I found out some similar questions, such as https://www.quora.com/Should-I-cite-papers-in-my-Statement-of-Purpose, Is it advisable to use formal citations in a statement of purpose?. However, I think my question is more specific.
I am preparing statement of purpose for PhD in Material Science (in US). I have some professors in mind to work with. To demonstrate on what problems I would to work, should I formally cite the professor's paper in Statement of Purpose? The idea is not to write a technical paper but to illustrate on what problems I would like to work.
If someone does not write citations, how would you convey what problems you would like to work on? I think that it would be too generic just to describe research interests. I see some pros in citations:
- Being specific in what you want to do
- Indicating you studied professor's work and showing interest in the professor's research.
Is citing papers statement of purpose a normal practice?