Are there any examples of exemplary personal statements?

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InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Are there any examples of exemplary personal statements?

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:59 am

I haven't seen one that came from a physics or astronomy applicant yet. Are any available online?

There are some online for other fields, but none of them have the student describing his own research. Of course, even if there was a single example, more would be a lot better.

negru
Posts: 308
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Are there any examples of exemplary personal statements?

Postby negru » Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:47 pm

There's nothing exemplary to exist. It will be very subjective. If a prof is familiar with the research area, he will want technical details. If it were up to me I'd give up on this garbage idea of an essay, and just ask the student to list or succinctly describe some original ideas. Everything else in an essay is useless imo. Just show that you have some idea of wtf in going on in physics.

vesperlynd
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Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Are there any examples of exemplary personal statements?

Postby vesperlynd » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:36 pm

http://www.princeton.edu/physics/academics/graduate-program/graduate-admissions/letter_to_applicant2010.pdf

Address every single question asked in the pdf above, and you will be fine. It's for Princeton, but valid at every other school. When discussing faculty, talk about more than one person. This way, in case someone is retiring or going on sabbatical, someone else will be there. It will also let the committee know that you aren't applying to work with a particular person, who may not have RA positions. It will demonstrate that you've thought about why you are applying to that particular school.

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YodaT
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Re: Are there any examples of exemplary personal statements?

Postby YodaT » Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:27 pm

Aside from Princeton's version, here's some starter questions (just answer the majority of the questions):

Why do you want to attend graduate school?

What research experiences have you had?

What are some topics that you think you might want to research?

What's special, unique, distinctive, and/or impression about you or your life story?

What details of your personal life or family problems (history, people, or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?

What are your career goals?

What is your ideal vision of the future?

When did you become interested in this field and what have you learned about it that further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?

Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain?

What skills do you possess? (i.e., leadership, communication, analytical)

If you worked during your college years, what have you learned and how has that work contributed to your growth?




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