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Opening paragraph for Statement of Purpose

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I am struggling to know what to write for the opening paragraph of my statement of purpose. I don't have too much room to write much of anything. The allowable length is 3 pages double-spaced.

The structure [roughly] is as follows:

***missing this part

intro research topic

why it's worth studying

specific research interest in topic

what larger trends it relates to in [field]

where are the gaps, etc, etc

my preparation

fit with program, school, etc

Any suggestions? Since it's a statement of purpose, not personal statement, I don't want to make it too personal.

Thanks in advance!

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There are two general approaches to the opening paragraph. One is to use a hook/anecdote and the other is to dive right into the details of your work. From the structure of what you already have it sounds like the latter approach may suit you more. Maybe you could lead with one or two of the questions you're interested in working on and have that lead into your "intro to research topic" paragraph.

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