This essay should be a sincere reflection of what you think and believe. Speak about your own life experiences. Use language that is familiar to you, language you use on a daily basis. Colleges are impressed by sincerity and honesty, not flashy buzzwords. We encourage you to think in-depth about all aspects of your life—your personality strengths, the situations you find most challenging, and the things you daydream about between homework assignments. The process of writing this essay should help you find the clarity and confidence to speak about your goals so that we can help you achieve them. The goals you set now should be rooted in those aspects of your life that you identify as strengths and priorities. Those goals are the first steps on your path toward a life-long pursuit of creativity.
Respond to following questions in essay format, tell the story of you.
- Elaborate on and unpack your answers with specific examples that help the college understand your creative thinking process and personal story.
- What are you most passionate about? If you’re not sure about your passion, what are you most curious about?
- What are you good at, not perfect but getting better at with time and training? Maybe this is a drawing skill or maybe it’s public speaking, art and design requires a wide range of talents and they want to know which you’d like to develop most.
- Outside of your personal practice, how is art and design a part of your daily life?
- What does the world need? Does it need more of something, less of something, a change or improvement in a particular area? Reflect on needs that impact others that are also significant to you and your worldview.
Determine your purpose in writing the statement
Usually the purpose is to persuade the admissions committee that you are an applicant they should choose. You may want to show that you have the ability and motivation to succeed in your field, or you may want to show the committee that, on the basis of your experience, you are the kind of candidate who will do well in the field. Whatever the purpose, it must be explicit to give coherence to the whole statement.
1. Pay attention to the purpose throughout the statement so that extraneous material is left out.
2. Pay attention to the audience (committee) throughout the statement.
Remember, your audience is made up of faculty members who are experts in their field. They want to know that you can think as much as what you think.
Determine the content of your statement
Be sure to answer any direct questions fully. Analyze the questions or guidance statements for the essay completely and answer all parts. For example: “What are the strengths and weaknesses in setting and achieving goals and working through people?”
In this question there are actually six parts to be answered
1) strengths in setting goals,
2) strengths in achieving goals,
3) strengths in working through people,
4) weaknesses in setting goals,
5) weaknesses in achieving goals and
6) weaknesses in working through people. Pay attention to small words.
Notice: This example question says through people not with people, if it says with people, answer that way.
Usually graduate and professional schools are interested in the following:
1. Your purpose in graduate study. This means you must have thought this through before you try to answer the question.
2. The area of study in which you wish to specialize. This requires that you know the field well enough to make such decision.
3. Your future use of your graduate study. This will include your career goals and plans for your future.
4. Your special preparation and fitness for study in the field. This is the opportunity to relate your academic background with your extracurricular experience to show how they unite to make you a special candidate.
5. Any problems or inconsistencies in your records or scores such as a bad semester. Be sure to explain in a positive manner and justify the explanation. Since this is a rebuttal argument, it should be followed by a positive statement of your abilities.
6. Any special conditions that are not revealed elsewhere in the application such as a large (35 hour a week) work load outside of school. This too should be followed with a positive statement about yourself and your future.
7. You may be asked, “Why do you wish to attend this school?” This requires that you have done your research about the school and know what its special appeal is to you.
8. Above all this, the statement is to contain information about you as a person. They know nothing about you that you don’t tell them. You are the subject of the statement.
Determine your approach and the style of the statement
There is no such thing as “the perfect way to write a statement.” There is only the one that is best for you and fits your circumstances.
There are some things the statement should not be:
1. Avoid the “what I did with my life” approach. This was fine for grade school essays on “what I did last summer.” It is not good for a personal statement.
2. Equally elementary is the approach “I’ve always wanted to be a __________.” This is only appropriate if it also reflects your current career goals.
3. Also avoid a statement that indicates your interest in psychology is because of your own personal psychotherapy or a family member’s psychological disturbance. While this may have motivated many of us to go on to graduate study in psychology, this is not what your audience is necessarily looking for in your statement.
These are some things the statement should do:
1. It should be objective yet self-revelatory. Write directly and in a
2. It should form conclusions that explain the value and meaning of
3. It should be specific. Document your conclusions with specific straightforward manner that tells about your experience and what it means to you. Do not use “academes” or jargon.
Your experiences such as:
- what you learned about yourself;
- about your field;
- about your future goals; and
- about your career concerns.
4. Instances or draw your conclusions as the result of individual experience. See the list of general Words to Avoid Using
5. It should be an example of careful persuasive writing.
Explanation listed below.
4. It should be an example of careful persuasive writing.