Statement of Purpose: How to Write a SOP

Published On: 25 Jun 2012

 | Last Updated On: 02 Jun 2014

The Statement of Purpose (SoP) is a very important part of your application to any of the foreign universities. It is an opportunity you get to tell the universities about yourself beyond what is revealed by answering the standard questions asked in the application form.

The Statement of Purpose could make a great impact in an application in most cases and that is why you should research and mull over what to project in your letter. Most universities require statement of purpose which is also called as an essay or cover letter in the range of 300 to 1,000 words. You need to check the specific requirements before writing and it is a daunting task to say what you have achieved and your goals in only so many words, hence you need to careful about how you want to portray yourself.

Admissions committees look for candidates with clear, well-defined research interests that arise from experience. With that in mind, your statement should reveal that you care deeply about your chosen discipline and that you have the background to support your ideas and sentiments. It should also demonstrate that you're a diligent student who will remain committed for the long haul.

Here we list few helpful pointers on writing a successful Statement of Purpose which you could incorporate in your own letter for more effectiveness.

Pointers to write a successful Statement of Purpose:

· Divide your statement of purpose into various paragraphs, each highlighting one of the many important points that you would like talk about.

· At the start of your SOP you could include information regarding your motivation to pursue the course you are applying for. Explain how the course and the university relate to your personal experiences and interests.

· Follow this with details of the proposed course and its relevance to you. Research the course well and let it show in what you put down in the statement. Explain what the university offers particularly different to help your need to study the course.  You could also reflect on the individual modules of the course.

· Describe your background including details of your academic record and work experience. Highlight your achievements, particularly those related to the field of study you wish to pursue. Explain your overall GPA and, if need be, specific scores. Make sure you highlight your best performance during the years of your previous study.

· Finally include details of your future plans. This section could be used to explain how the chosen course will help you achieve your goals. You could also explain how you plan to use the skills and knowledge you would gain through the course to make a positive change in your community.

Your Statement o Purpose should portray you as:

· Passionate. You can think of a `hook’ to explain why you are passionate towards the field of study you have chosen.

· Intelligent. Your SoP should bring in your intelligence by the overall writing, expression and organization of the letter.

· Well prepared. Describing the specific kinds of coursework and other accomplishments you have in the field, shows you are well prepared for the course.

· Ready to take on challenges. Pursuing higher studies in a university is not easy and you should convey that you are ready to take on the challenges and be successful.

· Friendly and focused. You can show yourself as a generally nice and cooperative person and also has the ability "to finish the graduate program" by conveying implicitly your success thus far and more explicitly if you can tell some brief story about adverse obstacles you have overcome.

Checklist for Writing a Statement of Purpose

You should try to have your Statement of Purpose in an organized manner. Here is a check list for you to make sure that you have them covered.

· A "hook" that demonstrates your passion for the field

· Segué the story to your background in the field

· Description of your academic background in the field

· Specific classes you have taken, given by name

· Specific professors you have had, especially if well-known in that field

· Extracurricular activities in the field

· Publications or other professional accomplishments in the field (perhaps conference presentations or public readings)

· Explanations about problems in background (if needed)

· Explanation of why you have chosen the specific grad school

· Mention one or two professors in that school and what you know of and appreciate about their work.

· Specific features of the grad program which attract you

· Get advice from several of your teachers — philosophical advice as well as specific writing advice.

· Proofread and copy edit; ask friends to proofread and edit if required as well

Click here to know more about the application procedure

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