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rosiekins


Dec 28, 2009, 5:51 PM

Post #301 of 329 (9090 views)
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Re: [hapworth] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

The Syracuse personal statement guidelines have me confused. They want you to answer this question: "how you expect to finance your studies." ...I thought that they provide a full ride scholarship plus an annual living stipend for everyone accepted into the program? I mean, it says right here in the brochure: "Each student admitted receives a full scholarship in addition to an annual living stipend..."

So, is that a trick question? Am I supposed to say, "You'd be financing my studies, duh."

I'm FREAKING OUT. :(


kbritten

e-mail user

Dec 28, 2009, 6:42 PM

Post #302 of 329 (9075 views)
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Re: [rosiekins] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Ha! Your post made me laugh. I never really thought about that when writing the statement, but I just emphasized my desire for teaching experience, something that the program provides. If that's something you are interested in, maybe that's something you could also emphasize. You're right though, that doesn't make much sense!


rosiekins


Dec 28, 2009, 7:10 PM

Post #303 of 329 (9067 views)
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Re: [kbritten] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

YAY thank you for replying! I feel much better now. Thought I was losing the rest of my marbles.


lexielizabeth


Jan 4, 2010, 9:43 PM

Post #304 of 329 (8848 views)
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Re: [rosiekins] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

If anyone is interested in swapping statements of purpose for Texas (I know the deadline has already passed, but it's still nice to see what other people have been able to squeeze into 350 words), I'd really be interested in how you were able to pull it off, because I know I couldn't fit anything into that small amount of wording.


Trilbe



Jan 5, 2010, 1:36 PM

Post #305 of 329 (8776 views)
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Re: [lexielizabeth] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, LexieE, I admire you for being a strong enough person to look at those statements at this point! I don't want to find anything unfortunate -- or have anyone else find anything -- now that it's too late to change it.


fridadreams

e-mail user

Dec 2, 2010, 12:12 PM

Post #306 of 329 (6702 views)
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Re: [Raignn] Sample Statements [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Well now that I've officially accepted an MFA offer, I just wanted to let anyone applying next year (and this offer stands as long as this post is here, so if you find this in 6 months or whenever you're really starting to think about applications, still feel free to PM me), I am more than willing to send my statement of purpose (which was a bit of a blend with a personal statement) and my teaching philosophy to anyone interested. I'm not necessarily saying they are the best or anything, but I know when I was applying I would have killed for more samples (especially of teaching philosophies!). And they did help me get accepted to 1 program and waitlisted at 4 others (2 of which turned into funded acceptances).

I wanted to extend this offer now before I forgot!

Hi Raignn, I would be so grateful to have a look at your statements!! Would be so kind and generous as to share them with me, please?

I'm new to the forum, hello everyone! :)

I asked one of my references (a prof from my undergrad years and a current editor of a literary journal) for general tips on the SoP and he replied that admission readers were looking for "professionalism and commitment" and specifically mentioned they want to see that you will "continue on to a PhD and teach" and that they're "especially looking for writers who have a specific viable thesis project in mind." I thought I'd share this with everyone else panicking about SoP like me. I also wondered, if his reply was so dry like this that maybe I need to reconsider counting on him for a great letter of rec. ... He's helped me with one of my stories, my best and only one of two "completed" pieces, and called it a "nice, compact story, suitable for a application packet." Am i getting too paranoid? I just haven't gotten anything remotely personal or encouraging from him... I'm not explaining myself!!! Argh!!!!!


Raignn



Dec 12, 2010, 8:04 PM

Post #307 of 329 (6583 views)
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Re: [fridadreams] Sample Statements [In reply to] Can't Post

My statements have been sent. Good luck!


flobelle


Dec 13, 2010, 10:57 PM

Post #308 of 329 (6517 views)
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Re: [Raignn] Sample Statements [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm curious. I'd love to see your personal statement if you would mind sending it.


llstanle
Lesley

e-mail user

Dec 15, 2010, 8:10 PM

Post #309 of 329 (6457 views)
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Re: [hapworth] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

quick technical question regarding the statement of purpose: do you just title it "statement of purpose" and include your name or do you title it differently?


kfal
kaelin falandays

Aug 13, 2011, 7:27 PM

Post #310 of 329 (5902 views)
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Re: [llstanle] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello! I am new to the forum! I am working on my SOP (a little early I guess) and I am wondering if any current or past users would like to share advice on their SOP. I would also like to get some feedback on mine and I would love to do the same for yours. I am trying to get an MFA for Poetry.


Thanks
-Kallie


Yugao


Aug 15, 2011, 12:59 PM

Post #311 of 329 (5866 views)
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Re: [kfal] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

As I understand it, the purpose of a SOP is to screen out overtly narcissistic or otherwise difficult people. If you come across as stable, sane, productive, organized, realistic, and intelligent, your SOP is working. The SOP will only be considered if you are in the final cull, most likely.


kfal
kaelin falandays

Aug 15, 2011, 1:28 PM

Post #312 of 329 (5861 views)
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Re: [Yugao] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Would anyone like to read my draft of one of my SOP's for review?


azer
A Z

Aug 15, 2011, 2:19 PM

Post #313 of 329 (5857 views)
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Re: [kfal] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd be happy to. I'll send you my email in a private message.


danmurph321
Daniel Murphy

Aug 18, 2011, 11:59 AM

Post #314 of 329 (5806 views)
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Re: Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anyone know if the Statement of Purpose is read before or after the writing sample? In my Statement of Purpose I want to talk about my style and unique voice in my writing, but I am not sure if I should assume my stories have been read first or not. I would think the Statement of Purpose is the first thing read for the application but I honestly have no idea if that's what reviewers do! Any input on this would be greatly appreciated, thank you.


belgium


Aug 18, 2011, 1:05 PM

Post #315 of 329 (5802 views)
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Re: [danmurph321] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

From everything I've heard elsewhere, the first thing that will be reviewed will be your writing sample. If the program is not impressed by the writing, chances are that the rest of your application (including the statement of purpose) will go unread. Sad, maybe, but a lot of the programs are simply so swamped each year with applications.



Ridiculous Words


zackperici
Zack Perici

Aug 19, 2011, 5:48 AM

Post #316 of 329 (5769 views)
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Re: [belgium] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

A couple points:
1. I wouldn't reference your writing sample in the personal statement. Talk about your writing, yes, but take advantage of the opportunity to talk about yourself too. Your samples (hopefully) show that you're a promising writer, the statement should show that you're a nice, sensible, and teachable person.
2. From what I gather, after talking to people in admissions and doing some preliminary research, the order most programs will review your application is: writing samples, letters of recommendation, personal statement.


alamana
Jennifer Brown


Aug 19, 2011, 8:10 AM

Post #317 of 329 (5767 views)
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Re: [zackperici] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

I know of one application reader who looks at the personal statement first. Everyone is different. But there is no question most will read the manuscript first. Not sure what it matters, though--everything you submit needs to be the best it can be.


Be regular and orderly in your life, that you may be violent and original in your work. -- Flaubert

http://www.jenniferkirkpatrickbrown.com


Yugao


Aug 20, 2011, 11:14 AM

Post #318 of 329 (5743 views)
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Re: [danmurph321] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

At most places, it will be read after the writing sample. It will only be read if your writing makes it through the preliminary rounds.
I would focus more on your outlook as a writer than on "your style and unique voice". The SOP likely won't be read unless your writing speaks to someone on the committee. In any case, it might be best to give the impression that you are still forming as a stylist rather than defending a mode you have settled on. "Unique" might be a tricky word to use too; it literally means "like nothing else." Unless your writing is wholly distinctive and without influence, the use of a word like unique will seem overkill. And if your writing is unique, the committee will know it.


danmurph321
Daniel Murphy

Aug 22, 2011, 10:46 AM

Post #319 of 329 (5695 views)
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Re: [danmurph321] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you everyone for the input! All very good points to know.


kfal
kaelin falandays

Sep 5, 2011, 3:08 PM

Post #320 of 329 (5596 views)
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Re: [danmurph321] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Let me know if any of you want to share SOP for critiques! I am in desperate need of some feedback.


downeyr


Sep 23, 2011, 6:54 AM

Post #321 of 329 (5488 views)
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Re: [kfal] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

kfal, I'd be willing to trade SOP's with you. Send me a PM and I'll give you my email address!


"Only a talent that doesn't exist at all can't be improved."
-John Gardner

"A writer needs three things: experience, observation, and imagination--any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others."
-William Faulkner

"You must have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star."
-Friedrich Nietzsche



friedpigeons


Nov 12, 2011, 7:13 PM

Post #322 of 329 (5288 views)
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Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Take it for what it's worth. When I went to Samantha Chang reading last year, this is what she said: That she doesn't bother reading SOP/PS or letters of recommendation. When she receives the applications, she'll grab the manuscripts and, alone, read all of them, filter those that she thinks have potential/are good--which is to say she's the first and most important reader you have to impress. Those lucky enough to be selected will go to a committee where the manuscripts will be read by everyone then go to a vote.

As for the SOP, it is a university-wide thing: Every graduate student is required to write one. Notice that the directions for the SOPs are quite general, in that the questions are not directly tailored for each individual graduate program. For example, some school will ask, What are your research interest? or What research are you proposing to do and with which faculty member? Now I don't know about the majority of MFA applicants, but I don't plan to do much research--the-nitty-gritty hypothesizing-collecting-data-plotting-them-formulating-conclusion-type-research--while in the MFA program. What I do plan to do is read and write a lot, be all ears all the time to my colleagues and instructors; I might even do research for a lit paper or for a story or novel I'm working on. But research?

Research? We're talking about research, man. We ain't even talking about reading or writing. We talking about research? Come on, man.

I've taken liberty to not address such questions directly (maybe to my detriment? I don't know). I will find out how my decision pays off in a couple of months.

Now I'm not saying there is no one on the committee who's going to read the SOP; I'm just saying, don't sweat it: don't sweat whether you've answered every question; don't sweat the form--should I answer this first or that?; don't put too much time into it that your writing sample suffers (if you're still working on it). The only thing I'm sweating now is hounding my professors to have their LORs in on time, so I can pay the app fee and get this over with. Because as soon as this is over with, guess what, I can go back to devoting all my extra time writing.


emilychristine
Emily Sims

e-mail user

Nov 17, 2011, 8:52 PM

Post #323 of 329 (5217 views)
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Re: [friedpigeons] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you have said it perfectly. Many of us are spending so much unnecessary time sweating the SOP, when we need to be putting that time into our manuscripts. The SOP deserves time and attention, to be sure, but not endless amounts of it. It is the least familiar piece of writing in our application, which is why we're freaking out. Let's calm down and approach it rationally. If anyone would like to trade SOPs, I am more than willing to help!


Our Daily Tales / Travel Tales



jbhollister
Jeffrey Barnes

Nov 21, 2011, 5:39 PM

Post #324 of 329 (5169 views)
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Re: [kfal] Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Kfal (or anyone.)

If youre still game for sharing / exchanging SOPs, let me know.

Jeff

jbhollister@gmail.com


(This post was edited by jbhollister on Nov 21, 2011, 5:43 PM)


AMB
A B

Dec 12, 2011, 12:53 AM

Post #325 of 329 (4858 views)
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Statement of Purpose [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd also be happy to swap SoP feedback with anyone who's interested.

PM me and I'll send you my e-mail address.

Best,Adam

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