Personal Statement of Purpose Adaptation to Another Program.
I adapt the statement that I have written on your behalf to another program. I visit the web site of the program to find themes and look at their focus, so as to make your statement highly specific to that program. Generally speaking, the more specific your statement is to a particular program, the better your chances of being selected.
Every statement needs to be directed to a specific program. Please tell me to which program you want me to direct your statement! While you may be applying to several programs, I can only produce the statements one at a time. Usually, my clients tell me which University is their first choice and I draft the first statement for that university in particular.
Which professors are you especially excited about studying under and why? What do you find exciting about the research taking place at that institution? Usually, I visit the website of the school to which my clients are applying since I endeavor to draft your statement in such a way as to present you as an especially ‘good fit’ with the program in question.
A Director of Graduate Studies and Admissions wrote this on the Internet not long ago and I want to share it with you as I am convinced that this is an especially critical aspect of the Statement that many applicants tend to overlook.
Please bear in mind that a successful personal statement is a literate, elegantly written essay, in which the student highlights her strong preparation for her intended area of study, articulates her planned area of study and her goals after completing this study, and demonstrates her facility with current theory and practice in this area.
In other words, why do you want to go to grad school? How have you prepared for graduate study thus far? What will you study when you are there? What theories and methods do you find most congenial in terms of your area of study? With whom do you want to study, and why? (Name the scholars you've found most inspirational or influential. You've chosen the schools to which you're applying on that basis, anyway, haven't you? You must state your reasons for wanting to attend THAT particular graduate program.) And finally, what do you plan to do with this degree once you earn it? Therefore, you MUST tailor each essay to each program. A general essay simply will not do.
Admissions committees are like young people looking to fall in love, not with just anyone who wants them, but with someone who wants them for the right reasons and makes those reasons very clear. The metaphor of a "good fit" is an apt one.
Dr. Robert Edinger