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Hello, everyone. I'm new to the forum, so let me introduce myself.

I will be applying to a number of PhD programs this season for Comparative Literature (my interests are postmodernity in translation, with a focus on the intersections of Japanese and Latin American literatures). I've been done with undergrad for *mumble mumble* years, and have been biding my time in the very unrelated world of work.

I feel like my application is by and large strong, but the wall I keep running up against is that, in my current world, there aren't a lot of people who are familiar with the world of non-professional postgraduate studies. Those I have, I don't want to burn out. I imagine I'm not alone in this conundrum, so I'm proposing a workshop that could potentially exchange SOPs (and related application materials) every couple of week, both to strengthen our writing and just generally to slog it out together. I'm thinking, too, that this could be particularly helpful in terms of individualizing the general SOP to specific schools, as I personally don't know anyone who's particularly enthusiastic about reading 15 slightly different drafts of the same document.

And maybe most importantly, I'd like to create a safe space to take some risks with the writing and make a few wildly off-base but well-intentioned mistakes.

If there's anyone else interested, send me a PM or just reply here. If not, of course, no hard feelings.

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Hi Magical Realist! I'm also applying to Comparative Literature programs, and I think your idea is fantastic. I too am tired of asking the same people to look over my SOP drafts, and I don't even want to ask anyone to read my 20-page writing sample.

I'm more of a traditional applicant - finished undergrad in 2011, took a gap year to study in Germany, and am now starting my applications for Fall 2013. May I ask which schools you're planning on applying to?

Feel free to PM me with your SOP or other materials, and I can try to give you some feedback (though of course I'm just another applicant and not an admissions officer!).

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Hello, there! Glad you're on board. I'm going to do some more tweaks this weekend I think and then I'll send your way. For me, having a commitment to something seems to generate a little more by way of creative juices (or at least, unblocking the writer's block). Obviously, send me yours as well (and anyone else who wants in on this fun!).

The (perhaps excessively long) list of schools for me is:

Cornell, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Yale, Columbia, UT Austin, Brown, Harvard, Princeton, CUNY, Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, U of Oregon.

I know it's a pretty long and diverse list, but I'd like to keep my options as open as possible (especially given how selective the programs are).

What about you?

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