Decoding the statement of Purpose
Q1: "What's the difference between a personal statement for college and a statement of purpose for M.A. and ph.D. programs?"
The SOP isn’t a summation of your experience before enrollment or even why you want to attend but how you’ll fit into the program, how they can extend your research and how you plan to utilize the resources available to you through the program. So you can call it an action plan— Glitz and Grammar (@murdamerlin) April 8, 2018
Personal Statement is a Personalized Narrative that provides insight to you as a whole person ( non academic activities). Statement of Purpose is an intentional framing of you as a scholar (interests, disciplines) w/in THEIR program on THEIR campus. #TrynaGrad https://t.co/9Rw6kQv0XZ— Cerebral Homegirl (@ricansaruhh) April 8, 2018
A1. Depending on the school a graduate personal statement looks to provide a student the opportunity to reflect upon their lives and speak on how furthering their education can progress their professional careers in a more focused manner— Marques R. Dexter, MS (@marquesdexter) April 9, 2018
A1. The college P.S. asks you to reflect on a particular moment in your life to show your character/personality. For the grad school SOP, you gotta do that but you also gotta discuss your research background, interests & why you want to attend that particular school #TrynaGrad https://t.co/FYl1a4Gcsn— Bennie (@bennie_niles) April 8, 2018
A1: The PS for grad programs (Masters or Doc) need to be tailored knowing that the program’s faculty will adjudicate your essay, looking to be convinced that that program is the one for you at that time. It needs to be mechanically and grammatically flawless. #TrynaGrad— Remy Étienne LeBeau⚜️♠️ (@TendentiousG) April 8, 2018
A1 (cont): The college essay likely will be read by the admissions office and that staff. There might be a prompt. Likely, they’ll want to know if you’ve done research on that university and also want to learn more about you, perhaps for housing and advising. #TrynaGrad— Remy Étienne LeBeau⚜️♠️ (@TendentiousG) April 8, 2018
Q2: "What are some things that you should discuss in your grad school Sop?"
A2. Your research experience, research interests, your academic accomplishments, why you’d like to attend the school you’re applying to, & who you’d like to work with. Your SOP needs to be personalized, meaning that no other person should be able to write the same one. #TrynaGrad https://t.co/k95rMb6QC3— Bennie (@bennie_niles) April 8, 2018
I personally detailed the major research I’ve conducted, how i wish to extend those through coursework and which faculty members would assist me the most. My program is workshop based so emphasizing what skills i brought to the table and what i plan to take away from it.— Glitz and Grammar (@murdamerlin) April 8, 2018
Q3: "How should you discuss your research in your Sop?"
A3: state what you did, how you did it, and why you did it. My focus is security so that why was super important bc you don't want to just do thing to be doing it. Also if your research was published mention it when talking about research impact. #TrynaGrad— The Techie (@The_Mystery_One) April 8, 2018
A3. Talk about things that you’ve already done (research assistant, independent research, thesis, publications, etc.) and then discuss how those experiences have shaped your interests. Then explain how you see yourself doing that work at the school you’re applying to. #TrynaGrad https://t.co/EmMDrSzbgV— Bennie (@bennie_niles) April 8, 2018
Use the rhetoric of the field. Indicate what you already know, what you wish to know and what methods you intend to use to develop the research. Don’t exaggerate but stress why your research needs to be done, why your research + the program is integral.— Glitz and Grammar (@murdamerlin) April 8, 2018
In my SOP, I talked about:— Jacinta (@learnteachwin) April 8, 2018
1. why I thought it was important to study TV and how I saw gaps in the research about TV
2. research I'd already done (I had presented at a conference), how that research connected to some of my other interests
3. a diss idea that I had#TrynaGrad https://t.co/54beA8bfvV
A3. Most important part! For each experience, what did you do? What did you learn (techniques, etc)? How'd that inform your current interests? How did you grow? Any challenges, successes, failures? (These might be mentioned in LORs) #TrynaGrad https://t.co/NkHx91ecAL— Evan Brooks (@ecbrooks96) April 8, 2018
A3— lexicaly (@Lexi_Caly) April 8, 2018
I discussed conferences and M.A. thesis* as they connected to my interests (remember this isn't a binding contract, but have a solid idea. don't say AfAm lit, say 21st century Neo-Slave narratives).
Then why Professor X or Dept X complimented me
*Same for BA>MA
Q4: "How much time did you spend writing your SOP?"
A4. First draft took an afternoon. Sent it to PI, rec writers, mentors, career counselors, research program director (~7 people) and had 1on1s with them all. Took weeks to get it how I liked but it paid off (got interviews everywhere I applied) #TrynaGrad https://t.co/qYpsjOFgLy— Evan Brooks (@ecbrooks96) April 8, 2018
A4: Because I have a writing intensive background (Eng Lit), I wanted to write too much. I created a list of questions I thought my program’s faculty might want answered. When I worked within that, my statement became more purposeful and succinct. #trynagrad— Remy Étienne LeBeau⚜️♠️ (@TendentiousG) April 8, 2018
Q5: "What general advice would you give to those who will be writing SOP's in the future?"
READ THE REQUIREMENTS. Most programs tell you exactly what they expect you to write and are judging you on how you execute that.— Glitz and Grammar (@murdamerlin) April 9, 2018
Take your time, do research of SOP styles, get advice and identify the best way for you to articulate your research. *Write n the field’s style.
Q5: Ask your recommenders to help you through the writing process. They likely know your writing style. This also helps them become familiar w/your PS. Thus, increasing the likelihood that their LOR will corroborate with your PS, and be a strong LOR. #TrynaGrad— Remy Étienne LeBeau⚜️♠️ (@TendentiousG) April 9, 2018
A5: Have someone who has been on a grad student admissions committee read your statement if possible. It’s ok to have your peers read for clarity and technical stuff, but it’s even better to have professors who have chosen grad cohorts read it.— Ashleigh Greene Wade (@scholarLEIGH1) April 9, 2018
A5: start early, plan it out, talk to your fav advisor and ask if they will proofread (even better when they have the degree and specialization you want). It took me 2 years to hit submit and my advisor was A1 in just having 1on1s to see where my head was at. #TrynaGrad— The Techie (@The_Mystery_One) April 8, 2018