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Statement of Purpose



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1) As you know (having spent a lot of time both writing composition and critiquing others' works), there is no such thing as a perfect work. In fact, holding perfection in the mind's eye is a good way to produce paralysis, feae, anxiety, and not much else. So forget perfect. 

2) I'm not in your field, but a good place to start is to think through it in terms of answering two basic questions: how you approach your literature research interest, and why that institution. Other questions, like are you capable of attacking the project, why lit, etc etc should be thought of as supplements to those overarching questions. 

3. Start early, and don't be afraid to start again. In the end it's a a pretty short piece and you have a lot of time to do it, so the process of drafting and redrafting is actally quite helpful for getting you to think critically. 

3a. Don't continuously draft. If you are giving yourself enough time, you should be able to walk away for 2 weeks and reevaluate with fresher, less biased eyes. 

4. Err on the side of being content driven. Remember audience and purpose as the northern lights for your prose. There will be times when you like a line, or a paragraph, or an argument, but you should cut it if your audience won't respond or it doesn't fit the tight parameters of the SOP. 

5. Always, always, always follow the directions. 

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