Tips for Writing a Compelling Statement of Purpose

Write a compelling statement of purpose.

Your statement of purpose is an incredibly important part of your graduate school application because it tells the school who you are and why you want to study. Most schools scrutinize the essay with a careful eye and it can make or break your acceptance - no pressure, right? While only you can write your statement of purpose, you can get some help generating a quality piece of writing. Here are some tips for penning a compelling essay to help you get your online information technology degree: 

Have a hook
The professors and administrators reading your statement of purpose are already bored of essays. They've been in a room for a few hours and have poured over hundreds of applications. Make your statement stand out by starting it off with a compelling insight into your history. Do not tell them which program you're applying for (they know), how their classes will help you (that's the point of grad school) and that you feel you'll be challenged (of course you will!). Save their time and yours (as well as words) for something more interesting. Share how you programmed your first computer at age eight or give an account of how troubleshooting your dad's laptop led to a life devoted to technology.

Be honest and deep
Your statement of purpose is an opportunity (rather the opportunity) to show admissions counselors who you are and why you care so much about the field. This is the time to be profoundly honest with them and yourself. Sure, you may want to get a graduate degree in IT because you're good with computers, but that's not what drove you to devote your whole life to the field. Think deep and remember the steps you took to get to where you are now. 

Share a story
The manner in which you deliver your personal story is critical. Give those bored essay readers something fun to look at by telling them a story. "I used to work in the insurance business when I couldn't handle the monotony anymore. I knew I was meant for more, so I'm going back to school to pursue my dreams of acting." OK, the information is good, but the delivery is lacking. This type of tale sounds better like, "The sound of keys tapping in my office reached maddening levels one Monday morning. As I slammed my fingers on my keyboard I knew I could stay in this cubical prison forever or chase my daydreams of performing on stage." 

Edit, edit, edit
And once again, edit! Clean copy is critical for your statement of purpose, so have friends edit your writing over and over. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_IT

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