When you write a letter or personal statement as part of applying for graduate or professional school, you will make your case as much by the way you write as by what you say. Here are some of the qualities to aim for.
Be focussed. Take your cue first from the prompts given in the application form. Is the real question why you want to be a lawyer, or is it why you will make a good one? If the prompt is very general or the questions scattered, decide what point you want to make overall: that you are a proven achiever, or that you can deal with challenges, or that you have something special to contribute to the profession.... Don't just write about law or medicine in general—that is extremely boring to the readers. Write about yourself as a lawyer, physician, or anthropologist.
Be coherent. Being "together" is a quality of writing as well as of character. A clearly organized letter can create a picture of a clear-minded and sensible person. You might want to write from an outline or a diagram of main points. At least check the topic sentences of each paragraph in your finished piece to see if they make a logical sequence. Ask a tough-minded friend to give her impression. See over for types of structure and for books that give further advice about writing.
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