A goal statement, otherwise known as a statement of purpose, is a common element of many college applications. Follow the college's submission instructions closely. For example, if an application tells you to write about your career goals, you would write a much different essay than if the application had asked you to describe your goals with regard to coursework. Because different universities ask for differing goal statements, it is not effective to write one essay and submit it with every application.
Organize Your Thoughts
As you read the college's goal statement instructions, decide what angle to take in your essay. If the instructions are open-ended, choose an angle that enables you to discuss the school's offerings and your strengths.
Showcase your knowledge of the college and your desire to attend that particular institution. Research the school's facilities. For example, if an application asks you to write about career goals, mention one or two professors at the university who would be ideal role models or mentors for your intended career. If you haven't declared a major, discuss other aspects of the university; for example, if science is of particular interest to you, talk about the college's research facilities or science courses.
Make an outline of the points you want to cover in your essay. Support your points with relevant examples from your experience and studies. Include any real-life work experience, volunteerism or community work that inspire you to continue your education.
Write the Essay
Write and edit your first paragraph so that it is thoughtful, engaging and demonstrative of your interests and goals. This paragraph will be the admissions committee's first impression of you.
Turn your outline into a narrative. Use varied sentence structure, and double-check your spelling and grammar. Use high-level vocabulary words without sounding like a thesaurus. Write in such a way that allows a narrative to develop. For example, if your experiences as an ill child shaped your desire to become a pediatrician, describe your illness and its effects on your decision to major in biology and attend medical school.
Read and revise your essay multiple times. Ask a parent, teacher or guidance counselor for his or her feedback on your draft. Omit any references to controversial topics; you don't know who will be on the admissions committee or their beliefs.
Submission instructions may include formatting, such as correct margins, double-spaced copy or a heading with your name and contact information. Admissions committees read the essays carefully but they also look for how well you can follow directions.