You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

This is a lot harder to explain than any of the previous questions.

Identifying a disingenuous essay is like seeing through clear water.

Don’t forget that those who read your essay have years of experience reading thousands of such documents. They know when they’re listening to a student talk about a topic they have little knowledge on. They know if you’re faking an illness to justify a bad outcome. We cannot stress the importance of sincerity while writing this essay.

Graduate school is a dream come true for thousands of students every year; but truly reaping the reward from the experience won’t happen if you begin the journey with an inaccurate portrayal of yourself.

thinkThis is also a chance to think about how you can channel your quirks and personality through paper. If you were to read out the essay to someone in a conversation, how would you word it?

To finish this off and give an example, below is an excerpt from the final passage in one of the sample SOPs.

There is only so much one can include in a statement of purpose. I hope you will take the chance of knowing me in person by accepting me to the institute. I want to be part of the Artificial Intelligence dream of developing intelligence as humans exhibit it. I am committed to contributing to the global committee to the best of my ability. I am working at a consulting firm at the moment. The work is good, yes, but it isn’t anywhere near challenging or thrilling as the smallest new piece of information that I come across on Artificial Intelligence. It’s only a nudge I’m looking for to get me started. Please grant it to me.

—Doctorate Student in Computational Neuroscience

Principles of Writing

We talked a lot about the questions you need to answer, but just as important is how you answer them. As you write your essay now, keep the following two writing principles in mind.

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