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What's Your Purpose

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[Jan. 8th, 2009|10:37 am]
What's Your Purpose

review_my_sop

[sugarblue_sunny]
I'm really glad I found this comm, I feel like I annoyed the heck out of applyingtograd .






Prepare a double-spaced, typed statement as to your career goals and your reasons for having chosen this specific specialty. Questions to be answered include:
1.How has your educational experience in anthropology and/ or other fields prepared you for this program?
2.How does your previous work experience relate to this application?
3.How do you plan to use applied anthropology in your professional career?



I am applying to the PROGRAM in FOCUS within the SCHOOL at UNIVERSITY. As a graduate student at UNIVERSITY, I hope to pursue an applied archaeology project focused on ecological anthropology and sustainability studies. I plan to contribute to the discipline through continued independent research, practice, and publication during my academic career. I hope to focus my graduate thesis one prehistoric and historic agricultural methods and their connection to their respective society’s growth or collapse in comparison with modern studies on sustainability, small-scale/organic agriculture, and large-scale agricultural practices.

During my research into graduate programs, UNIVERSITY stood out as an ideal fit because of its strong interdisciplinary approach. An interdisciplinary and multifield approach would be necessary for the type of research I envisage, as the methodological tools it offers will allow me to examine how environmental and societal factors shape modern small and large-scale agricultural practices and, in turn, the effects of these practices on society and the environment. This study would be focused best in Japan and China. Such areas show promise for this type of study because of the relationship of current and prehistoric populations to sustainable practices. I have particular interest in focusing on Edo-period Japan. Multidisciplinary studies on sustainable practices in Edo-period society are already underway, and an applied archaeology perspective would contribute significantly to the body of applied information that can help modern populations in these areas and around the world.

Within the PROGRAM, I am interested in possibly working with Drs. TEACHER, TEACHER, TEACHER, and TEACHER. What initially drew me to consider working with TEACHER was her current research TOPICS. Dr. TEACHER's interest in TOPICS; Dr. TEACHER 's interest in TOPICS; and Dr. TEACHER 's interest in TOPICS are what drew me to consider working with them. Many of the PROGRAM professors' research interests match or complement my own, particularly TOPICS. Using an applied approach to actively relate these themes to modern issues could result in significant solutions and changes if properly executed.

In order to further develop my prospective research I will need advanced training in archaeology and ecological anthropology, especially in applied archaeology studies, as well as studies of prehistoric agriculture, settlement patterns, and resource management. The PROGRAM at UNIVERSITY would be the ideal graduate environment for me because it offers me the possibility for a multifield focus and a diverse and interdisciplinary faculty with strength in the areas of my proposed research, as well as important resources and facilities. The program offers me a chance to work closely with Professors TEACHER, TEACHER, TEACHER, and TEACHER - archaeology professors who share many of my interests. I corresponded with these professors by email this fall, and they expressed interest in my research ideas and thesis proposal.

Although I have developed a strong background in archaeology, including four years of post-graduate employment in cultural resource management, ecological anthropology has provided me with a new framework in which to situate my interest in sustainability studies and applied archaeology. Modern societies are facing immediate and dire ecological problems, to which most current major issues, including economic and political problems, can be traced. Many of the same issues concerned both ancient and modern agrarian communities, particularly population growth, agricultural techniques, dietary diversity and malnutrition, resource management, land degradation, and resource security and quality. Ecological and environmental issues shape or affect all aspects of society. An applied archaeology approach complemented by an ecological anthropology perspective will allow me to analyze prehistoric societies in ways that would benefit modern society. I am driven by an increasingly strong desire to bring fully comprehensive, constructive, and beneficial applied studies and research to this discipline. My proposed project has the potential to fulfill that desire if I am able to develop my research under the guidance of a knowledgeable mentor within the unique PROGRAM at UNIVERSITY University's SHESC, and I respectfully request the opportunity to pursue my research at your university.




 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ladylucretia
2009-01-08 05:09 pm (UTC)
I plan to make significant contributions to the discipline through continued independent research, practice, and publication during my academic career.

This sounds a bit presumptuous in a "I'm going to save the world when I'm in grad school" kind of way. Maybe something like "I hope to contribute to the discipline by..."

Are you maybe getting a little ahead of yourself by describing your thesis topic? Isn't this project usually developed by students and their advisory committee during the first year of a program? (That's how it works in my field anyhow, not sure if yours is that different and knowing your thesis is expected going in).

I corresponded with these professors by email this fall, and they expressed interest in my research ideas and thesis proposal.

Not sure this is necessary. Might make you look bad if they don't remember you while reviewing your app., and if the adcomm is following up with them anyway there's no need to state this.

My proposed project has the potential to be one of the most significant themes one could pursue within this discipline

Even if this is true, again, it's too "Graduate Student Superhero" in tone. If your ideas stand out that much they will already see that.

The last line is clunky and unnecessary.

Overall, I get the idea though, and it seems that your interests are well thought out. I think the tone sometimes leans towards "preaching to the choir" - i.e. relating information your potential advisors probably already know - but it generally works in terms of providing context for your research interests.

Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: sugarblue_sunny
2009-01-08 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I really appreciate your advice and I made some appropriate changes. I like it better!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: __floozy__
2010-12-23 07:29 pm (UTC)
i think your statement is really good. i'm currently writing mine for MA programs in anthro for admission in the fall 2011.

just curious.. did you get into this one? :)
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