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Statement of Purpose, or Personal Statement, for graduate school.

I’ve been helping people edit their Statement of Purpose, or SOP, for graduate school applications in the USA this past year. I like writing, I like editing. It has been fun and interesting!

Out of the statements I have seen, the most common feature was that people had trouble getting a smooth introductory paragraph.

My top advice then would be:

An important disclaimer: I don’t sit on admissions committees.

The links:

  1. Andy Palvo has a short, efficient post with examples of statements.
  2. Stefanie Tellex, Humans to Robots Lab has a short post about writing a research statement for graduate school and fellowships.
  3. Mor Harchol-Balter talks about personal statements in depth on page 11 (section 3.3) of the .pdf, complete with a template.
  4. Krishna Murthy has an in-depth post about what your statement should be about, and not about.
  5. U.C. Berkeley’s grad school also has a template for personal statements.
  6. Swapneel Mehta has a lot of resources at his post, including examples of some statements.
  7. Kalpesh Krishna has a list of guides. This is a big resource!

Ok, now you have a statement. Do you want someone to read it over? You can fill out my contact form.

I’ve taken down the link for my SOP contact form at the moment, in mid-October 2021. I am currently at my maximum with handling SOPs.

Jia-Bin Huang has an extensive Twitter thread with pre-application programs, here.

A few notes:

Many thanks to early readers of this post, Krishna Murthy Jatavallabhula and Dmytro Mishkin.

© Amy Tabb 2018 - 2022. All rights reserved. The contents of this site reflect my personal perspectives and not those of any other entity.