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SOP basics and must

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I just started my SOP and I havent find a guide or a model to some basic points about SOP. I was wondering If we could summarize some basics here:

1. SOP recommended length (if not stated in the application)

2. Structural organization: number of paragraphs and focus on each paragraphs.

3. Common mistakes that should be avoided.

4. Information that must be included.

5. Words and cheesy lines to avoid.

6. Any other advice?

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Check out this thread it is extremely helpful (especially for #3).

as to the recommended length: you could as the director of graduate studies of the specific program as to what an appropriate length would be. At the schools I have been looking at, I haven't seen anything over over 2000 words. When in doubt, ask!

Edited by cliopatra
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If there is a common number of words per paragraph it is only incidental to a common structuring and degree of detail or depth for a given word limit. That is, don't worry about it. Think about what you want to say, how succinctly you think you need to say it, and how it breaks down into different sections. The number of words that end up being in your paragraphs won't matter if it's well laid out.

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