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Personal statements are a hold-over from an earlier era, where schools were more interested in assessing character. Even as late as the 80s (and still in places today) grad schools saw themselves as producing well-rounded, thoroughly awesome übermenschen, and not just anyone would do. Academia has become more and more professionalized, standardized, and ...


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There is a bit of a balance here. Yes, I'd suggest that you spend a few words on some topic that interests you a lot, though perhaps not so much as a "proposal". I'd also recommend that you don't commit yourself too deeply to following that precise line of interest for dissertation studies. Why... On the one hand, saying something indicates ...


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