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citation of quotes in SOP?


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I quote a few scholars in my SOPs - how are you guys approaching the problem of citations? Are you giving any? It seems weird to include a "works cited" at the end of a document that does not necessarily follow MLA format. But I'm also worried that it will seem unprofessional if I do not cite. Footnote? Good faith? I'm vexed.

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I can't claim to speak authoritatively on this, but I researched SOP norms a lot when I was writing mine, and I had one of my professors review it multiple times. Having a list of references never came up. I think that as long as the attribution is clear, an extended citation is not needed (in the same way extended attributions are not needed in pop-sci/science news reporting and other non academic forms of writing).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a works cited page (for programs that allow uploads instead of silly paste-in text boxes). I initially didn't have one, but I happened to meet an admissions person from UChicago and they suggested I have one. I'm not sure if it's the norm, but I don't know how it could hurt to properly cite. 

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For what it's worth I did not do one because I did not like the look. I have seen SoPs that had one, in particular @punctilious's husband who got into Harvard had one. So a top school seemed to like it! However, my guess is it doesn't matter too much because it's really just the content they care about. If having citations helps to highlight content or prove academic rigor of your as an applicant then it is a boon.

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4 hours ago, Matthew3957 said:

For what it's worth I did not do one because I did not like the look. I have seen SoPs that had one, in particular @punctilious's husband who got into Harvard had one. So a top school seemed to like it! However, my guess is it doesn't matter too much because it's really just the content they care about. If having citations helps to highlight content or prove academic rigor of your as an applicant then it is a boon.

Just to be clear, he just had a footnote, no works cited page. But yeah I'm not sure that it really matters.

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