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Statement of Purpose (critique)

  1. Oct 23, 2015 #1
    Hi guys, I've been a long time reader of these forums, but this is the first time I create a thread. In the next weeks I will be applying to some masters programs in Europe (in math) and as part of the application process I must write a statement of purpose. Since english is not my first language, I would be very grateful if you could give me some comments on my writing style and an overall critique of the essay (of course I will pass it to some professors, but it doesn't hurt to get more constructive criticism :smile:). Anyways, here it is:


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    The second paragraph could be shortened I think.

    So you thought it was boring before?
    Does it improve your application to write that?
    Unless there is a specific reason to avoid it, I would contact him (and also B).
    I'm not sure about that.

    Two language things. Careful: I'm not a native speaker either:
    My main interest lies in problems [...]
    "I found intriguing the idea of doing calculus in infinite dimensions." <- I think intriguing should be at the end of the sentence.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2015 #3
    Thanks for the reply!
    Do you mean that there is superfluous information? Or that the sentences are too long?
    Actually I did, but I didn't think it would be appropriate to write that...
    I wrote it because the university specifically asks us to state whether we know or are in contact with faculty at the department.
    OK, I will try to do it.
    Why not?
    Thanks! Yeah, that sounds better..
     
  5. Oct 24, 2015 #4

    mfb

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    Something like " When I finally studied these subjects at a greater depth, I was far from disappointed." - what does it add? You liked it, that can be written in a shorter way.
    Well, you write it indirectly, and I think you can avoid that.
    Okay, I guess that answer will change anyway.
    The differences between exchange students and master students might be more significant than the differences between countries, could depend on the exchange student program.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2015 #5
    OK, I will try to change that, thanks for the feedback.
    I've been thinking about it and I am not sure how to do it (I've never contacted a professor this way). Do you have any tips? I fear that my email might be too generic...
    Well, as an exchange student I had total freedom to choose my courses, just as any regular student, which I've heard is often the case in that country (Germany). I actually enrolled in a graduate course and did great. This is why I feel it was an advantage and thus wrote it in the SoP(of course there is always the possibility that I could be wrong..)
     
  7. Oct 24, 2015 #6

    mfb

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    In Germany, you probably start with courses, not with research. Anyway, you can ask the professors if they are interested in a master student in [research topic] with a background in [...]. Make it specific enough to show you know what they are doing and that you would fit in, but not too specific. The answer is probably positive, and as they are familiar with the application procedure they will probably suggest how to proceed (e.g. "you can send me your CV/research interest letter").
    Students had a lot of freedom with the old system (diploma), now with BSc/MSc it got more complicated. The university website has the detailed regulations, there are probably some courses you have to attend, and some where you have to choose N out of M or something like that.
     
  8. Oct 24, 2015 #7
    Right, I would start with courses, which is why I thought it wouldn't be that helpful to contact faculty, but I guess it can't hurt...
    Oh I didn't know that; in my intended programs there are no obligatory courses and I get to choose whatever I want. Maybe this is just for mathematics though...
    Thanks for the info!
     
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