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  • Writer's pictureOnkar Narote

How To Write A Flawless “Statement Of Purpose”?

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

What is a Statement of Purpose? Simply put, it is a highly personalized essay to leave your admission committee imagining you at their campus.

Generally called as SOP, it is the most important part of a graduate school application that tells the college admission committee who you are, where you come from, what your academic achievements are, what kind of work experience you have and why you are a suitable candidate for the graduate program you’re applying to.


IS THERE A SET FORMAT?

Written in an essay format, an SOP usually ranges between 500-1000 words; depending on the application requirement. Not many people know that most of the reputed colleges abroad expect your SOP to be in a specific format, as mentioned on their institutional websites. So, it is important to get it clear that you must not provide the same SOP to every college you are going to apply for.


What must your SOP include?


AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH

Is first impression really the last impression? There is a very high probability that the admission committee members will start judging your SOP by the intro itself! This paragraph should contain your background information and your career objectives in short. You can also mention some anecdotes from your life that motivated you to take up higher studies.


Points to Remember:

  • Avoid including detailed family history.

  • Be completely honest.

  • Do not be sentimental.

  • Include relevant quotes.

ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Before starting this section, you need to realize that your skills and achievements ought to be backed by numbers. For example, if you write that “I have been excellent in mathematics throughout my bachelor’s program”, it definitely won’t be enough for the panel members to judge you. Instead, you can write that “I have constantly excelled in mathematics, during my bachelor’s program and finished with an average of 95%”, it obviously makes more sense, right? All the projects and research papers (if any) should be mentioned in this paragraph with some details about it.


Points to Remember:

  • Avoid detailed academic progress.

  • Use technical language.

  • Specify outcomes of projects.

  • Mention gaps and justify them.


WORK EXPERIENCE AND INTERNSHIPS

Without a doubt this is the make-or-break paragraph. The internships that you have done and the environments in which you have worked are the key factors in the determining the faith of your application. Just mentioning work experience is not enough; you need to tell them, what have you learnt in that period of time? What responsibilities were you given? And how did you handle them?


Points to Remember:

  • Be field specific.

  • For internships, mention the date range.

  • Try to refer the names of people you have worked under.

  • Highlight the skills that you gained.


EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

This may not be a very crucial paragraph for many institutes, but it can surely compensate for many of the academic things you are missing out on. This paragraph helps the committee members to evaluate your overall personality. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you have won a gold medal or consolation prize, pen it down. Sports participation is the best way to highlight your competitive spirit and leadership skills. Also include some of the social activities that you have done, as this would demonstrate that you have a strong sense of compassion for other living beings.


Points to Remember:

  • Paint your personality carefully.

  • Embrace your extras.

  • Do not press on any political inclination.

  • Put across how fit your mind is and how strong your determination is.


CONCLUSION

The final paragraph should be more focused on why you want to join this particular college and what are your expectations from them. Shortlist some professors you want to work under and mention it. Explain briefly – the kind of research work you want to do there. Keeping in mind the moral and ethical values that the institution promotes, briefly express your thoughts on the institute and its recent achievements. At the end summarize your SOP in 3-4 lines with strong and positive words.


Points to Remember:

  • Have clarity of thoughts.

  • Research the institute thoroughly.

  • Do not hesitate to speak up your mind.

  • Avoid sugar coated phrases.

Once you are done with the drafting part, proofread the SOP at least 2-3 times. Do not be in a haste to finish things up; creative writing and correct grammatical punctuations can definitely make your SOP stand out. Therefore, go through the draft repeatedly and see if you can make it more appealing.


REMINDER

At any point of time, if you start doubting that your SOP is not good enough for the program, remember these priceless words — “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”.


So, be wise and put forward the best version of yourself! All the best!


Do you need help with drafting your Statement of Purpose? Write to us at ask@pranotiwrites.com!

199 views3 comments

3 comentários


sairajsoma1
19 de mar. de 2021

Excellent

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sameernadaf6767
19 de mar. de 2021

Very well explained , thank you

Curtir

maradkarsanket99
19 de mar. de 2021

Very informative, good writing.

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