Is it a good idea to include descriptive figures/diagrams from previous poster presentations and publications in a statement of purpose?


You have the wrong idea about the SoP. It isn't a survey of your past work. That is for the CV.

The SoP needs to be forward looking, dealing with your goals and plans for the future, both in a degree program and thereafter. Brief statements (phrases, not sentences) about things you have done in the past that support the likelihood of attaining those goals can be ok.

Focus on what you want to study, some sub-field perhaps. Say what your after-degree plans are.

If you just recapitulate the CV, then you are wasting an opportunity.

  • 2
    Just because the figure is "from [a] previous poster [presentation]" doesn't mean it's violating the goals of an SoP necessarily, I can think of a nice graph with a big gap that I'm basically orienting my research around. I upvoted, but how do you feel about including figures/diagrams, assuming they serve the purpose of the SoP? Sep 20 at 14:00
  • 1
    @AzorAhai-him-, not a problem, except that an SoP is normally limited in length. But it would need a very high priority compared to other possible things, and strongly support the future. Another, unstated, problem with the SoP is that it can't be so specific that you rule out any possibility of getting an advisor at the place you apply to. So, projecting a bit of flexibility is also good.
    – Buffy
    Sep 20 at 14:23

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