Introspection is kind of hard for me. I’ve always hated the what do you bring to the table and what are your weaknesses questions during job interviews. I’m working on my first draft of my SOP, and have two of three pages written. I’m having difficulty articulating how my prior educational and professional qualities will allow me to be successful in the program. I tried to use examples and traits from my previous and current profession, but keep on coming up empty.
Remember writing 5-paragraph essays in high school? How in each paragraph you were supposed to write a topic sentence, list points of evidence, and then a transition/conclusion sentence that reminds the reader of the topic?
That wasn’t just for expository writing. It’s the basic argumentative structure of, well, everything.
1) This is my argument 2) Here is my evidence 3) Thus, I feel confident that my argument is true
So, in your case:
1) I believe my prior successes indicate that I’ll be a great grad student.
2) Relevant success #1, success #2, success #3, etc. (these could be a high GPA, scholarships, awards, conferences, cool projects, research experience, coding skills, lab techniques you’ve mastered, the ability to handle deadlines, anything that makes you shiny).
3) I believe these experiences prove that I’m ready to face the challenges of graduate study, and succeed.
Thus, it’s not really introspection as much as it’s like being a lawyer in court arguing a point for a jury. Articulate your point. Present strong evidence. Boom. You’re done.
*This question was originally posted on Reddit here.