For the UC Irvine app, I have to do both a Statement of Purpose that goes with the academic application for all UCs and a program specific 2-4 page Autobiographical Sketch.
I'm freaking out.
I assume the first will be much more straightforward and businesslike/academic. The second, however, is what I'm stuck on.
This is the official question:
"As it would be helpful to the Admissions Committee to know something about you, please attach an autobiographical sketch of 2-4 pages, concentrating especially on your background in writing and literature. We ask that this autobiographical sketch be separate from the Statement of Purpose, which is part of the application. The aim of the MFA Programs in Writing is to assist accomplished writers in the final stages of their achievement of professionalism in the field of poetry or fiction-writing. Although many writers and poets who have graduated from the Programs also teach, the concern of the Program is not to prepare students for teaching careers. The Admissions Committee is interested primarily in your writing. In your sketch you may wish to indicate what you regard as special in your background experience, writers or writing teachers you have studied with, reading which has influenced you as a writer, and the current direction of your writing. In short, we would like to find out as much as possible about your background as a writer in a few pages."
Freaking out, yes. Because I'm not entirely sure about what approach I should be taking. I could take a completely creative approach I suppose, as opposed to a straightup personal essay. I don't know. What do we think??