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SOP Review (History)

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Hi everyone, 

I'm getting to a point where I'm getting my SOPs finished and polished, but I'm still nervous about uploading them onto my applications. Would anyone be willing to review these? I would be incredibly grateful! 

Transnational history

American history


Edited by historygeek
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On 9/12/2018 at 7:09 AM, historygeek said:

IRT the American history SOP

  • It does not mention a time frame (e.g. early, mid, late nineteenth century);
  • The introductory paragraph violently collides with many of the objectives and sensibilities that you set forth in your SOP. 
  • It seems to bypass the historiography of "whiteness"
  • The last sentence of the second paragraph needs to be rephrased. There is at least one single word that summarizes the sentence and allows you to put that word in the paragraph's sentence.
  • The three groups you identify may generate questions and controversy given the distance and differences between the points of origin of the three groups. Readers may come away concluding that you're saying that gender trumps all other categories of historical analysis. This conclusion may lead to some head scratching when you discuss your desire to humanize your subjects. If gender trumps the board, then you've decided for your subjects what matters rather than letting them speak for themselves.
  • Begs the question: Are the three groups similar because they're not Protestants? 
  • I think you need to revisit the way you differentiate intellectual and your professional goals. I think that the entire paragraph could be reworked so that you set up an unmistakable hierarchy of ends and means. (I am being intentionally vague here -- this task is, IMO, hugely important and banging one's head against a table is part of the process here.)

FWIW, IMO you might position yourself to get better support if you maintained one and only one thread for SOP guidance.

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