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Table 2 Moves and steps in the coded SoPs

From: Disciplinary variations in academic promotional writing: the case of statements of purpose

Moves Descriptions
Move 1: Introduction This move is primarily used by the applicant to get readers’ attention or to provide a brief introduction of the SoP’s content.
 Step 1-A: Generalization/Attention catcher The applicant provides descriptions to catch readers’ attention or to claim the statement’s aim.
 Step 1-B: Background The applicant states his/her education and personal background information.
 Step 1-C: Goals or decisions to applying The applicant states his/her goal or decision to applying for the target program.
Move 2: Establishing credential This move reveals the applicant’s relevant credentials for studying and conducting research at the graduate level.
 Step 2-A: Education background The applicant reveals academic achievements related to the proposed field of study.
 Step 2-B: Research experience The applicant addresses research experiences, research interests or potential topics for graduate research.
 Step 2-C: Work experience The applicant discusses professional experiences.
 Step 2-D: Personal attributes The applicant describes personal attributes that he/she believes are appealing to the target program.
 Step 2-E: Other experience The applicant provides other personal information such as language/cultural knowledge, volunteer experiences and self-reflections.
Move 3: Reasons for applying This move is used by the applicant to state reasons for pursuing graduate study at the target program or institution.
 Step 3-A: Gap in applicant background The applicant discusses how his/her background can be improved by pursuing graduate study at the target program or institution.
 Step 3-B: Positive gains The applicant describes the positive gains offered by the target program or institution.
 Step 3-C: Program/university attributes The applicant describes the appeal of the target program or institution.
 Step 3-D: Disciplinary and research reasons The applicant expresses his/her reasons for applying from the research/discipline perspective.
Move 4: Conclusion This move summarizes the SoP and makes a final appeal for the admission committee’s favorable consideration.
 Step 4-A: Goals/predictions of future The applicant states his/her future goals or career plan upon the completion of the target program.
 Step 4-B: Self-evaluation The applicant re-states his/her relevant accomplishments for self-promotion.
 Step 4-C: Final appeal The applicant makes a final appeal to end the SoP.