Do you need help getting started on drafting your graduate fellowship essay? Do you want to prepare a general statement of purpose that you can then revise and customize for different fellowship competitions? Use this template and answer each question to develop your first draft. Then revise the paragraphs you’ve written so they match the required components and criteria of the various fellowships for which you’re applying.

1st paragraph: What is your issue or research question?
My proposal, a study of ______, addresses _____. I will research this issue through _______.

2nd paragraph: How is your work situated in the existing literature and context of previous research?
My research reframes the question (or theory or approach or method) by ____________.

3rd paragraph: What is your plan of work? What will you do?
I will travel to _______, examine the work of _____, in the archives at  _____, be mentored by faculty and scholars that include __________.

4th paragraph: What do you expect to find?
My research will  _____, I anticipate  ______, I expect to find ________.

5th paragraph: Why is your work significant? Why should YOU be the one funded to do this project?
My research will provide a window into ____, move our knowledge of ______ forward in interdisciplinary ways by _______. 

6th paragraph: Do you have previous research experience or life history that is relevant or compelling?
My undergraduate research thesis explored ________, When I worked in the lab of Professor Fletcher, ________, I am a native language speaker in ______, my parents’ immigration during _______, I have six semesters of qualitative research methods, my experience in Teach for America showed me that __________.

7th paragraph: In what ways has your work has already been validated? What awards or other fellowships have you received? Do not simply report that you received an award or fellowship: show what you ACCOMPLISHED with it.
My previous ____ Fellowship award permitted me to travel, research, study, publish, present ______.

8th paragraph:  Why are you driven, obsessed, passionate about this research? This next step in my five-year research plan ______, my previous research has led me to ______, both the challenge and reward that this research ___________.