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Hi all,

I'm in the process of writing my SOP for PhD programs in Film and Media Studies/Visual Cultures/you know, that kind of thing.  Some quick background: my B.A. is in Film Studies & Art History, and I earned a minor in English.

I wrote my honors thesis on a fairly esoteric, relatively unknown film directed by Orson Welles (F for Fake).  In my SOP I state that I'd like to continue research on F for Fake in the hopes of contributing to what is a relatively small body of academic work on the film.  F for Fake has a lot of relevant, postmodern issues surrounding it (e.g., authorship, originality, construction of personal identity, forgery) that I'd also like to make focal points of my graduate studies, but I want to make sure I'm not pigeonholing myself in a way that makes me unattractive to grad schools.

NB: F for Fake was the subject of my research as a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (which I also mention in the SOP), so I'm thinking I might be seen as a person who has relevant experience and can see a project through.  What do you think?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by dreamsfrombunkerhill
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I think having specific research interests is actually an advantage, but you do want to make sure that you don't appear to be inflexibly focused on one small topic. My advice would be to focus more on the theoretical interests you mention, using your research on F for Fake to to emphasize the way you approach them but also indicating how you could/would like to apply those same consideration to other films. That way instead of being the person that studies the film, F for Fake, you can be the person that investigates a particular set of postmodern issues as demonstrated by this film but also translatable to a broader field of research. 

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I'm also applying for film studies PhD and having the same problem... My SoP as it currently stands has a paragraph which basically gives a rundown of my master's thesis - what is was about, what methodology I used, why I found it interesting, and a big summary of my main argument/findings...

I think it reads well, but equally I don't want to give them the impression that i'm inflexible etc...!

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