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Statement of Purpose and your recommenders

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Hi there,

One thing I am unsure with regarding the SoP and recommendations is this: should you send each individual SoP for each of the schools to which you are applying to each of your recommenders, or do you think it's ok to just show them your one and only main draft - the one which you edit for each application?

I imagine that the former is the preferable option, however I don't feel comfortable asking my recommenders to review 4-6 different SoPs before writing 4-6 different recommendations for me, since they are all busy people. i also realise that it is best to write completely different SoPs for each school based on the specifics of each program, but surely all of the SoPs will have enough common threads linking them that your recommenders could see just one version to use for all applications. Am I wrong? Your thoughts?

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It is perfectly fine to send your recommenders your main draft, and ask if they would like to see the specific SOP for each school as the deadline approaches (most probably won't). If you want advice from one of more of them on your SOPs, that's a different story altogether and I suggest you just ask. 

Re: tailoring the SOP for each school, I don't think it's necessary to write a new essay for each school. After all, your interests are what they are and your background is what it is. You should definitely tailor the fit paragraph(s), and you might choose to highlight different aspects of your profile based on the school you're applying to, but that shouldn't lead to a complete overhaul of the entire document, just changes to select paragraphs. 

You can see more on this and other questions here: http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/69040-applications-faq/

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I did the latter, in that I gave them a generic draft (which wasn't specific to any school) so they would get the gist of what I will write. I did note that I would tailor the generic draft for each school. As long as your main draft includes all the information your recommenders need to write their letters, you should be okay. Alternatively, you could also give each writer a list of points you'd like them to cover. 

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