Statement of Purpose holds the repute of being the hardest thing that you will ever write while applying to a grad school. Despite it, the SOP, also known as Application Essay, stands out to be the most misunderstood aspect of graduate application. The applicants generally write it as an essay about themselves bringing out the monotonous tone and information making these applications the one that doesn’t stand out. But universities don’t need those monotonous stuffs, they put a hefty weight on the Statement of Purpose because they want to know how much interested you are in joining their university and what can you give in return.
So, before writing your statement of purpose give a thought to the below questions. Not only these questions help to write a better Statement of Purpose letter, but also give you a detailed go through as to why you want to join this university. Especially, so that you may determine if your decision to join this college is based on peer pressure or your personal interest in the field they are offering. Just do a teeny tiny bit of brainstorming session with these questions which shall help you to collaborate answers in your letter.
- Why do you want to choose this field of study?
- Why do you want to choose this college and what is it that they offer which lacks in other universities?
- What are your plans after getting this degree post-graduation? Example, if you wish to pick up a job or go into research?
- Do you have any experience in the field you are pursuing? If yes, what more do you expect to learn from the stated university?
- What kind of skills and knowledge do you have? Basically, this question should answer about things that you bring to the table of university so that they know they are going to benefit from you as a scholar?
- What are your hobbies and passion? What kind of person you are?
What kind of students and committee are you expecting there? Do you think you will fit into the crowd?
Unlike a personal interview that takes place in an MBA program, here you have only this Statement of Purpose which you can use to impress the admission officers and that can get you into your dream college. Bonus point, if you are that good at convincing, you might just not end up with admission in your dream college, but also a decent scholarship.
Helping you through, here are seven point you can keep in mind while framing your Statement of Purpose.
- Story over Statements
A simple reason to this is stories are more humanly connected than the statements. Often when you are to put up a story, you will come up with the deep reason why you want to pursue this field of education, may it be emotional, financial or any other reason. You just need to answer all your ‘why’s’ with this story. Just keep it brief and intriguing, you don’t want to make it sound like a thesis. But you don’t need to create stories, to make yourself fit for the college. Tell your own stories in the most honest manner, and then be the actual you be their choice.
- Quantify your story
Bringing the numbers are always helpful. They not only add authenticity but also bring an element of confidence in your SOP. Doesn’t matter if it’s a research project that you did, or a team you led, or a conference you arranged or an NGO you worked in, you can most definitely add the numbers.
- Customize your essays as per the universities
As all the universities, student committees and cultures are different, you need to customize your essay as per the college you are applying into. Before you apply to a university, check the environment of university about how it is and research about the region. Find a connection to yourself and university and then customize your SOP as per their values, motto, bringing out your strength and weakness in a more presentable manner suiting their ethics.
- Portray yourself in a way that is indirect and correct
Whenever you are onto the task of writing your SOP, you need to show your passion for working in the field you are choosing. You must portray yourself as an intelligent person who can withstand rigorous academic work of hours, ready to take challenges in an international school and can complete the graduation in time. Also, you need to bring out a point how you could be resourceful alumni, someone they can be proud of. The best way to make it authentic is to sound intelligent in your letter.
- Problems should be addressed, not defended.
If you have had any problems in your previous job, or had an year gap, or if you had bad marks in any semester, bring out the real reason why it so happened. If you can spin the story good enough, you can even gain the admission officers sympathy and opinion where he accepts you as a mature student.
- Your Homework is more important than you think.
Bringing out how many patents, research papers, Nobel prizes or scholarly students that any universities has delivered is not what they like to read, they already know it. Give them the specific reason why you want to join, or how you will avail the resources they provide. Give them a reason that they would be able to make a substantial change in both the life of student as well as reputation of their university.
- Write, Proofread, Edit, Share, Proofread, Edit and then Send
Invite your friends and family to grade your essay after you have done the proofreading, editing and are ready with the final draft. Remember you need no stones unturned, after all you have worked so hard for several years.
Drafting your Statement of Purpose is a herculean job but in case of any complication, put yourself in place of the admission officers and think about how can you convince him best through just one page of paper. Well, that is all they must know about you and that is all you should convince them.