Below is a pdf link to personal statements and application essays representing strong efforts by students applying for both undergraduate and graduate opportunities. These ten essays have one thing in common: They were all written by students under the constraint of the essay being 1-2 pages due to the target program’s explicit instructions. In such circumstances, writers must attend carefully to the essay prompt (sometimes as simple as “Write a one-page summary of your reasons for wanting to pursue graduate study”) and recognize that evaluators tend to judge these essays on the same fundamental principles, as follows:
- First, you are typically expected to provide a window into your personal motivations, offer a summary of your field, your research, or your background, set some long-term goals, and note specific interest in the program to which you are applying.
- Second, you are expected to provide some personal detail and to communicate effectively and efficiently. Failure to do so can greatly limit your chances of acceptance.
Good writers accomplish these tasks by immediately establishing each paragraph’s topic and maintaining paragraph unity, by using concrete, personal examples to demonstrate their points, and by not prolonging the ending of the essay needlessly. Also, good writers study the target opportunity as carefully as they can, seeking to become an “insider,” perhaps even communicating with a professor they would like to work with at the target program, and tailoring the material accordingly so that evaluators can gauge the sincerity of their interest
Overview of Short Essay Samples
Geological Sciences Samples
In the pdf link below, the first two one-page statements written by students in the geological sciences are interesting to compare to each other. Despite their different areas of research specialization within the same field, both writers demonstrate a good deal of scientific fluency and kinship with their target programs.
Geography Student Sample
The short essay by a geography student applying to an internship program opens with the writer admitting that she previously had a limited view of geography, then describing how a course changed her way of thinking so that she came to understand geography as a “balance of physical, social, and cultural studies.” Despite her limited experience, she shows that she has aspirations of joining the Peace Corps or obtaining a law degree, and her final paragraph links her interests directly to the internship program to which she is applying.
Materials Sciences Student Sample
For the sample from materials sciences, directed at an internal fellowship, the one-page essay has an especially difficult task: The writer must persuade those who already know him (and thus know both his strengths and limitations) that he is worthy of internal funds to help him continue his graduate education. He attempts this by first citing the specific goal of his research group, followed by a brief summary of the literature related to this topic, then ending with a summary of his own research and lab experience.
Teach for America Student Sample
The student applying for the Teach for America program, which recruits recent college graduates to teach for two years in underprivileged urban and rural public schools, knows that she must convince readers of her suitability to such a demanding commitment, and she has just two short essays with which to do so. She successfully achieves this through examples related to service mission work that she completed in Ecuador before entering college.
Neuroscience Student Sample
The sample essay by a neuroscience student opens with narrative technique, telling an affecting story about working in a lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Thus we are introduced to one of the motivating forces behind her interest in neuroscience. Later paragraphs cite three undergraduate research experiences and her interest in the linked sciences of disease: immunology, biochemistry, genetics, and pathology.
Medieval Literature Student Sample
This sample essay immerses us in detail about medieval literature throughout, eventually citing several Irish medieval manuscripts. With these examples and others, we are convinced that this student truly does see medieval literature as a “passion,” as she claims in her first sentence. Later, the writer repeatedly cites two professors and “mentors” whom she has already met, noting how they have shaped her highly specific academic goals, and tying her almost headlong approach directly to the National University of Ireland at Maynooth, where she will have flexibility in designing her own program.
Beinecke Scholarship Student Sample
The Beinecke Scholarship essay is written by a junior faced with stiff competition from a program that awards $34,000 towards senior year and graduate school. This student takes an interesting theme-based approach and projects forward toward graduate school with confidence. This writer’s sense of self-definition is particularly strong, and her personal story compelling. Having witnessed repeated instances of injustice in her own life, the writer describes in her final paragraphs how these experiences have led to her proposed senior thesis research and her goal of becoming a policy analyst for the government’s Department of Education.
Online Education Student Sample
Written during a height of US involvement in Iraq, this essay manages the intriguing challenge of how a member of the military can make an effective case for on-line graduate study. The obvious need here, especially for an Air Force pilot of seven years, is to keep the focus on academic interests rather than, say, battle successes and the number of missions flown. An additional challenge is to use military experience and vocabulary in a way that is not obscure nor off-putting to academic selection committee members. To address these challenges, this writer intertwines his literacy in matters both military and academic, keeping focus on applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), his chosen field of graduate study.
Engineer Applying to a Master’s Program Sample
This example shows that even for an engineer with years of experience in the field, the fundamentals of personal essay writing remain the same. This statement opens with the engineer describing a formative experience—visiting a meat packaging plant as a teenager—that influenced the writer to work in the health and safety field. Now, as the writer prepares to advance his education while remaining a full-time safety engineer, he proves that he is capable by detailing examples that show his record of personal and professional success. Especially noteworthy is his partnering with a government agency to help protect workers from dust exposures, and he ties his extensive work experience directly to his goal of becoming a Certified Industrial Hygienist.
Click here to download a pdf of ten short essay samples.
Success is everyone’s mission. Life is full of challenges and opportunities, but only for those who actually struggle to grab the opportunities and overcome the challenges. Hard work and dedication are the only mantra in the journey to success. Without being passionate and the willingness to work hard, no one can achieve success. There can be several occasions when you may have to deliver Speech on Success. We share here different samples of success speech that will help you in making an impressive speech to the audience. At school level, you may use the short speech on success at occasions like ‘Teacher’s Day’, ‘Annual Day,’ etc. You can take inspiration from our long speech on success for college level or even for the corporate level occasions. We don’t use jargons or complicated sentences, instead the language used in these sample speeches are simple, but highly effective.
Long and Short Speech on Success
Speech on Success – 1
Respected Principal, Respected Professors and Dear Fellow Students!
Like every year, we have gathered here once again to celebrate the annual function of our college and today being the last day of the celebration we will have lots of fun including eating, dancing, merry-making, etc. This day is all the more important for us as this is the last year for the final year students.
I have been given the opportunity to host the programme this year and I am pretty enthusiastic to address everyone as this may be my last interaction with many of you. Well, emotions apart, I would like to utilise this platform to share some secrets of success with you all. So far success for you must be to successfully complete the assignments on time, attend the lectures, never miss classes, maintain required attendance, give semester exams and of course to fair well in the exams. But life in reality is a bigger sea; in fact it’s an ocean, which you will have to swim across. Sometimes life may hit you as hard as a brick does; but don’t lose hope. Always believe that those who don’t give up can only meet the success ultimately. But if I ask you to define success, many of you must say ‘its name, fame, recognition, big house, car, fat bank balance, etc.’ But I would say, the interpretation of success may change from person to person. The ultimate success is happiness and satisfaction. It’s important that you pursue your passion and love. Don’t follow other’s dream; instead follow your goals and dreams. For you are not someone else; you have your identity and capacity and work accordingly in order to achieve the real success.
I can understand that many of you must not even have decided about your career goals. Some of you might go for further studies, some may join the corporate world and some of you may join your family business. Each option would come with its own prospects and challenges. You must only concentrate on your activities and must not imagine the consequences. Don’t get disheartened, if you fail initially, instead keep trying. Remember that your mistakes give you valuable lessons in the end and also help you choose the right path. We have heard about several stories in our childhood such as the ‘story of ant, who tries to climb the mountain’ or ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and many more. The moral of all these stories is common that you should keep trying until you succeed and no matter you are slow but if you are steady, you are certainly going to win.
I won’t say that life is a race and you should beat others to win. Instead, you must try to remain grounded even when you succeed. You guys are the future of our nation; you must also try to fulfil your social responsibilities so that the next generation can follow your footsteps. Today, we need people who are successful yet considerate. You have the ability to introduce changes and bring revolution in every field. So stay focused and follow your journey towards success.
Speech on Success – 2
Good Morning Dear students,
Today is Teachers Day and I have been called on this wonderful occasion to share some motivational thoughts which can lead you to success. Well, if someone asks me the definition of success, I would say it’s a lifelong journey only if you are not too lazy to relax. Everybody in life wants success; especially students are always enthusiastic to get the best career option in their lives. But success has different meanings for different people depending upon their goals and desires. Some find success in being a sportsperson, some want to hold a respectable position in a renowned company, some are artistic and some wish to start their own business.
It is believed that success is achieved when hard work meets opportunity. But opportunities arrive with time; does that mean, you must sit back and relax till the time opportunity arrives? Also, what if some unexpected opportunity arrives and you are not prepared? So it is always advisable that you prepare yourself for the expected or unexpected opportunity. It is important that you keep polishing your skills so that you don’t lose even a single bit of the opportunity that may lead you to success in the long run.
It is also important that you give yourself the credit of the success that you achieve after putting your effort and energy. It’s a very critical aspect because majority of the people give maximum credit to good luck or fortune; such people are not fearless, instead they are always worried about failures or mishaps. Instead of preparing themselves for bad days, they pray for a continued success. You must always treat yourself with kindness and encourage yourself along the journey of your life. Celebration of every victory whether small or big will boost your enthusiasm and encourage you to achieve more in life. I would also like to point here, some people are emotional and sensitive to the extent that they stop trying if they fail. You must understand that success and failure are the two sides of the same coin. Success is not a hereditary property of any individual. Even someone who takes over the ancestral successful business has to work harder to preserve that success. Thus, you must not get disheartened or discouraged even if you fail.
Determination is the principal secret of success. Your main aim should be to stay happy and satisfied. Some find happiness in staying healthy and some find by staying wealthy; but the most important part is that you should at least know what you want; only then half the journey is covered. You must stay focused on your goal and have the determination to follow your dreams and happiness; success will soon be your partner in your life’s journey.
Always remember that the definition of success will vary from person to person and your feelings are your own responsibility. So always stay motivated to do better than the past and the most important thing is that you should never compare yourself with others. Do more and achieve more.
Speech on Success – 3
Dear Colleagues and My Adorable Students!!
You must be feeling surprised at this sudden announcement of speech delivery ceremony, especially for our higher secondary students. As you all will bid goodbye to us after completing your higher secondary studies, we as the senior faculty members of the school, considered it important to hold some interesting and engaging sessions for our students before the commencement of your next academic journey.
So the speech topic that has been chosen this time is on “Success”. Why on Success? Because until this time, you were living in a very secure and confined sphere, but now your life will take an interesting turn. College life will not be the same as that your school life. The universe will be wider and competition more fierce. The element of success will dictate your each and every move. But let us tell you that the road to success will be full of thorns and not easy. Success is believed to be as chilling cold and isolated as the North Pole.
Even then we all want to taste it and in the pursuit of success, we sacrifice our comfort and ease. I am sure many of you would be very ardent in the pursuit of your career objectives, especially after getting inspired from the success and glory of the people around. Though we get inspired and start dreaming of a worthy and honorable post, but there are only a few lucky ones who get success and those who do not get to value success become disheartened.
It’s never wise and advisable to give up on your ambitions if you face failures, rather use your failures as the stepping stones to gain success. If you wouldn’t fail in life, how will you feel what it is to be successful in life? So prepare yourself for the worse and leave no stone unturned in realizing your aims. There will be times of recurrent failures, but one day success will definitely touch your feet.
We have held this speech ceremony to give you a window of things that await you in the outside world and prepare you for any situation that come your way. My dear students please understand that life is full of complexities and the road to success is not easy. There will be many obstacles, but don’t get bow down to circumstances rather make circumstances bow down to your will power and perseverance. If you will work hard, it will surely pay you sooner and later and never get wasted. You will just be required to hold on to your sheer will power whenever you fall.
Only those shall get success in life, who have a no fear of failures and continue to struggle till the end. And when you feel that your spirit is going down, remember that the city of Rome was not created in just one day. This will give you the inspiration to bounce back with full energy and vigour.
Neither we nor your parents will be there at every point in life, so learn to stand on your own feet. Follow your passion, never afraid to take risks if it’s worth it and work relentlessly towards your goal for sooner or later you will surely achieve it.
And, if at any point in your life you feel the need to come back to your teachers, never feel hesitant to do so. We will always be there for you. This is all I can say.
Speech on Success – 4
Respected Principal, Respected Colleague Teachers and My Dear Students!
Today is the last day of your school and we have gathered here to celebrate this occasion as after this day, you all will get busy with your respective lives.
I’ve been given this opportunity to host the program, I felt like sharing my thoughts with you for your future because I am sure each one of you wants to be successful in life.
Success comes instantly to some people and some people struggle a lot to taste success. Generally, success occurs when hard work meets opportunity; but it entirely differs from person to person how an opportunity has been utilized and what fruit is been reaped from that opportunity.
Success is an achievement of a goal within a particular time period. Success can either be achieved in the workplace or in your personal life. At personal level, if a person accomplishes the responsibility well and keeps each family member happy is considered to be successful. Likewise, at professional level, if someone is trusted by the leader and able to achieve his/her target within specified time, then that person is considered successful.
But to be successful in the real sense, it is highly important that you are kind and good to yourself too; you should also take the credit if the success is the result of your hard work. Self encouragement throughout the journey of your life is highly crucial to be successful in the real sense. Celebration of your success is also important, only then you will feel that success is worth.
Sometimes, you may get anxious if you fail, but always remember that success and failure are the two faces of the same coin and you should always be patient if you fail at any given point of time and try harder to be successful next time.
Now-a-days, most of us are busy with our work and unable to balance our work-life balance which makes us impatient and disheartened. But simply having the willpower to pursue your happiness, goals and your dreams is a huge success in itself. Success means being true to yourself and how you select to respond to every incident that occurs in your life.
You should also remember that success is not a destination, instead it’s a journey and you should also enjoy it during your preparation phase along with the final success. Success is not achieved in just one day; it is rather achieved through your individual day to day activities, learning and experiences.
There are many people who compare their success to others achievements. If they have a car and others have a bigger car, they consider it to be failure. People often forget that each individual in this world is born with unique capacity and limitations. Also, it is not good to compare yourself to others; rather you should compare your past with the present and set a goal for future ignoring what others have achieved.
Your Faith and Patience are the biggest tools in helping you achieve the real success.
All the Best!