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Writing the Professional Statement

Graduate Admissions, Spring 2017

Writing Center

on 27 January 2017

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Transcript of Writing the Professional Statement

The Power of a Professional Statement
Basic rhetorical questions:
Who is your audience?
What voice should you utilize?
What format/organization would engage your audience while also ensure easy reading?
How can you meet the audience's expectation of purpose and content?
1. Avoid cliches.
2. Be interesting.
Why this course of study?
Check for specific questions from the department or program. Be sure to answer their questions, but know it is important to think of your statement as an
integrated whole
rather than a checklist of questions.
10 Ideas
Why is it important?
Take a few minutes to record responses to the following questions:
Why do you want to go this school/attend this program?
What do you have to offer to this field? (How are you qualified?)
What questions do you have about writing a professional statement?
Numbers and letters and transcripts! Oh my!
Do you have any cliches in your brainstorming? How could they be revised?
How are you qualified?
3. Stay focused.
Review what you have written so far. Underline some possible themes.
4. Show, don't tell.
Find one place in your brainstorming where you tell. How could you show it?
5. Be concise.
Find one sentence in your brainstorming that could be rewritten to be more concise.
6. Address your weaknesses (low GPA, test scores, course grade), but don't dwell on them.
Is there a way to spin it into a positive?
7. Vary your sentences and use effective transitions.
Don't worry about this until later in your writing process.
8. Use active verbs; avoid passive voice.
10. Seek multiple opinions.
9. Revise. Revise. Revise. Polish.
Writing is rewriting.
Know the program.
What do you have to offer the program?
Thank you!
Follow the length (word count/page length) requirement. This will depend on the program.
If applying to multiple schools, create a template, but make changes to be specific to each school/program.
You might consider opening your statement with a quotation or a personal story.
Full transcript