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Does anybody write specific SOPs for specific schools or do most people write one SOP and modify a small section to talk about specific faculty and resources? I feel like maybe I could explain my research interests from different angles to best fit with the research interest of specific departments. Is it worthwhile to make SOPs that focused? I'm planning on applying for Fall 2012 so I have some time (though I hope to have a few more things to talk about by then, too).

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Does anybody write specific SOPs for specific schools or do most people write one SOP and modify a small section to talk about specific faculty and resources? I feel like maybe I could explain my research interests from different angles to best fit with the research interest of specific departments. Is it worthwhile to make SOPs that focused? I'm planning on applying for Fall 2012 so I have some time (though I hope to have a few more things to talk about by then, too).

Yes you are right to want to tailor your essays to each program, especially in a more science related field. You want to mention the school, why you want to go there, who you would want to work with and why. Now this does not require you to change your entire essay, it does require you to pay attention to the essay for each school that you are applying to. You do not want to say Prof X's lab, when he is working at University Y, when applying to university Z. What you can do is, talk about what you want to do, what you want to focus on, and then connect that to the program you are applying to and people you would want to work with and why, and just tailor that part to each school.

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It is always worthwhile to make an SOP as specific and focused as possible. You're not just demonstrating to the adcom that you'll be a good grad student—they'll have a pile of applicants that can do that. You need to show them why their university, their program will make you into the scholar you want to be.

I tweaked things throughout for each SOP (cut things that didn't make sense for one school, and the like), but the biggest change I made from version to version was to customize a paragraph.

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