So you want to go to grad school?
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Letter of Intent 
21st-Dec-2012 12:42 pm
Hello! I previously posted a draft of my letter of intent, and the main problem with it was that it was too emotional and not specific enough, I am now working on a new draft and this what I have. Please only focus on content, as I'm still working on grammar. What do you guys think?

Removed for safety

Comments 
21st-Dec-2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
- Your word choice is really obscuring your meaning. For example, I was not actually sure at first what your first sentence even meant. It took me about 30 seconds to figure it out. Your adcom is going to be reading between dozens and hundreds of these things, and they won't take 30 seconds to puzzle out one sentence. You need to simplify your wording.

- Same comment about word choice in the last paragraph. Also, that seems sort of stuck on - it's not really a fully developed thought, and shouldn't be in its own paragraph. Work it in (in a simplified fashion) further up. Similarly, your fourth paragraph.
21st-Dec-2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
I understand what you mean. This wasn't my original word choice, I was trying to reduce word count. I'll try to fix it :)
21st-Dec-2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
I think the content relating to your previous experience is pretty solid, and the part about your goals is not bad, but I think there's still a fair amount of fluff, and a lot of confusing word choice.

I see where youre going with the first sentence, but it's confusing because what you're talking about isn't a hobby, it's more of a skill or an aptitude. Even if you use a different word in place of "hobby," it's still kind of a random statement. I actually like how you've structured the intro paragraph--first you were in civil engineering, then you became interested in geology and road construction, and you found that environmental engineering was the way to combine these interests. However, I'd be wary of describing yourself as unmotivated, even if you're taking about the past in a different field. If I were you, I'd pitch it more as, "I was first attracted to environmental engineering when, as a civil engineering student, I took a geology class. Considering how engineering relates to geology made me feel more creatively engaged than I'd felt up to that point. Then I discovered road engineering..."

When you talk about why you're interested in this program, I think the part about how it combines geology and environmental engineering in infrastructure building is good. But I think the following two sentences are pretty vague and could be a lot stronger. What is it that you like about the "student/teacher atmosphere and learning approach"? How is their research innovative?

Also, I feel like just describing your good personal qualities is unconvincing unless you have good specific examples of how you're proven you have those traits. I see you have included some examples, but I think they could be stronger. Why do you need to be unusually determined and inventive to achieve functional highway designs? How, specifically, did you demonstrate teamwork and openness in your thesis and workplace?
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