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Gauri

March 22nd, 2024

4 tips to writing a stellar statement of academic purpose

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Gauri

March 22nd, 2024

4 tips to writing a stellar statement of academic purpose

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Once you’ve decided you’ll be applying to LSE, the real work starts. Applying to a university as competitive as LSE can be daunting. A significant part of your application will be your statement of academic purpose that details your motivations for the programme. 

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing some tips and tricks for writing a fantastic and authentic statement of academic purpose: 

1. Write

Write something. Anything. But begin. It’s intimidating to stare at a blank screen and think of how to articulate so many connecting thoughts into a coherent essay. But for your first draft, just set a timer and let your mind wander. What questions in the discipline pique your interest? Maybe a newspaper article or a podcast made you think about a topic in depth. Think about what you studied in your undergraduate studies and how that relates to your postgraduate subject. What transferable skills did you acquire? What were your favourite courses? What did you write your thesis on? Get it all out on paper. 

Don’t worry about any structure here, but it’s important to get your voice and your most impressionable thoughts about the subject out on paper to be refined later. 

2. Watch

My second tip, and one that’s most commonly overlooked, would be that you should be thorough with LSE’s website. Prowl the website, watch the applicant recordings, read the FAQs, and make the job of the admissions specialist easy. Pay attention to what the school is asking for, because they’ll literally tell you! Reading this blog post is already a great first step! 

Pro tip: When I was researching about LSE and my programme, I read every single blog article from LSE on this Students@LSE blog, as well as on the Department of Management’s blog dating back to 2017… These offered me invaluable advice for my application.

For example, a lot of prospective students I speak to don’t know that the School has a specific format for the statement of academic purpose to be submitted in. Your programme name should be in the footer of your essay. Pay attention to details and get your hands on any — and all — official information from LSE. This includes from LSE website, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube channel and any other social media platforms available to your disposal. 

3. Speak

Connect with LSE alumni and ascertain whether LSE is the right fit for you and whether you’re the right fit for LSE. This is a step that can’t be substituted with anything else. Ask in-depth questions to ascertain whether you’d fit seamlessly into the school community. 

What societies do the LSESU have? What’s the cohort size? What other opportunities does the school offer apart from the department you’ll be affiliated with? What have past graduates gone on to do?

This step will offer you the most clarity about LSE and how you can be a great fit for the School.

The best way would be to reach out to LSE student ambassadors. I’m currently working as a Student Ambassador for my programme MSc Management and Strategy, and absolutely love interacting with prospective students. 

4. Refine

Once you have a first draft and have done an in-depth research about LSE, you’re ready. Now you just have to refine and refine further until your draft has structure and coherence. You should have a semblance of a legible draft ready on your own, which then can be passed onto others. I personally consulted LSE alumni, my family, friends, and past professors, as each would offer a new dimension to my statement. The alumni of the programme commented on my suitability for LSE, my friends and family made sure my values and who I am as a person were reflected on paper, and lastly, my professors commented on the academic details of my statement.

And voilà! You’re done! 

It’s as simple as Write, Watch, Speak and Refine. Make sure to pay attention to your statement, and only submit when you’re fully satisfied that it’s your best and your true self is accurately reflected on paper. 

About the author

Gauri

Hi, everyone. I'm Gauri, 24, from Mumbai, India. I study MSc Management and Strategy, a specialist degree in Managerial Economics. I'm excited for this new chapter at LSE! I have an undergraduate degree in Economics from St Xavier’s, Mumbai and was also an ERASMUS Scholar at SOAS, University of London. After graduating, I worked in finance at a healthcare company as well as in social impact consulting. Academically, I'm interested in the application of theoretical economic models to business case studies. In my spare time, apart from stressing about all the things I should instead be doing, I enjoy reading and exploring bookshops.

Posted In: Applying: Masters

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