A statement of purpose, also called an SOP, reflects your personality, which you submit to the admissions committee (Adcom) for enrollment at a foreign university. This is your chance to impress the panel by presenting your profile through an essay that describes your personality traits that are not covered in your academic paper.
What are SOPs?
SOPs are long essays required by overseas universities and currently, several Indian universities are in the process of applying. As can be seen from the complete SOP form, a statement of purpose is an essay describing the purpose of applying for a particular degree program at a particular university. This essay consists of the essence of who you are, who you want to be, and how much you desire to pursue a particular course at an institution.
The document aims to understand the candidate’s life, motivations for the chosen career path, and goals. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss past events that affected your career in a particular field that you would like to further develop by attending a course/college.
How long is the statement of purpose?
A statement of purpose should be between 500 and 1,000 words. It is usually no more than one page. The top academic writing company recommends that students use conventional (11- or 12-pt) legible fonts and leave sufficient space in the margins to make statements easy to read. Remember to double space between statements if the university has requested it, he added.
How important are SOPs?
Admission committee members often mention that SOPs can be an important factor in considering applications. A student’s letter of intent can give them an advantage over their classmates. Since your SOP is the part of the application that you have complete control over, you need to spend as much time as possible making sure you write forcefully.
Tips for writing a statement of purpose
A statement of purpose, sometimes also called a personal statement, is an important part of a doctoral application. It works as a cover letter; it must convince the reader (in this case the selection committee) that you have the right qualifications, motivation, and professional goals to continue postgraduate studies in his program. Use the tips below to write a striking statement of purpose.
Building a story for yourself is the key to writing a good SoP. So, are you wondering what keeps you out of bed every morning, motivated to get on with life? Then find your interests and give a word or phrase to give a cohesive identity. If you’re a journalist interested in questioning conventional wisdom, aren’t you a narrator? If you are interested in economics, how do you see the development of capitalism today? If political science is your favorite subject, do you see yourself as a political theorist, aspiring diplomat, or international activist? You don’t need to have definitive answers, but you do need to ask the right questions to create the impression that you have basic control over who you really are and want to be who you really are.
Don’t just write facts, write interesting stories
Think of the great experience you had when you couldn’t wait to tell your friends about it. You don’t just tell them. You add small details, telling them what you think, how you feel, and maybe what you learned from them about yourself and human nature. Your enthusiasm for this great experience and your personality makes your story so great.
Your statement of purpose should be like this story about your great experience. Think carefully about why you want to study your subject. When and how did you first discover your interest, talent, or desire to learn everything in this subject? How does it fit into your life purpose? Then turn it all into an interesting story.
Describe your interest
Your research interests should be an integral part of your statement of purpose. Indicate the topic you want to investigate by pointing to a topic, defining the problem, or asking a question. Talk about what sparked your interest in the topic and how it would add to the field and the current state of the science.
Show them that you belong
Your statement of purpose should relate your research interests to the school to which you are applying. You should identify professors with parallel interests with whom you would like to work and explain why using specific examples from their work. Explain how this school will help you achieve your research goals. Is the department known for its unique approach or a strong focus on a particular area? Do they have special access to resources to help you research? This paragraph should match each school you are applying to.
Please don’t make an embarrassing mistake
Don’t rush to proofread your text before sending it. Nobody likes to read something full of grammatical and syntactic mistakes – this is one of the easiest ways NOT to make a good impression, and you certainly don’t want to. Take the time to read and review your paper. Ask a friend to help you with this, if possible.
Research, don’t copy!
One of the worst things to do when writing your SOP is to copy a template or sample SOP from the internet and use it as is; its content made the SOP unique and convinced the university to release it. So do your research topics on the SOP writing format but always make sure to include your own original words in the Statement of Purpose (SOP).
Let your voice be heard
Don’t be too formal or too casual when writing your statement of purpose. Show your personality. Add wit and insight, but no kidding. Use technical terms that make sense to indicate experience in your field, but don’t fill it with nonsense or clichés. Think of your statement of purpose as a conversation with one of your professors.