I am writing Statement of Purpose Essay for University, which happens to be my alma matar.

It asks how has academic and work experience prepared me for graduate education.

For one, I already had graduate education, but so many other things, especially the intangibles in life have prepared me, or made me more mature, and receptive to higher education.

My question is, can I make the essay conversational, or does it have to be dead-on-serious.

For example, I wish to write (because my alma matter used to be called A, now is called B, see previous post)

After earning Masters degree from A (oops, slip of tongue, I've always called my alma matter A) I moved 200 miles away from home to live and work in XYZ.

or should I write

After earning Masters degree from B I moved 200 miles away from home to live and work in XYZ.

Honestly if it was me going over applications, and as long as the person answered the questions thoroughly and clearly and had all the qualifications, I would be amused and appreciate such a down-to-earth Statement of Purpose.

It certainly breaks the mold of reading stiff Statement of Purpose from kids who just come out of Undergraduate, really haven't seen the world, and really learned to lighten up.

Please weigh in. If you were going over applications, which statement would you prefer.

1 Answer 1


Don't do it. A statement of purpose is an opportunity to demonstrate your formal writing abilities. Jokes like this make it sound like you are not taking the application seriously. (And I don't really think this one is funny, anyway.)

Also, be concise and to the point. I don't see how the name of the town where you moved, nor the number of miles between it and your university, has any relevance to your application - people who are reading large numbers of such statements really don't want to spend time on unnecessary text. Stick to information about what you have accomplished and how you believe it is relevant to your preparation for graduate study.

You can certainly highlight the fact that you graduated from this university, and perhaps mention any particular aspects of it that make it a good fit for you. But you can do that in a serious and professional tone.

  • ok ok ... I'll keep it to the point. I guess when reading large number of applications you would like to finish sooner. It's like Microsofts Script Guy tutorials ... too many corney jokes that I no longer visit the page
    – Rhonda
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 2:20
  • Irony is, I was limited by space on the essay and had to omit other interesting, yet relevant things that prepared me for graduate studies, i.e. living on my own, intangibles in work environment, hobbies that expand mind to help work-related tasks, thinking out of the box. Your answer gives new perspective.
    – Rhonda
    Commented Oct 17, 2015 at 14:48

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