Statement of Purpose (SOP): What you need to know!

Statement of Purpose (SOP): What you need to know!

Statement of Purpose (SOP): What you need to know!

A SOP is a personal write-up or an essay that is a requirement for foreign universities. SOP stands for Statement of Purpose. It is usually a 1000-word document; this essay explains the candidate’s life, the driving force behind the chosen career path, and also what their goals are.

It is often stressed that a well-articulated essay or statement of purpose is critical to your admission. In a SOP, you must mention your goals in terms of your career, life, as well as your academic progress. Furthermore, the essential elements in a SOP are the personal motivations that led you to apply to a particular university and course. In the essay, you are also required to mention how you intend to achieve your goals if you are accepted.

There are many features of a candidate’s application that are reviewed before confirming the admission. While academic records and other exam scorecards are essential, the SOP is the only genuinely subjective part of your application. Your statement of purpose is the single document in your application that provides you the opportunity to prove that you have something special and unique that makes you stand out from the crowd.

What makes a good SOP?

The basics about SOP are to decide the word limit for your essay and the format you are going to write it in. It would help if you also kept in mind what educational level you are writing a SOP for. The SOP for Masters in Social Sciences will be different from the Masters in Business Administration. Similarly, a SOP for Bachelors Program will be entirely different from the two mentioned before.

Learn more about the steps to follow when writing a SOP.

1. List Down Points

A SOP lets you express your goals and achievements so far, your life objectives and aspirations. It’s an excellent idea to mind-map and list down the things in order of priority. Include the list of short and long-term goals and significant life events you would want to include. The key is to write down everything that you feel is important and describes you, however irrelevant it might seem. At this stage, don’t worry about deciding what to include and what not to include.

2. Decide on a Theme 

A theme helps you focus on one line of thought; how you describe your ambitions, the uniqueness of your dreams, and the kind of creativity you bring. Your narrative style should read like someone is reading the story of your life. Start with the most essential and amusing anecdote. It could be your childhood interests that developed over time, a TV show or a magazine feature, or a life event that lead to your interest in the major you have chosen to pursue.

3. Trim the List

Revisit the list you prepared and start cropping it down. With your theme in mind, it will be easier for you to trim the list and take out incidents that don’t go with the idea. Decide what works and what doesn’t, what adds to your essay and what makes it sound boring.

4. Do your Research

It’s a good idea to add little details in your SOP, which lets the reader know that you’ve done thorough research on the institution, your major of choice, your faculty, and everything else you like or find interesting about the institution. You can also customize your SOP according to the mission of the university, or the things that they focus on.

5. Edit, Edit, and Edit Again

After everything is researched and written down, it’s time to begin the most critical part of the essay. Never send the first draft of your SOP. Reread your article, get your friends or faculty to read it for you, and see what needs to be edited, removed, or added. It is imperative to rewrite because you can find mistakes that you might have missed yourself, even small things like grammar or punctuation, or bigger things like better vocabulary or phrasing.

Also, try to give yourself some time and come back to your SOP after a few days. Looking at it with fresh eyes might lead to inspiration about how to make it better, more interesting, or impactful.

Follow the right plan for a statement of purpose, and you can’t go wrong!

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