Graduate School Applications
Do you know anyone applying to graduate school? Here are some tips to share:
Writer’s block: Fight the freeze by starting in the middle of the essay. Sometimes we discover introductions through conclusions. Return to the opening lines only after you’ve reached the end.
Answer simple questions: Unsure what to say? Start with everyday, plain language. Writing is about sharing your ideas. Editing is about refining them.
• Why do you want to be a Speech Language Pathologist?
• How did you hear about this field?
• How have you worked with clients?
• What classes have you taken?
• What are your favorite classes?
• What are your areas of interest?
• What inspires you?
• What do you like about Speech Language Pathology?
• Why do you think that you will be good at it?
Overwrite: Write long answers to simple questions. Words are like clay and we need a lot of clay to create a sculpture – the more words, the better. Overwriting is free expression without judgment. Don’t delete during this stage – just keep writing.
Ask “why?” again and again: Every time you answer a simple question, ask yourself “why?” If you think, “I want to be a Speech Language Pathologist to help people communicate,” then answer the questions “why do I want to help people communicate?” and “why is communication important?” Find the underlying reasons for every statement you make. If you think, “I like neurology,” then ask yourself “why?” again and again to discover your values.
Value statements: Explain the origin of your values and beliefs. People come to this profession for different reasons. Find your reasons by asking yourself what matters and why it matters.
Learning examples: Reflect on times that you’ve had an emotional response to learning. Describe these pivotal moments in your understanding. Include course material, meaningful observations, positive interactions with clients, etc.
Credit others: Who has helped you? Describe support and mentoring in your life. When you credit others, you share the knowledge that you gained while honoring the expertise of others.
Recognize uniqueness: What can you say that no one else can say? Find the truths about your experiences, skills, commitment, and interests that are not the same as other peoples.
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Reflect on your personal and professional experiences understanding the role of language and culture in communication and social interaction.
Check the basics: A personal statement is a persuasive essay. Build evidence showing that you are prepared for graduate school. Make sure that you have information about your experiences, employment, volunteer work, skills, academic coursework, etc.
Graduate programs need to know: (1) why you are interested in the field, (2) the experiences and skills you bring, and (3) your readiness for high-level academic coursework. Tell everyone why you want to be a clinician. Our profession needs the new ideas and enthusiasm that you will bring!