The statement describing the applicant’s background, his/her academic plans and goals is the most important piece of the application. The essay should be used to describe all of the experience in the relevant field that explains the applicant’s interest and demonstrates his/her talent. Current work should be explained, as well as the specific focus and the directions that could logically follow. An emphasis should be placed on any advanced or independent work the applicant has done. Speculation on what he/she would like to be doing in five and ten years is helpful. Applicants should include everything they think is relevant, especially specific examples and details. Do not hesitate to write briefly about extra-curricular interests. Dr. Joseph requires meeting with her to go over early drafts of the essay. Students should consult the Writing Program if they are experiencing problems writing an essay.