing professors on how to write a personal statement. 

The purpose of this article is to help you write a personal statement that will wow the admission committee members in the English, Literature and Creative Writing programs you’re applying to. 

What is a Statement of Purpose or a Personal Statement?

A statement of purpose, in the context of applying to a graduate writing program, tells an admission committee about who you are, what your work focuses on, why you are applying to their program, and what you will do in the future.

Writing a statement of purpose is akin to attending an audition or an interview or a workshop . You need to stamp your suitability and prospects as best as you can.

Owing to this, a statement of purpose or personal statement should do more than what it is called. It has to show your purpose.

Before you start the process of writing your graduate school essay, take note of the following:

Focus on your Interest.

Know what you are interested in as a creative person, or what your work focuses on. For example, if you are interested in Memoir writing , Travel writing, or Speculative Fiction , or Historical fiction or Ancient Greek poetry , you should be able to write a few words regarding your approach to that area. 

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Many writers cannot really point a finger to what they are interested in because of their fecundity. And that’s okay.

In fact, writing tutor, Daniel Galef, with his untrammeled imagination wrote in his SOP:

“It’s difficult to describe what kind of fiction I write, because I’m not sure there is a kind of fiction I write. No two stories I’ve written have been alike. One of them is alike, but none of the others are.”

Research the Programs you are Applying to.

Read widely about the programs you are applying to and note your findings systematically. There is no escaping from this exercise because you need to know about the schools of your interest. In turn, that knowledge needs to reflect on the pages of your SOP.   

This will tell the admission committee that you care about their creative writing program and that your SOP is not generic.

For instance,

  • Who is on the faculty of XYZ arts program?
  • What are their specializations?
  • Have the faculty members published any books or stories or poetry collections?
  • If yes, what works have they published?
  • What fascinates you about their English and creative writing program?
  • What are their acceptance rates of this MFA or PhD in Creative Writing Program?
  • How does their funding work? Does the MFA or PhD program provide full-funding for students who want to study creative writing? 
  • How many years will it take to complete the MFA program? Do they allow students to run an MFA and PhD joint program?
  • What is the workload like?
  • Where are they located?
  • What are your general thoughts of their Creative Writing program?

Knowing these will help you decide whether a grad school program is best for you.

This article has been broken into four parts with headings of no consequence.

(Note: The headings mean nothing. They are just to stimulate understanding. You should not break your SOP into headings. Very few, if any, creative writing programs will be impressed with a segmented statement of purpose or personal statement.)

We’ll Call The First Part ‘The Open Window’

The initial part of your SOP should make a commanding entry with the essence of your being. It should offer little windows into you, and reveal profoundly what you are about as a person, and as a creative, taking into consideration where you are from.

This is that place you afford the admission committee a brief uncensored moment about your ‘who’. It should be so transparent that they can look through it and see your world.

MFA Personal Statement Examples

One of the most transparent “window” statements I think I have heard about oneself is from Shane Patton in the movie ‘Lone Survivor’. At the tail end of his speech, Shane, while trying to join a band of war brothers, says with gusto,

example statement of purpose

Pardon the asterisks. Your SOP does not have to be Shane-Pattonesque. However, it has to have some art-mosphere. It must be written in a style and voice that are unique to you. However, your SOP should employ the ‘story approach’.

Important Questions These Statement Of Purpose Samples Address.

This guide will help you to address the following questions in your personal statement or letter of intent:

  • What kind of a storyteller or poet are you?
  • Where are you coming from?
  • How has your socialization/environment/formative years/job experience informed the way you view the world?
  • What are your motivations?
  • Also, what feeds your imaginations?
  • More importantly, what inspired you to start writing in the first place?
  • What has sustained it? 

Here, Okwudili Nebolisa gives us a perfect window statement in this sample statement of purpose. Here’s how he opens his grad school essay:

It’s one of the most insightful MFA personal statement examples I’ve read in a while.

statement of purpose graduate school sample essays

From the foregoing, Okwudili created a short background of himself and gave an idea why he had first chosen a path outside the art. It’s one detail many Creative Writing admission committees would be interested in.

He went further (though, not included in this article) to tell the committee how he found his way into the arms of poetry .

Here is another statement of purpose example that has a compelling window ‘personal’ statement:

Good statement of purpose example

Simply put, this MFA applicant talks about her approach to writing fiction , speaks of how it has become a tool in her hand against societal norms, mentions her writing influences, and states what draws her to them.

Note: You should be able to say who and what influences you, and clearly express the ways in which they do.

This sample statement of purpose opens with a vivid and memorable story.

examples statement of purpose grad school essay MFA Creative writing

Here’s another opening statement from another MFA personal statement example or letter of intent. It also exemplifies the important point I was trying to make. It says:

Statement of purpose sample for MFA creative writing English and Literature

We’ll call the second part ‘the Briefcase’

Here, you supply the gist of your educational experience. You may add your professional interest and inform the admission committee about relevant activities you have been engaged with recently.

Assuming you work as a content writer/creator , how has it helped your craft? The same thing applies if you work in any other endeavor outside the literary sphere.

For example, an applicant says in this MFA in creative writing personal statement sample:

PhD statement of purpose sample

Note: Non-writing related jobs and experiences are important. Think about the many ways they can give you insight about your craft. They are worth the mention in the sense that they set you apart because of the experience you must have had, and add to what your craft can gain.

Here’s how a teacher explained her experience in her MFA statement of purpose example. It can also work in a teaching statement:

sample teaching statement and SOP MFA

Going further, you may emphasize on your literary achievement and recognition here. Here’s another good example of a statement of purpose. Here’s how this MFAyer stated his/her literary achievement:

samples statement of purpose grad school MFA in Creative Writing

Note: you may say one or two things about your publishing history.

Let’s call the third part “the Knock”

You must exemplify clear-headedness here in talking about why you are seeking this degree now.

In one of the grad school statement of purpose examples we received , one MFA in Creative Writing applicant wrote:  

Letter of intent samples

Another sample statement of purpose for an MFA in Creative Writing Application put it this way:

How to write a statement of purpose examples

Write About Your Dreams, Hope and Intentions

Next is to inform the graduate committee on why you are knocking on their doors.

Are there members of the faculty you want to work with? If yes, state why. Is it something about their academic tradition or vision? Does the school’s location appeal to you? Or is it about their commitment to diversity?

You should end this part of the statement of purpose with an idea of the project you hope to write during your time on the program. This will inform the professors that you already have an idea of what kind of book your thesis will be.

It shows seriousness. Also it shows that you’re more likely to begin once you arrive. We have more statement of purpose examples to illustrate how this can be done in your MFA portfolio.

Note: Your intended project should contain the promise of presenting something fundamentally new and important to the literary world.

For example, in her statement of purpose, this MFA in Creative Writing applicant wrote:

Writing a statement of intent Grad school

Here’s an excerpt from another sample statement of purpose for a graduate school (MFA) application:

How to write a personal statement example

We’ll Call The Last Part The Telescope

Here you have to be futuristic. Talk about the big picture. What do you intend to do with the knowledge and network you would have acquired in the MFA program? 

Do you want to go on to teach creative writing professionally , (If yes, where do you have eyes one? ) Do you want to start a publishing outfit or a literary magazine ?

What other career plans do you have? Do you want to go back to your job? (If yes, how would the degree help in making you better at your job?)

Telescope phase of writing an SOP

Note: Ensure you close your grad school statement of purpose on a hopeful note. Show preparedness to start. Exude confidence. Express anticipation on getting in. 

Hopefully, these statement of purpose examples have given you a clear idea of what a successful personal statement looks like.

But that’s not all. Some MFA Admission Committee members have shared a couple of tips on Twitter. So we’ll share more of them alongside tips sent in by some generous past and current MFA students..

Tips For Writing A Good Statement of Purpose or Letter Of Intent .

If you’re applying to graduate creative writing programs, pay attention to your writing samples first. But also, craft your SOP with the following tips in mind.

There Are No Hard and Fast Rules To Writing An SOP.

There is no hard and fast rule in writing an SOP. Just ensure that yours is well-knit, with flowing ideas and a fantastic rhythm. Keep it organized and clear. Stick to the manuscript formatting guidelines. As with everything else, make your submissions error free.

Here’s what MFA Admission committee member has to say:

how to start a Personal statement examples MFA

Now, on to our next point.

Ensure That Your Writing Samples and SOPs Are Creative, Well-written and Workshopped.

Your writing sample largely pre-determines the success of your SOP. The admission committee may not open your SOP if your samples aren’t any good.

So, ensure your writing samples matter and are on the verge of saying new things. If you’re eligible, you can apply to get feedback from volunteer MFAyers at the MFA App Review .

And if you’re lucky, the MFA App Review might match you with a reviewer who will send you more unique statement of purpose examples.

More from Elizabeth McCracken who, if you don’t already know, has been a longstanding member of the admission committee at the University of Texas’ MFA in Creative Writing program.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Be Original.

Resist the temptation to copy other writers’ personal statements or statement of purpose examples and samples you might find online.

Trust your story, your style and voice. The adcoms can tell when everyone sounds the same. And they don’t like it. Here’s a quote from Elizabeth McCracken’s Twitter page:

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Consider Starting With a Story 

“While your personal statement can’t be wildly creative, it is important to show your storytelling skills if you want to get into a creative writing program,” advises Elyse Hauser .

“One way to do this is to open with a story, giving you a chance to “show, not tell” your writing abilities. This also helps your personal statement stand out from the rest. [Also] admissions staff are likely to keep reading a statement of purpose that has a unique and exciting beginning.” 

Don’t Be Afraid To Assert Yourself. In Your Statement Of Purpose.

MFA programs are avant-garde compared with other university grad school and undergrad programs so feel free to assert yourself even if you feel you are without the “right” credential and publishing history.

Another tip from Matt Bell Of making your statement of purpose stellar.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

What you think serve as your ‘shortcomings’ can work for you if you stir them properly. It matters so much that you have the right motive and that you show promise. Do not play small. Play confident. 

More from Matt Bell.

Statement of purpose sample for MFA in Creative Writing

Employ A Memorable Tone.

“The standard Personal Essay Voice, like the droning and soporific Poetry Reading Voice, is forgettable and undermines its own content,” says Daniel Galef. “Trying for a different tone is a gamble—nothing is so unfunny as someone trying to be funny and failing—but if you can pull it off it makes you stand out.”

Comply With The Creative Writing Program’s Submission Guidelines.

Check for specific information required by the English and creative writing program you are applying to and ensure you stay within the shores of their requirement.

Get Feedback From Current and Past Students.

It is important to get feedback from people who may be on writing programs or who have extensive knowledge of graduate school application processes.

A couple of MFA groups on Facebook offer beneficial company. For example, join the MFA Draft ’21 if you intend to apply this Fall. This Facebook group offers support and advice to anyone applying to get into a writing program next year.

Wrap Up On Statement of Purpose Examples, Samples and Tips:

At this point, you’re no longer asking questions like: what is a statement of purpose? How can I write a good MFA or PhD statement of purpose that will earn me a spot in that fully-funded Creative Writing program.

The aforementioned grad school statement of purpose examples will guide you in your journey. As one of the professors advised, take a deep breath. 

The next step is to start writing that personal statement or letter of intent, because quite frankly, it won’t write itself. You can always edit your SOP. 

Please edit it. Remember, the admission committee members are also accomplished writers and writing teachers. They’re primed for spotting and frowning at grammatical errors.

While writing and editing your personal statement, take note of the admission committee’s advice above. What are they often looking for in a good statement of purpose for graduate school? If in doubt, you can always return to the great statement of purpose examples we’ve published above.

Wondering if you need an MFA in Creative Writing to be a writer? Then you should definitely read our take on the topic . Also, we have more on writing scholarships here .

Have you written a successful statement of purpose for a creatIve writing program? Please leave a comment below. We are open to adding more tips and samples that readers might find helpful.

Authors’ Bios: 

Tega Oghenechovwen has published work in  Longreads, The Rumpus,  Black Sun Lit, Litro UK, and other venues. He tweets @tega­_chovwen.

Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam is a lecturer in Cornell University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mukana Press Anthology of African Writing, MTLS, Fiction 365, Asterix Journal and elsewhere. She tweets at @chiomaiwunze_

Interested in  writing for Creative Writing News ? See our  Write for Us page . We look forward to hearing from you.

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Gre prep online guides and tips, 7 successful statement of purpose examples.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Not sure what graduate schools are looking for in a statement of purpose? Looking at successful graduate school statement of purpose samples can help! In this guide, we’ll orient you to what makes a great statement of purpose or letter of intent for graduate school. Then we’ll provide you with four successful statement of purpose examples from our graduate school experts. We’ll also provide analysis of what makes them successful. Finally, we’ll direct you to even more helpful examples that you can find online!

The Graduate School Statement of Purpose: An Overview

A statement of purpose (also called a letter of intent or a research statement) introduces your interests and experience to the admissions committee. For research-focused programs, like most PhDs and many master’s degrees, your statement of purpose will focus primarily on your past research experience and plans. For more professionally-focused graduate programs, your statement of purpose will primarily discuss how your pursuit of this professional program relates to your past experiences, and how you will use the skills from the program in your future career.

A statement of purpose for grad school is also where you sell the admissions committee on why you belong in their program specifically. Why do you fit there, and how does what they offer fit your interests?


What’s in a Great Grad School Statement of Purpose?

Here are the essential elements of a strong graduate school statement of purpose:

Clear Articulation of Goals and Interests

A strong statement of purpose will clearly and specifically lay out your goals in undertaking the program and what you hope to accomplish with the degree. Again, for a research-focused program, this will focus primarily on the research project(s) you want to undertake while you are there. For a more professional program, discuss what interests you within the professional field and what skills/knowledge you hope to gain through the program.

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You should be as specific as possible in discussing what interests you. Use examples of particular phenomena, tools, or situations that you find exciting. If you are vague or say that everything in the field interests you, you run the risk of seeming unfocused or not actually that passionate.

Don’t worry that being too specific will box you into a particular research area or subfield during your entire tenure in graduate school. Your program understands that interests change—they won’t be pulling out your research statement to cross-reference with your dissertation proposal!

Evidence of Past Experience and Success

A great graduate school statement of purpose will also show programs that you have already been successful. They want applicants that will be able to follow through on their research/professional plans!

To this end, you’ll need to provide evidence of how your background qualifies you to pursue this program and your specific interests in the field. You’ll probably discuss your undergraduate studies and any professional experience you have. But be sure to draw on specific, vivid examples.  You might draw on your thesis, major projects you’ve worked on, papers you have written/published, presentations you’ve given, mentors you’ve worked with, and so on. This gives admissions committees concrete evidence that you are qualified to undertake graduate study!


Interest and Fit With the Program

The third essential ingredient to a great statement of purpose is to clearly lay out why you and the program are a good fit. You should be able to identify both specific reasons why your work fits with the program and why the program suits your work/interests! Are there particular professors you’d like to work with? Does the department have a strong tradition in a certain methodology or theory you’re interested in? Is there a particular facet to the curriculum that you’d like to experience?

Showing that you and the program are a match shows that you chose the program thoughtfully and have genuine interest in it. Programs want to admit students who aren’t just passionate about the field. They want students who are genuinely enthused about their specific program and positioned to get the most out of what they have to offer.

Strong Writing

The final essential piece of a strong statement of purpose or letter of intent is strong writing. Writing skills are important for all graduate programs. You’ll need to demonstrate that you can clearly and effectively communicate your ideas in a way that flows logically. Additionally, you should show that you know how to write in a way that is descriptive but concise. A statement of purpose shouldn’t ever be longer than two pages, even without a hard word limit.

Admissions committees for humanities programs may be a little more focused on writing style than admissions officers for STEM programs. But even in quantitative and science-focused fields, written communication skills are an essential part of graduate school. So a strong statement of purpose will always be effectively written. You’ll see this in our statement of purpose for graduate school samples.


Real, Successful Statement of Purpose Samples

In this section, we’ll present four successful graduate school statement of purpose examples from our graduate school experts, along with a brief commentary on each statement. These statements come from a diverse selection of program types to show you how the core essentials of a statement of purpose can be implemented differently for different fields.

Note: identifying information for these statements have been changed—except for example four, which is my statement.

  • Statement of Purpose Sample One: Japanese Studies MA

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.31.42 PM

This statement of purpose is notable for its great use of space and its vivid descriptions. The author is able to cram a lot into about a page. She discusses how she came to her two primary research interests (and how they are connected). She integrates this discussion of her interests with information on her past experiences and qualifications for pursuing the course of study. Finally, she includes details on her goals in pursuing the program and components of the program that interest her. Her examples are specific and fleshed-out. There’s a lot very cleverly included in a small amount of page space!

Additionally, the language is very vivid. Phrases like “evocative and visceral” and “steadily unraveling,” are eye-catching and intriguing. They demonstrate that she has the writing skills necessary to pursue both graduate study and her interest in translation.

  • Statement of Purpose Sample Two: Music MM

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.32.01 PM

This sample is fairly long, although at 12 point Times New Roman it’s under two pages single-spaced. The length of this statement is partially due to the somewhat expansive nature of the prompt, which asks what role music has played in the applicant’s life “to date.” This invites applicants to speak more about experiences further in the past (in the childhood and teen years) than is typical for a statement of purpose. Given that this is for a master’s degree in music, this is logical; musical study is typically something that is undertaken at a fairly young age.

This statement does an excellent job describing the student’s past experiences with music in great detail. The descriptions of the student’s past compositions and experiences performing new music are particularly vivid and intriguing.

This statement also lays out and elaborates on specific goals the student hopes to pursue through the program, as well as features particular to the program that interest the student (like particular professors).


  • Statement of Purpose Sample Three: Economics PhD

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.32.25 PM

One of the first things you’ll likely notice about this statement is that it’s a little on the longer side. However, at 12 point Times New Roman font and single-spaced, it still comes in under 2 pages (excluding references). It makes sense for a PhD statement of purpose sample to be longer than a master’s degree statement of purpose—there’s more to lay out in terms of research interests!

The writing style is fairly straightforward—there’s definitely a stronger focus on delivering content than flashy writing style. As Economics is a more quantitative-focused field, this is fine. But the writing is still well-organized, clear, and error-free.

The writer also gives numerous examples of their past work and experience, and shows off their knowledge of the field through references, which is a nice touch.

  • Statement of Purpose Sample Four: History of the Book MA

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.32.39 PM

This is actually my statement of purpose. It was for a program that I got accepted to but did not end up attending, for a Master’s in the History of the Book. You’ll notice that the two essay prompts essentially asked us to split our statement of purpose into two parts: the first prompt asked about our research interests and goals, and the second prompt asked about our relevant experience and qualifications.

I’ll keep my comments on this graduate school statement of purpose sample brief because I’ll do a deep dive on it in the next section. But looking back at my statement of purpose, I do a good job outlining what within the field interests me and clearly laying out how my past experiences have qualified me for the program.

Obviously this statement did its job, since I was accepted to the program. However, if I were to improve this statement, I’d change the cliche beginning  (“since I was a child”) and provide more specificity in what about the program interested me.


Deep Dive Analysis of a Sample Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Next, we’ll do a paragraph by paragraph analysis of my statement, statement of purpose sample four. I’ll analyze its strengths and suggest ways I could shore up any weaknesses to make it even stronger.

Essay 1: Academic Interests

To refresh, here’s the first prompt: Please give a short statement that describes your academic interests, purpose, objectives and motivation in undertaking this postgraduate study. (max 3500 chars – approx. 500 words)

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Paragraph 1

Since I was a child, my favorite thing has always been a book. Not just for the stories and information they contain, although that is a large part of it. Mostly, I have been fascinated by the concept of book as object—a tangible item whose purpose is to relate intangible ideas and images. Bookbindings and jackets, different editions, the marginalia in a used book—all of these things become part of the individual book and its significance, and are worth study and consideration. Books and their equivalent forms—perfect bound, scrolled, stone tablets, papyrus—have long been an essential part of material culture and are also one of our most significant sources of information about the human historical past. Through both the literal object of the book, the words contained thereon, and its relationship to other books—forms of context, text and intertext—we are able to learn and hopefully manage layers of information with which we would otherwise have no familiarity.

First, the good: this paragraph does a good job introducing my academic interest in the book-as-object, and shows off pre-existing knowledge both of the study of material culture and literary theory. Additionally, the language is engaging: the juxtaposition of “tangible” and “intangible” in the beginning and phrases like “perfect bound, scrolled, stone tablets, papyrus” lend life to the writing and keep the reader engaged.

If I were to go back and improve this paragraph, first, I would absolutely change the first sentence to something less cliche than talking about my childhood. I might try something like “My love of books is a multifaceted thing. I don’t only love them for the stories and….” Second, I would chill out on the em dashes a little bit. Three sets in one paragraph is a little excessive. Finally, I might actually cut this paragraph down slightly to make more room word-wise later in the statement to discuss what specific things about the program interest me.


Paragraph 2

Furthermore, blogs, webcomics, digital archives, e-readers, and even social media sites like tumblr and Facebook have revolutionized the concept of the book by changing how we share and transmit ideas and information, just as the Gutenberg printing press revolutionized the book all those years ago in the fifteenth century. Once again there has been an explosion both in who can send out information and who can receive it.

This paragraph briefly and effectively introduces my other main academic interest: how new technology has changed the concept of the book-as-object. The tie-back to the printing press is a nice touch; it’s a vivid example that shows that I’m aware of important historical moments in book history.

Paragraph 3

I am deeply interested in the preservation of the physical book, as I think it is an important part of human history (not to mention a satisfying sensory experience for the reader). However I am also very concerned with the digitization and organization of information for the modern world such that the book, in all of its forms, stays relevant and easy to access and use. Collections of books, archives, and information as stored in the world’s servers, libraries and museums are essential resources that need to be properly organized and administered to be fully taken advantage of by their audiences. My purpose in applying to the University of Edinburgh’s Material Culture and History of the Book is to gain the skills necessary to keep all forms of the book relevant and functional in an age when information can move more radically than ever before.

This paragraph actually has a focus problem. Since it covers two topics, I should split it into two paragraphs: one on the integration of my two interests, and one on my goals and interests in the program. I could also stand to expand on what features the program has that interest me: professors I’d like to work with, particular aspects of the curriculum, etc.

In spite of these things, however, this paragraph does a good job clearly integrating the two academic interests related to the book I introduced in the first two paragraphs. And the language is still strong —“satisfying sensory experience” is a great phrase. However, I’ve been using the word “information,” a lot; I might try to replace with appropriate synonyms (like “knowledge”) in a couple of places.

Paragraph 4

Additionally, I intend on pursuing a PhD in Library and Information Sciences upon completion of my master’s and I feel that this program while make me uniquely suited to approach library science from a highly academic and interdisciplinary perspective.

This final paragraph offers just quick touch on my future goals beyond the program. It’s typically fine for this to be relatively brief, as it is here, just so long as you can clearly identify some future goals.


Essay 2: Relevant Experience

The second prompt just asked me to describe my relevant knowledge, training, and skills.

As a folklore and mythology student, I have gained a robust understanding of material culture and how it relates to culture as a whole. I have also learned about the transmission of ideas, information, stories and pieces of lore among and between populations, which is an important component of book history. Folklore is also deeply concerned with questions of the literary vs. oral lore and the tendency for text to “canonize” folklore, and yet text can also question or invert canonized versions; along with this my studies in my focus field of religion and storytelling have been deeply concerned with intertextuality. One of my courses was specifically concerned with the Heian-period Japanese novel The Tale of Genji and questions of translation and representation in post-Heian picture scrolls and also modern translations and manga. In addition to broader cultural questions concerned with gender and spirituality both in historical Japan and now, we considered the relationships between different Genji texts and images.

This is a strong, focused paragraph. I relate my academic background in Folklore and Mythology to my interests in studying the book, as well as showing off some of my knowledge in the area. I also chose and elaborated on a strong example (my class on the Tale of Genji ) of my relevant coursework.

I also have work experience that lends itself to the study of the book. After my freshman year of college I interned at the Chicago History Museum. Though I was in the visitor services department I was exposed to the preservation and archival departments of the museum and worked closely with the education department, which sparked my interest in archival collections and how museums present collection information to the public. After my sophomore year of college and into my junior year, I worked at Harvard’s rare books library, Houghton. At Houghton I prepared curated collections for archival storage. These collections were mostly comprised of the personal papers of noteworthy individuals, categorized into alphabetical folders. This experience made me very process-oriented and helped me to understand how collections come together on a holistic basis.

This paragraph also has a clear focus: my past, relevant work experience. Discussing archival collections and presenting information to the public links the interests discussed in my first statement with my qualifications in my second statement. However, if I were to revise this paragraph, I would add some specific examples of the amazing things I worked on and handled at Houghton Library. In that job, I got to touch Oliver Cromwell’s death mask! An interesting example would make this paragraph really pop even more.

Finally, in my current capacity as an education mentor in Allston, a suburb of Boston, I have learned the value of book history and material culture from an educational perspective. As a mentor who designs curriculum for individual students and small groups, I have learned to highly value clearly organized and useful educational resources such as websites, iPad apps, and books as tools for learning. By managing and organizing collections in a way that makes sense we are making information accessible to those who need it.

This final paragraph discusses my current (at the time) work experience in education and how that ties into my interest in the history of the book. It’s an intriguing connection and also harkens back to my discussion of information availability in the paragraph three of the first statement. Again, if I were to amp up this statement even more, I might include a specific example of a book-based (or book technology-based) project I did with one of my students. I worked on things like bookbinding and making “illuminated manuscripts” with some of my students; those would be interesting examples here.

This statement is split into two parts by virtue of the two-prompt format. However, if I were to integrate all of this information into one unified statement of purpose, I would probably briefly introduce my research interests, go in-depth on my background, then circle back around to speak more about my personal interests and goals and what intrigues me about the program. There’s not really one correct way to structure a statement of purpose just so long as it flows well and paragraphs are structured in a logical way: one topic per paragraph, with a clear topic and concluding sentence.


More Statement of Purpose Examples

We’ve provided you with four great graduate school statement of purpose examples from our graduate school experts. However, if you’re looking for more, there are other sample letters of intent and statements of purpose for graduate school online. We’ve rounded up the best ones here, along with some strengths and weaknesses about each example.

Majortests Statement of Purpose Sample

This is a fairly straightforward, clearly written statement of purpose sample for a biology program. It includes useful commentary after each paragraph about what this statement of purpose is accomplishing.

  • This statement of purpose sample is well-organized, with clear topic sentences and points made in each paragraph.
  • The student clearly identifies what interests her about the program.
  • The student proactively addresses questions about why she hasn’t gone directly to graduate school, and frames her professional research experience as a positive thing.
  • She gives a tiny bit of color about her personality in a relevant way by discussing her involvement with the Natural History Society.
  • In general, discussing high school interests is too far back in time unless the anecdote is very interesting or unusual. The detail about The Theory of Evolution is intriguing; the information about the high school teacher seems irrelevant. The student should have condensed this paragraph into a sentence or two.
  • While this statement is cogently written and makes the candidate sound competent and well-qualified, it’s not exactly the most scintillating piece of writing out there. Some of the constructions are a little awkward or cliche. For example, the “many people have asked me” sentence followed by “the answer is” is a little bit clunky. This is probably fine for a STEM program. But just be aware that this statement is not a paragon of writing style.

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UC Berkeley History Statement of Purpose Sample

This is a graduate school statement of purpose example from the UC Berkeley History department’s PhD program, with annotations from a professor as to why it’s a successful statement.

  • The author is able to very clearly and articulately lay out her research interests and link them to past work she has successfully completed, namely, her thesis.
  • She is able to identify several things about the program and Berkeley that indicate why it is a good fit for her research interests.
  • She addresses the time she spent away from school and frames it as a positive, emphasizing that her use of time was well-considered and productive.
  • Her writing is very vivid, with excellent word choice and great imagery.

While very well-written and engaging, this sample statement of purpose for graduate school is a little bit on the long side! It’s a little over two single-spaced pages, which is definitely pushing the limits of acceptable length. Try to keep yours at 2 pages or less. Some of the information on the thesis (which comprises over half of the statement of purpose) could be condensed to bring it down to two pages.


Pharmacy Residency Letter of Intent Sample

This is not technically a sample letter of intent for graduate school because it’s actually for a pharmacy residency program. However, this example still provides illumination as to what makes a decent graduate school letter of intent sample.

  • This is a serviceable letter of intent: the writer clearly lays out their own goals within the field of pharmacy, what qualifications they have and how they’ve arrived at their interests, and how the program fits their needs.
  • The writing is clearly structured and well-organized.
  • The main weakness is that some of the writer’s statements come across as fairly generic. For example, “The PGY-1 Residency Program at UO Hospitals will provide me with the opportunity to further develop my clinical knowledge, critical thinking, teaching, research, and leadership skills” is a generic statement that could apply to any residency program. A punchier, more program-specific conclusion would have amped up this letter.
  • While the writer does a decent job providing examples of their activities, like working as a tutor and attending the APhA conference, more specificity and detail in these examples would make the statement more memorable.
  • There’s a typo in the last paragraph —a “to” that doesn’t belong! This is an unprofessional blip in an otherwise solid letter. Read you own letter of intent aloud to avoid this!

NIU Bad Statement of Purpose Example

This is an ineffective graduate school statement of purpose example, with annotations on why it doesn’t work.

As you might imagine, the main strength in this document is as an example of what not to do. Otherwise, there is little to recommend it.

  • The annotations quite clearly detail the weaknesses of this statement. So I won’t address them exhaustively except to point out that this statement of purpose fails at both content and style. The author includes irrelevant anecdotes and lists without offering a decisive picture of interests or any particular insight into the field. Additionally, the statement is riddled with grammatical mistakes, awkward sentence structures, and strange acronyms.
  • You’ll note that the commentary advises you to “never start with a quote.” I agree that you should never start with a freestanding quote as in this example. However, I do think starting with a quote is acceptable in cases like the Berkeley history example above, where the quote is brief and then directly linked to the research interest.


Graduate School Statement of Purpose Examples: 4 Key Points

Graduate programs ask for statement of purpose to hear about your interests and goals and why you think you and the program would be a good fit.

There are four key elements to a successful statement of purpose:

  • A clear articulation of your goals and interests
  • Evidence of past experiences and success
  • Interest and fit with the program
  • Strong writing

We’ve provided you with four successful statement of purpose samples from our graduate school experts!

We also provided additional statement of purpose samples (and a sample letter of intent) for graduate school from other sources on the internet. Now you have all kinds of guidance!

What’s Next?

If you’re looking for more information on graduate school , see our guide to what makes a good GPA for grad school .

Not sure if you need to take the GRE ? See if you can get into graduate school without GRE scores .

Want more information about the GRE? We can help you figure out when to take the GRE , how to make a GRE study plan , and how to improve your GRE score .

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statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Author: Ellen McCammon

Ellen is a public health graduate student and education expert. She has extensive experience mentoring students of all ages to reach their goals and in-depth knowledge on a variety of health topics. View all posts by Ellen McCammon

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

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How to Write a Statement of Purpose | Example

Published on February 13, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 1, 2023.

When you apply for graduate programs or scholarships, the admissions committee is looking for more than just a list of grades. The statement of purpose (also known as a statement of intent or motivation letter) is your chance to stand out from the crowd and showcase your motivation, skills and potential. It should:

  • Outline your academic or professional interests and goals
  • Discuss relevant skills, experience and achievements
  • Demonstrate why you’d be a good fit for the program

Table of contents

Successful statement of purpose example, requirements and prompts, personal introduction, experience and achievements, goals and motivations, fit with the program, tips for an effective statement of purpose, other interesting articles.

The torment of the Founding Fathers is responsible for my interest in Classics. My desire to learn Latin stemmed from reading American Revolutionary-era history during junior high and high school, and particularly from the countless Latin quotations I found in John Adams’ writings. Always eager for a challenge, I was intrigued by the American founders’ accounts of the torture of learning such a difficult language. In my first semester at university, I started learning Latin and thoroughly loved it. As I learned more and more about classical civilization through the language, I realized that I was passionately interested in many aspects of the field of Classics. I have since taken courses on mythology, art and archaeology, and religion, on ancient history, and on the classical tradition. I have also learned Greek, of course, starting with an intensive two-semester course at the university’s summer school. My experience studying abroad in Florence and traveling through Italy and Greece intensified my zeal for the field and, in particular, fueled my ambition to specialize in classical archaeology.

My personal philosophy of life is that everything is connected, and this conviction drives my desire to study Classics. The most rewarding moments for me are discovering and investigating connections – both broad ones, between fields and disciplines, and more specific ones, like the relationship between a piece of literature and an object of material culture. My liberal arts education has equipped me with a broad base of knowledge in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts, and in the honors program I pursued independent projects exploring academic and personal connections, including a paper on ancient Mayan astronomy, a self-observation study on the effects of nutrition and hydration on exercise performance, and a paper on the influence of political context on the changing artistic representations of John Adams. By seeking out connections between seemingly unrelated areas of academia, I have acquired a well-rounded outlook which helps me approach new ideas with both a range of prior experiences and a mind always open to different interpretations.

In accordance with my personal philosophy, I have also continued to explore connections within Classics and between Classics and other fields. In 2007, I published an article in my university’s undergraduate humanities journal; inspired by my studies in Florence, I compared representations of the birth of Venus in ancient and Renaissance literature and art. My major academic achievement to date, however, has been my senior honor thesis on John Adams’ connection to the Classics. Funded by a Hilldale Research Fellowship, I conducted research in the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society and in John Adams’ personal library at the Boston Public Library on the influence of the classical tradition on Adams’ worldview and how he consciously modeled himself on classical ideals. It was particularly fulfilling to connect historical and classical research in writing about the figure most responsible for instigating my study of the Classics.

As well as my research skills, I have demonstrated proficiency in the classical languages, winning prizes for both Latin and Greek translation from the Classics Department, as well as receiving an enthusiastic nomination from the department for the Pearson Fellowship from the American Philological Association. I am also the president of the undergraduate Classics Society, which allows me to share my enthusiasm for Classics with other students and the larger community.

One of the most appealing aspects of studying Classics is the vast range of topics encompassed by the field. Because my interests are broad and I value an interdisciplinary approach, I would like to pursue graduate study ultimately leading to a PhD in Classical Archaeology. Archaeology in itself is, of course, a multi-faceted field, requiring knowledge of history, language, anthropology, and various scientific and technological methods. I have already started building my skills in this area: I participated in a microartifact analysis from the excavation of a Maya site in Belize as part of an honors project, and this summer I will take part in two archaeological projects in Turkey after working as a research assistant on related material in the spring semester. This PhD program includes many other opportunities I am eager to explore, such as palaeography and papyrology courses, and especially the variety of fieldwork and museum experiences available. I believe that my strong background in the classical languages and wide range of courses on classical civilization and archaeological methods have prepared me well for this program, and I am convinced that, guided by my philosophy of interconnectedness, I will flourish in this program.

The first step is to read the application instructions. These should include the length of the document (usually 1-2 pages), any formatting requirements, and often a question or prompt that indicates what you should focus on.

In some cases, you might also be asked to submit a personal statement . Similar advice applies to both of these documents—both should give a sense of who you are, what you’ve done and what you want to do. But a statement of purpose is often more formal, tightly focused on your academic background and your suitability for the program.

If you are working on multiple applications, don’t try to write a one-size-fits-all text—tailor your statement of purpose to each program. Make sure to respond to the prompt and include all the information you’re asked for. A typical statement of purpose prompt looks like this:

Your focus will be slightly different depending on whether you’re applying for research-based academic programs (such as a PhD ) or professional qualifications (such as an MBA). But all statements of purpose should contain the following elements.

This is your chance to introduce yourself to the admissions committee and let them hear your voice. The statement of purpose shouldn’t tell your life story, but it should give a glimpse into who you are.

Academic and personal background

Give an overview of your academic background, and show what drives your interest in this field or profession. You might want to include some personal background too—your family history, social circumstances, personal relationships and life experiences have all shaped your trajectory and perspective. What unique insights will you bring with you?

Characteristics and personality

Think about aspects of your character that make you well-suited for graduate school. Don’t just list generic adjectives—give examples that demonstrate your strengths and show why they’re relevant.

  • Are you organized enough to handle a high-pressure workload?
  • Do you have the creativity needed to develop original ideas, or a systematic mindset perfect for problem-solving?
  • Do you have strong leadership skills, or are you great at working collaboratively?

Avoid including irrelevant autobiographical detail in the statement of purpose. Everything you include should be aimed at showing why you’d be a strong candidate for the program.

Your experience shows that you have the necessary skills to succeed in graduate school. Don’t just summarize everything you’ve done—pick out some highlights to build a clear picture of your strengths and priorities, illustrating how you’ve learned and developed along the way.

Academic experience

If you’re applying for a research-focused program, such as a PhD, show your knowledge of the field and outline your research experience. This might include:

  • A brief summary of your thesis or final project
  • Courses that you found particularly valuable
  • Projects you contributed to
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Extracurriculars that gave you relevant skills or experience

Professional experience

If you’re applying for a professional program, such as an MBA, outline your experience so far and show how it relates to your career plans. This might include:

  • Past or current job roles
  • Projects you led or participated in
  • Internships
  • Voluntary work
  • Training courses

In all cases, give specific examples with details of what you worked on, what you achieved, and what you got out of the experience.

As well as showing that you’re prepared for the program, explain what you expect to get out of it. What are your motivations for applying? How do you plan to make the most of its opportunities, and how will it help you achieve your goals?

Academic motivations

For academic programs, indicate your research interests, showing how they follow from and build upon what you have studied so far. This might include:

  • A subfield that you want to strengthen your expertise in
  • A specific problem or question that you’d like to address
  • An initial idea for a research project
  • A theoretical or methodological approach that you want to develop

This isn’t the place for an in-depth research plan, but it’s a chance to show your enthusiasm and knowledge of your field.

Professional motivations

For professional programs, outline your career aspirations and show how your experience informs your goals. This might include:

  • The next step you want to take in your career. What position are you aiming for and how will the program help you achieve it?
  • Your motivations for a career change. Can you make a link between your previous experience and your new direction?
  • Your long-term goals. Where do you want to be in five or ten years, and how do you see yourself getting there?

The admissions committee wants to know that you’re genuinely motivated to complete the program, and the clearer your plans, the more convincing your commitment.

It’s important to show not only why you want to study this subject, but also why you want to do it in this particular institution and department.

  • Do your research, and mention particular classes, specialisms or faculty that attracted you.
  • Show why you’re a good fit. Do your priorities align with the values and culture of the institution? What will you contribute to the department?
  • Discuss the specific skills, knowledge and experience you expect to get from the program.

The statement of purpose isn’t only about selling yourself—it’s about illustrating an ideal match between you and the program.

Once you’ve made sure to cover all the key elements, you can work on strengthening and polishing the text. Follow these tips to make your application the best it can be.

Stay focused

It can be tempting to try to cram in everything you’ve done, but a good statement of purpose requires careful selection to craft a focused narrative. One way to do this is by building your text around a central theme—for example, a character trait, an intellectual interest, or a career goal.

This strategy helps structure your text and puts your priorities centre stage. Link each paragraph back to the central idea, making it clear how everything fits together.

Think about your structure

The structure of a statement of purpose is somewhat flexible, as long as you include all the relevant information in an order that makes sense.

For example, you might start with a chronological story of where your interests began, or you might open with your goals and then select a series of examples that show your capacity to achieve them. If you’re desperate to study in this specific program, you could lead with a summary of why it’s your ideal choice, and then elaborate on each aspect to show why you’re a perfect fit.

The important thing is that the text showcases your strengths and motivations in a compelling, coherent way. As in any other piece of academic writing, make sure each paragraph communicates one main idea, and that each sentence flows smoothly and logically from the last. Use transition words and topic sentences to move between paragraphs.

Add meaning to your resume

The bare facts of your achievements—grades, prizes, work experience—are already included in your graduate school resume and transcripts. Use the statement of purpose not to repeat yourself, but to add personal meaning and texture to these facts.

If you got top marks for your thesis, describe the research process and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the topic. If you completed an internship or participated in a project, explain what new skills you learned and which aspects you found most valuable. If you already have lots of experience in the field, show how each step developed your skills and shaped your current plans.

Revise, edit, proofread

Your statement of purpose isn’t only about the content—it’s also a chance to show that you can express yourself fluently, confidently and coherently in writing. Spend plenty of time revising, editing and proofreading your text before you submit.

Make sure you stay within the recommended length, and check if there are any specific formatting requirements. If not, use a standard 12pt font, 1-inch margins and 1.5 line spacing.

When you have a final draft, our professional statement of purpose proofreading service can offer an extra pair of eyes to make sure every sentence is perfect.

Proofread my statement of purpose

Checklist: Statement of purpose

My statement of purpose clearly responds to the prompt.

I have introduced my academic, professional and/or personal background.

I have described any relevant experience and shown my development over time.

I have highlighted key achievements that demonstrate my talents.

There is a clear connection between my previous experience and my future plans.

I have explained how the program will help me achieve my goals.

I have mentioned specific aspects of the program, department and institution that appeal to me.

Every paragraph focuses on one central idea.

The paragraphs are organized in a logical order and tell a clear, coherent story.

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Writing the Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should convince the admissions committee that your achievements show promise for your success in graduate study. Think of the statement of purpose as a composition with four different parts.

Make sure to check on the appropriate departmental website to find out if your statement should include additional or specific information.

Part 1: Introduce yourself, your interests and motivations

Tell them what you’re interested in, and perhaps, what sparked your desire for graduate study. This should be short and to the point; don’t spend a great deal of time on autobiography.

Part 2: Summarize your undergraduate and previous graduate career

a) Research you conducted. Indicate with whom, the title of the project, what your responsibilities were, and the outcome. Write technically, or in the style of your discipline. Faculty are the people who read these statements.

b) Important paper or thesis project you completed, as well as anything scholarly beyond your curricular requirements.

c) Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, researching or interning in an area similar to what you wish to study in graduate school.

Part 3: Discuss the relevance of your recent and current activities

If you graduated and worked prior to returning to graduate school, indicate what you’ve been doing: company or non-profit, your work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned. You can also indicate here how this helped you focus your graduate studies.

Part 4: Elaborate on your academic interests

Here you indicate what you would like to study in graduate school in enough detail to convince the faculty that you understand the scope of research in their discipline, and are engaged with current research themes.

a) Indicate the area of your interests. Ideally, pose a question, define a problem, or indicate a theme that you would like to address, and questions that arise from contemporary research. This should be an ample paragraph!

b) Look on the web for information about departments you’re interested in, including professors and their research. Are there professors whose research interests parallel yours? If so, indicate this. Check the specific program; many may require you to name a professor or professors with whom you might work.

c) End your statement in a positive manner, indicating your excitement and readiness for the challenges ahead of you.

Essential Tips

1. What the admissions committee will read between the lines: self-motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student.

2. Emphasize everything from a positive perspective and write in an active, not a passive voice.

3. Demonstrate everything by example; don’t say directly that you’re a persistent person, show it.

4. If there is something important that happened to you that affected your grades, such as poverty, illness, or excessive work, state it. Write it affirmatively, showing your perseverance despite obstacles. You can elaborate more in your personal statement.

5. Make sure everything is linked with continuity and focus.

6. Unless the specific program says otherwise, be concise; an ideal essay should say everything it needs to with brevity. Approximately 500 to 1000 well-selected words (1-2 single space pages in 12 point font) is better than more words with less clarity and poor organization.

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Writing the Statement of Purpose: General Advice

Excerpts from an article on statement of purpose writing by Dr. Steven Olswang, University of Washington Provost, written for the Fulbright Commission:

Applying to Graduate Schools in the US: The Statement of Purpose

Copyright © The US-UK Fulbright Commission, used by permission of the author:

Steven G Olswang, JD, PhD Vice Provost and Professor, University of Washington; Fulbright Academic Administrative Fellow

"Perhaps the most difficult part of the application process for admission to graduate the composition of a Statement of Purpose. It may be helpful first to understand a little about graduate education...before undertaking to write this Statement.

Graduate Education Overview " ...Faculty at institutions of higher education in the United States take their work with graduate students very seriously. Faculty take strong personal interest in their graduate students (after all, they will work with those students for many years), and expect their students to complete their programs once admitted. Faculty expect their students to go on after graduation to important positions in academia, industry, or government. Therefore, the work of graduate students affects the reputation of the Faculty. As a result, the selection of the right graduate students is very important to both the faculty and the long term reputation of the department and university.

Why the Statement of Purpose? " Faculty want to know as much as they possibly can about all applicants. This is especially true today because most graduate programs have only a limited number of admission slots available. Test scores, grades and degrees, institutions of previous study and personal recommendations are all important indicators of an applicant's future success. However, these data do not reveal much about the individual, his/her motivation, why the applicant is interested in that particular program, or whether the applicant is the kind of student the Faculty want around the department. The Statement of Purpose exists to allow applicants to convey something personal about themselves and to convince the Faculty making the admissions selection that the applicant is an especially attractive candidate.

" The Statement of Purpose should not relate a life story or flatter either the applicant or intended readers. It provides applicants the opportunity to present information that is not conveyed through objective data, in a clear, direct, and concise way, to explain their interests, motivations, goals and special talents. It must be honest.

Writing the Statement of Purpose " So with this broad understanding of the Statement of Purpose and its function, how should it be written? " The first thing to remember is that each application process for each university is different. That means that the questions asked in the application MUST be the questions answered, and answered directly. An effusive, evasive, or non-responsive answer will inevitably result in rejection. Be absolutely clear what the application instructions ask of you and tailor your statement accordingly. That may mean that each application requires that you write a somewhat, if not entirely, different Statement of Purpose, since each Statement must answer a particular question.

"As a general rule, the two generic questions that need answering, at least inferentially, in most Statements of Purpose are: "Why are you interested in this program?", and "What makes you special?". This allows applicants the opportunity to provide Faculty substantive information about themselves. This is where applicants can demonstrate that they did their homework about the program and that they thought seriously about the strengths and weaknesses they bring to graduate study.

Answer the Question! " The following are some questions that Faculty ask themselves when they read a Statement of Purpose:

Why are you interested in graduate study? " There is some personal reason that made you decide to continue your education beyond the bachelor's degree. Tell them directly why. This may be something that you have always wanted to do, or for which your parents or others were role models, or perhaps you have recently been excited by new possibilities of learning. All the Faculty had their own reasons for going on to get their graduate degrees and they will want to know that you are truly interested for a legitimate reason. Do not try to write what you think Faculty want to hear ("to advance the field"); they have heard it all already.

Why are you applying to this particular graduate program? " Is the program noted for a particular emphasis, speciality, or orientation? Is it in the same city where your sister lives, and you could get free housing that would allow you to go to graduate school? Are there particular professors with whom you want to study because of their area of expertise? Whatever the reason, explain it. This is where the Faculty evaluating your application will be able to tell if you have thought seriously about their particular program. It will indicate your interest in them and show that you did your homework, a good early sign of a serious student.

What is it about you that is special? " It is important that you explain your motivations and your goals This is what will distinguish you from all other applicants and make you memorable to the Faculty...Explain your academic background and your performance in the bachelor's degree program. If you wrote a bachelor's thesis, briefly explain its importance and what you learned from writing it. Be sure to mention any prizes you may have won. If you worked while in school, tell why, especially if it was for a Faculty member. If you had any special experiences outside the formal learning environment that directly relate to the field of study you are interested in pursuing (e.g. travel or study abroad; employment in the field) tell about those. Describe any experience that demonstrates your creativity, dependability, and independence - these are important personal characteristics that Faculty desire in their students.

Are there items that need special explanation? " Faculty will first look at the empirical data in your application: your grades, transcripts, test scores, even the recommendations, before reading the Statement of Purpose. They will spot peculiarities they want explained. Is there a gap in your years of study; did it take you more than the traditional time to finish your degree; did you leave to work to support your family, or to care for an ill family member; did you change fields; do you have related work experience? All these are questions that need to be answered. Unexplained voids in your record make you a less attractive candidate. On the other hand, honest explanations make you human and the kind of person with whom others will want to work.

Do you add diversity to the program? " American institutions of higher education are very interested in diversifying their student body, particularly at the graduate level. If you are a woman, a member of a minority group, disabled, or have another distinguishing characteristic that may be relevant, let the Faculty know in your Statement in an appropriate way. It may relate to your motivation to pursue a graduate degree. Understand that under American law, Faculty cannot ask questions about many personal topics. Since it is unlikely that many international students will interview in person at all the graduate schools where they submit applications, the Faculty will know you only by what you write in your Statement.

What to Avoid " While there are some things that a Statement of Purpose must address, there are some matters that generally also should be avoided.

Do not be overly informal. " The written Statement of Purpose for many applicants is the way they first introduce themselves to their prospective professors. The Statement should be formal, direct, and appropriately respectful in tone. Undue informality or attempts at irrelevant humour should be avoided.

Do not include irrelevant information. " Try to keep to the topics that directly relate to your qualifications and desire for admission to the graduate program. Information about hobbies, outside interests, academic pursuits that do not have any real connection to your credentials for success in your chosen field only take up valuable space and divert the Faculty's attention from what is really important in your Statement.

Do not write your life story. " If the application instructions give a specific -or maximum - length for the Statement of Purpose, do not exceed it. If there is no stated length, remember that Faculty on admissions committees may be reading hundreds of such Statements. Be brief, yet complete. Do not talk about anything in your life before you began your baccalaureate program, unless it's absolutely relevant. A suggested maximum length is four pages, three is even better.

Style & Presentation " A guide of this kind would be incomplete if it did not mention something about the presentation of the Statement. We live in an era of word processors and personal computers. Unless the directions specifically require that the Statement of Purpose be hand-written - and I doubt that any still say that - it should be typed or printed, double spaced, with absolutely no spelling or grammatical errors. It does not matter if you are applying for a graduate program in English Literature or Physics, Art or Physical Education, you are expected to be literate and to be able to communicate well. A spelling error on your application will make the Faculty evaluating your application view you as careless and not really interested enough in their program to consider you further. Many will stop reading the Statement at that point, regardless of how good your other records are. They will react similarly to errors of grammar, pronoun errors, using plural verbs with singular subjects, and the like. Proof-read your statement many times. Have someone else read your Statement critically. Run it through 'spellcheck' and 'grammarcheck' on your computer. " ...In sum, the Statement of Purpose is your way to introduce yourself personally to a group of intelligent people . In this document you are asking strangers to allow you to enter their working homes for an extended length of time to learn from them. This presents them with a major decision. In this statement you must present yourself in a favourable light, show who you are, express your interest in them and the subject they teach and tell them why you are special enough to be admitted. It must be honest in conception, accurate in detail, and direct in address. And it must look good and be error-free.

"If you are satisfied that you have given a fair and accurate picture of yourself, as seen in your best light, Faculty will be equally pleased."

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Details about submitting a statement of purpose, personal statement, and a writing sample as part of your degree program application

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Statement of Purpose 

The statement of purpose is very important to programs when deciding whether to admit a candidate. Your statement should be focused, informative, and convey your research interests and qualifications. You should describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in your chosen degree program, noting the experiences that shaped your research ambitions, indicating briefly your career objectives, and concisely stating your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Your degree program of interest may have specific guidance or requirements for the statement of purpose, so be sure to review the degree program page for more information. Unless otherwise noted, your statement should not exceed 1,000 words. 

Personal Statement

A core part of the Harvard Griffin GSAS mission is to identify and attract the most promising students to form a dynamic and diverse community. We are committed to educating individuals who reflect the growing diversity of perspectives and life experiences represented in society today and who will contribute to our commitment to sustain a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment. Please share how your experiences or activities will advance our mission and commitment. Your statement should be no longer than 500 words.

Writing Sample 

Please visit Degree Programs and navigate to your degree program of interest to determine if a writing sample is required. When preparing your writing sample, be sure to follow program requirements, which may include format, topic, or length. 

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10 Tips for Writing an Effective Statement of Purpose

Author David Hirning

For many grad school hopefuls, the most daunting part of the application process is writing the statement of purpose. This narrative essay highlights your interests and achievements and (hopefully) shows the admissions committee why they should select you.

If this describes you, don’t fret. Instead, look at the statement of purpose as a golden opportunity: a chance to write from your heart. Use the personal statement to tell your story — to explore the experiences, talents and passions that are inspiring you to pursue the next chapter in your learning journey.

Here, we share some time-tested strategies for writing a great statement of purpose, adapted from our video with Seattle-area writing coach Debby Bacharach. Use these tips to help make a great first impression and increase your chances of getting in.


The committee has all your grades, test scores, and other data. This is your chance to make all that come alive — show them the person behind the numbers! The opportunity is especially valuable if you aren’t applying to grad school straight out of undergrad.

Time to let your personality shine. What inspired you to apply? What makes you unique? What gets you excited? Tell your story: the hurdles, your triumphs and the lessons you’ve learned along the way.


If you experience anxiety staring at a blank page, or find yourself obsessing over every word and punctuation mark, try to relax. Instead, start out by brainstorming a list of topics.

Think about different categories: jobs you’ve had, awards you’ve won, skills you’ve developed, and other areas related to the degree you’re pursuing. (You can even list categories that don't  relate, just to keep your thoughts flowing.) Then start filling out your list, including bad ideas that probably won’t make it into your final statement. It’s a great way to get the creative juices going.


Now, let that list sit for a little bit, and then ask a friend to take a look. Often other people can see things we can’t; let your trusted friend help you identify themes or ideas that stand out. These are likely to be the best angles for telling your unique story in a way that will catch the eye of the admissions committee.


Try some free writing. Tell that inner critic to take a break, set a timer for 10 minutes and just write down whatever comes to you — achievements, failures, hobbies, volunteer work, likes, dislikes. This approach lets you tap into your subconscious and allows powerful images and ideas to emerge. (Remember, this is not your final draft; it’s just a way to get moving.)


Once you’ve figured out what you want to say, your next challenge is to make your prose interesting. Just because this is a professional document doesn’t mean it has to be formal or stilted. It shouldn’t be totally casual, but your writing needs to be vivid.

Try using sensory details: sights, sounds, touch, taste, smell. Use concrete nouns — leave out words like “things” and “aspects.” Instead of writing, “There are many things about your program that I like,” try something more specific, such as, “I want to attend your program because of the psycho-educational diagnostic intervention center.” This shows the committee that you’ve done your homework and wrote your essay just for their program.

Veteran writing instructor Debby Bacharach shares her top tips and strategies for writing a statement of purpose that will boost your chances of getting into graduate school.


Evaluators who sift through thousands of applications may be easily frustrated by an applicant who didn’t read or adhere to their instructions. If the application asks for an answer of 500 words or less, don’t give them 503. If a question has three parts, make sure you answer all three. Following instructions shows that you respect the process, and that you pay attention to detail.

It’s also crucial to perfect your grammar and punctuation. Eliminate all typos, misspellings and other inaccuracies. Get help with this if you need to.


One mistake that many applicants make is writing a generic statement of purpose that they can then reuse for multiple applications; admissions committees tend to frown on this practice. Avoid this trap by mentioning why this particular program appeals to you — a specific professor’s research, perhaps, or a school of thought that the program is known for. The evaluators will notice.


We’ve talked about having a friend look at your list of categories or help you with your grammar. It’s OK to seek advice; this is what professionals do. Some people come from cultures where they aren’t encouraged to ask for help, but in this context, you should.

Remember, however, that we’re talking about getting feedback on your own work. We’re not saying, “Go ask your friend the English teacher to write your statement for you.” That’s not OK.


If you write your personal statement the night before the application is due, you won’t be giving yourself the best chance to succeed.

As a tutor and professional writing coach, Debby says she often holds four one-hour sessions with students, one each for prewriting, drafting, revising and proofreading — and that’s in addition to the time the writers spend working on their own. Make sure you devote enough time to produce your best work.


Take full advantage of the help available to you. The University of Washington offers writing assistance to all students, faculty and staff (including students earning a UWPCE specialization or certificate). Start with this list of writing resources , which includes on-campus help and online options.

For more tips and advice, check out all our articles about going back to school at any age or stage of life.

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Author David Hirning

David Hirning

David Hirning is an accomplished writer and editor with extensive experience in both tech and higher education. He began his career in journalism, then spent over a decade as an editor at Microsoft, where he worked on Encarta Encyclopedia and related reference products.

David worked for six years as a full-time writer and content manager at UW Professional & Continuing Education. He also operated his own editorial consulting business, with stints at leading companies like Amazon and Expedia, and taught English for two years in Costa Rica.

David has served as an instructor for the UW Certificate in Editing program and as a teaching assistant for the UW Certificate in Storytelling & Content Strategy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University and a Certificate in Literary Fiction from the UW.

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The Engineering VU

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

4 Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose for Your Master’s

When applying for a master’s degree, crafting a compelling statement of purpose (SOP) is a crucial component of a stand-out application. It is a key step in the application process in which you have the opportunity to showcase your genuine desire to join the program. In this blog, we will guide you through essential strategies to help you compose the best statement of purpose for your master’s degree. 

What Is a Statement of Purpose?

A statement of purpose (SOP) is a written document that outlines your academic and professional goals, research interests and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree. It serves as a crucial piece of your application, allowing admissions committees to assess your suitability for their program. The statement of purpose provides you with an opportunity to showcase your passion, qualifications and unique qualities that make you stand out as a candidate. It allows you to share your aspirations and explain how the specific graduate program aligns with your academic and career goals. A strong SOP will make a lasting impression on the admissions team, and in turn, bolster your chances of admission. 

Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose For Your Master’s

To help you present yourself effectively, follow these three steps to craft a quality statement of purpose for your master’s

1. Include All the Elements of an Effective Statement of Purpose

A well-structured statement of purpose exhibits your writing skills and clearly states your motivations and goals. Key sections include an introduction, academic and career goals, fit for the program, relevant experiences and achievements and what sets you apart. Check out these statement of purpose templates for inspiration to get you started. You will want to expound upon the following elements when writing your statement of purpose. 

Academic and Career Goals

Articulate your short-term and long-term academic and career goals. Clearly communicate how the program aligns with these aspirations and how it will help you achieve them. Emphasize the specific features and strengths of the program that attracted you to it. 

Fit for the Program

Demonstrate your genuine interest in the program by showcasing thorough research on the curriculum, faculty and resources. Highlight elements like specific courses, faculty expertise, research opportunities or extracurricular activities that resonate with your interests. 

Relevant Experiences and Achievements

Highlight your academic and professional achievements that are relevant to your field of study. Discuss research projects, internships, publications or significant coursework that have shaped your skills and knowledge. Connect these experiences to your goals, showing how they have deepened your passion for the field.

What Makes You Unique

Distinguish yourself from other applicants by highlighting your unique skills, perspectives and experience you will bring to the program. Show how these factors will enrich the program and contribute to the academic community.

Leave a lasting impression in your conclusion by expressing enthusiasm for the program. Summarize key points and end with a strong statement that reinforces your commitment to contribute to your chosen field of study. Incorporating these elements into your statement of purpose will help you craft a strong SOP for your application. 

2. Do Not Skip the Proofreading Step

No matter how strong your statement of purpose may be, errors and inconsistencies can undermine your efforts. To polish your statement of purpose, be sure your writing is clear, concise and persuasive. Be straightforward about why you want to pursue this program and why you are the optimal candidate. Try to avoid complex technical jargon that could obscure your message.  After you have checked over your SOP for these elements, read your statement of purpose aloud to catch errors. You can also ask a friend or mentor to read your statement of purpose and provide feedback. Getting an objective assessment can reveal areas that need improvement.

If possible, seek feedback from someone in the field or someone who has gone through a similar application process and has successfully written a statement of purpose.

3. Tailor Your SOP to Your Program

When applying to different programs, it's important to tailor your statement of purpose to match the specific requirements and expectations of each program. Here are some tips for crafting SOPs for different programs:

Statement of Purpose for a Master's in Computer Science

For a master's degree in computer science, it is crucial to highlight your technical interests and experiences in the field. Describe specific projects or research demonstrating your skills and passion in areas relevant to computer science. Discuss your career goals and how the program will help you achieve them. Mention any specific courses, faculty or opportunities that align with your interests.

Showcase your problem-solving abilities and analytical mindset to demonstrate your potential contributions to the field.

Statement of Purpose for Engineering Management

If you are applying to an engineering management program, emphasize your leadership and career aspirations in this field. If you have management experience, highlight your experiences managing projects, teams or organizations to showcase your capabilities. If you lack management experience, share some of the missed opportunities or future opportunities for which the degree could prepare you. You will also want to include your interest in bridging the gap between engineering and business, and how you can apply both technical and managerial skills to solve complex problems.

Connect your career goals to the specific aspects of the program, such as relevant courses, innovation opportunities or industry connections.

Getting Started on Your Master's Statement of Purpose

To write a compelling SOP, keep these key takeaways in mind:

  • Be authentic and genuine in your writing. Share your motivations, experiences and goals with sincerity.
  • Emphasize the research you have done on the program, faculty, courses, and resources. Show that you have a clear understanding of what the program offers and how it aligns with your academic and career objectives.
  • Invest time and effort into your SOP to put your best foot forward. This document plays a significant role in the admissions process and can greatly influence your chances of admission.

Remember, each program has unique expectations, so tailor your statement of purpose accordingly. By aligning your strengths and interests with the requirements of the program, you can create a compelling SOP that captures the attention of the admissions committee.

Discover the Vanderbilt School of Engineering’s online master’s degrees in computer science and engineering management. You can explore our program pages to learn more about application requirements and how these degrees can advance your career in computer science or career in engineering management . 

Take the next step into making your future career a reality. Apply now to start your journey towards your master's degree!

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Topics: Engineering Management , Computer Science , Engineering Online

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Statements of Purpose: Overview and Before You Draft

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The statement of purpose is perhaps the most important, and most challenging, element of your application packet. This letter needs to reflect who you are and why you would be an asset to the program you are applying to. It needs to make you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants and yet stay within the genre-based expectations for a statement of purpose. This resource provides information on writing statements of purpose specifically for graduate school applications.

Your graduate statement of purpose is one of the most important documents in your application packet. A good statement of purpose may not necessarily get you in to a program, but a poorly written one could cause the committee to overlook your application. In addition, submitting a strongly written statement works in your favor in such situations as:

  • having a low grade in one or two of your courses
  • breaking a tie with other applicants who have performed at your level in terms of GRE and GPA scores
  • getting into programs in which standardized test scores are weighted significantly less than demonstrating one’s professional interests and abilities (i.e., Humanities and certain Social Science fields).

Remember that your statement of purpose is the only opportunity you will have to let the admission committee directly get to know you. They will have some sense of who you are based on your recommenders’ notes and on the writing sample you include, but this is the chance for you to personally make a good, strong impression.

Please note, that these resources focus on applying to graduate studies programs in the United States. The information contained in these resources may or may not be appropriate to other contexts.

Before you begin

Unlike with most job applications, you can have months to review the statements of purpose that graduate programs ask you to write. Most graduate programs include questions or writing prompts that they would like you to answer within the application materials themselves. As soon as the materials have been updated for this year’s applications, write down, or copy and paste the questions into a document, so that you can have as much time as possible to think through each one. Start making connections (mentally or visually) between your classes, work experience, or volunteer opportunities. Based on what you would like to do in graduate school (and beyond) what kinds of themes begin to emerge?

Look up information about the programs you are applying to. Check out their websites and if there is any material that you are curious about but they don’t list, such as the graduate curriculum or research opportunities, check in with the program administrator. Then, once you have gathered all of that information, start looking for the connections between the program’s and your own work and interests. Which of the programs that you have in mind would be the best based on their required coursework, professors in the fields, teaching opportunities, and so on?

You can use several exercises to write down some preliminary thoughts in a non-linear fashion before you start drafting: for example, prewriting to get your ideas flowing; sketching out a preliminary outline ; or, you can also use a number of other invention strategies such as: brainstorming, freewriting, clustering, or asking questions to help you get your thoughts on paper.

There is a lot at stake in the statement of purpose, so it can be daunting to begin writing. You might feel hesitant to start drafting your document until you are absolutely sure that you know your theme, structure, and have all the pertinent information about each program ready at hand. The fear might be that you’ll have to just change everything later if you start writing now, so why waste the time? There is, most definitely, an element of truth to that logic, but remember that the longer you procrastinate, the less time you will have to make any changes whatsoever. Don’t be afraid of these so called “false starts.” Getting started early on your writing will help you generate more ideas, which will strengthen your statement down the line.

Works Consulted

Getting In: A Step-By-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 1997. Print.

Kaplan, Inc. Get into Graduate School: A Strategic Approach . New York: Simon & Schuster. 2003. Print.

Stelzer, Richard J. How to Write a Winning Personal Statement for Graduate and Professional School . 3rd. ed. Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson’s Publishing, 2002. Print.

Stewart, Mark Allen. Peterson's How to Write the Perfect Personal Statement . Lawrenceville, NJ: Peterson’s Publishing, 2009. Print.

Northeastern University Graduate Programs

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

Congrats! You’ve chosen a graduate program , read up on tips for applying to grad school , and even wrote a focused grad school resumé . But if you’re like many students, you’ve left the most daunting part of the application process for last—writing a statement of purpose. The good news is, the task doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming, as long as you break the process down into simple, actionable steps. Below, learn how to write a strong, unique statement of purpose that will impress admissions committees and increase your chances of getting into your dream school.

What is a statement of purpose?

A statement of purpose (SOP), sometimes referred to as a personal statement, is a critical piece of a graduate school application that tells admissions committees who you are, what your academic and professional interests are, and how you’ll add value to the graduate program you’re applying to.

Jared Pierce, associate director of enrollment services at Northeastern University, says a strong statement of purpose can be the deciding factor in a graduate student’s admission.  

“Your statement of purpose is where you tell your story about who you are and why you deserve to be a part of the [university’s] community. It gives the admissions committee the chance to get to know you and understand how you’ll add value to the classroom,” he says.

How long is a statement of purpose?

“A statement of purpose should be between 500 and 1,000 words,” Pierce says, noting that it should typically not exceed a single page. He advises that students use a traditional font at a readable size (11- or 12-pt) and leave enough whitespace in the margins to make the statement easy-to-read. Make sure to double-space the statement if the university has requested it, he adds. 

Interested in learning more about Northeastern’s graduate programs?

Get your questions answered by our enrollment team.


How to Write a Statement of Purpose: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you understand how to format a statement of purpose, you can begin drafting your own. Getting started can feel daunting, but Pierce suggests making the process more manageable by breaking down the writing process into four easy steps.

1. Brainstorm your ideas.

First, he says, try to reframe the task at hand and get excited for the opportunity to write your statement of purpose. He explains:

“Throughout the application process, you’re afforded few opportunities to address the committee directly. Here is your chance to truly speak directly to them. Each student arrives at this process with a unique story, including prior jobs, volunteer experience, or undergraduate studies. Think about what makes you you and start outlining.”

When writing your statement of purpose, he suggests asking yourself these key questions:

  • Why do I want this degree?
  • What are my expectations for this degree?
  • What courses or program features excite me the most?
  • Where do I want this degree to take me, professionally and personally?
  • How will my unique professional and personal experiences add value to the program?

Jot these responses down to get your initial thoughts on paper. This will act as your starting point that you’ll use to create an outline and your first draft.

2. Develop an outline.

Next, you’ll want to take the ideas that you’ve identified during the brainstorming process and plug them into an outline that will guide your writing. 

An effective outline for your statement of purpose might look something like this:

  • An attention-grabbing hook
  • A brief introduction of yourself and your background as it relates to your motivation behind applying to graduate school
  • Your professional goals as they relate to the program you’re applying to
  • Why you’re interested in the specific school and what you can bring to the table
  • A brief summary of the information presented in the body that emphasizes your qualifications and compatibility with the school

An outline like the one above will give you a roadmap to follow so that your statement of purpose is well-organized and concise. 

3. Write the first draft.

Your statement of purpose should communicate who you are and why you are interested in a particular program, but it also needs to be positioned in a way that differentiates you from other applicants. 

Admissions professionals already have your transcripts, resumé, and test scores; the statement of purpose is your chance to tell your story in your own words.

When you begin drafting content, make sure to:

  • Provide insight into what drives you , whether that’s professional advancement, personal growth, or both.
  • Demonstrate your interest in the school by addressing the unique features of the program that interest you most. For Northeastern, he says, maybe it’s experiential learning; you’re excited to tackle real-world projects in your desired industry. Or perhaps it’s learning from faculty who are experts in your field of study.
  • Be yourself. It helps to keep your audience in mind while writing, but don’t forget to let your personality shine through. It’s important to be authentic when writing your statement to show the admissions committee who you are and why your unique perspective will add value to the program.

4. Edit and refine your work.

Before you submit your statement of purpose:

  • Make sure you’ve followed all directions thoroughly , including requirements about margins, spacing, and font size.
  • Proofread carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Remember that a statement of purpose should be between 500 and 1,000 words. If you’ve written far more than this, read through your statement again and edit for clarity and conciseness. Less is often more; articulate your main points strongly and get rid of any “clutter.”
  • Walk away and come back later with a fresh set of eyes. Sometimes your best ideas come when you’re not sitting and staring at your computer.
  • Ask someone you trust to read your statement before you submit it.

Making a Lasting Impression

Your statement of purpose can leave a lasting impression if done well, Pierce says. It provides you with the opportunity to highlight your unique background and skills so that admissions professionals understand why you’re the ideal candidate for the program that you’re applying to. If nothing else, stay focused on what you uniquely bring to the classroom, the program, and the campus community. If you do that, you’ll excel.

To learn more tricks and tips for submitting an impressive graduate school application, explore our related Grad School Success articles .

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2017. It has since been updated for thoroughness and accuracy.

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MFA Statement of Purpose Tools Paint Pencils Notepad

Though they may not realize it, Fine Arts students are cursed. (Believe me, I know, I was one.) Not only are they more stubborn than engineers, but often they suffer the misfortune of being shackled to creative self-expression. Of course, unbounded creativity is a necessary and glorious aspect of their existence. But when it comes time to write an MFA statement of purpose, this same creativity can be a kiss of death.

It doesn’t matter that we’re applying for a somewhat non-academic degree. It doesn’t matter that we’re being judged on our ability to produce meaningful art. All that matters is that this one aspect of the application – the SOP – is NOT the same as a portfolio, in which we unleash our most potent creative juices. Instead, the SOP is a test for how clearly we can articulate our goals .

The funny thing is, these difficulties apply to ALL kinds of MFA applicants, from creative writing to visual arts to theater. (Creative writing students might be the worst.) Though the art differs, all seem to have trouble articulating their goals and inspirations without resorting to artful prose gimmicks. In fact, they face the exact same obstacles that ALL graduate applicants face.

That’s why I was so impressed by Yuxuan.

A color-blind graphic designer and painter, and non-native English speaker, Yuxuan wrote an SOP that puts many creative writing students to shame. And it earned admission to 5 fully funded MFA programs.

But before we read Yuxuan’s amazing essay, let’s examine how he started planning, so we can help you achieve the same wild success.

Getting Started

When he looked back on his applications, Yuxuan expressed his anxieties this way:

“I think the pandemic was a huge disadvantage. It increased the number of applicants and also reduced schools’ funds. This was a big challenge for me since I mainly applied for fully funded MFAs. At the same time, the pandemic reduced available studio time, and I had to complete a lot of my projects at home. The lack of space and equipment gave me a lot of concerns about my portfolio, so I knew I needed a statement of purpose that showed I could be better than other applicants.”

Luckily, Yuxuan was a willing student. When he read the Structure is Magic template , he understood immediately that the SOP isn’t a work of creativity, but a job application. His portfolio would reveal his artistic potential. But the essay had to reveal his potential as a clear thinker who knew exactly why he was applying to each program.

What did he want to convey?

  • The over-arching theme of his work; the artistic problems that really motivate him.
  • Why each individual school was a perfect place for him to develop those themes.
  • How his past successes prove he’s ready to succeed as an artist (and maybe…teacher).

What’s Great About This SOP?

Yuxuan followed Structure is Magic as if it were a paint-by-numbers exercise, and the results were spectacular.

  • Two paragraphs in the Introductory Frame Narrative
  • One paragraph for Why This Program
  • Two paragraphs for Why I’m (Overly) Qualified
  • One resounding frame narrative conclusion paragraph

Amazingly, this paragraph-by-paragraph structure is almost exactly the same as that used by uber-successful Neuroscience PhDs . (When I tell you these narrative structures are universal and timeless, I ain’t lying!)

The frame narrative starts with the compelling story of how color-blindness makes Yuxuan a truly unique artist. It’s funny, humble, and it teaches us something. Quickly, this evolves into a description of the techniques he obsesses over in his pursuit of barrier-free art, and how this defines his goals.

Next, it goes into great detail to explain why two professors at his target school are the absolute perfect mentors for Yuxuan: they share the same artistic obsessions, and have much to teach him. Then, he gives a “highlight reel” of his artistic and academic achievements, proving that he’s ready to continue succeeding in graduate school.

Finally, the SOP ends with a clear rearticulation of Yuxuan’s goals, proving that his “genetic color weakness is actually an invaluable lens for viewing the world.”

This essay is beautiful. After reading, we walk away knowing we’ve encountered a true and talented artist, one with a uniquely powerful mind. Let’s read it and find inspiration for your own writing.

A Brilliant MFA Statement of Purpose

I have a red-green color weakness, one most people know as color-blindness. Most people think this means I see the world without green and red. Actually, in my world, reds and greens are grey shades with variegating shadows. I also have difficulty distinguishing pink from grey, and purple from blue. Curiously, this makes me think of animals. Dolphins are dichromats. They can see only two colors. Humans are trichromats. We see red, blue and yellow. Pigeons are tetrachromats. They see the world in a way people cannot even imagine. All creatures see the world through the heteronomy of their colors, and I exist somewhere between humans and dolphins. This fascinates me deeply.

In college, I have largely worked with chiaroscuro and high-contrast color. Chiaroscuro has always been provocative, as my insensitivity to color only increases my sensitivity to light and shadow. No shadow is a single shade of darkness, and I have found high-contrast color offers the same points of inquiry, especially blue, which is as bright as red in the eyes of people with color weakness. Color is thus an expression of self-identity. In most of my work, it is not an emotional expression, but a rational guide in a metaphysical dialogue that alters over time, and this issue of barrier-free visualization is exactly what I hope to explore in the MFA program at Gotham City School of Design.

I am particularly inspired by the work of Professor Karl Banksy. His work often deals with underserved public interest issues, echoing my own pursuit of barrier-free visual experiences. As I create designs for people with achromatopsia, color disorders, and others with visual impairment who are often overlooked in social services, I believe Professor Banksy will be a great mentor. I also feel inspired by Professor Wang Lu, whose research focuses on historical and cultural influence in graphic design. As a Chinese-diaspora artist, I often explore design themes idiosyncratic to Asian culture in my work. I experimented with this in my contribution to “Seeking Plural Narratives,” a recent anthology which sought to examine Eurocentric design and typographic cultures. My pieced discussed Cuban graphic design and its similarities to communist iconography from China. Therefore, I think Professor Lu will be a reliable mentor as I grow my international, multicultural vision for design.

As I consider working with these ideas at GCSD, my academic experiences give me confidence. At Metropolis University, I have excelled as a Graphic Design major, earning a 3.8 GPA even as I took graduate-level coursework in design and computational thinking. These latter courses allowed me to explore philosophy of art, particularly regarding deep fakes and artificial intelligence, as I combined critical reviews of important texts with coding experiments. By studying our emerging culture of disinformation selectively deployed as media manipulation, I learned how new modes of thinking are required to critically and artistically engage with computer culture in the public realm. This use of technology is also an area I hope to explore at GCSD. At the same time, I have interned for one year at the Metropolis Center for Arts and Technology, where among other tasks I serve as a teaching assistant for students from low-income families. Teaching these students, many of whom work part-time to fund their art tuition, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has taught me new degrees of empathy, inspiring even more my desire to study barrier-free visual experience, and sparking my a desire to become an educator.

This is why I apply to GCSD: to study barrier-free visual experiences, to contemplate art in a multicultural and technological world, and to prepare to become a teacher myself. If given the chance to pursue these goals, I will work hard to be a credit to the university, and prove that my genetic color weakness is actually an invaluable lens for viewing the world.

Professional, Powerful, Persuasive

I admit that Yuxuan has a unique background that not everyone can match. A colorblind artist?! C’mon. But either way, it’s easy to see how everyone can model his essay and speak to program directors in a professional, powerful, and persuasive way.

1. Start with a compelling Frame Narrative

What is it about your art that makes you unique? What are you trying to accomplish? What stories are you trying to tell? Which aspects of humanity are you trying to draw out and explore? Most importantly, how are these inspired by your own life and experiences?

Don’t devolve into hackneyed proclamations about social issues. I assure you, every MFA program receives 500 essays a year about social inequalities and art-as-activism. Instead, focus on the things that make you and your art different from everyone else’s.

2. Explain “Why This School” is perfect for you

Once you’ve established the goals for your art, it’s time to explain how this school will help you achieve those goals. Look at the studios and resources available. Look at the faculty. Look at their work. See which courses and workshops you can take under them. Make sure they’re actually teaching next semester! Draw connections between your own themes, obsessions, and questions, and those in the work of your hopeful professors.

A warning, however: don’t claim that a school is perfect because they have a famous professor. Fame is not a good reason to want to work with someone. You need to find real connections between their work and yours. If the connection isn’t there, you’ll only look immature. Remember: if a school has a famous professor, everyone who applies will mention them in their MFA statement of purpose.

3. Prove that you’re ready to succeed

You’re applying to be a graduate student . Here, give them proof that you’ve been a good student in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. Remember, your portfolio proves how good an artist you are. This section shows that you take everything else seriously as well.

Good GPA. Awards you’ve won. Unique design internships you’ve held. Whatever constitutes your “Greatest Hits List,” include it here.

4. End your Frame Narrative

In the beginning, you showed how your life has been unique, and how this gave you unique artistic goals. Now, restate those goals. Remind us of them. Be circular. Take us back to the beginning. Give us a feeling of harmony as we finish your essay.

I’m grateful to Yuxuan for allowing me to republish his work and brag about his success. I originally met him through BosonEd in Philadelphia, a fantastic organization that helps internationals study in elite universities in America. Right from the start, I knew Yuxuan would be an artist of true consequence one day, and I hope his writing is an inspiration for you.

As you craft your MFA statement of purpose, do exactly what Yuxuan did: follow the Structure is Magic template or the SOP Starter Kit . Use the timeless, universal lessons of narrative structure to compose an essay that actively persuades programs to choose you.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking: “Oh, I’m an artist, I’m a creative writer, I know how to do this.” Chances are, you don’t. The SOP isn’t a short story. It’s not a film script nor a personal memoir. It is, however, the easiest part of the application to screw up. But if you treat it properly, as a clear, mature, professional statement of your plans for the future, then I’m sure you too can achieve wild success, and I wish you all the luck in the world!

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11 Tips for Writing a Powerful Statement of Purpose [Sample SOP Included]

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

By Jitta Raghavender Rao • GradSchool Admissions

The Statement of Purpose is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of graduate applications. Most students pass it off like it is just another essay about themselves, and naturally, write monotonous stuff that doesn’t stand out. That is why, the university admissions committee puts a hefty weight on statement of purposes and their structure  – they want to see whether you take the interest in letting them know how much you want to study at their university.

Most Statements Of Purpose Start Off Like This:

“I am applying to the Master of Science program in Something Engineering at the University of Example because I believe my technical skills will blossom at your program as it is a place where I will be challenged and where I can develop my scientific and technical knowledge.”

Or Like This:

“I am honored to apply for the Master of Science program at the University of Example because for as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with science. Since I was a kid in school, I have known I wanted to be a scientist/engineer.”

Now, almost 99% of the statements are structured similarly, and often times, students copy-paste, and edit statement of purposes from their seniors or friends, making it sound even more generic or irrelevant to their applications. If you want to stand out from the crowd; if you want the admissions committee to remember your essay at the end of the day, even after going through hundreds of applications; if you want to gain that extra advantage by being somewhat special and unique, you will have to draft a great statement of purpose.  Great, but original .

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

How Can Your Statement Of Purpose Stand Out From The Crowd?

How do you write a great statement of purpose that sounds original, but at the same time gives the admissions committee what they are looking for? Simple. Basically, every university expects a student  to answer to some basic questions  that the admissions committee has. They may not ask you openly, but  these are generally what they expect you to answer:

  • What you want to study at graduate school?
  • Why you want to study only this degree?
  • Why do you want to study at this particular college? What do you like in us?
  • Why did you choose to study in this particular country? What do you like about it?
  • How much and what kind of experience you have in your field?
  • Is your experience related to you choice of degree?
  • If you are already experienced, what additional skills are you planning to gain from the degree?
  • What you plan to do with your degree after graduation?
  • Would you choose to end up with a job or take up research?
  • What are your expectations from both the graduate program, and the university?
  • Would you like to study or do research under any particular professor? If yes, why only them?
  • How can you contribute to our university and our program? What specific skills do you bring to the table?
  • Apart from work and education, what are your hobbies, interests, and habits? What are you like, as a person?
  • What do you understand about our student community and culture? Why do you think you will fit in?
  • What is that one unique aspect/characteristic about you that we should know? Why does it matter to us or to the fellow students of your class?

Now, these are the questions you will have to consider before starting off with your statement of purpose. Write down answers separately to each of the questions asked above, and try to build a story that the admissions committee would love to read. Remember, unlike an MBA program, you won’t be having any personal interviews for a graduate program, so  the only way to impress the admissions officers is by telling your story through the statement of purpose . You will have to convey your story in the best possible way, such that the committee finds you interesting enough. And if you are interesting enough to them, you will end up with not only admission, but also a decent scholarship as well .

Strategies to Write a Powerful Statement of Purpose

It is important that you follow a specific strategy when it comes to drafting your statement of purpose. Though most students write whatever comes to their mind, or whatever they see on the internet, you are not most people.  You would want your statement of purpose to sound brilliant, and original . And for that, you’ll need some strategies.

1. Write Stories. Not Statements

If given a choice, would you prefer reading a novel or a newspaper?

A novel, without a doubt. Do you know why?

Because while a newspaper gives you mere news and some eye-catching headlines, a novel tells you a story; a beautifully written piece of  literature that you will be emotionally connected to . It brings those humanly feelings out of you, and involves you in its storyline. You imagine yourself in place of the narrator/character, and understand why he/she has done that, or taken such decisions. We remember stories much easier than statements.

Because stories connect to us, statements don’t.

For example, most people say this:

“I used to work in a multinational software company in the development team, and I had to do the same job every day: code stuff. There was nothing new for me to learn at work, and there was nothing very exciting about going to the office. One day I decided that I had to get out of there, so I applied to college to study higher courses and get a better job.”

Doesn’t that sound like most stories? Albeit, a very normal story? Instead, how about saying this:

“Late in the night one Monday, I had found myself in the middle of a deserted office, and fifteen thousand lines of code. Full of caffeine in my bloodstream, and an empty life beyond office, I realized that the computers started coding my brain, and controlling my life. No longer wanting to let the machines feed on me, I decided that college would be my salvation.”

Both the stories come to about four lines. But which narrative do you think will keep the admissions committee reading? Which story do you think will be remembered by them even after reading 5000 applications?

Think again.  Do you want your statement of purpose to read like a novel or a newspaper?  If the former is your answer, then you need to put in a lot of effort to tell your story. Think about ‘why’ you want to study what you want to study. Is there a strong reason behind it? Is the reason emotional, economical, or any other? Think hard, and you will find a connection. The reason might not seem obvious in plain sight, but when you think hard enough, you will understand that  there is strong reason why you want to study a particular course/degree.

Now, when you have found this strong reason, tell it as a story. Write a short, but great narrative about what made you make this choice. About why you have chosen to study this course at this university. Impress the committee with your creative storyline, and you will reap the benefits big time.

2. Quantify Your Stories

Even though we asked you to write a story, you will have to remember that  your story should not read like a thesis . It should rather serve as the best source of information about you. And when it comes to information, numbers play a key role. Your story should be not only qualitative, but also quantitative. And that means,  your story must contain measurable quantities  instead of just stories, so the reader can understand the depth of it.

For example, if you have worked for a local NGO teaching math to primary kids, you could say:

“During my engineering days, I helped a local NGO by joining as a math tutor, where I taught basic math concepts to school children.”

Now even though this sounds really good, it doesn’t give the reader the entire picture and they certainly do not know how much of an impact you made on those children.

So,  you could change that bit to something like this:

“During my second year of engineering, I joined ‘Teach Math’, a local NGO, where I was a part of the Math tutoring team. For a  period of 10 months , I  taught basic math  like algebra, geometry and arithmetic  to more than thirty  5th and 6th grade students. And every single student I taught to,  secured an A  in math that year. I’ve never been prouder in my life.”

Do you see the difference? These numbers suddenly give a whole new perspective to the readers, and their respect for you is suddenly multiplied. That’s the power of numbers;  they add authenticity, and authority to your stories . If you can quantify your stories properly, and show the results instead of just actions, the committee will not forget your name. You can use the same strategy for the rest of your story, no matter what it is about.

Whether it is a research project you did, or a college fest you organized, or a college sports team you led, whatever it is, add numbers to your stories, and make them sound more realistic, and more beautiful.

3. Be Specific

You have to make sure that whatever you say in your statement of purpose, you need to be very specific with it. Don’t just say something because you think it will impress the admissions committee. Whatever you say,  you have to really dig into details . Be introspective. Don’t just say “I chose this degree because I love this field.” Explain clearly why you love this field, what made you decide that you want to work in this field for the rest of your life, what skills you are trying to amass, why it completes you as a person, etc.

Don’t beat around the bush like you normally would, when you talk to your friends. Don’t use ideal sentences like ‘I want to change the world’ or ‘I want to find my inner self’ or any of those cheesy lines. Just be straightforward and always to the point, but not so much as to come off as arrogant. Find your reasons and then  find a nice, memorable way to say it .

Grad school admissions officers require the statement of purpose not just because they want to find about you and your dreams. More importantly,  they want you to think for yourself , as to why you are taking such a life-changing step; why you think this is the best thing that can happen to you; and why you think you truly need it to succeed in life.

The ‘why’ is always profoundly important , and also an extremely difficult question to answer, which is why, if you can find answers to all the whys, then you are almost in.

4. Customize Your Essay

One of the biggest mistakes students make is to prepare a basic template for their statement of purpose, and if they are applying to more than one university, they simply change the relevant names and details. But the rest of the statement is an exact copy.

This is never a good idea, because though they might seem quite similar to each other, every university is vastly different from the others. Each of them has a diverse set of characteristics that define them, and their  cultures, methodologies, visions, values, mottos, strengths, weaknesses , etc., vary greatly. These things are much more important than the departments, or university rankings, or number of Ph.D.’s or other materialistic qualities.

So, if you are applying to multiple universities, you need to factor in all these qualities of every university, and customize your statement accordingly. Mere changes in names and details won’t suffice. You need to tailor your essay such that the admissions officers think you will fit in well into their community. Remember,  every student community is like a family , and if you give hints that you cannot fit into a family or their culture, you may not be welcomed easily.

Speaking of cultures, different countries obviously have different cultures, but even a large country like the US has different cultures in different parts of the country. So, before you begin writing, try and research the general culture within the region in which your target university is, and learn something about it. It may also help in aiding your decision process;  if a culture doesn’t attract you much, then there’s no point in wasting an application .

5. Use a Formal But Conversational Tone

Nearly all statements or essays come under two categories:  The super formal, and the super friendly . The first category is when you write a statement of purpose that is so formal, it looks like you are writing to your lieutenant in the military. The second one, of course, looks like a casual email to a friend. Now, when asked which one seems like a better choice, most students say the formal way is the way to go, and super friendliness is a big no. And still, a minor set of applicants think they can outsmart the admissions committee by sounding friendly, welcoming, and funny.

But, on further reflection, you would understand that  neither of the approaches is ideal . And you are right, neither of them is right. Like we talked about it already, your statement of purpose should read like a novel: slightly formal language, but still a tinge of fun and uniqueness. That is what you need. A conversational tone is the best and the safest way to go. Write like you are talking to someone, but avoid using casual language.

Imagine you are talking to your dean, or the director of your college . What would your language be like? That’s how your statement of purpose should sound. Now, occasional humor is okay, but you shouldn’t try to sound too funny or too smart. No intentional jokes or funny lines should find their way into your statement. After all, it’s a statement of purpose, and  the purpose is to pursue a graduate degree , not to impress people with your sense of humor. So, if what you write brings a smile on the readers face, then it’s perfectly alright. But  it shouldn’t make them throw away your application  because you didn’t seem serious enough to them.

6. Decide How You Want To Portray Yourself. And Learn How to Portray Indirectly.

You must see that the statement of purpose serves as a medium to convey your attitude, your personality and your character. Alright, those are some heavy words, and it can actually be difficult to them on paper. So, what you can do is,  learn what your statement of purpose should portray you as , in terms of a few criteria, which tell the admissions committee that you are:

  • Very passionate about the field of study you have chosen.
  • An Intelligent student who can withstand the academic workload of a graduate program.
  • Well-prepared academically and personally, and eager to study new courses.
  • Able to take on the challenges of studying at an international graduate school.
  • Able to build and maintain a good rapport with professors and fellow grad students.
  • Able to finish the graduate degree within time, and graduate with a good percentage.
  • A potential remarkable representative of that grad school in your future career.
  • A successful alumni of the grad school who in the future can help in recruiting graduates.
  • A responsible alumni who in the future will help raise funds for the grad school, to spend on research, infrastructure, facilities, student scholarships, etc.

These are basically the parameters that grad school admissions officers look at, when they decide who is joining their class.

Now, you might be wondering that the statement of purpose can only be as long as 1000 words, and that there’s quite a lot to cover in that little space. This is where your writing skills should come in. You simply can’t just go ahead and write “I am very passionate about the field of study I have chosen.” That is the last think you would want to write. What you should instead write is a sentence that indirectly means the same. You will have to choose your words wisely so as to indirectly communicate your “passion. You can use brief examples to show why you are so passionate about it.

For example,  you can say something like:

“My grandfather was a car mechanic. I remember when I was nine, he took me to his garage for the first time and showed me how he could repair my damaged bicycle so I could ride it again. When he passed away a few years later, he left me the entire garage. It was a turning point in my life. Some of my best days were spent inside the garage, where after coming back from school, I tried fixing various appliances in the house. That was what led me to choose to be a Mechanical Engineer.”

The above paragraph speaks volumes about you as a person and your passion for Mechanical Engineering without you actually saying it.  Any admissions officer in the world wouldn’t reject an applicant with such a deep reason , and such a wonderful story behind him/her. Now, remember, you don’t have to lie. Try and remember stories from your life that have shaped your decisions. And connect them beautifully to your goals and dreams.

Now similarly,  your “intelligence” can be conveyed by how you write . The quality of the statement of purpose, the organization, expression, etc. of your statement tells how intelligent you are. Demonstrating knowledge of the field, and using related jargon shows that you are “well-prepared”. Showing what you have done already describes your ability “to take on the challenges of grad school”. Your grades and your previous performance prove your ability “to finish the graduate program in time”. Being a “future remarkable alumni” can be implied by your being a commendable representative of your previous institutions, like your high school, or undergraduate school. Similarly, you will have to try and represent all the qualities mentioned above in an indirect, but powerful way.

7. Don’t Create Stories. Be Yourself

Because we asked you to write stories, there would naturally be an inclination to “create” stories out of thin air. Do not do this at all.  Write great stories only if you have great stories . Some people might come from normal backgrounds, who had normal lives, and probably didn’t achieve anything spectacular. It’s completely okay.  If you don’t have anything great to write, don’t write it . Be normal, and write normal stories.

It is better to be normal than to pretend to be someone you are not. The admissions officers are expert psychologists, and  they can spot a true applicant from a false applicant  with just one reading. So, you will badly hurt your chances of getting into your dream school if you try to be someone else. Just be yourself, and write only about the things that have happened to you, and the things that you are passionate about.

For instance, saying “I love research” just because you think they will like it, isn’t going to help you a lot. Whatever you say just for the sake of it, won’t appeal much to the committee, as  they would look for relevant evidences in your stories and in your past . So, don’t even think about fooling the committee with a false storyline. Try and be yourself throughout the essay.

8. Address Your Problems

The Statement of Purpose is a great opportunity for you to address some of your problems. If you have had any problematic academic background, or a gap year in your career, or if you had any work-related problems, you can address them on the statement of purpose in order to reassure the admissions committee. You must  try and be as honest as possible , and talk about your problems in a matured manner.

Instead of trying to defend yourself, you can point out the actual reasons that led to the problems, but more importantly, you should highlight ‘how’ you overcame the situation, and ‘what’ you have learnt from the experience. For example, let’s say that you got all C’s or all D’s in one semester. This normally isn’t the kind of academic profile a good grad school would want from you, unless there is a strong reason behind it. So, take some time and  dedicate a few lines to explain whatever happened .

If you had a health problem during your semester exams, or if you faced any emotional setback during that time, if you experience any personal loss, or if you had to take up additional family responsibilities other than studying, you can mention that in your statement. But, more importantly, you should not forget to demonstrate how your grades have been steadily improving since then, and that you now have a decent grade-point average in the discipline.

If you can spin this story well enough for the committee to empathize with you, then  your story will enhance the admissions committee’s image of you as a matured student , with the abilities to “take on additional challenges” and “to finish on time”, even when things are against you.

9. Do Your Homework

This is one very important point you should exercise while you are writing a statement of purpose. You should be thorough with the details of all the universities you are applying to, and list down all the things you like about each university, before you write the essays.

Most students simply write generic sentences like “I am impressed by the importance your university gives to research” or “I would like to study here because you have 100 Ph.D.’s and 20 Nobel prize winners.” etc. No, that is not how you do it. The admissions committee knows how great their college is;  you don’t have to remind them again and again . But, you should let them know what exactly you like about them, that you so badly want to be there.  The specifics are really important .

For example, you could say something like this. (Excuse the random jargon, it is only to give you an idea.)

“I would fully utilize the resources that the Wallenberg Hall provides, as I am particularly interested in the field of molecular chemistry. The special 24/7 laboratories provided for student research on molecular processing is exactly the kind of opportunity I am looking for, as I could totally see myself working in the labs day and night.”

And something like:

“I especially want to study under Dr. Mark Adams, Ph.D., as I have been an avid follower and admirer of his work in the field of quantum chemistry, which is not only the field I would choose for my research study, but also is a topic that I am zealous about, personally. I would be more than honoured if I can earn a spot in his research group.”

Do you see how professional it sounds? Such things show how well prepared you are, and how eager you are to study at that university. Now, to write something like this,  you obviously need to do lots of research  both online and offline, and be very thorough about the college, its facilities, courses, and professors. Yes, it is very difficult, but you better believe it is completely worth all the hard work.

10. Proofread, Edit, and Re-edit. Ask Friends and Family To Grade Your Essay

Another mistake students make is, they try and keep their essays to themselves. Maybe they are shy, or maybe they think their friends and family aren’t necessarily experts on the subject. So they think there’s no point in asking friends and family to critique on their essays. Wrong. Your statement of purpose speaks about you as a student, as an individual. Yes, there is technical slang involved, and yes your family members may not be experts on that. But,  they sure are experts on ‘you’ . Which is exactly why you should approach them.

They can not only give you additional points to add, but they can give you  valuable stories about your childhood  or schooling days, which you probably won’t remember. Plus, it’s very easy to say something about others, but at the same time, it’s painfully difficult to describe yourself to someone. Which is why someone very close to you, like friends and family, can describe you accurately. You will get  new perspectives on your stories , which sometimes are better than your own versions, and including them in your statement of purpose will do you a lot of good. Also, remember to proofread your statement time and again, and keep on re-editing content until you, your family and friends think you have the best statement in the world.

Remember that your statement of purpose is a  literary picture of ‘you’ as a person , and it is representing on your behalf. So, make it a top priority to avoid typos, misplaced commas and semicolons, overused quotes, being too wordy, using too many complex words and sentences, and being too straightforward. Be careful.  Be a perfectionist when it comes to writing . It shows how much you care about going to a particular college. And, once you are done with everything, do not forget to ask your friends and family to grade your statement of purpose, and ask them to criticize it accurately, so you can avoid submitting a less than perfect copy of your statement.

11. Take Advice From Professors.

If you know a professor at your undergrad institution, don’t hesitate to approach him/her for advice regarding your statement of purpose. They are of course very experienced prospects, and they might have seen thousands of statement of purposes and students in their careers. So, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for their opinion. Plus, since unlike your family, they are technically sound, they can also provide you valuable insights on how to project your technical expertise and project works in the statement.

After all, a  professor knows what another professor looks for in a prospective student , so it would only help if you approach your college professors. And, if they are really close to you, you can  also ask them for a really good letter of recommendation . So whichever way you look at it, there are only benefits for you.

Checklist for a Powerful Statement of Purpose

Here’s a basic checklist designed to help you draft a flawless Statement of Purpose. Make sure you write in an organized manner, and cover your points in a proper order. We have given this checklist so that you can write your statement of purpose without confusing yourself and the readers. Following a meticulous order like this will  make your statement of purpose a lot better to read and understand  about you and your story. Feel free to add anything else to the list if you think it will boost your chances, but remember to not write too much because you would then be exceeding the word limit. 


  • Introducing yourself in a unique manner.
  • Demonstrating your passion for the field.
  • Story about your background or experience in the field you’ve chosen.
  • Description of your academic background in the field you’ve chosen.
  • Specific classes or special courses you have taken, that are related to your field of interest.
  • Some of the professors you have studied under, especially if they are well-known in that field.
  • Co-curricular and Extracurricular activities in the field of you interest.
  • Publications or other professional accomplishments in the field (perhaps conference presentations or public readings)
  • Any community service or leadership experience while in college.
  • Explanations about problems in background (if needed)
  • Explanation of why you have chosen the specific grad school and other related questions as discussed in the beginning of this article.
  • Mention what you like about the university you are applying for, and why: facilities, infrastructure, etc.
  • Mention names of one or two professors in that school and what you know of and appreciate about their work, and why you want to study or work under their guidance.
  • Specific features of the grad program and the university, which attract you personally. And why.
  • Get advice from several of your professors, family, and close friends. Ask for stories about yourself.
  • Proofread and edit; ask friends and family to proofread for you as well.

So, those are some strategies and tips for you to write a powerful statement of purpose, impress the committee, and thereby ace the admissions process. Make sure you do every one of these things, and you won’t be far away from the college of your dreams. Do you have any strategies that worked well for you? Do let us know in the comments section.

We almost forgot!  We are giving away a sample Statement of Purpose for download, so you can get an actual glimpse of how the aforementioned tips and strategies have been incorporated in a real Statement Of Purpose. But remember, this should serve only as an inspiration to  your own  Statement of Purpose, but not a source to copy from. Close to 10000 students check this space regularly, and if every single one of them uses the same phrases in their own statement of purposes, very soon, everyone will be held for plagiarism. So, try and copy only the framework and the organization, but not the actual content. Happy Writing!

Download your free sample SOP now:

Download Free Sample Statement of Purpose

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127 Comments to “11 Tips for Writing a Powerful Statement of Purpose [Sample SOP Included]”

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

I am confused about a question that why you want to pursue MS in CS ? I don’t have any research paper for technical work. But i have solid final year system project. and i want to go for higher education.

Need Help….

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

It’s a question many students face when applying for a Computer Science program. In your case, if your final year project is related to Computer Science, try and emphasise how doing that project made you realize your interest for Computers. If you have any relevant work experience (software) then it will be easy for you to convince them about your choice of study. If you are applying for a top program, this is really important.

Try and build stories around your interest for computers, and use all the techniques given above. If you are still unsure, then maybe you should take a break, work for a year or two in a relevant field, and apply again. But, if you really want to go ‘now’, you should emphasise your project really well. Be positive! Good luck! 🙂

Hi Sachin, Thanks for useful insight on difficult doubt. I have tried hard for my SOP. i need someone could just refer it so i could get more correction and may help me build a good SOP.

If possible give me your mail-id. so i could mail to you !!!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

I sincerely appreciate the time and the effort you put to carefully explaining these steps, I am really grateful.

Thank you for all you do.

I have mailed my SOP on mentioned Email-Id. Could you please let me know any improvements in my SOP asap…..

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Just sent you a mail with steps you should take to improve your SOP. Let me know if you need help! 🙂

Just had a look around your suggestion. I would surely work around it. But I am confused which content to be removed because I have had much extracurricular activities and projects too!

Still I will concise it and will make improvements soon.

Thanks a lot!

Hi Jitta/ Sachin,

I have revised my SOP. Made necessary changes as suggested by you, Jitta. Thanks for your help! 🙂

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

I sincerely appreciate the team that up this wonderful work together which I we take my time to follow accordingly but and I get a direct SOP format on my mail or something to prove read for me when done with it

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Sachin yar , why you guys do not send the pdf man . I get a message that I will be delivered on the mail but I never receive it

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Geat advice. Thank you so much!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Where is the sample sop? Can you please give me the download link?

The download link is available right at the end of the blog post. Hope you have found it already.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

The essay is not available from the download link. I received one sample sop as a .vcf file which is not opening.

Paul, I just checked and the download link is working. Mind trying again?

Ok im trying again . but i told you that i got the mail after i clicked on the link. the mail has a .vcf file attached, which is not opening.

Could you check your email? We have sent you the direct download link. Happy Studying! 🙂

got it 🙂 Thanks so much 🙂

Awesome! Would love to hear how it helped you 🙂

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Hey Sachin,

Thanks for the article! I really appreciate it!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

I have already confirmed my email but can’t download the sample SOP.If you can send me the direct link as you did with “shaoni paul”, this will be nice .

Please re-enter your mail id and you will taken to the download page. Let me know if it doesn’t work 🙂

I hope you find the sample SOP helpful!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Just sending a .vcf file and downloading the same. Tried it twice.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Hey Keerthi,

I am sorry to hear that you had to go through this process twice. I just checked and it looks like your email isn’t confirmed yet. Please re-enter your email and make sure you confirm your subscription. You should receive an email with a link to the SOP after a few minutes. Let me know if you don’t receive this mail 🙂

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Hello, what is an ideal length for SOP? Please reply quickly as I need to finalize my SOP within this week. This article helped me a lot. Thanks in Advance.

Shrawan, there is no definitive ideal length for a statement of purpose. It entirely depends on the course you are applying to. For instance, if you are applying for an engineering school and send a 5 page SOP, the admissions committee may conclude that you are unable to express yourself concisely. And if you are applying for a literature school and send a 1 page SOP, that would again be a disaster too.

The general norm is a two to three pages statement of purpose. If you are going beyond that, it just means you are writing things that are totally unnecessary and would only act as a hindrance to your admission.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

It was great to me~ It’s so helpful~

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

This article was really helpful and readable. It was very surprising that your article actually answered what I was asking inwardly! I think you just have an insight into a person’s mind! Thank you very much 🙂

Thanks for the kind words, Sarah, I’m happy to hear that the article helped you answer your questions.

Let me know if there is anything I can do 🙂

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Hi Thanks for your useful post. I made my SOP based on your tips and I emailed it now. Could you please kindly review my SOP and give notes about it? I’m in a hurry, because I’m going to apply tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow for universities where their deadlines are 5 Jan. So I appreciate if you do me the favor urgently 🙂

Hey Ali, Please check your inbox and let me know if there is anything else I can do 🙂

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

The blog is excellently written and I am confident that it will certainly help me with my personal statement. Thanks.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Thank you very much for the article. It was very useful! Last year, I applied to a couple of grad schools and got rejected, which I believe was in part due to my weak SOP. This year, I’ve tried to improve it and would be grateful if you could please review it for me, and let me know of its flaws. Thanks. Keep the good work going.

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Thanks for the write-up. I really need the sample SOP. Thank you.

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I really needed some advise and you really provided with excellent explanation and SOP. And want to tell you thank you very much for all this. Now I know what was the biggest mistake in my prior SOP and why University did not admit me. Thank you very much again!!! ^_^

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Excellent information with unique content and it is very useful to know about the information based on blogs.

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Hi, Thanks for such a wonderful article being made. It helped me in stating the exact way of writing and proposing in the way the reader expects….. Thanks a lot…. 🙂

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Thank u immensely for that great inside on SOP,I HV a better idea now on what to write.

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There’s definitely a lot to know about this issue. I like all the points you made.

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Thank you very much For such a creative blog,its much helpful. I really found answers of my all questions in this pretty written blog and it really awakened my mind to show that creativity which i had once before 3 years. Thanks once more dude.

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it’s really helpful, thank you!

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These tips are damn cool and intuitive hope so this will push me to touch zenith

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This is the best blog i have seen so far that fully explains how to write a SOP. Most blogs show you a lot of wordy stuff which forces you to copy since you don’t understand the structure instead of writing something original for yourself. With this information, it really bring out the saying; “Teach a man how to fish rather than giving him fish…” Thanks for all the help.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Thank you for the tips and strategies am hopeful to write a good SOP and I have just started preparing my SOP and will continue to seek for your guide indue course.

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This article is quite amazing and full of insight. I am going to take to the above instructions with due attention to details.

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Thank you so much! Very helpful.

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This blog is excellently written, wished I found you earlier.

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High sachin, Thank you for your wonderful explanations on how to write a powerful SOP, To be sincere with you I really understand everything that you just explained and how you articulated it, I believed that it’s really going to help me a lots but the issues that I am having right now is that I don’t know if it’s actually possible for a computer science undergraduate that is currently in final year now at University to apply for any scholarship to pursue his MS in CS because I don’t have any research work though I’m still doing my project work

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Thank You So Much For Helping The World.

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Happy to help, Adikalie! Glad to know you found it useful. 🙂

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Thank you so much for this guide.

Hello plz when can I get a reply yet?

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Hi, Thank you for this wonderful information on writing SOP. It covers everything I was looking for

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Very informative…Thanks.

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Hy. Thank you, it is very helpful. now, I work on my own SOP for student exchange and this article solved my problem.

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statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

This article is so informative! Thanks a lot for such useful tips! Some students underestimate the role of the statement of purpose and as a result, they get rejections. So, without an appealing, error-free, interesting and sweet SOP it is almost impossible to get a place at grad school or any other institution. Some students prefer writing this piece of paper on their own while others consider hiring professional SOP writers to help them out and make their lives a bit easier. Anyway, as the author said, a statement of purpose is a chance to impress the assessing committee and distinguish yourself from the crowd. Let’s do this 🙂

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Fantastic SOP guide! I’m gonna apply to top universities this year so it’s going to be useful.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Hi! the instructions are amazing and gave me great insights on how to write my ideal SOP! Thank you so much!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

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Thank you very much

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What a nice guidance… Thank you… I like the way you explain

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Sop writing is not a piece of cake but you have jotted down all the points in beautiful way. Keep It UP

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Your article is very helpful!

Thank you, Ray

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Hi, thank you for your helpful guidance.

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Hi, Sachin!

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Helpful tips!

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It was very helpful. Thank you so much!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

As much as I am still left tensed and pumped to work towards my SOP, this helped me calm down and have a sit-down with my own brain and work my way around it more steadily! Thank you so much!!!

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Hi,thank you for this, I’ve been thinking of how to compose my sop, but with this guide I believe I will be able to come up with something that’ll impress the grad school committee and gain my place in the university.

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Thanks for the detailed information.

Helpful information

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The guide is excellent. All students aspiring to write SOP must get it. THANKS SIR

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I found this article very useful and I appreciate the effort you put into it to keep us abreast. Cheers.

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Thanks for this write up.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Thank you for the useful article. An ever-increasing number of students will utilize this to compose their personal statement. The admissions committee will utilize this to enable them to see exactly your identity and to judge your reasonableness for their school, so it should be composed consummately. This will be the most critical piece of your application necessities and should be composed superbly. The application process for whichever school you’re applying for will expect you to supply a personal statement as a major aspect of your application. Thank you.

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Thank you for this wonderful steps in achieving a better SOP.

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I have always wondered how should my SOP look like ? I always wanted to have my own unique version as I am applying now. Though I had a rough idea, after going through this blog,I must say that I am more clear about what the contents should be and how the SOP should sound. Thanks a lot for sharing the tips.

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You are the best for sure! i am satisfied and i hope that i am going to make a very good SOP

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This is a valuable article so I hope to get a free sample SOP as you have mentioned above. Thank you in advance

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Thank you very much for this post. It is extremely helpful.

Thanks & regards, Debanjana Dey

statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

Nowadays it’s very rare to come across an article like this. And it’s even rarer that I read a full article without getting bored. I read this one beginning to end. Brilliant!

Glad you enjoyed it, Flyod! Feel free to message us if you have any questions! 🙂

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This has lighten my burden about SOP to a great extent. Thanks for these tips.

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Very good post. I think these tips are helpful and needed. Writers often struggle with purpose statements, yet they are so important. What I like about your post is that you delve into various ideas and explain them well. Thank you for helping writers!!

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I am writing my SOP with the help of your brilliant tips. Thank you

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Wow, the concept of writing the statement of purpose for graduate programme admission vividly explained and well understood

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Great job ! I’m thoroughly impressed with your tips here. Thanks!

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This article is excellent and helpful.

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Thanks for this great post. It exposed a lot of flaws in my SOP and made me to believe that what caused the rejection of my grad application is the SOP. The admission committee states in the comment section that I met the minimum requirements but my application is not competitive.

Sure, I will do a hard think and find answers to all the why questions.

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Thank you for such nice tips. SOP are now becoming a requirement of every reputable college and university. I am also very worried as I want to apply for my masters in a reputable US university but I fear that my SOP writing skills are not very good. I hope these tips help and I get into a reputable university.

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Hey! I found the article to be AMAZING and so helpful! Thank you!

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It was great reading the writing skills of SOP, more in a story manner rather a statement. I will try to work on these lines. Thank you.

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What Is a Statement of Purpose?

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Ma in creative writing.

An MA in Creative Writing is a very different sort of masters degree to most. Unlike many degrees, where the focus is on learning about the subject, and undertaking research, a creative writing masters focuses on honing your writing skills. This doesn’t mean there’s no studying or learning involved and that you just write – just that it is a very different style of degree. You’ll have to be prepared to work hard, to suffer writer’s block and work past it, and take constructive criticism on the things you’ve written. For some people, this might be incredibly difficult but for others it may sound like just the thing they’ve been looking for. If you’re the latter, then an MA in Creative Writing may just be perfect for you.

MA in Creative Writing

Creative writing MA

So, what sort of work will you be expected to do on your Creative Writing MA ? As we mentioned, it’s not quite as simple as choosing between research or taught .  It’s unlikely that you’ll be taught just how to be creative, but rather, the focus will be on technical skills. It’s not just aimed at those of you who want to write fiction either, thanks to the scope of skills a Masters in Creative Writing will teach, it’s well suited to prospective journalists, or other such careers.

Generally, there are workshops held on a regular basis working on a variety of different styles and genres. Don’t expect to be able to coast by on the areas you’re comfortable writing in – the whole point of studying a creative writing MA is to get you out of your comfort zone and into strange new worlds of writing, working on things that will teach you the most. In addition to workshops, there’ll also be a mix of one-to-one supervision, working on portfolios and extended writing projects. There will be a variety of modules available, for example, you may focus on writing for young adults, and learn the technical skills required to be successful in that area. Or it’s possible you might move away from prose and into working on poetry.

Qualifications needed for a masters in creative writing

But what qualifications are required to do such a course? You might be concerned that you need proof of your written work, or instance, evidence of having been published. Luckily, that’s not the case. You’ll instead you will usually be required to have an upper second class degree (2.1) or above, as well as presenting a portfolio of work available for evaluation.

Funding a masters in creative writing

How can you fund a Creative Writing MA ? Well, as always there’s the standard ways – from loans through to charity grants. But what is there specifically available for this course? Well, let’s take a look at those charities again. It’s likely you’ll be able to find a few specifically aimed at creative writing students. It’s the same with bursaries as some universities will have bursaries available for certain courses. Of course, there are some more unconventional alternatives available for you. It can often be difficult to hold down a job with a regular schedule as a postgraduate student, but if you’re doing a creative writing MA why not put those skills to good use? From picking up freelance writing work, to entering writing competitions, there are all sorts of alternative methods to gain money for your degree.

Career options after completing your masters in creative writing?

But what exactly can you do with a creative writing MA ? Well, there’s the obvious career course of becoming a novelist. But this is a difficult area to break into, and you don’t want to pin all your hopes on it. Not to worry, there are a bunch of other jobs that can use this sort of degree. Firstly, ghostwriting. Ghostwriting can be a fairly lucrative career, and if you’re not bothered by having your name attached, a great way to start. Then there are fields such as journalism or publishing. But these are the obvious career choices.

Where else could doing an MA creative writing land you? Employers in areas such as marketing and advertising love people who can spin words, and other areas such as writing grant proposals or patents find a knack for writing useful. Think outside the box, and you’ll find there are plenty of places it could go! In recent times, even universities such as Cambridge have started doing masters in creative writing, so the degree is gaining more and more respect. Who knows where you’ll end up?

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statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

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Writing Statement of Purpose for Masters Degree

If you didn’t already, a statement of purpose is often described as the most important part of your application process, with fulfilment or dashed hopes hinging on it. No pressure then.

Others describe it as the ‘hardest thing you’ll ever have to write’. At this point, you’ve probably spilled your coffee and are sat reading with this with an open mouth. Perhaps you’ve started shaking, and if you haven’t, you will soon. Because the statement of purpose for Masters degree is absolutely critical, and if you get it wrong (and many do) you might not get onto the course of your dreams. Be absolutely carefull and attentive when prepare your Masters degree statement of purpose.

What Is a Statement of Purpose for Masters Degree?

If we haven’t yet scared you off, a statement of purpose Masters degree is essentially a personal statement that discusses who you are, what you’re all about, where your interests lie, why you want to study at the University in question, as well as has led you to take this path. These are all really open ended points/questions that encourage the student to be creative with how they answer them, thus helping their statement of purpose for Ms stand out. Indeed, Universities are not looking cliches, bald statements or obvious lines such as “I’m applying to study here because I want to enhance and develop my skills.” They want character, personality, originality. They want to hear about what YOU and you only will bring to their campus. Come to us, if you need a professional help with writing a curriculum vitae for Masters application .

How Do I Structure a Statement of Purpose for Masters Degree?

Whilst there is no exact right way to structure a statement of purpose, there is certainly a wrong way. The wrong way would be to ramble, to be incoherent, and to jump from one point to another without any logic. So with this in mind, the best way to structure your statement of purpose Masters degree is to remember the golden rule of structure: beginning, middle, and end. You can start by introducing yourself, talking about who you are and what has led you to apply for the course. Then in the body of your statement of purpose you can expand upon your interests in the field and how they have developed to the point they are at now. Discuss your development and growth, your experiences and interests, and how they have shaped you, and how they have been shaped by other sources. You can then discuss your reasons for applying for course, as well as any original ideas and thoughts you have about the subject, before concisely and briefly summarising what you have written in a short conclusion. Don’t forget that our statement of purpose writing services will easily help to improve your document.

Can Someone Write My Statement of Purpose for Masters Degree for Me?

statement of purpose for masters degree

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statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

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statement of purpose for masters in creative writing


  1. 12 Excellent Statement of Purpose Examples to Inspire You

    statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

  2. 12 Excellent Statement of Purpose Examples to Inspire You

    statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

  3. 50 Statement Of Purpose Examples (Graduate School, MBA, PhD) ᐅ

    statement of purpose for masters in creative writing

  4. 50 Statement Of Purpose Examples (Graduate School, MBA, PhD) ᐅ

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  5. Statement of purpose sample for MBa that will show you what you need to

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  6. statement of purpose mfa creative writing

    statement of purpose for masters in creative writing


  1. Statement of purpose sample

  2. 10 Tips an Tricks to Write the Perfect Statement of Purpose for University Admission


  4. Meet LackToast Entertainment: Unveiling Our Mission, Vision, and Passion

  5. Improve your Statement of Purpose with these for questions

  6. Writing a captivating statement of purpose (PART 1)


  1. 10 Statement Of Purpose Examples: How To Wow ...

    Tips For Writing A Good Statement of Purpose or Letter Of Intent . If you're applying to graduate creative writing programs, pay attention to your writing samples first. But also, craft your SOP with the following tips in mind. There Are No Hard and Fast Rules To Writing An SOP. There is no hard and fast rule in writing an SOP.

  2. Statements of Purpose: Drafting Your Statement

    The statement of purpose allows you to give that data meaning. It is important that you not just rephrase whatever is on your CV or resume because this won't get at the meaning behind your experiences. A job or a class may have lasted only a few months, but it may have been the impetus for you to go to graduate school because of a unique ...

  3. 7 Successful Statement of Purpose Examples • PrepScholar GRE

    Graduate programs ask for statement of purpose to hear about your interests and goals and why you think you and the program would be a good fit. There are four key elements to a successful statement of purpose: A clear articulation of your goals and interests. Evidence of past experiences and success.

  4. PDF Sample Statement Handout

    Statement of Purpose AWC Sample 3 current and former creative writing students in applying to graduate school, and served as a volunteer instructor and RA for SIUC's Young Writers Workshop. In the past few years, I won several poetry prizes, including an Academy of American Poets University Prize, Jabberwock

  5. How to Write a Statement of Purpose

    Make sure to respond to the prompt and include all the information you're asked for. A typical statement of purpose prompt looks like this: Example prompt from Berkeley. Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or ...

  6. Writing the Statement of Purpose

    Essential Tips. 1. What the admissions committee will read between the lines: self-motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student. 2. Emphasize everything from a positive perspective and write in an active, not a passive voice. 3. Demonstrate everything by example; don't say directly that you're a persistent person, show it. 4.

  7. Statement of Purpose for Grad School I Stanford Online

    A statement of purpose (SOP) is a critical component of most graduate school applications, and are often required for various types of graduate level programs, including Graduate Certificates and Master's Degrees. An SOP offers you the opportunity to showcase your motivations, qualifications, and aspirations to a school's Office of Admissions.

  8. 5 Graduate School Statement of Purpose Examples (And Tips)

    I hope to continue pursuing this goal and earn a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Pastman University, which I chose for its excellent reputation and resources. ... Tips for writing a statement of purpose. Here are a few helpful tips for writing a compelling statement of purpose: Review the requirements.

  9. Writing the Statement of Purpose: General Advice

    Writing the Statement of Purpose" So with this broad understanding of the Statement of Purpose and its function, how should it be written?" The first thing to remember is that each application process for each university is different. That means that the questions asked in the application MUST be the questions answered, and answered directly.

  10. Statement of Purpose, Personal Statement, and Writing Sample

    Details about submitting a statement of purpose, personal statement, and a writing sample as part of your degree program application. ... You should describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in your chosen degree program, noting the experiences that shaped your research ambitions, indicating briefly your career ...

  11. 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Statement of Purpose

    Here, we share some time-tested strategies for writing a great statement of purpose, adapted from our video with Seattle-area writing coach Debby Bacharach. ... It's a great way to get the creative juices going. 3. GET ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE. ... The University of Washington offers writing assistance to all students, faculty and staff (including ...

  12. MA in Writing Admission Requirements

    Statement of Purpose. In 2-3 pages (single- or double-spaced), please share with us why you are interested in pursuing the MA in Writing degree. Discuss your education, experience, and interest in your chosen writing area, and share your aspirations as a graduate student and as a writer, and include a plan of study. ... Study creative writing ...

  13. 4 Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose for Your Master's

    To help you present yourself effectively, follow these three steps to craft a quality statement of purpose for your master's. 1. Include All the Elements of an Effective Statement of Purpose. A well-structured statement of purpose exhibits your writing skills and clearly states your motivations and goals. Key sections include an introduction ...

  14. Statements of Purpose: Overview and Before You Draft

    A good statement of purpose may not necessarily get you in to a program, but a poorly written one could cause the committee to overlook your application. In addition, submitting a strongly written statement works in your favor in such situations as: having a low grade in one or two of your courses. breaking a tie with other applicants who have ...

  15. How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Graduate School

    1. Brainstorm your ideas. First, he says, try to reframe the task at hand and get excited for the opportunity to write your statement of purpose. He explains: "Throughout the application process, you're afforded few opportunities to address the committee directly. Here is your chance to truly speak directly to them.

  16. How to Write Your MFA Statement of Purpose: A Success Story

    Remember: if a school has a famous professor, everyone who applies will mention them in their MFA statement of purpose. 3. Prove that you're ready to succeed. You're applying to be a graduate student. Here, give them proof that you've been a good student in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.

  17. How to Write a Great Statement of Purpose

    Don't be slick. Don't write your application in a sequence of haiku. Don't put in photos. Just be yourself, but a more heightened version of yourself in words (since face-to-face nuance and gestures won't be there to help). Remember your statement of purpose should portray you as (1) passionately interested in the field; (2) intelligent; (3 ...

  18. 11 Tips for Writing a Powerful Statement of Purpose [Sample SOP

    9. Do Your Homework. This is one very important point you should exercise while you are writing a statement of purpose. You should be thorough with the details of all the universities you are applying to, and list down all the things you like about each university, before you write the essays.

  19. Statement of Purpose for Masters

    A statement of purpose also known as a statement of intent is one of the important requirements for applying to study for masters in any international university. To better understand both words, a personal statement is a type of writing in which an applicant is required to talk about their personality and academic background. In a personal ...

  20. What Is a Statement of Purpose?

    Format: No more than 2 pages, single spaced or double, 12 point readable font consistent with your writing sample. The Bachelor of Arts program in creative writing at Lichtenstein Center Undergraduate Studies includes a major and minor in creative writing.

  21. MA in Creative Writing

    An MA in Creative Writing is a very different sort of masters degree to most. Unlike many degrees, where the focus is on learning about the subject, and undertaking research, a creative writing masters focuses on honing your writing skills. This doesn't mean there's no studying or learning involved and that you just write - just that it is a very different style of degree.

  22. Writing Statement of Purpose for Masters Degree

    So with this in mind, the best way to structure your statement of purpose Masters degree is to remember the golden rule of structure: beginning, middle, and end. You can start by introducing yourself, talking about who you are and what has led you to apply for the course. Then in the body of your statement of purpose you can expand upon your ...

  23. Your complete guide to studying Creative Writing

    Creative Writing helps students to develop their individual writing and self-editing skills for any form of writing creation and to obtain an understanding of the history of fiction and non-fiction writing. You will expand your imagination, creativity, originality and written communication skills. Graduates can find jobs in the field as fiction ...