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I am determined to contribute more to the future of our information society. SoP for Master study


Reich Young 1 / 1  
Oct 29, 2017   #1
Hi everyone, could you please help me have a look at my SoP for the information school? I'd happy to take all your suggestions. Here is a prompt for it.

Your application requires a written statement to uploaded into your application and is a critical component of your application for admission. This is your opportunity totell us what excites you about the field of library and information science, and what problems you want to help solve in this field. Please also tell us how your prior experiences have prepared you for this next step toward your career goals and how our school will help you achieve them.

Also, I am confounded with the difference between PS and SoP. Could you tell me which part should I omit in a PS or SoP? Thank you very much!

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SoP for Master of Information Studies/Science



Living in the same world, we all share some kind of information anxiety. For you, it may be due to an inundation of applications. Minimizing potential moral hazards and identifying the best-matches in asymmetric information situations is imaginably nerve-wracking. For me, my angst is the result of the government's constriction of internet use and accessibility, since I profoundly appreciate why information technology matters.

I came from the generation that could be deemed the living "microfilms" of China's information age. I was born the year after 64,000 international internet lines linked China to the rest of the world. I witnessed China's entrance into the information age, followed the footsteps of information technology development, and observed this ancient civilization reaped the benefits of the information explosion. Thanks to my parents' slack control over my computer usage, I remained abreast of the tides. My past was no less than an IT Pokémon: being one of the first users of the earliest social Q&A sites, such as Baidu Knows and Zhihu (Chinese Quora and Yahoo Knows); the online encyclopedia, Baidu Baike (Chinese Wikipedia); and SNS services, such as Renren (Chinese Myspace), in China.

Exposure to profuse information in China's pre-surveillance era distinguishes me from others. Though being I was raised in a small city by a skeptical, conservative family, but I always keen to be a maverick; I loathe being a pedestrian. I am a pluralist, and I embrace the diversity of race, gender, sexuality, and religion. I am a liberal and advocate of free rights and collision of thought, and I am a cosmopolitan who supports the fusion and integration of different cultures. Indeed, IT opened the door to a new world, and I unexpectedly found my identity, faith, and world outlook through the virtue of IT. In no way could I be streaming Joni Mitchell songs, watching an HBO TV series, pouring over Vedic texts on Kindle, and taking online courses on Coursera without it. Therefore, as a first-generation digital native in China, my engagement in IT and its impact on individuals like me encourage me to ponder how information technology enables people to obtain information, how people use technology to create information, and how this circulation, concurs with perpetuating technological advancement, evolves.

During my undergraduate study of Library Science at XXX, I searched the library and information world with this long-lasting interest. With full commitment, I outpaced my classmates in most courses, especially technical ones, such as Foundations of Programming, Java Programming, and Digital Library. Irrespective of learning the bolts and nuts of IT, I also participated in some corresponding research. Chief among them was the undergrad research program I applied in my sophomore year. The program focused on users' information behavior and social networks. I investigated specific information behaviors under the new technologies, such as information serendipity in the context of social media and their knowledge sharing behavior on the MOOC discussion forums. Moreover, I learned quantitative research methods and their related tools. Although no statistics coursework was included on the syllabus, I mastered SPSS and SmartPLS on my own. The course setting also lacked research methods classes, but I managed to keep abreast of trends in the field and learned qualitative and quantitative methods, such as the analytic hierarchy process and observant experiments methods. During this two-year research period, this initial school-level program developed into a nationally funded program. Two papers have been published, and my academic ability was cultivated during this self-motivated and self-learning exploration.

After I dug deeper into LIS realm, I developed interests in new trends, such as big data and its impact on academics: the fourth scientific research paradigm, the data-intensive scientific research paradigm. Data is no stranger to us. However, as information technologies advance, it is produced and accumulated at an accelerated speed. All types of data are produced all over the world around the clock. This intrinsic hallmark of things sheds light upon the approach we understand the things themselves. We may also find echoes in Plato's Cave Theory. For example, data is like the shadow of things seen outside the cave due to its adherent and dependent nature. By analyzing data, we unravel their essence. Everything is data, and data is everything. Also, statistical bias would be a thing of past -we do not have to selectively collect a certain amount of data; instead, we use all the data applicable. Hypotheses models are not necessary either because we just immerse ourselves in a mass data set and explore all the possibilities. Being open-minded in the hit and miss, we may go further than our initial destination. For example, I conducted a rudimentary public opinion experiment using this idea for my junior year annual thesis. To identify the public image of the libraries in China, I chose to collect un/semi-structured data from social media websites. However, I encountered several challenges: how can the substantive data be acquired, how can the slovenly data be cleansed, and how can potential connotations behind the mask be identified to interpret the hidden implications. As arduous as it was, it galvanized my passion. I learned to use web-spider software to crawl the posts tagged with "library" on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Then, Python was utilized to convert the content in a Unicode format and Unix timestamp into readable Chinese and Arabic numbers. After that, I cleansed the data using Google's OSS, Open Refine, to filter the irrelevant content. Next, were some works about words segmentation, co-word analysis, and keyword clustering. Ultimately, I found several interesting conclusions, most noticeably is that Chinese netizens still adopt library stereotypes, believing they are only places to read books and that they have the lowest-rated infrastructure dimension. It confirms my determination to grasp a better understanding of manipulating data and information so I can bend them to my whim.

Now, I am driven by the desire to move out of my comfort zone and abandon the easy road, attending a domestic LIS grad school, where I would be exempt from an admissions examination. Instead, I chose the one off the beaten track, to pursue higher education in the U.S. I believe the MSIS program at XXX is an excellent fit for me. As the pioneer in the LIS field, XXX iSchool is the promised land where I will sharpen my technical skills. Concentrations, such as Digital Humanity, Data Analytics, and Human-Computer Interaction, captivate my interest and align with my prior study and research experience. Professor XXX's research in NPL and A.P. XXX's expertise in digital humanities and humanities computing are of particular interest to me, and I would like to study these areas through the program. I also seek to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the future, so I value XXX's emphasis on academics and research. I have been taking XXX by Prof. XXX on Coursera. I have found this course insightful and intriguing, which confirmed the high-quality of iSchool at XXX.

As We May Think heralded the advent of the digital library 70 years ago. What's next? After the vicissitude from books to bits, from the case of books to the cache of info, I, as a beneficiary of IT, am determined to contribute more to the future of our information society.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,552 3449  
Oct 29, 2017   #2
Yang, let me help you differentiate between the two so that you can revise this essay to turn it into an SOP which is what the prompt requires you deliver. What you have here is a mix of a SOP and a PS. There is actually a world of difference between the two.

Let's start with the PS or Personal Statement. A personal statement allows you to present the foundation of your interest in a particular field. So if you were interested in library and information science because you loved to read as a young adult and could get lost for hours in the library. Or you hung out at the library so often that you and the local librarian were on a first name basis and you no longer needed a library card to take out a book, this is the essay to present that in. This is the essay where you talk about the influences that led to your decision to study library and information science. You should also make a quick reference as to why you chose the university in this discussion. Keep it short. The long version should be in the SOP.

The SOP is, as it is called, the statement of purpose. For this essay you need to present the following information:
1. What your current occupation is and how long you have been working in this position
2. The reasons why you want to study this masters degree. Normally it is related to a problem in the field that you feel needs to be resolved but you lack the advanced training to develop the solution that you envision.

3. Discuss your academic preparation as in college studies and a short presentation of your related thesis, training you participated in, and seminars attended in relation to the job. When applicable, you can also discuss relevant internships or other jobs that you held in relation to your current occupation.

4. Explain what your mid range (5 year) career plan is and how this masters degree is relevant to the preparation for those plans.
5. The major reasons why you chose this university and how you hope to use your masters degree to push your career forward. Make a quick reference to a thesis statement in relation to your chosen masters course. Discuss what aspects of the university curriculum helped you to decide that this university would be the best choice for your studies in this field.

So, now that you know the difference between the two essays, and you have a guideline for the SOP in relation to the prompt requirements, you should be able to revise your essay or, write a totally new essay that will better reflect the SOP requirements.
OP Reich Young 1 / 1  
Oct 30, 2017   #3
@Holt
Thanks a lot. I will try to write with your guidance.


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