Jump to content

SOP Suggestions? 500 Words

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone...


I have already finished drafting a 1000 word version of my SOP that I'm very happy with, but three schools that I'm applying to require a 500 word SOP. In my 1000 word version, I go into more detail about my projects and I have a personal introductory paragraph. While reading some other threads here, I noticed that many suggested removing the personal paragraph in order to save space, but I'm not so sure. 


If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them!




As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, I studied an array of subjects. I was a government major, a biology major, and finally an English major. My diverse academic background allows me to look at literature and literary issues from nontraditional perspectives: I can examine a text’s historical and political context, understand the use of scientific elements in the text, and unpack the literary devices that bring the narrative together. Part of my academic training included a semester at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where I studied with Dr. Sarah Werner in her highly competitive course on early modern literature and the study of bibliography. My study of A Collection of English Words… involved in-depth deconstruction of the book as a historical document as well as supplemental research to determine the bibliographic history of the edition. I conducted much of my research using digital biographies and archives, an experience that began shaping my interest in the digital humanities.


In my final semester, I worked with Dr. Jesse Oak Taylor on my senior thesis project, a discussion of the presence of exotic animals in the nineteenth century domestic manual. I argue that the presence of animals in the domestic manual, while uncommon, posits that domestic manuals from the nineteenth century were much less dated and arbitrary than typically imagined. I worked with online resources for this project, using digital editions of the three domestic manuals in my investigation. I would like to expand upon this project to include a wider survey of manuals and digital resources in my graduate work. In addition to my research experience, I had the opportunity to put theory into practice as an undergraduate teaching assistant for English 101 courses in the spring and fall of 2012. The courses were “blended sections,” taught in both the physical classroom and online. As a TA, I was responsible for creating an engaging online environment, grading assistance, and teaching a few lessons. I also took a pedagogical course that discussed contemporary pedagogical theory.


Wisconsin would afford me real opportunities to pursue my questions about the culture of the nineteenth century and it pertains to women and the social construction of gender and sexuality and the manner in which they are represented in Victorian literature. Dr. Susan David Bernstein and Dr. Anne McClintock would make excellent mentors for my graduate study. Dr. Bernstein’s work in her Victorian Serialization project and its ability to reveal common patterns and methods in popular (and unpopular) Victorian literature is something I wish to explore further in my own study. Dr. McClintock’s Imperial Leather has inspired some of my undergraduate study, especially with her discussion of imperialism and the female body. This research is something I would like to build upon in my graduate career. Furthermore, I intend to pursue a minor in Women’s Studies in order to diversify my study of Victorian literature and the nineteenth century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use