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need help writing SOP-Public Policy Master

super02 1 / 1  
Jan 14, 2011   #1
I am having the hardest time writing my statement of purpose for grad school. I started but it just seems patchy. It doesn't flow. I need help in making my paper sound right. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
subhash_ghosh 11 / 29  
Jan 16, 2011   #2

Why don't you post whatever you have written so that it can evolve thereafter ? For one thing, perhaps there is nothing that can elicit a response if people here are not aware of which direction to steer in, and what are the gaps that need to be plugged.

Also, please mention what subject you're applying for, what are your goals etc. I am sure you'll get help from several of the members here.

OP super02 1 / 1  
Jan 19, 2011   #3
Hi, This is what I have so far.

H.H. Swami Tejomayananda, the Indian poet, once said, "Some are destined to succeed, some are determined to succeed." I consider myself determined to succeed in life, be it personal or professional. I was born in to a family of farmers in a small village in Pakistan. The chances of me attending a school were slim to none. The chances were slim because I was born into a country that is male dominated and the nearest school was an hour away from our house. So, to provide us with a better education my parents decided to move to the United States. But the process of moving to the US was a struggle because we constantly had to move all over the country (Pakistan) going from an embassy to another to get the right papers. I would always accompany my parents on these trips and, as a young girl; I never quiet understood why there were long lines of people outside the American embassy until I moved to the United States and discovered what this country had to offer.

By then, I was eleven years old and I was determined to make the best of the opportunity that was provided for me. From the start, I knew that if I wanted to advance in life, the best way was to excel in academics. The process was difficult in the beginning because not only was I in for a cultural shock, but I also had to face language barrier. Through hard work and persistence, I adapted to the environment and learned the new language. But as stated earlier, it was not easy. I had to work twice as hard because I had to learn a new language mostly on my own due to the fact that my mother did not speak nor understood English. On top of that, my father, the only fluent speaker of English in our family, worked late shifts trying to support us financially. Regardless of the difficulties that were in my way, I was expected to complete my school work with high expectations.

Just as I was trying to adjust to my new life, something unspeakable happened on September, 11, 2001. It forever changed my life and further tested my determination to succeed. I clearly remember watching that dreadful scene of twin towers of world trade center burning and eventually collapsing. I couldn't believe why someone would do such a thing. Over the next few weeks, I would be glued to the news listening to every little bit of news I could, trying to figure out what had happened. A month later, America declared war on Afghanistan and few years later on Iraq for weapons of mass destruction. It was during this time, I realized my interest in politics and international affairs. I realized what I wanted to do with my life and it was to prevent something like 911 attacks from happening ever again.

This motivated me to take a college course in criminal justice while still in high school. The class taught me different laws regarding criminal behavior, but I wanted to learn more about policy making process and how it affected the world. This led me to pursue a bachelor's degree in public policy because I consider it crucial to any modern society. It not only shapes our understanding of our social systems and responsibilities, but it also effects government legislation and policy-making. I am aware that a career in public policy would allow me to take part in planning and building of the future society, which is not only richer, but better. Public Policy is also an area of study noted for its practical values. It addresses to concrete economic and social issues, and in this way, becomes lessened entangled with abstract theoretical and ideological disputes, which I sometimes find discouraging.

But the dream of attending a college seemed impossible at first because of my family's financial hardships. Being second of five children and my older sister already in college, it was hard for my parents to support me financially. But, I wasn't going to let that hold me back from achieving my dream of attending a university. My parents had brought me to this great country through many hardships and I was not going to let anything stop me from achieving my dreams. So, I decided to attend school by paying for most of my tuition on my own. Due to my excellent high school academic record, I qualified for scholarships and grants. My first year of college was financially hard because I had to take out loans to support myself. But during my second year, I had adjusted to my life away from home. I found other sources of supporting myself financially. I received athletic scholarship through the University for taking part in track and cross country. I was also juggling two jobs; one as a peer educator and the other as working for the residence life as desk assistance. On top of that, I was active in community services and extra-curricular activities. I also got to test my leadership skills; as a senator for Student Government Association, President and Treasurer for many other clubs. My determination to succeed has led me to graduate magna cum laude in three year time period, with two degrees; in Public Policy and History; with minor in Business Administration. Now, I am ready to further challenge myself to pursue masters in public policy with specialization in international security and economic policy to address the growing need for cooperation of global society for global security.

With my outstanding academic record, I bring a broad understanding of other cultures and languages, as well as a high level of maturity as a result of overcoming family hardships, that will enhance my ability to fulfill the expectations of University of XXX. I have persisted through many difficulties and this has helped me to develop a highly motivated and well-disciplined character. The MPP Program at the University of XXX is my first and only choice for graduate study because of its well renowned faculty, diversity and location near Washington D.C-the global capital of policymaking I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your consideration of my application.
subhash_ghosh 11 / 29  
Jan 21, 2011   #4
The chances of me attending a school were slim to none. The chances were slim because I was born into a country that is male dominated and the nearest school was an hour away from our house. - Appearance of the word "slim" in quick succession is not very appealing.

I would always accompany my parents on these trips and, as a young girl; - comma is not required here, and the semicolon may be replaced with comma.

never quiet understood - quiet spelling is wrong, it should be quite

I knew that if I wanted to advance in life - "wanted" is not appropriate.

my mother did not speak nor understood English. - Consider using "neither.. nor"

I think your flow is good, and you have good ideas in place. Undoubtedly, this SOP can evolve very well and make a compelling read. However, I think you need to weed out the grammatical errors and make the sentences shorter. Also, there should be some proper indenting/newline so that the reader can get some visual space.


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