What is Statement of Purpose and How to write one?

What is Statement of Purpose? How to write Statement of Purpose? What to write on SOP and What not to write on SOP? How important is SOP in US University admissions.

Statement of Purpose

Also termed as,

Statement of Interest,
Essay.
Personal Essay
Academic Essay
Personal Statement
Academic Statement
Professional Statement

What is an SoP?

An SOP is a Statement of Purpose. Basically, purpose means the reason for which something exists. To be precise, it describes you, your goals and intentions which the admission committee will evaluate. An SOP is a document which shows your passion, clarity of thoughts, dedication, inspiration, and most importantly, uniqueness.

How important is the SoP?

The evaluator has never seen you or heard of you. Yes, the SOP serves the purpose of telling the admission committee why they should choose you. It is “the” most important document. They want to know a student in and out and not just by his transcripts and final year project. An SOP carries a lot of weightage. A well written SOP particularly to the top universities can tilt the scales in your favour.

How should I write an SoP?

An SoP is basically an essay and a major chunk of it will be boring. However, it is the most important document which means it will take a lot of your time. Start working on it from around the 1st week of October (if you’re applying for Fall). It’s not an essay on a political leader which will get over in a day. You have to make several rough drafts, keep on editing, get it proof-read by your seniors and then you will have your final copy ready.
Following are the points you should write in your SOP:

Start off with a saying or a quote and justify that you are highly inspired by that quote and the person who wrote it. (in like 2 lines).

First Para : Describe your childhood interests in an innocent way (don’t drag it for long) and how that interest is still in you. (ex. A computer or a telephone).

Second Para : Highlight your marks in the entrance exam of engg. or your undergrad percentage (make sure the achievement is big, else don’t). Also, write about your current subjects that inspired you towards the course and express it as one more element towards your interest.

Third Para : Give an idea of your BE project and explain what you are learning from it rather than boasting about your project. Explain your publications, internships in the same way as your projects.

Fourth Para : VERY IMPORTANT PARAGRAPH. Why you decided to choose USA (NEVER MENTION MONEY, EVENTHOUGH YOU ARE GOING FOR THAT) as your post graduate country and why you opted for this course/university. Express your liking towards the university. Don’t bore the reader by praising them irrelevantly. Express your liking of the university in terms of Research work, Labs, Faculty, and current Projects.

Fifth Para : Explain your goals-short term and long term, where you see yourself some years down the line. Express the content in this paragraph extremely well (one of the crucial factors that decide if you get your admit.)

Conclusion paragraph in 2-3 lines saying that you will serve really well in the respective university.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You have to make as many rough drafts as the number of universities you are applying to. All the content will remain the same except the paragraph where you describe the specific university. So finish the common parts as early as possible and then start searching for particular university as mentioned in point no. 4.

What NOT to write in an SoP?

Don’t boast about your achievements, especially marks. Put it in a subtle way. Write more on how that particular achievement helped you and spurred you on.

Language is an important parameter so you should avoid using slangs (Yeah!!, Chuck, etc.). Also avoid using short form for words like you, are, etc. Keep your vocabulary in control though. Don’t refrain yourself from using nice GRE words. Make sure that the usage of the word makes sense.
We love copy-pasting but, this is not the place. You can take an idea, but it would be appreciative that you make it as unique as possible.

Your SOP shouldn’t highlight your interest in working in an MNC or earning heavily inDollarzz. It should hit your goals and targets. It should be inclined towards your interest in the course and the respective university.

Never mention any company’s name and job prospects.

Don’t make it too long and boring on a particular topic. Understand that a reader is a man and not a computer.

Make sure you keep your SOP in a safe locker. Don’t share your SOP or the idea of it with anyone.

The people reading your SOPs are experts and will surely be able to identify copied SOPs.

*Just make sure that you title it exactly whats written in respective University’s requirements….

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December 28, 2016

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