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  • Length: usually prescribed (typically 500 up to 2000 words)
  • Purpose: to show to the admissions committee:
    • that you are committed to a graduate career, i.e. that you are sufficiently enthusiastic to not surrender to the first problems that come your way.
    • that your previous decisions in life have been the result of careful planning and consideration.
    • that you can think, write a coherent argument, and express yourself well.

The best way to write the essay is usually to focus on your interest for science, and to tell how it was first awakened, which stimuli you were exposed to, what you have done to develop your interest, what you gained and learned at Jacobs, and finally how all of this has led you to apply to this particular graduate school, in this particular field. You should also mention that you believe you are now well-equipped to start graduate school because of your theoretical and practical training, and that you recognize how important it is to work productively with others within a research environment.