How to write a Crisp Statement of Purpose for PhD admissions?

A Statement of Purpose better termed as SOP, can be called a reflection of your personality that is portrayed in a document to be put ahead of the admission committee (Adcom) for getting an easy enrollment in universities abroad. It’s like you are at a chance of impressing the committee by showcasing your profile strongly through an essay that depicts your characteristic traits, which otherwise aren’t covered in your academic certificates.

  • An SOP may be a long essay required by universities abroad and nowadays in India too, during the application process. The Statement of Purpose is an essay stating the aim of applying to a specific course of a particular university. This essay consists of a gist of who you are, who you would like to become, and the way you’re ready to pursue a particular course in an establishment .
  • The document needs to be made to understand the candidate’s life and the motivation behind the chosen career path and his goals. Therefore, it is a must for a candidate to discuss the history of incidents that have influenced the career path during a specific domain which has been an inspiration to achieve and aspire the growth by joining a course/college.

Why is SOP important?

For an admission destined abroad, a well-written SOP is extremely critical. Needless to mention, there are many aspects of a candidate’s application that are inspected before finalising a choice. While the tutorial record and other exam scorecards, academic transcripts and backlog certificates are essentially objective in nature, an SOP is the only true subjective aspect of your application.

It is the sole document in your application that provides you the chance to prove that you simply have something unique that makes you stand out from the gang . As such, it’s the document of your application docket which will hugely determine your admission.

What is the overall Statement of Purpose Format?

Most universities across the world have a typical format that is acceptable. Yet, the kind of content that needs to be put in an SOP differs with the sort of courses. In this article, one can find out how to write down the SOPs for various courses like for MBA Programme, for MIM Programme, SOP for MS Programme and SOP for UG Programme.

While there are a variety of formats and samples available online for an SOP which aspirants can use for SOP writing, however, it’s difficult to settle on the proper format. Also, you’d not find the right formatting details required for a specific draft or the perfect chronology to follow.

Writing an SOP application is definitely different in accordance with the kind of course one wishes to apply for. It is very important to inspect the samples and formats course-wise.

Should your name be on your Statement of Purpose?

In a traditional SOP, mentioning your name or course details anywhere within the document is not a compulsion. Since it is very well understood that the Statement of Purpose is a principal part of your application/student profile, the name and course details will be attached to it by default. However, it might so happen that some universities or schools specify whether or not they need the candidate’s name and course details within the SOP. These universities will provide you with specific instructions on how and where to write down your personal details in a document. Thus, it is recommended to follow the instructions thoroughly.

Australia, Canada, UK and USA SOP Formats

There is no fixed format to be followed in an SOP for a rustic . However, a university may provide you with a group of guidelines supported which you’ll need to write down your SOP.

What do colleges search for in an SOP?

During the process of an SOP drafting, It is not to be forgotten that the admission committee is going to be reviewing thousands of applications for an equivalent course. Hence, your SOP is sure to be precise and crisp. The profile should be such that it should be highlighting the individuality in your profile. Here are few things that the school review committee generally search for during a student’s SOP:

  • Your writing capability is reflected in your SOP. An SOP should never have grammatical errors. The language should be lucid enough for them to grasp yet should have an honest vocabulary. It should be confirmed that students do not use too many heavy words as sometimes an excessive amount of rich vocabulary makes the sentence redundant and it fails to speak the meaning.
  • What causes you to stand out from the remainder of the crowd? Highlight your unique side/unique personality. Your SOP should be recognized as an individual by The Adcom. Your interests and goals will help them know you on a private basis.
  • With your talent, previous experiences and interest, how and what are you able to contribute to the department and college/university, as a whole? consider it as a two-way process. With you receiving an admit, your career will get a direction to begin well and through your efforts and participation, the department/college can receive benefits.
  • you would like to say how you’ll be ready to contribute towards their community, be it through sports, community services, societies or clubs, and so on.
  • Being conversant in the university facilities and curriculum will assist you an excellent deal. you would like to remember the scholar programmes, faculty, internship opportunities, student facilities and societies, traditions etc that sets the university aside from others. The Adcom should be satisfied that you’re not applying in it just randomly but also do realize the department and college/university thoroughly.
  • Your motivation or inspiration to review a specific course should be clear, evident and justified. Adcom doesn’t approve of bragging sentences within the SOP. So, it is advisable to keep the originality and reality intact, and free from anything that might sound like an overbearing or an arrogant statement.

How to make your SOP Outstanding amidst the Crowd?

Now that we’ve assessed how important your SOP is, we come to the part where we discuss the way to write an SOP that stands out amongst 1000s of applicants per annum. There are obviously some basics about SOP writing, which one should keep in mind like general word limit, format, etc.

What is important to notice is that you simply must, at the least, remember which course you’re writing the SOP for. For instance , if you are talking about studying computing in a country, you want to discuss all of your encounters, experiences, and learning of computing. Don’t miss out on anything important and don’t mention the remainder of the items as an excessive amount.

In particular, it should be taken into account that the SOPs of MBA applications would be different from the SOP for Masters courses like an MS or an MSc. Likewise, there will be huge differences between SOPs for Bachelors courses too. Here may be a check out of the way to write a winning SOP.

  • What should be the duration of a press release of purpose?
  • Statement of Purpose should be ideally wrapped in 800-1000 words, a maximum of 1-2 pages long. However, it is purely upon the requirements of the specific universities on which the length of the document depends. Some universities have a hard and fast length and pattern of SOPs required, which is fixed to 500 words only, even 200 words in some cases. Most of the schools accept generic length, which is 800-1000 words, which can be transcended to 1000, but not exceeding 1200 words, in some cases.
  • It is generally easy to write down a story of your life explaining the importance of every incident in shaping or moulding your character. Nonetheless, when the SOP needs to be done within a university centric specific word limit, it becomes a challenge to portray your best within limited words. In such cases, it’s better to say the main achievements from every place you’ve been to like school, college, office, etc.
  • Some universities abroad don’t require SOP, they rather offer you Essay Prompts alongside a word limit. So as to find out the importance of word limit in an SOP, one must understand the importance of word limit in an essay.

What to incorporate in an SOP?

There are many elements to an SOP. Universities could ask question-based essays or just a general statement of purpose. Until and unless categorically asked, an SOP must include your goals and therefore the career path you’ve got haunted by this far as your academic progress. Other elements that are further important to the SOP are the private motivations that lead you to settle on the university course you’ve applied to as well as how you plan to use that to realize that goal.

Strategies to write down a strong and Convincing SOP

  • Whether applying for undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate programmes, the strategy of writing a strong statement of purpose would be to sound focused throughout. Ranging from your academic and professional background to your career aspirations, you would like to carefully connect all the dots between reaching your goals through your choice of faculty and your selected course.
  • The essay is expected to be a gradual flow of your past experience, present involvements, and future plans. A crucial point to recollect while writing your SOP would be to divide it into paragraphs that cover all the pointers. Here may be a check out on how you’ll write the SOP presenting your profile strongly:

Introduction of SOP: 1st Paragraph

This paragraph is usually confused with self-introduction. There are multiple approaches you’ll adopt to travel about this paragraph:

  1. Discuss your long-term goal and connect it together with your idea of pursuing the course you’re applying to
  2. Present your understanding of the chosen field and write how you would like to contribute there
  3. Explain your background in 2-3 lines and connect it together with your future goals
  4. Write about an anecdote that helped you realise your professional interest within the chosen field

2nd and 3rd Paragraphs of an SOP: Academic Background and Professional Experience

This comprises your academic background: what you’ve done this far, what you’re currently pursuing, your academic strengths and projects, industrial exposure you’ve attained, etc. If you’ve got any professional experience it should be discussed within the upcoming paragraphs.

SOP 4th Paragraph: Why This Course?

In this paragraph, it is discussed how you would like to hitch a course and what modules would you tap during the learning period. It should also cover the talents you’d acquire during this duration alongside the exposure that might help in developing those talents desired to understand your goals.

SOP 5th Paragraph: Career Goals

  • This is the foremost paragraph, where one needs to discuss your short and long-term goals. Your immediate goal would be where you’d want to figure what next to be done right after completing this course. It is necessary to be ready to name some companies within India alongside the designation you see yourself performing at. This could explain the type of job profile you’d be performing on.
  • Then comes your long-term goal, wherein you ought to mention where you see yourself 10-12 or 15 years down the road. This might include your desire of performing on CEO/CFO/CTO level or even establishing a firm that you simply own. It’s going to also include your dream of expanding your existing closed corporation overseas. You’ll even be curious about further studies, sort of a PhD which may be included here.
  • Moreover, in this section one can add their aims of becoming a professor or researcher. In any case, it’s suggested that you simply discuss your business aim, principles, and core values or how you’d influence the young aspirants of this industry. You have got to be ready to portray ‘how you would like to form a difference within the industry keeping in mind the present industrial scenarios and emerging trends’.

SOP 6th Paragraph: Why This University?

This is a selected paragraph wherein you’ll convince a university as to how they’re suitable for your profile and you’re a perfect candidate for the university. You ought to discuss the course curriculum, research work, faculty names, also because of the university-specific activities that might assist you in enhancing your profile.

Can SOPs help with Scholarships?

If you’re eligible for any college-specific scholarships, then during the application process, you’ll be required to write down a separate essay of SOP. Either you’ll write an essay stating the explanations why you think that you deserve this scholarship or what causes you to be unique from the remaining candidates? Thus, a generic SOP is different from a scholarship SOP.

Closing Paragraph of SOP

The last paragraph should conclude your desire and readiness for joining the course that you have chosen. Since this is often the closing paragraph, you ought to sound focussed and ready for all the challenges that are about to come your way. It should also show that you simply have the zest in you to succeed and with the assistance of the chosen course and university you’ll definitely make a difference within the industry on a worldwide perspective.




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