Statement of Purpose (aka SOP), is a 1000-1500 words long essay, counted amongst the most essential documents required for getting admissions into abroad universities. It is basically a document through which the admission committee requires to understand better about you, your educational background, work experience, and future goals. The Statement of Purpose also describes the reason behind choosing a particular course at a specific university. This helps the admission committee decide whether you are an ideal candidate or not.
However, that’s not all! An SOP not only portrays your life but also showcases your writing abilities. It is an amazing way to present your language proficiency in front of the admission committee. You need to take extreme care to make sure the document is grammatically correct, clear and understandable, professionally written, and sounds positive and confident.
Again, it is not a piece of writing where you can write anything about yourself. Note that the admission committee receives thousands of SOPs a day. Hence, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to draft a unique Statement of Purpose.
But, students may wonder – How to write a great Statement of Purpose? So, Read on to learn more about the SOP guidelines and how to draft an exceptional Statement of Purpose that will easily catch the attention of the admission committee.
Statement of Purpose: What the Universities look for?
The Statement of Purpose needs to be well-structured and impressive. Keep in mind that universities do search for specific answers from your SOP. So, your Statement of Purpose should contain these details without fail. Below are the major points which you need to cover.
- Highlight the unique part about you. Mention the qualities you possess, your goals, and interests through which the admission committee can understand your personality.
- Provide information on how your past education and work experience has helped you decide to study this course and what your future goals are. Most importantly, tell the admission committee what is your inspiration to study the course.
- After joining the university, how would you contribute to the university’s growth? This could be in terms of sports, societies, clubs, or community services.
- Go through the university’s website and read about the student programs, student facilities, faculty, career support, etc. points that make the university stand out from others.
- Quote information that will make the admission committee believe that you know about the university, department, and course you’ve selected.
- Make use of good vocabulary. Though do not add too many heavy words which would make the sentence redundant. Keep it simple and original.
The Skeleton of an Ideal Statement of Purpose
Now that you’ve understood how helpful a Statement of Purpose (SOP) is and what to include in it, the next step is “How to write a great Statement of Purpose?” You cannot write anything that comes to your mind. There needs to be a proper structure, and the paragraphs should be divided such that all the essential points get covered. Here is a basic structure that you can follow.
Paragraph 1: The opening paragraph should be a discussion about yourself (not a self-introduction). Mention your favorite quote, an inspirational event that encouraged you to pursue this course. Add information about your long term goal as well.
In simple terms, explain why you are passionate about studying that particular course. Do not go much personal, and add up stories about your entire life.
Paragraph 2: Address your academic performance, what you’ve studied to date, current studies, academic interests, projects you’ve done, and specific classes you have taken. Discuss how all these things influenced you to choose this course.
Paragraph 3: Write about the industrial exposure you got while studying. Highlight any internship or extracurricular activities you participated in.
Paragraph 4: Explain why you want to join this course and what part of the course inspires you the most. Include the skills that you would achieve after completion of the course and how these skills would help you fulfill your goals. Talk about the connection between this course and your previous academic/ employment background.
Paragraph 5: In this paragraph, discuss your career goals. These should be both short term and long term career goals. Highlight the skills that you need to reach your career goal. Discuss the job profile you want after completion of the course. Most importantly, include information on where you see yourself after 5 – 10 years.
Paragraph 6: This part should consist of details on why you choose to study a particular course at this specific university abroad and not in your home country. Convince the admission committee why their university is a perfect fit for your profile.
Paragraph 7: In this paragraph mention how this course would be helpful for you when you return to your home country. Add details about how the skills you will possess will be beneficial for your career in your home country.
Paragraph 8: The closing paragraph must be a conclusion of your commitment and readiness towards studying the course. Be focused and show that you are willing to make a difference in the industry by studying the course.
Statement of Purpose: 11 Hacks to write a perfect SOP
Here we have mentioned how to write a great Statement of Purpose below.
- Mention the details about yourself, your goals, academic background, etc. as a story. Do not create stories but write the Statement of Purpose such that it is interesting and informative.
- Think thoroughly before including any information in the SOP. Make sure the details you write are specific and justify your purpose in choosing a course.
- Be clear about how you would portray yourself.
- No need to add your name on the SOP, unless it is specified by the university.
- If you are applying to more than one university, tweak the SOP template and add only those details that would help get admission into that particular university only.
- Your Statement of Purpose should have a conversational tone.
- Be original and honest. Do not copy others at all.
- Proofread before submitting it. Also, show it to your friends or family members and ask them to provide their feedback on it.
- Ask your professors to guide you in writing the perfect Statement of Purpose.
- Format the SOP such that it is clear and readable. Use simple fonts and add appropriate spacing where required.
- Showcase your interest in learning and the positivity residing in you.
Finally, remember you won’t be appearing for any personal interview with the admission committee. Thus, your Statement of Purpose or SOP is the only way to convince them that you are a perfect fit for the university and course. Keep it simple, original, and clear, and you are done!