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

January 18, 2021.

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 SOP contact form.

A few notes:

SOP contact form: SurveyMonkey.

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

© Amy Tabb 2018-2021. All rights reserved. The contents of this site reflect my personal perspectives and not those of any other entity.