TakeruK wrote:In terms of content, I think you are on track. You discuss your research and interests well. You could expand on your SOP further and write more about what your individual contributions to your past projects were. This will help the committee knows what kinds of skills you have. For example, with Prof. A, it's not clear to me what you mean by "researching on the dynamics of..." Did you run computer simulations? Did you do theory/math? If it's simulations, did you write the code? Used someone else's code? Made any edits or modifications? I think the best use of the remaining 200 or so words would be to make it very clear what you did.
But keep in mind that some schools do want a 500 word SOP so save a copy of this one too.
Secondly, I think there are some issues with the style of your writing. If you are at a school with an English writing center, I recommend that you take your essay to that center and discuss your writing with them. If you don't have this resource, maybe you know someone who can help tutor you? As an example to what I mean, I will point out a couple of places where your writing is awkward:
1. Passive-voice sentences like "What fascinates me most in astrophysics are black holes and stars" sound better in the active voice, for example, "I am fascinated by black holes and stars" or something like that. You don't have to always use the active voice, but for the first paragraph, I would recommend starting in the active voice. In astronomy, I feel like most scientific writing is in the active voice, but you can use the passive voice for effect in some situations.
2. There are some unnecessary sentences and words. These extra sentences or words weaken your essay by distracting from your main point. For example, the first sentence is not necessary. Your name will appear everywhere in the application. You could put your name in the header of the document in case someone prints out your essay and then it gets separated from the rest of your file. But it's not a good way to begin an essay.
3. There are some words that are used in an awkward way. That is, there are some words (particularly adjectives) that might have connotations that create a judgement you may not intend. For example, you say "Even ordinary people now know that..." This makes you sound like you think less of non-scientists. I don't think you really mean this. I think you wanted to convey the fact that this is exciting news that everyone, even those not studying science, heard about the LIGO discovery. So, consider rephrasing this sentence!
tman1027 wrote:Its also important to remember that you don't necessarily need to introduce yourself in your sop. The committee has your entire application so they already know who you are and where you went to school.
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