Statement of Purpose - SOP - Writing Tips

Updated on - January 23rd 2020 by Rachit Agrawal

Statement of Purpose Writing Tips

Statement of Purpose is an important part of your application to abroad universities. It is specific to a course, university, and country. This long essay gives you a chance to stand apart from the ocean of applications. An SOP is usually of 1000 words and in these few words, you need to explain all your career goals, aspirations and reason to apply for that university. This article will guide you about how to write an SOP and make it look presentable.

  • Give your personal financial background
  • Talk about your extra-curricular activities
  • Talk about your weaknesses
  • Write about your work experiences
  • Write about your published work, papers submitted, etc.
  • Tell your reasons to join a particular course/university and come to the country.
  • Write about your hobbies, interests, and skills.
  • Write about your goals
  • Make the SOP interesting and unique
  • Use simple and attractive language to make it unique

10 Tips to writing an SOP

  • Attractive Introduction- It must have an attractive introduction, it can be an anecdote or something interesting you observed in your life to grab the reader’s attention.
  • Be specific – While writing for an SOP, be specific of the course, university, and country.
  • Unique and Attractive - An SOP should be unique from other candidates, don't mistake it with a resume. 
  • List of the items to mention - Before starting the official copy of your SOP; make a list of things you’re planning to mention. Try and think of the smallest of achievements of your school life to make your SOP look better.  
  • List short term and long term goals - In the list, you can also write about your short – term goals, long term goals and things which you specifically want to pursue from that college and course.
  • Keep the theme of your SOP as a life story - Students often tend to find a theme in their SOP, at this level it is better you don’t and just go with the story of your life. In the SOP you can write about what you’ve learned so far and how you came to pick up this course and what are your future goals. 
  • Convey a Clear message - The reader should get to know after reading the SOP of what you want to convey, it must be straight – forward and interesting at the same time.
  • Create a positive impact - Try to put some interesting things you want to learn from the university and course, it creates a positive impact.
  • Re-Edit your rough draft - After completing your first draft, re-edit it and make it as perfect as much you can, it is advisable not to submit your first draft. It is important to discuss the first draft with your friends and family as they may give critical insight to your SOP. 
  • Keep your language simple- don’t overuse difficult words in your sentences.

What do Universities look for in an SOP?

The universities look at a variety of things in your SOP. They look at your writing capability; the essay should be organized and coherent. The university also looks at the uniqueness of the statement of purpose. The admin officers are keen on what will you contribute to the community. Make sure that your essay is consistent and raw.

What makes an effective SOP?

An effective SOP must include your career goals, interests, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Each day there are thousands of student applications trying to be unique and convince the administrative officer. Hence it is important you properly organize your essay in those 1000 words. The officer will then read the talent in you. It may lead you to the top 10 list of the admin officer’s list.

How long should a statement of purpose be?

A statement of purpose is usually 800 to 1000 words. Try to cover all your points in those words. A very long SOP might not attract the attention of the admin officer. It is important that the letter is short and concise. You can look up on our website for some SOP examples for various streams.

What to include in an SOP?

You must include your financial background to give an idea to the university. You must also include your skills, weaknesses and career goals. Try to make your SOP attractive and unique by adding reasons to choose a particular university abroad. There are different formats for different courses, try to be specific about it. A successful SOP is the one that is straightforward and clear.

What not to include in an SOP?

Usage of quotations at the very beginning of your SOP doesn’t look good, hence try to avoid it. Don’t make your SOP like your resume. Try to make it as original and short as possible. There should not be any grammatical mistakes in the statement of purpose. Don’t include colorful texts, images or gifs in the SOP, stick to black font only.

What is a good SOP?

A good SOP must include a straight – forward answer about your goals and ambitions. It must also include your reason to join a particular university, course, and country. Try to make your SOP attractive and unique. There are different formats for different courses, try to be specific about it. A successful SOP is the one that is to the point and clear.

What is the purpose of SOP?

The statement of purpose shows the intent of a candidate. Resumes and transcripts tell the current knowledge about the student while SOP is like an essay. It gives the admin officer insight into your goals, ambitions, etc. A well-written SOP helps the candidates highlight their strengths which would not be possible with only resume and transcripts. Make your SOP interesting and short.

How do you write SOP?

It is very simple to write your SOP. First of all note down all the points you want to mention in your SOP. Then arrange it in a short and organized form with a word limit not exceeding 1000 words. Don’t submit the first draft of your SOP. Re-edit it and consult it with your friends and family members before submitting the final copy.

How do you structure a statement of purpose?

Start your essay by introducing yourself and what inspired you to choose a particular stream. You can then write about your future planning/ career goals. Try to include interesting facts about your life and the stream you’re choosing. You can also include famous quotes or anecdotes to make it attractive. Lastly, you can conclude the SOP with what you’re expecting from the course and what will you contribute to it.

What is the goal of an SOP?

The statement of purpose shows the intent of a candidate. Resumes and transcripts tell the current knowledge about the student while SOP is like an essay. It gives the admin officer insight into your goals, ambitions, etc. A well-written SOP helps the candidates highlight their strengths which would not be possible with only resume and transcripts. Make your SOP interesting and short.

How to end an SOP?

The conclusion should contain a summary of the highlights of your statement of purpose. Try to include the main points of your SOP in it. The conclusion is an important part of the essay as it confirms the progression of the theme of your statement of purpose. The details in the statement of purpose should support the conclusion. A strong conclusion can leave a lasting positive impression on the reader’s mind.

What should you not write in a personal statement?

Usage of quotations at the very beginning of your SOP doesn’t look good, hence try to avoid it. Don’t make your SOP like your resume. Try to make it as original and short as possible. There should not be any grammatical mistakes in the statement of purpose. Don’t include colorful texts, images or gifs in the SOP, stick to black font only.

SOPs of students studying abroad

Riya Gupta

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Riya Gupta

Macquarie Graduate School of Management

Prateek Biyani

University Of Sydney

Uvika Sahni

Royal Melbourne Institute Of Technology

Varun Garg

University College Dublin

Tushar

Aston University

Nidhi Agrawal

Deakin University

Nidhi Agrawal

Deakin University

Nidhi Agrawal

Deakin University

Gourav Chhabra

RMIT university

Pooja

University Of Melbourne

Tarun

Monash University

test mentor

Acsenda School Of Management

Test Appupl

Academy Of Art University

VIVEK VEERI

Monash University

Tejas Vohra

University of Hong Kong

Pradyut Bhatnagar

The University of Hong Kong

Siddharth Agarwal

The University of Hong Kong

Remshed Shaheer

University Of Technology Sydney

Shrinivas S

University of South Florida

Vahini Goyal

Swinburne University of Technology

Bharat Bhushan

Macquarie University

Swapnil Shah

University of Massachusetts

Swapnil Shah

University of Massachusetts

Pimpal Nath

University of South Florida

Abhishek Jaiswal

University of Southern California

Utsav Agarwala

Macquarie University

Satbir Singh

University of Calgary
Study Abroad Expert & Co-Founder @ AdmitKard

Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. He has worked as Software Developer with Microsoft and Adobe. Post his MBA, he worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group across multiple geographies US, South-East Asia and Europe.

Comments

3 Comments
Rahul
thnks
Mayank saini
I am 12th passout student with PCM and want to study in abroad in aerospace or earonutical engineering pls suggests me Mayank saini
Mayank
I want to study abroad
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