How to Write an Autobiography for Graduate School

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To write an autobiography for graduate school, emphasize a single achievement or experience that makes the story interesting, and use a variety of emotions and sensory details to keep the reader engaged. Write an autobiography, editing ruthlessly before completion, with advice from a writing instructor in this free video on education.

Part of the Video Series: Teaching & Writing
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Laura, from youngwritersworkshops.com, and I want to talk about how to write an autobiography for graduate school. If you're asked to write a statement of purpose or a description of your life for graduate school application you want to emphasize one outstanding experience that's called you towards your this experience in graduate school. Make it interesting. Try not to make it an autobiography, actually. Make it more like one shining example of something that's happened to you that's really led you to where you are today. It might be something that happened to you a while ago, or it might be something that happened during your undergrad career, but make really focusing in on one specific example. Use emotions; use sensory details to make it more interesting to the reader. You're also being evaluated on your writing skills and not just the content of this essay, so be sure to use several drafts. Write a draft and really edit and revise; cut out any unnecessary words. A lot of times, essays of this type have, you know, flowery language that gets a little bit too; oh, can almost be redundant. It can be hard to read, and it sort of reveals an overwriting that is unappealing for this type of assignment. So, be ruthless with your editing. Get several other people to read it and edit it so that you haven't overwritten it. And polish it. Use as many spell checks and grammar checks as you can so that you turn in a really polished final autobiographical piece for graduate school.

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