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 Guidelines for Writing the Statement of Purpose

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Number of posts : 14
Registration date : 2007-05-17

PostSubject: Guidelines for Writing the Statement of Purpose   Tue May 22, 2007 5:15 pm

Your Statement of Purpose is your explanation of what you want to do as your Individualized Major; why you want to do it and why it has academic merit; and how you propose to follow the major at UConn. What you want to do must be clear and consistent with the title that you have chosen for your major. Why you want to do it and why it should be considered as an academic major on a par with others must be specifically stated. How it is feasible for you to follow you plan at UConn must be presented in a way that is persuasive and specific. Your proposal will be evaluated for its conceptual content and coherence. Do your intended major title and your Plan of Study together form a cohesive and conceptually sound degree? Does your Statement of Purpose make clear the strength of your proposal and the essential links between disciplines and courses in your Plan? It is important to remember that the Individualized Major Committee will not be impressed by a disorganized written presentation in which background material and ideas appear in random order. It is also important to insure that your Statement of Purpose is free of misspelled words, grammatical mistakes, and typographical errors. There are several resources available to help make your Statement of Purpose as strong as it can be. The Graduate Assistants in the Individualized Major Office and the Writing Center are valuable resources to help you as you write your Statement. Also, reviewing your Statement of Purpose with your faculty advisors before they sign your Plan of Study can be invaluable to you in clarifying your thoughts and improving your presentation.

(Your Statement of Purpose should be 1 ˝ to 2 ˝ pages long, double spaced, and typed in 12 font type size)

The Statement of Purpose is your rationale for joining the Individualized Major Program. Make it strong in concept. Make it strong in detail. Make it coherent. Make it feasible. Make it complete. Make it persuasive. If you write it before you talk with faculty advisors, the exercise will help you to explain your proposed Plan of Study and why an Individualized Major is the most appropriate major for you.

Some ideas to help you to organize your Statement of Purpose:

1. The title of your Individualized Major should concisely describe the academic focus of your major. You should not use names of existing traditional majors at UConn within the title of your major.

2. The first section (aim for one clear, concise paragraph) should read as a general introduction. Deal briefly with the what, why, and how questions that an advisor or Committee Member will wish to have answered. You should define and explain the academic focus of your major. Your first paragraph should also briefly explain what departments are involved (and why); how your major complements your post-UConn plans; and the concept of your major. Help the reader understand how your plan fits with the rest of your UConn studies. State, therefore, if you are doing a double major, an additional degree, a minor, a certificate; indicate if you in the Honors Program or are planning on doing a distinction project; and/or briefly mention any other relevant
academic endeavors. Explain if your proposed Individualized Major will be your only UConn major, and indicate when you began to work with advisors to plan it.

3. The second part of your statement should explain how the different departments and classes that comprise your Individualized Major work together. You should detail how each department complements your Individualized Major (use classes from your Plan of Study to illustrate in a specific way why each department was chosen). It is not enough to simply list the different departments and classes: you must present an argument detailing how the particular departments and classes are indispensable for your major. In the end, you need to convince the Committee that your interdisciplinary approach is both necessary and more beneficial for you than an approach that relies on the majors (or a combination of these majors and minors) offered in the UConn undergraduate catalog that are defined by and associated with particular UConn academic departments or centers.

4. The next part of your statement would discuss other experiences that are relevant to or may help deepen or integrate your plan of study. You might discuss an experience outside of the traditional classroom setting that you already have had that is related to your intended major. You should discuss your plans for relevant experiences: for example, study abroad, internships, student group leadership or participation, paid or
voluntary work, research, fieldwork, and/or independent study. Try to be as specific about your plans as you realistically can be! Show that you’ve done your research and careful thinking!

5. In your final section, describe, in general terms, your short- and long-term academic and/or career goals, and how you wish your Individualized Major to help you to attain those goals. This section will permit you to reiterate why the proposed major is important to you.
If you are following a curriculum that exists at another institution you should attach that to your statement of purpose.
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