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Undergraduate   Posts: 6

Concerning Transfer Admission to University of Texas: Statement of Purpose Essay


fifteen_symbols 2 / 6  
Jul 10, 2010   #1
So, I plan to transfer to UT Austin this coming Spring semester, and well, I am just horrible at these non-analytical types of essays. I would appreciate it if you could offer some tips. Also, do you think it sounds too contrived and pretentious?

Statement of Purpose Essay:

I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.

--Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980), p.4

What I yearn for is the treasures of knowledge. What I yearn for is the ability to discover what the threads of reality consist of. What I yearn for is access to the naturalistic wonders of the vast Cosmos above me. I am a naked ape that strives to know its surroundings, as well as what lies beyond them, and to know of that which intuition fails explicitly to reveal. As an applicant for admission to the University of Texas, I am an inquisitive voyager that seeks passage.

I was born in 1990 to a short, Jewish sailor of the U.S. Navy, hailing from Long Island, and a shorter Mexican-American woman from a small town in South Texas. From then on, my life has been, at least from the perspective of the guy living it, relatively mundane. I was merely a kid of the nineties, from Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Pokemon, to Web 2.0 and MP3 digital music players.

However, being the child of a sailor and his maiden meant frequent moving and six month naval deployments that left me temporarily father-less. Although my life began on the emerald coast of Texas, I left at the age of two to the orange tropics of Florida. I made my way to the seasonal, historic ports of Maryland, then the southern coastal marshes of Mississippi, until finally establishing permanent residence back in my place of birth. Reflecting on my time as an involuntary transient, I find satisfaction in my experiences among various regional social settings and in the learned ability to adapt to new environments.

If there was one constant in the equation of my life at the time, it was that school and academic endeavor came easily to me, and I often received honorary recognition. However, by high school, merely learning for the sake of learning was no longer a valid and effective motivation. I excitedly participated in as many advanced placement classes I could, but I found myself doing only enough work to get by. By senior year, I looked with bewilderment at my future. I was lost in intention and filled with existential woe. What was I to do with my life? What was worth doing? What is it to exist?

Eventually, our narrator found solace in the laws physics and the wonders of cosmology. Reading authors such as Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, he began to perceive the universe as an incomprehensibly complex, yet beautiful, puzzle. The universe was a mystery that our species had just awoken to and begun to decipher. Inspired by the great scientists and popularizes of science of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, he identified what he wanted to pursue. He wanted to gain a fundamental understanding of the vastness in which Earth floats "like a mote of dust". He wanted to pursue physics and space science.

Now, as I imagine transcending the parameters of three-dimensional space and examining the vector that represents my life, I see ahead of my current position, an arduous, but hopefully fulfilling, journey. My goal is to change the future through scientific pursuit and to help advance man's collective understanding of the universe.

Eh, that's it.

OP fifteen_symbols 2 / 6  
Jul 11, 2010   #2
Ok people, I have changed it a bit. I am making peace with my essay.
Zeinab1383 5 / 43  
Jul 12, 2010   #3
Dear
I read your essay and as you are native English, I can't suggest or correct your essay structure! Just you have changed your narrator from "I" to "he" in one paragraph, I am sorry but it was not interesting for me.

And one question for myself: is it usual to say "I was born"?
OP fifteen_symbols 2 / 6  
Jul 12, 2010   #4
Haha, what the-? Your comment is nonsensical and incoherent, but I am aware that my essay is uninteresting. It is purely a statement of purpose with a little background. Truthfully, I think I am getting in based on my grades and ecs, so I just need to construct something that is passable.
ershad193 14 / 361 5  
Jul 12, 2010   #5
1) There are too many irrelevant details in your essay. For example,
- your description of the looks and ethnicity of your parents
- words/phrases like "emerald", "orange tropics", etc.

2) In the penultimate paragraph, how come you've suddenly become the narrator of the narrator? :)

3) Your essay is very general in nature. Try to be more specific. For instance, talk about your goals, achievements, etc.

4) I found a very interesting piece written by one of the moderators (maybe ex-) on the usage of the verb "to be". Follow the link and read it: https://essayforum.com/grammar-13/avoid-verb-5678/
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,516 129  
Jul 12, 2010   #6
Ha ha, excellent!
Okay, here is my idea:
What I yearn for is the treasures of knowledge. What I yearn for is the ability to discover what the threads of reality consist of. What I yearn for is access to the naturalistic wonders of the vast Cosmos above me. I am a naked ape that strives to know its surroundings, as well ...

This yearning stuff is too flowery, but the naked ape sentence is sure to win them over. How excellent... Right after the Sagan quote, give them the naked ape sentence.

Okay, then finish that paragraph, and the thing about the voyage is okay, but then add a thesis statement to the end of that first paragraph. Let it be a sentence that tells them your reason for writing this essay. This essay is supposed to be about one or two specific things, ..."unique aspects of your academic background or valued experiences"... and they mention your academic discipline.

I was born in 1990 to a short, Jewish sailor of the U.S. Navy, hailing from Long Island, and a shorter Mexican-American... MP3 digital music players. too vague. Make this an essay about a few specific things.

However, being the child of a sailor and his maiden meant frequent moving and six month naval deployments that left me temporarily father-less.--- this sentence has potential to be construed as.. like... sexist. I know it is not, but it could seem that way to some readers.

Although my life began on the emerald coast of Texas, I left at the age of two to the orange tropics of Florida. I made my way to ...new environments.

If there was one constant in the equation of my life at the time, it was that school and academic endeavor came easily to me, and I often received honorary recognition. However, by
(Give a good topic sentence for a paragraph about setting high standards for yourself in your chosen areas of study.) In high school, merely learning for the sake of learning was no longer a valid and effective motivation. I excitedly participated in as many advanced placement classes I could, but I found myself ...

Focus on this subject, and omit the autobiographical stuff.
You write very well!! But get this thing focused, and the reader will be impressed. Get focused on the evidence that you have real drive and enthusiasm about this subject. The fact that you read Sagan and Hawking is impressive. People familiar with their work will really share your enthusiasm and know you are sincere.


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