How to write a Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Statement of purpose all you need to know to get admission in the world's best universities. ....

Bhakti Revar
Bhakti Revar

Jun 24, 2020 03:14:51

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“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, the reader should be able to read the content of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

-Meg Rosoff

‘Pen is mightier than the sword', is to be believed when it comes to conquer your dreams and be the king of yourself. The skill of writing is an important aspect of everyone's life. Everyone has to write occasionally certain formal documents necessary for procedures. A statement of purpose is one of the most important documents a student writes to get admission in his or her dream college. Writing a statement of purpose to get admission in a college, university or graduate school is a trend in various American educational institutions. A statement of purpose is nothing but an essay written on the provided topic in order to secure admission to your dream college. Most of the time the university or college provides a list of topics to write on and the students are left free to select the topic of their own choice. The topics provided can range from very specific to very open-ended. At times it is also seen that more than one essay is required to be written in order to complete the admission procedure.

The statement of purpose is so important has to be written precisely and accurately. It is a matter of patience and self-reflection while writing the SOP. Haste makes waste can come true for you if you write your statement of purpose without having a calm mind. A good amount of concentration is required while you are writing your statement of purpose so that you don’t miss out on important points and later regret it.

“It is always by writing and not dreaming that you develop your own style.”

-P.G. James

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Words:-

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

-Mark Twain

Words are of paramount importance when it comes to writing any content. For a Powerful SOP, it is extremely important to use the exactly required words. It will help you describe things in an exact way. The use of proper words will not only help you to communicate your message swiftly but also increase the transparency of your thoughts. To achieve perfection in the usage of words one needs to have a good vocabulary. In the words of Aldous Huxley it can be said that,

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly- they will go through anything. You read and you are pierced.”

Grammar:-

Every language has its own rules for its usage and we call those rules as grammar. Your grammar will reflect your command over the language and will help you to have a good impression on your selection committee. It will help you create an image of a person with good basics. It will help you frame proper sentences and avoid unnecessary confusion that could be created due to irresponsible grammatical errors while framing sentences.

Language:-

The tone used while writing about yourself and your past experiences in the chosen field should always be polite yet should show your enthusiasm. It shouldn’t sound extremely exciting or very depressing. Even if you are describing your incapability or failure in a particular year or any gap in between your education make it sound polite and explain it without blaming anyone for such things.

Sequence:-

The randomly written essay is often considered to be out of shape and can create a poor image of you on the selection committee. It doesn’t engage your readers and makes your written material boring for them. A randomly written essay does not allow your readers to understand the order of events and what you are trying to tell them.

Size:-

The size of your statement of purpose is very important. Generally, an SOP between 500 words to 1000 words is preferable if the word limit is not mentioned. A too-short SOP will be considered incomplete and rude be the selection committee and a too-long SOP will be considered boring and extra self-praising by the selection committee. Having a proper blend of words to have an exact mirror image of you on the paper is very important.

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Edit and Proofread:-

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

-Jodi Picoult

Last but not least is an extremely important part of editing and proofreading. It requires a lot of guts to tell yourself that you are wrong. You may better understand this while you are editing your own written document and find mistakes at every point. If you are incapable of accepting them better leave the editing with your seniors and professors who could help you with these things. Even if they can’t do the whole work they will provide you the right guidance to make your SOP up to the mark. In the words of E .B. White we can say that,

“The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear.”

Must do things while writing a statement of purpose:-

Add attention-grabbing start:-

Well started is half the work done is often said and is very correct. Having a proper start for your statement of purpose is very important. It is believed that an attention-grabbing start is very important to make the selection committee read your statement of purpose further. It will help you to create a good first impression and the proverb the first impression is the last impression will stand true to you in this matter.

Get to the roots of your interest:-

History can speak its story for you. Instead of telling that you are interested in the chosen field form your young age, tell them how your attention was drawn by the field when you were young. For e.g. If you are applying for a research institute in the field of agriculture then tell them that how the stories from your grandparents about the attack of aphids ruined their field and how the green revolution helped them all fascinated you since the beginning. Be honest but at the same time make things interesting in a realistic way.

Let the content speak for you:-

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.”

-Wally Lamb

The course you select to apply for is of your interest and you may have experience and achievements related to the course. In order to describe them in your statement of purpose, you should use a unique way to convey your skills. For instance, instead of telling that you are very skillful in the field, you should mention the work you did and the achievements you got through this work. It will automatically convey your message of you being skillful in the work to the selection committee.

Let the words of legends be your beliefs:-

The quality of your content can be enhanced by the use of quotations. It is always the words of legends that will help you explain your thoughts better. Usage of quotation given by the great people in the field you are applying can prove that you know things related to your field and you read things related to your field. It can also help you explain was concepts within few lines and keep your content within the word limit but yet very informative. E.g. one can include quotations by Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton if he or she is applying for research in the field of physics.

Prove your enthusiasm through your deeds not just words:-

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

―Anton Chekhov

Action speaks louder than words are true when it comes to telling others about your enthusiasm in the field you want to study. In your statement of purpose, you should always include the significant work which you did in the field that brought up some achievement to you. Instead of just saying that you are enthusiastic about the field you are applying, prove them your enthusiasm by sounding excited through your work.

Specification of your interest:-

Always make sure that in your statement of purpose you do not miss out keeping one specific section for writing all the technical knowledge you have about the subject and which describes your future plans and goals if you are selected. Always do background research about the university you are applying to. Know the professors working there and the researches they have done. You can even mention the professor of the university in your statement of purpose that you would be looking forward to working with after joining the university. It will make you look like a well-planned person with a passion

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