Statement of Purpose - SOP - Writing Tips | AdmitKard
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Statement of Purpose - SOP - Writing Tips

RARachit Agrawal
Updated OnMay 22, 2022
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Statement of Purpose Writing Tips 

A statement of purpose is an essay that is required in an admission application by various universities, colleges, and other places. An SOP is an important part of the application because it helps the admission committee know the applicant, his academic goals, and determine if the applicant is suitable for the program. 

The SOP is one of the most important documents in an application because: 

  • It gives the committee insight into the applicant’s academic background and interests. 
  • It allows the applicant to demonstrate how they are different from the other applicants. 
  • It helps the committee establish if the applicant is suitable for the program. 
  • It shows the applicant’s communication style and ability. 

The SOP should not be very long. It should be around 800-1000 words. The SOP should also address the applicant’s blemishes, weaknesses in his/ her academic records. The SOP should be brief and honest. To make it an effective SOP, the applicant should turn the negatives into positives by pay attention to how he/ she overcame hurdles and showed resilience. The applicant should also mention what he/ she learned from their past experiences and how these experiences have led them to become a better person. 

Tips for creating a best SOP 

A strong statement of purpose makes an impact on the reader and makes you stick out. Many students, on the other hand, approach it as if it were an essay on themselves, and wind up producing a SOP that reads like a résumé, except longer and with more flowing sentences. If you truly want to stand out from the crowd and be remembered, you'll need to write a fantastic SOP — one that is both fun to read and unique.

  • Start early - Don't put off working on your SOP until the last few days before the deadline. Start reflecting about life experiences, accomplishments, why do you want to take this course, why you chose this specific institution, and so on.
  • Talk about numbers - Numbers enhance your tale by ensuring that your SOP is both descriptive and analytical in nature. You may use tales to explain your acts and stats to emphasize the outcomes of your actions.
  • Choose tales over statements to deliver a point. Stories enable the reader to interact with the author. And connecting with the appointing authority is precisely what the SOP should accomplish.
  • Writing an excellent SOP is similar to having a good discussion. Not a casual chat like you'd have with a buddy, but a formal but cordial one like you'd have with your college president or dean. Another helpful tidbit is to write the SOP in an active voice.
  • Ask for feedback and constructive criticism from others - Don't hold your SOP to oneself; show it to family and friends you trust. Request that they give it a grade, as well as their thoughts and constructive criticism.
  • Customize - 'Statement of purpose format' is a popular internet search term. Many students hunt for easy-to-follow styles online and compose their SOPs depending on what they discover. These templates seem to be dull and uninteresting. As a result, keep your SOP current and original.
  • Spell check the SOP as many times as possible before submitting it. The last thing you would like for your work ethic to be overlooked due to a simple grammar or spelling error.
  • Start making Your Statement of Purpose Detailed - Whatever you mention in the statement of purpose must be extremely specific.
  • Address Your Issues - The Statement of Purpose is an excellent way to address some of your issues. You must strive to be as open and honest as necessary, and discuss your issues in a mature way.
  • Do Your Homework - One of the most essential things to remember while creating a statement of purpose is to do your homework. Before writing the essays, you should thoroughly research all of the colleges to which you are applying and make a list of everything you appreciate about each one.

Profile evaluation

What are the tips for writing an SOP for graduate school?

While writing a Statement of Purpose for a graduate school, the applicant should focus on his/ her specific plans and how the plans will get fulfilled. The admission committee examines every statement of purpose very closely to determine if the applicant is a suitable fit for the program. To write an effective SOP for a graduate school, one should follow the below-mentioned steps. 

  • Identify the questions of the graduate schools:

Graduate Schools have different questions. However, they ask the following questions in general: 

  • What do you want to study? 
  • Why do you want to study that?
  • What experience do you have in the field? 
  • What plans do you have with your degree once you have it?

The SOP should mention the applicant’s interest in the field, the background to support the ideas, and the reason that sets the applicant apart from other candidates. 

  • Mention only relevant details
  • Make sure the SOP is unique
  • Ask for a pointer

What are a few tips for writing a Statement of Purpose?

A statement of purpose should be brief and concise. It should ideally be of 800-1000 words. The following tips should be followed to write an effective SOP.

  • Make the Introduction attractive: An attractive opening often becomes an eye-catcher to the admission committee. Try to open the SOP with a sketch or a noteworthy statement. 
  • Keep it concise and honest: While writing the SOP, the applicant must make it concise, unique, attractive, and honest. 
  • List of the items to be mentioned: Before sending an official SOP, a rough draft should be made where one should mention all the items that should be listed in the SOP. One should mention the following things in the SOP: 
  • Goals
  • Smallest of the achievements 
  • Personal financial background 
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Weaknesses 
  • Work Experiences, if any. 
  • Reasons to join 
  • Interests and skills 
  • Reason to why the applicant should be chosen over the other candidates 
    • List all Goals: In the SOP, one should mention all the short term as well as the long-run goals they have.
    • The message to be conveyed should be clear and interesting
    • A positive impact should be created through the SOP: The SOP should mention a few points that the applicant wants to learn from the course. 
    • Keep the language simple: An easy and simple language should be used in the SOP. One should not use a set of words again and again. 
    • Perfect the SOP: Before sending an official SOP, the SOP should be read, edited, and made as perfect as possible. 

What are the common mistakes one should avoid while writing the SOP?

There are a lot of mistakes one is bound to make while writing the SOP. The SOP should be a formal and concise essay. However, the following are a few common mistakes one should avoid: 

  • Usage of quotes at the beginning of the SOP. 
  • A resume like SOP 
  • A long and difficult-to-read SOP 
  • Grammatical errors
  • Usage of short forms and informal language
  • Beating around the bush
  • Less attention to career goals 
  • Plagiarism 
  • Dishonesty in the SOP 
  • Usage of jargons 
  • Not understanding the value of word limit 
  • Not conducting the proper research before applying 

What are the most important guidelines one should follow while writing the SOP?

The most important guidelines one should follow while writing the SOP are: 

  • Make the Introduction attractive: An attractive opening often becomes an eye-catcher to the admission committee. Try to open the SOP with a sketch or a noteworthy statement. 
  • Keep it concise and honest: While writing the SOP, the applicant must make it concise, unique, attractive, and honest. 
  • List of the items to be mentioned: Before sending an official SOP, a rough draft should be made where one should mention all the items that should be listed in the SOP. One should mention the following things in the SOP: 
  • Goals
  • Smallest of the achievements 
  • Personal financial background 
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Weaknesses 
  • Work Experiences, if any. 
  • Reasons to join 
  • Interests and skills 
  • Reason to why the applicant should be chosen over the other candidates 
  • List all Goals: In the SOP, one should mention all the short term as well as the long-run goals they have.
  • The message to be conveyed should be clear and interesting
  • A positive impact should be created through the SOP: The SOP should mention a few points that the applicant wants to learn from the course. 
  • Keep the language simple: An easy and simple language should be used in the SOP. One should not use a set of words again and again. 
  • Perfect the SOP: Before sending an official SOP, the SOP should be read, edited, and made as perfect as possible. 

What is the recipe for a winning SOP?

A statement of purpose should be brief and concise. It should ideally be of 800-1000 words. To write an effective SOP, the following tips should be followed: 

  • Make the Introduction attractive: An attractive opening often becomes an eye-catcher to the admission committee. Try to open the SOP with a sketch or a noteworthy statement. 
  • Keep it concise and honest: While writing the SOP, the applicant must make it concise, unique, attractive, and honest. 
  • List of the items to be mentioned: Before sending an official SOP, a rough draft should be made where one should mention all the items that should be listed in the SOP. One should mention the following things in the SOP: 
  • Goals
  • Smallest of the achievements 
  • Personal financial background 
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Weaknesses 
  • Work Experiences, if any. 
  • Reasons to join 
  • Interests and skills 
  • Reason to why the applicant should be chosen over the other candidates 
  • List all Goals: In the SOP, one should mention all the short term as well as the long-run goals they have.
  • The message to be conveyed should be clear and interesting
  • A positive impact should be created through the SOP: The SOP should mention a few points that the applicant wants to learn from the course. 
  • Keep the language simple: An easy and simple language should be used in the SOP. One should not use a set of words again and again. 
  • Perfect the SOP: Before sending an official SOP, the SOP should be read, edited, and made as perfect as possible. 

However, while writing an SOP, the applicant is bound to make mistakes. The following mistakes should be avoided: 

  • Usage of quotes at the beginning of the SOP. 
  • A resume like SOP 
  • A long and difficult-to-read SOP 
  • Grammatical errors
  • Usage of short forms and informal language
  • Beating around the bush
  • Less attention to career goals 
  • Plagiarism 
  • Dishonesty in the SOP 
  • Usage of jargons 
  • Not understanding the value of word limit 
  • Not conducting the proper research before applying 

What are the common parameters by which the SOP is evaluated?

The Statement of Purpose is assessed on a lot of parameters. Different universities have different parameters to evaluate an SOP. However, few common parameters are: 

  • Content: A SOP should not be a CV written in paragraphs. It should rather be storytelling how the candidate is academically or in person. However, the story should be a formal story and not a casual and informal essay. 
  • Flow: The transition between paragraphs, points, and topics should be smooth. A smooth flow will help the reader understand the SOP better. 
  • Language: Language in the SOP should be kept simple and understandable. The candidate should not use a lot of fancy words and should not repeat them again and again. Usage of jargon and difficult words can be boring and off-putting. 
  • Knowledge: The submitted SOP should include the candidate’s academic knowledge, experiences, or even workshops. Universities tend to look for people who have knowledge not only in their subjects but also outside knowledge. 
  • Accuracy: The SOP should be concise, honest, and non-plagiarized. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Statement of Purpose

We all just want our SOP to be the cream of the crop, which is why we work so hard to make it so. However, all of our endeavors do not have to be fruitful. While hard effort is necessary, smart work offers its own set of advantages. While drafting a SOP, it is preferable to avoid making the following errors:

  • You're exaggerating your childhood dreams.
  • Not allocating adequate time - It is critical to provide all pertinent information in a logical sequence.
  • Not seeking a second view - Always seek outside assistance. It might be someone you trust or someone who knows your objective too well to assist you in effectively presenting it in a draft.
  • Not carrying out your research - In your SOP, do not provide random information about the selected course, institution or college, or country.

FAQs

✅ What should I write in SOP?

Ans : To write an effective SOP, the following should be mentioned: 

  • Goals
  • Smallest of the achievements 
  • Personal financial background 
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Work Experiences, if any 
  • Reasons to join 
  • Interests and skills 
  • Reason to why the applicant should be chosen over the other candidates 

The SOP should also address the applicant’s blemishes, weaknesses in his/ her academic records. The SOP should be brief and honest. To make it an effective SOP, the applicant should turn the negatives into positives by pay attention to how he/ she overcame hurdles and showed resilience. The applicant should also mention what he/ she learned from their past experiences, and how these experiences have led them to become better people.

✅ What should be avoided in an SOP?

Ans: The following should be avoided while writing an SOP: 

  • Usage of quotes at the beginning of the SOP. 
  • A resume like SOP 
  • A long and difficult-to-read SOP 
  • Grammatical errors
  • Usage of short forms and informal language
  • Beating around the bush
  • Less attention to career goals 
  • Plagiarism 
  • Dishonesty in the SOP 
  • Usage of jargons 
  • Not understanding the value of word limit 
  • Not conducting proper research before applying

✅ What is SOP full form?

Ans: Does SOP stand for Statement of Purpose?

✅ How do you write a Statement of Purpose SOP tips?

Ans: A statement of purpose should be brief and concise. It should ideally be of 800-1000 words. To write an effective SOP the following tips should be followed: 

  • Make the Introduction attractive: An attractive opening often becomes an eye-catcher to the admission committee. Try to open the SOP with a sketch or a noteworthy statement. 
  • Keep it concise and honest: While writing the SOP, the applicant must make it concise, unique, attractive, and honest. 
  • List of the items to be mentioned: Before sending an official SOP, a rough draft should be made where one should mention all the items that should be listed in the SOP. One should mention the following things in the SOP: 
    • Goals
    • Smallest of the achievements 
    • Personal financial background 
    • Extra-curricular activities
    • Weaknesses 
    • Work Experiences, if any 
    • Reasons to join 
    • Interests and skills 
    • Reason to why the applicant should be chosen over the other candidates 
  • List all Goals: In the SOP, one should mention all the short term as well as the long-run goals they have.
  • The message to be conveyed should be clear and interesting
  • A positive impact should be created through the SOP: The SOP should mention a few points that the applicant wants to learn from the course. 
  • Keep the language simple: An easy and simple language should be used in the SOP. One should not use a set of words again and again. 
  • Perfect the SOP: Before sending an official SOP, the SOP should be read, edited, and made as perfect as possible. 

However, while writing an SOP the applicant is bound to make mistakes. The following mistakes should be avoided: 

  • Usage of quotes at the beginning of the SOP. 
  • A resume like SOP 
  • A long and difficult-to-read SOP 
  • Grammatical errors
  • Usage of short forms and informal language
  • Beating around the bush
  • Less attention to career goals 
  • Plagiarism 
  • Dishonesty in the SOP 
  • Usage of jargons 
  • Not understanding the value of word limit 
  • Not conducting a proper research before applying 
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Comments(5)
Ms
Mayank sainiI am 12th passout student with PCM and want to study in abroad in aerospace or earonutical engineering pls suggests me Mayank saini
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Mayank I want to study abroad
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Asif HazraPlease help me with the SOP for getting Scholarship from the university for my masters
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Rufina FPlease do help me with the SOP for admission purpose
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Ranbeer yadavI will be much thankful if i could get sample SOP for BBA major in accounting for Yorkville university vancouver canada.
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About the Author
RA
Rachit Agrawal
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.