How I Wrote My Statement of Purpose

The Workshop

Hey, Cady here. Just want to let you know I read the message boards. I’m active in one Facebook group for applicants, and I help moderate another. I am aware that every last one of you is panicked about the statement of purpose.

I’ve been known to show my statement to people, but that’s not what I’m going to do here. I know this is a strange thing to say about a document that I sent out to a bunch of strangers at one point, but it’s personal. Maybe if we know each other, or if you catch me in a good mood. But probably not. Sorry.

What I’m going to do instead is more helpful to you. I’m going to break my statement down paragraph by paragraph, giving instructions on how to write one like it. There are even quotes! Let’s go.

Paragraph 1: 164 words

My opening sentence…

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Alison Summers – PhD Proposal

Writing on Broken Glass

Alison Summers, a full-time student on the MA course, is continuing her academic studies with a PhD. Here Alison talks a little about what she is doing and why, and shares her PhD proposal.

Why did you want to do a PhD?

It has been a long-term plan – publish a book and get a PhD, mainly because I want to teach in Higher Education and recruiters keep raising the bar. I have taught for seven years in the Adult Education sector. I adore teaching and see it as a really good accompaniment to writing.

Why this particular subject?
My older sister was diagnosed with Pick’s Disease two years ago. Very shortly after receiving the diagnosis of what she calls this “hideous” disease, she said to me, “Ali, I really hope you get some writing out of all this.” So although I will not be writing about her, my novel…

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Daily Whitman

The Chequer-board of Nights and Days

unlimited soul

Song of the Open Road

5 From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, Going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me. I inhale great draughts of space, The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine. I am larger, better than I thought, I did not know I held so much goodness. All seems beautiful to me, can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you, I will recruit for myself and you as I go, I will scatter myself among men and women as I go, I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them, Whoever denies…

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Daily Whitman

“I stop somewhere waiting for you.”

The Chequer-board of Nights and Days


Song of Myself

52 The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering. I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. The last scud of day holds back for me, It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow'd wilds, It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk. I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun, I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags. I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love, If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles. You will hardly know who I am or what I mean, But I shall be good health to you nevertheless, And filter and fibre your blood…

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Apology in Person

My Mixed Blog


Daily Post
Apologies are powerful, transformative experiences.

If you hurt a person in some way and you know that you did wrong, go to that person and apologize, get the job done. Do not carry around a load of regret. Your stomach will eat a hole in your gizzard and you’ll be suffering from acid reflux every day. In your heart, you know if you did that person wrong and you are the only one that knows if you truly owe him an apology. If the other person is just messing with your head, trying to do a blame game on you, I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it. If you do truly realize that you wronged that person and you don’t take care of it by apologizing. You will carry that around until it really messes with your head big time and messes with your health…

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Haiku: Silence…

Mirth and Motivation

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Haiku: Silence…

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel

She smiled, hate filled eyes
Filthy words flew by… N*&%$r!
I cringed, said nothing…

The first time a dorm mate called me that name, I was left speechless. Here I was, at a fancy school, surrounded by supposedly educated people and … such behavior? As Oliver Herford said, “A man is known by the silence he keeps.” For me to say nothing was a sign of weakness, of allowing a bully to gain the upper hand, and it ate at me for a long time.

“To sin by silence when…

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Haiku: An Apology

Mirth and Motivation

“More people should apologize, and more people should accept apologies when sincerely made.” Greg LeMond

Haiku: An Apology - Helps us cross the bridge of forgiveness Haiku: An Apology – Helps us cross the bridge of forgiveness

Words hauled as arrows
Left heart holes like missing teeth…
Where love once called … home

Seven years later
Unexpectedly contrite…
An apology

It was not in jest
Miles across the storming seas
A call … I’m sorry

Can an apology  helps us get on the road to forgiveness? In 2008, Joe Vitale wrote an inspiring book, Zero Limits: The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace, and More, in which he shared the remarkable story of how a Hawaiian doctor, Dr Hew Len, used the ancient Hawaiian spiritual tradition of Ho’oponopono, to cure a prison’s mental ward patients. Before you respond with incredulity, let’s remember that words, and the use of them as affirmations, can have tremendous power on our psyche…

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