Poppet Posted February 25, 2011 Share Posted February 25, 2011 As the title says, I'm applying only to masters programs, all terminal - MA's, LLMs and MSc's in Human Rights, Law, Politics, etc. I am applying to all of them with the knowledge that even though they are course-based programs, they will nonetheless require a thesis by the end of the year. So in all my personal statements so far, I start off by saying that my recent experience in a post-conflict country has inspired me to question a specific human rights question, and that I think the resources offered at University X will be helpful to my proposed research on that question. Then I explain in a paragraph the specific project I was working on in the post-conflict country that lead me to question Potential Thesis, and the next several paragraphs concentrate on why I think Potential Thesis is question that must be addressed, why I think certain course requirements or offerings at University X will be complementary to my Potential Thesis, and what qualities I think I can bring to the school because of my own unique characteristics - though admittedly this last bit is a brief sentence or two. Finally, I explain that I think all of this will be beneficial to my future career plans and why. So the question that I am asking is that I keep feeling like I am writing a research proposal far more than I am writing a masters personal statement. Most of the statements I see at the masters level tend to focus much more on personal attributes or experiences that lead to character development and intellectual growth, hobbies that sparked interest, an explanation of why they want to take the masters course, but without seeming to dwell much on the actual upcoming thesis. So am I out of line by stating the subject that I propose to write about? I mean, I am applying to these schools because they have faculty who are interested in similar things, and they have courses which are directly related to the subject I want to study - and I think that by doing this I am showing them that I have thought very seriously about what I want to take a masters for and why I want to take it there. But I keep also feeling like I'm about a paragraph short of a Phd research proposal, and I don't know whether that is a big faux-pas for a masters personal statement. So how much info are you "allowed" to write about your proposed subject of research? I understand that there is a risk they say, "Sorry, you're too specific in your needs and we don't have anyone willing/capable/interested in working on that subject" but otherwise... Am I spending too much time explaining to the ad-comm the wrong thing? Should I be concentrating more on myself and my own attributes? Sorry this is so long-winded and thanks to anyone who offers advice. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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