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Posted (edited)

Greetings everyone. I was wondering if someone could take a look at my statement of purpose for graduate school applications? It would be good to get perspective(s) on it so that I can be more prepared! Thanks! 

-Izzie 

Statement of Purpose- Graduate Applications.docx

Edited by igonzalez83

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Posted (edited)

Hey all~

So I privately messaged Izzie with some personalized feedback for this document, but I wanted to give a few tips for anyone who might read it later. These tips are loosely based on what I saw in this draft, and I only offer them here to provide other people with constructive criticism that they might can apply to their own SOP. These tips are mostly local writing tips rather than global level stuff. 

  1. Make sure if you use contractions that you're wanting to maintain an informal tone in your document. If you are wanting a formal tone, do not use contractions. I've heard of both formal and informal tones being successful in SOPs, so just consciously be aware of what you're doing and why.
  2. Avoid vague and repetitive statements if possible. This is easier said than done, because it's not always easy to identify these characteristics in our own writing. Having multiple readers look over it can help you catch these statements.
  3. Completely personal preference for this tip, but rhetorical questions annoy the heck out of me. Avoid them. Please. Ask a question only if it's a research question or if you genuinely mean it as a question. 
  4. Utilize active voice whenever possible. Some sentences require a passive voice for concision or clarity, but usually it can be made active. 
  5. Avoid value judgments like "extraordinary" or "wonderful." Try to keep it factual or objective. You have a limited word count, and value judgments usually don't have room in this type of document.
  6. I was informed not to end a SOP too abruptly. Make sure to thank the committee for their time/consideration/etc. 

Hope this helps!

Edited by AtlasFox

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