I recently saw the question on Quora:


and thus it was unclear what were the actually good answers. Thus I came with up with the question that thought would be useful here:

What is the best online service for consulting in writing statements of purpose for PhD programs?

is this an appropriate question for site?

1 Answer 1


is this an appropriate question for site?

Not at all. There are several problems with this question:

  • It is the nature of such services that most people use them exactly once in their life. Therefore almost nobody can vote for more than one answer. Of course, some dedicated study could do this, but I doubt that something like this exists in this domain. Moreover the quality of such a service is very subjective.

  • Self-advertisement answers will be very difficult to distinguish from honest answers.

  • It’s a shopping question. It would even would be a bad question for this site if you specified a subjective criterion (not that I have one to suggest).

  • The number of possible answers is very large.

  • I don’t know about this special kind of service, but I would not be surprised if most of them are not actually about advising you but doing the entire job for you – which would be unethical.

The Quora question you linked pretty much proves my points: There are a lot of answers and most of them are blatant advertisements, including some that overtly advertise unethical services. The question has essentially degraded to post your advertisement here.

What you can ask about here, is how you best choose such a service (without naming any particular one). Then all of the above problems would vanish.

  • ah ok, thanks! In what way are they unethical services? If I am looking for this I am now curious what part of getting help for the SOP is unethical? Dec 3, 2017 at 20:15
  • 2
    @Pinocchio: In what way are they unethical services? – Well, they write the entire statement for you – which you should write yourself. So they are not just giving advice, but helping you cheat on your admission. (Note that I cannot evaluate all of these services, but some of the linked site overtly advertise doing this.)
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Dec 3, 2017 at 20:19
  • 4
    This basically says everything I'd want to say on this matter. A question about evaluating such services might be on topic, depending on how it's written.
    – aeismail
    Dec 3, 2017 at 20:20
  • @Wrzlprmft thanks. I did not catch that, though that seems silly that anyone would use that. Regardless, I already have my own SOP and just want advice/consulting on it, not someone to write it for me. That can't ever go well. Thanks for the feedback! :) Dec 3, 2017 at 20:23
  • @aeismail ah, thanks! that seems useful. What do you think would make it on topic that my original one did not? Dec 3, 2017 at 20:24
  • @aeismail: A question about evaluating such services might be on topic, depending on how it's written. – Let me add this to my answer …
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Dec 3, 2017 at 20:29

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