I am writing a SToP for doctoral studies and I have a bit of a contentious opening paragraph that I would like to get opinions on from the ASE community.

I’m wondering if it is okay to post the question with the small intro paragraph I have to see how the community perceives it?

I’m just trying to get some external opinions from academics that do not know me.

  • 1
    Why would opinions from folks who don't know you be better than opinions from folks who do know you?
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 23, 2020 at 14:32
  • Because the graduate committee I would be applying to does not know me personally. So in this instance, the opinion from folks who don't know me on ASE would actually be more telling about how my particular paragraph comes off. Oct 23, 2020 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


I suspect it is okay if it is a specific question. "Please review my statement of purpose" would not go over well, but "Is it okay if my statement of purpose's introduction criticizes my undergraduate institution?" might be an interesting question. For example our highest-voted question in the SOP tag asks about how age affects the SOP. If including a short snippet from the essay helps to clarify your concern, I similarly see no problem with that. But of course, this is just a prediction, not a guarantee.


We already have many questions that ask about specific wording and content in letters of recommendation, emails and, in fact, statements of purpose (e.g. this one comes easily to my mind just because I was one of the answerers).

If memory doesn't fail me, such kind of questions have been accepted when very specific, but closed if too general. I therefore suggest you to go on asking, but be really specific: in this case, given the history so far, there shouldn't be any ground for closure.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .