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Sample Graduate School Inquiry Letter Essay

My name is Grant Eckstein, and I plan to apply for the Second Language Studies PhD program at Purdue University for the upcoming Fall enrollment. Prior to applying, I wanted to email you to introduce myself and get more information about the program and specifically about your research interests.

By way of introduction, I have a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and a master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. I am currently a program supervisor at our English Language Center where I manage the listening, speaking, and writing programs for pre-matriculated English language learners.

While working here, I have taught in numerous positions as a language teacher, and I have remained engaged in meaningful research. For instance, I currently have a pedagogy-based article on writing instruction in review at the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. I have a second article on pronunciation strategies in relation to SLA under review at TESOL Quarterly. I have also begun research on ESL-focused writing conferences, and I will be conducting a full-day PCI at the 2011 TESOL convention on language program development.

Though I have broad interest and practical experience in program and curriculum design, teacher education, and pronunciation development, I am most passionate about ESL writing/composition. For example, I have taught and supervised teachers both in English Composition and ESL writing and have developed curricula, programs, and teacher training in these fields. My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD that would allow me to teach TESOL classes while lending special expertise to developing and maintaining writing programs in the ESL and composition fields.

I recognize that you are among the most respected authorities on L2 writing, and I am sure there are many individuals hoping to study with the impressive resources and faculty at Purdue. I am curious, therefore, if my research interests—especially L2 writing conferences, innovative L2 writing pedagogy, and writing center administration—correspond to your interests or those of your colleagues. I am also curious if you can provide some insights into what makes an applicant to your program stick out. I greatly appreciate any information you can provide on these questions.

I am confident that I would make an exceptional PhD student in the Second Language Program with an ESL emphasis, but your insights about the program and your own interests can help me determine my actual fit.

Again, I appreciate any comments you can provide in response to my inquiries, and I’d like to thank you in advance for your help. If you would prefer it, though, I would certainly love to talk with you over the phone about the program and your research work. If a phone conversation is convenient and amenable to you, please let me know a good time to call and a number to reach you.

My name is Grant Eckstein, and I plan to apply for the Second Language Studies PhD program at Purdue University for the upcoming Fall enrollment. Prior to applying, I wanted to email you to introduce myself and get more information about the program and specifically about your research interests.

By way of introduction, I have a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and a master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. I am currently a program supervisor at our English Language Center where I manage the listening, speaking, and writing programs for pre-matriculated English language learners.

While working here, I have taught in numerous positions as a language teacher, and I have remained engaged in meaningful research. For instance, I currently have a pedagogy-based article on writing instruction in review at the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. I have a second article on pronunciation strategies in relation to SLA under review at TESOL Quarterly. I have also begun research on ESL-focused writing conferences, and I will be conducting a full-day PCI at the 2011 TESOL convention on language program development.

Though I have broad interest and practical experience in program and curriculum design, teacher education, and pronunciation development, I am most passionate about ESL writing/composition. For example, I have taught and supervised teachers both in English Composition and ESL writing and have developed curricula, programs, and teacher training in these fields. My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD that would allow me to teach TESOL classes while lending special expertise to developing and maintaining writing programs in the ESL and composition fields.

I recognize that you specialize in L1 and L2 writing among other interests. As such, I was hoping you might be able to tell me to what extent Purdue’s Second Language Studies program supports research in areas that interest me, including L2 writing conferences, innovative L2 writing pedagogy, and writing center administration. Furthermore, are these areas that are of current interest for you?

I appreciate any comments you can provide in response to my inquiries, and I’d like to thank you in advance for your help. If you would prefer it, thought, I would certainly love to talk with you over the phone about the SLS program and your research work. If a phone conversation is convenient and amenable to you, please let me know a good time to call and a number to reach you.

Again, thank you for your insights and help. I am confident that I would make an exceptional PhD student in the SLS program, but your input about the program and your own interests can help me determine my actual fit.

My name is Grant Eckstein, and I plan to apply for the Second Language Studies PhD program at Purdue University for the upcoming Fall enrollment. Prior to applying, I wanted to email you to introduce myself and get more information about the program and my potential fit within it.

By way of introduction, I have a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and a master’s degree in TESOL from Brigham Young University. I am currently a program supervisor at our English Language Center where I manage the listening, speaking, and writing programs for pre-matriculated English language learners.

While working here, I have taught in numerous positions as a language teacher, and I have remained engaged in meaningful research. For instance, I currently have a pedagogy-based article on writing instruction in review at the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. I have a second article on pronunciation strategies in relation to SLA under review at TESOL Quarterly. I have also begun research on ESL-focused writing conferences, and I will be conducting a full-day PCI at the 2011 TESOL convention on language program development.

Though I have broad interest and practical experience in program and curriculum design, teacher education, and pronunciation development, I am most passionate about ESL writing/composition. For example, I have taught and supervised teachers both in English Composition and ESL writing and have developed curricula, programs, and teacher training in these fields. My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD that would allow me to teach TESOL classes while lending special expertise to developing and maintaining writing programs in the ESL and composition fields.

I recognize that you have strong interest in world Englishes and second language pedagogy, but I am hoping that you might be able to comment on the extent to which Purdue’s Second Language Studies program supports research in L2 writing, especially in designing, developing, and administering writing programs. I realize that Purdue is known for a spectacular writing program, and I have also contacted Tony Silva and Dwight Atkinson regarding similar questions; however, I value your perspective as the SLS director so that I can gauge my fit with your program. I am also curious if you can provide some insights into what makes an applicant to your program stick out.

I appreciate any comments you can provide in response to my inquiries, and I’d like to thank you in advance for your help. If you would prefer it, thought, I would certainly love to talk with you over the phone about the SLS program and your research work. If a phone conversation is convenient and amenable to you, please let me know a good time to call and a number to reach you.

Again, thank you for your insights and help. I am confident that I would make an exceptional PhD student in the SLS program, but your input about the program and your own interests will be very beneficial for me.


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