Do's and Don'ts for Your Statement of Purpose

Published On: 22 Jun 2009

 | Last Updated On: 02 Jun 2014

You want to study abroad; one of the major steps in an application process is preparing a well rounded Statement of Purpose (SoP). Prospective students must realize that the Statement of Purpose is one of the deciding factors for an admission. If you write a good SOP your chances of creating a favorable impression in the minds of the admissions committee members is very high, thereby increasing your chances of obtaining an admission.

A Statement of Purpose has a logical structure and development, and its purpose is to simultaneously show why you are the best candidate for a given course or grant, and why this course or grant is the most suitable one for you.

Here we list some of the Do’s and Don’ts which can be followed to make sure that you have a reasonably well prepared Statement of Purpose helping you in the securing an admission.

Do’s:

· Choose what you want to discuss and the order in which you want to discuss it

· Be organized. Most universities prefer a typed SOP over a handwritten copy.

· Answer the question if the university has instructed specifically why want to study there.

· Use concrete examples from your life experience to support your thesis and distinguish yourself from other applicants.

· Make sure your SoP is specific and segues in well with your interest ad chosen field of study.

· Explain properly your strengths and any weaknesses in your application and try to explain how that can turn into an advantage.

· Write your SOP all by yourself.

· Write the SOP in first person.

· Prepare several drafts before you make the final copy of your statement to ensure that you include all details that are important.

· Use concrete examples from your life experience to support your thesis and distinguish yourself from other applicants.

· Write clearly and succinctly. Your statement must be neat and error free.

· Be specific, not general. Let your personality and individuality come through. Give insight on your hopes, goals, motivations and dedication.

· Give reasons. Provide enough reasons why you wish to pursue higher studies in that particular field you have applied for.

Don’ts:

· Your statement should not be more than 1,000 words in general.

· Don’t write a complex Statement of Purpose which does not explain your reason to choose the course or why you want to study that particular course.

· Don’t copy your SoP from somewhere else and if your SOP is not an original piece of writing, you may be certain of not getting admission in the university.

· Don’t list your hobbies in your SoP. If you think it helps you make your point better use it as an anecdote rather highlighting the hobbies.

· Don't list achievements or work experiences. Instead reflect on those experiences.

· Don’t prepare your SoP in a hurry and send in a rushed copy.

· Don't include information that doesn't support your thesis.

· Don't start your essay with irrelevant personal information.

· Don't try to impress your reader with jargon unnecessarily.

· Don't rely exclusively on your computer to check your spelling.

· Don't provide a collection of generic statements and platitudes.

· Don't give weak excuses for your GPA or test scores.

 

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