The page on Social Sciences explains the breadth of methodological approaches that exist in the soft sciences.  Linguistics is no exception.  Linguistics Statement of Purpose essays can fall anywhere between the no-nonsense science Statement of Purpose and the more creative humanities Statement of Purpose, and will have more or less narrative qualities depending on the type of research the applicant is proposing.  If you are applying with the intention of doing neurolinguistics, your linguistics Statement of Purpose needs to leave no doubt that you are trained and qualified to undertake such a program.  If you are applying with the intention of doing sociolinguistics work, you need to worry less about qualifications and more about making a case for your area of interest.

Like any social science field, linguistics spans a wide variety of approaches, and you need to do your homework when researching programs.  The various approaches in linguistics can include: applied linguistics, cognitive linguistics, contact linguistics, corpus linguistics, discourse analysis, forensic linguistics, graphology, historical linguistics, language acquisition, lexicology, linguistic anthropology, neurolinguistics, paralinguistics, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and stylistics.  Do not propose to do sociolinguistics at a school that is known for its reputation in cognitive linguistics.  Although both areas technically fall under linguistics, the methodological approaches are completely different.  Make sure you know which way the program you are applying to leans, and reflect that in your linguistics Statement of Purpose.  To help you get started we have a collection of linguistics Statement of Purpose essays from a variety of fields.


Linguistics Statement of Purpose Examples:

1. A Love of Language (Applied Linguistics)

2. Words and Their Origins (Comparative Linguistics)

3. An Unlikely Candidate (General Linguistics)


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