HOW TO WRITE AN EFFECTIVE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE?

What should you keep in mind while constructing your SOP?

Statement of Purpose (SOP) is one of the essential parts of the applying process that will help the admissions committee understand one’s academic objectives and goals. Some Universities may require one or more essays, while other universities make it choice-based. Most universities across the globe have a standard format.

Where to put your personal details?

Since your SOP is a part of your application, it will have your personal details by default. If it is required in the SOP, the university will mention in the requirement list.

Things to keep in mind while constructing your SOP

Since the admission board will review a lot of applications for the same course, your SOP really needs to be precise.

  • Check for grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Clearly state your interests and aspirations. This will help them to know you better.
  • You need to mention how you will be able to contribute to the department, which will benefit both sides. (sports, dance, theatre, community services, societies or clubs).
  • You need to do a little research about your desired college.
  • Do not provide any information that is not true about yourself. This may lead to cancellation of your admission form.
  • Avoid getting lengthy details on your family history or finances.

How long should your SOP be?

Statement of Purpose should be 1–2 pages long, (800–1000 words). However, the requirements may vary as per universities. (Please do not forget to read the guidelines provided by the respective universities before submitting your SOP)

What should be the basic structure of your SOP?

The SOP should cover your past and present experiences, along with your future expectations. The best strategy to showcase your SOP would be through the following six basic paragraphs:

INTRODUCTION (1st Paragraph) : In this part, you must describe what you are about to state in your SOP. You can start by discussing your long-term goal or write about an incident/person that motivated you to realise your interest in the chosen course.

EXPERIENCES AND BACKGROUND (2nd Paragraph): In this part, include your academic background about your past and present courses. You can mention your strengths and weaknesses.

GIVE A BRIEF ON WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE COURSE AND WHY IS IT YOUR FIRST PREFERENCE? (3rd Paragraph) : In this paragraph, you should state the purpose of why you want to join the particular course and what motivates you to do so. It will be awe-inspiring if you can mention your research papers if you have done in the past. State your expectations and what you can contribute during this course.

SHORT AND LONG-TERM IDEAS (4th Paragraph): This part is significant as you should discuss your short and long-term ideas here. You must state your immediate goal after completing your chosen course. Then comes your long-term goal, where you should state where you want to see yourself from 10 years down the line. You can mention getting a PhD or becoming a professor; it could be anything that you desire.

CONCLUSION (6th Paragraph) : Lastly, you should be able to convince the admission board that you wish to make a difference keeping in mind about the constantly varying trends and how you are a suitable candidate for their institution. Then, conclude your passion for joining the chosen course.

How to polish your SOP?

  • Give it a double-check.
  • Critically analyse your statement of purpose.
  • Your SOP should be simple and easy to read.
  • Do not overdo it.

Shabana Ahmed