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How to write a SOP? Learn in Simple Steps- Updated 2022

Source: ChetChat

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a very important document that highlights a student’s reasons for applying to a college. It is very similar to an essay but the goal of this essay is to convince the college to accept the candidate. Students are required to prepare an SOP for submitting to the university or college they are applying to. A good SOP makes the world of a difference, while a bad SOP reduces the student’s chances of getting accepted into the institute. 

What is an SOP? 

SOP, which stands for Statement of Purpose is a long document that encompasses a student’s academic history. A good SOP should mention all the achievements and skills of the student. An SOP can be written following different patterns or templates depending on the kind required by the institute. An SOP is a golden chance given to students to give a glimpse of their personalities to the college.

Why an SOP? 

Many colleges/ universities have started requesting SOPs from students to assess their academic backgrounds and personalities. It is obvious that a university cannot assess a student based on their academic transcripts. Thus, SOPs are a good way for students to present themselves to a university. A student can highlight his USP in an SOP to gain an edge over his competitors.

Importance of an SOP 

SOPs are sometimes the only factor that convinces the admissions committee of a student’s capabilities. It gives a sneak peek into the minds of the students, so a well-written SOP is a must. 

  • Allows students to present organized thoughts 
  • Allows students to highlight strengths
  • Allows students to exhibit communication skills
  • Allows students to showcase the best aspects of their personality
  • Convinces the university of a student’s candidature
  • Shows why a student would be the best fit for a student

How To Write An SOP

Generally, SOP is a long 1000 words essay that will help the institutes abroad to understand students better. A statement of purpose is a significant part of a student’s application that will determine his/her image before the admissions committee.

Writing an SOP might seem like a daunting task at first but with the right tips and template and contents, the perfect SOP can be written in no time. The first step is to determine the type of SOP you want to write based on the course you are applying for and decide on the template/ structure of the SOP. In the next step, the student has to decide the contents of the SOP. After making all these decisions, the actual writing process can begin.

How to write a great SOP

Different paragraphs of SOP

An SOP is made up of different parts. Each part is significant in a unique way. The parts of an SOP differ based on the length and type, but we have mentioned a general outline of an SOP. Hence, all of them should be crafted carefully. Let us take a look at the various parts of an SOP.

  • First Paragraph – Introduction 

The first paragraph of an SOP should always be the introduction. The introduction is one of the most important parts of an SOP. If an introduction can hold the attention of the attention committee, then the student is already off to a good start. The introduction should give a brief background of the student along with his long-term plans. A student does not need to introduce himself by name if it is not needed by the college.

  • Second Paragraph – Academic background, work experience, and achievements 

The second paragraph should explain the academic background and achievements of the candidate. This should highlight why these achievements and experiences may be helpful to the college and community. This paragraph should also shed light on the kind of professional experience a student has. 

  • Third paragraph – Reasons for applying to the program and University

The third paragraph should deal with the reasons for the student applying to the specific program and university. This paragraph should also talk about the course and curriculum of the program. The Admissions committee should be able to understand that the candidate is familiar with the course of the program. This paragraph should explain all the major reasons behind applying to the program. 

  • Fourth paragraph – Reasons for being the perfect candidate

This paragraph should explain why the applicant is the perfect candidate for the program. This is the student’s time to shine. He can emphasize his strengths and skills. He can demonstrate how these skills would come into play during the program. 

  • Fifth paragraph – Long term Career Goals

In this paragraph, the student should talk about his long-term career goals. He should illustrate what steps he has taken towards these goals, how far he has come, and what his future plans are. He should talk about how the program he is applying to will help him to further his career goals.  

  • Sixth Paragraph – Conclusion 

The concluding paragraph should end the SOP on a good note. This should exhibit the eagerness and positive attitude of the student. It should once again highlight why the student should be accepted into the university.

What do colleges look for in an SOP? 

We have already established that SOPs are extremely significant documents. They can make or break an application. But let us talk about what colleges look for in an SOP? Understanding what colleges are looking for in an SOP will help us shape our SOP. It is not just any other essay that institutions demand, but is a significant one in deciding the fate of the candidate.

  • Language Skills – All colleges look at the writing style, tone, and structure of the SOP. If an SOP is full of grammatical errors, then it makes a poor impression on the Admissions Committee. A structurally sound SOP is the first step towards getting it right.
  • Academic and other achievements – Colleges look for excellence in students. An SOP that highlights all the achievements of the students ensures that the student is seen in a good light. 
  • Interests of the student – Colleges look for information that tells them more about the student and his personality. An SOP with mentions of the student’s hobbies and interests is well received by the college.
  • Why this College or University? – Colleges look for the answer to this question in an SOP. The Admission Committee needs to be fully convinced of a student’s commitment towards the program and the college. 
  • Unique Selling Point of the student – College scout for students that stand out. They need students that contribute towards the development of the college and the local community. 

Rules/Guidelines for SOP 

  • The admissions committee will interpret from the essay, the student’s: self-motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student
  • Write the composition in an active voice, not a passive voice.  Emphasize on positive perspective.
  • State everything by incident and examples, don’t write false words.
  • Make sure everything in the essay, linked with continuity and focus.
  • Be concise and specific, unless specified.

We at Admitkard helps students and prospective candidates to write and prepare SOP’s for various courses available for institutes abroad.

AdmitKard provides you with everything you will be needing to write an impactable and unique SOP. We have a team of experts and writers who deals with creative writing on the SOP.

We have proofreaders who read your SOP, again and again, to make it correct and also plagiarism experts to make the SOP as far as unique. 

SOP Samples

SOP sample for Bachelors
SOP sample for Masters
SOP sample for MBA
SOP sample for PhD
SOP sample of MS in CS

How to write an SOP for an MBA program? 

As we have already mentioned, different types of programs require different types of SOPs. For an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) program, an SOP should be extremely concise and to the point. It should demonstrate why an MBA would be beneficial to the student. The SOP will lay down the foundation of your application, and the ideas mentioned in the SOP can be taken forward during the personal interview.

Here are some things that a candidate should include while writing an SOP for an MBA program.

  • Start with a solid introduction
  • Highlight your achievements and professional experience
  • Showcase your USP and display your interests and hobbies 
  • Show off your communication skills 
  • Explain how an MBA would help your career 
  • Talk about management, leadership, and collaboration 

How To Write Sop For Business Analytics?

Business analytics is an upcoming field and many students are going towards it , many foreign universities provide this course.

The SOP is written should highlight the seriousness and the business point of view. 

  • Express yourself 
  • Keep your language simple 
  • Write about essential achievements, don’t tell but show.
  • Explain precisely, why you want to choose the particular area of study
  • Emphasize on your skill sets learned and don’t exaggerate.
  • Include information about any research project you want to undertake.
  • Mention about your career goals and plan of action.

An SOP is vital for an applicant when applying to his dream college or job but it becomes more important what is written in an SOP.

How To Write A Sop For Ms In Data Science

Data science is an upcoming field of study and more and more students are participating in this field of study. A Master of Science is a master’s degree in the field of science awarded by universities in many countries .

It is generally awarded in the field of science and is at the postgraduate level. All SOPs are different . The SOP will differ according to the field of study. 

  • Write about your past experiences 
  • Highlight your cultural diversity 
  • Tell why you chose Canada over other countries and that particular institute
  • Mention about your plans and goals 
  • Be honest and support your claims with evidence 

How to write an SOP for a Ph.D. program? 

An SOP for a Ph.D. program is quite different than other SOPs. The SOP should clearly exhibit your excellence as a research scholar since the very essence of a Ph.D. is research. The SOP should be focused on convincing the university of the skills that you possess rather than your past and hobbies and interests.

  • Start with a brief background of you and your past research experience
  • Elaborate on your research experience
  • Explain how the domain of your interest is connected to your past research work
  • Talk about your career goals and how you will achieve them
  • Explain the reasons for choosing the specific program and university 

How to write an SOP for a Master’s program? 

Writing an SOP for Master’s programs is in some ways similar to writing an SOP for MBA programs. It should shed light on the personality and interests of the student. Here are some of the things one should follow when writing an SOP for a Master’s program. 

  • Start with a promising introduction
  • Showcase your achievements and explain why pursuing a Masters would be the right step after pursuing your Bachelor’s 
  • Explain how the program would help you progress in your career and talk about the industry you are hoping to join
  • Explain how your skillset would benefit the university and community

How to write an SOP for Job?

Sometimes companies ask candidates to write a Statement of Purpose. This SOP greatly influences a candidate’s chances of being hired. This document should explain why you would be perfect for the job role, and push the company to hire you. Here are some things one should include in an SOP for a job.

  • A short but precise introduction
  • Academic background, previous professional experience
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Highlight your skills and why they would benefit the company 
  • Explain why you would be an asset to the company
  • Explain why you would be suitable for the job role

How to write an SOP for an internship?

Sometimes, companies ask candidates to write an SOP not only for full-time positions but also for internships. Internships may last anywhere between a month to a year. Since internships are often done by freshers who do not possess any professional work experience, an SOP for internships focuses on the skills of the student.

  • Brief introduction
  • Provide information on academic background and achievements.
  • Mention any professional courses that you have completed
  • Mention relevant work experience if you have any
  • Explain the skills that you have and how you would put them to use in the internship 
  • Explain why the internship is relevant to you and your career

How To Write Sop For Canada

Canada is a country in North America, every year more and more students come to Canada to pursue higher studies. Some institutes in Canada require SOP by the students

  • Write about your past experiences 
  • Highlight your cultural diversity 
  • Tell why you chose Canada over other countries and that particular institute
  • Mention about your plans and goals 
  • Be honest and support your claims with evidence 

How To Write Sop For Canada Student Visa

To obtain Canadian Visa students are advised to submit SOP, along with a visa , to get the consent to study there.

SOP for Visa is a 3000-4000 words document stating why a student wants to study in a country and reasons he/she should be selected.

  • Write about the institute in the beginning.
  • Discussing your passion for studying in a particular field.
  • Academic background and extracurricular activities should be listed .
  • Discuss professional achievements to impress the selectors.
  • Explain the reasons for selecting the particular university for admission.
  • Proofread and edit the SOP.

The SOP is not required officially for Visa.

Still, it is highly recommended as it increases the chance of successfully obtaining a visa , since the Canadian student visa doesn’t require an interview so SOP justifies the sole intention of students .

How To Write Sop For Australia Student Visa 

To obtain Australian Visa students are advised to submit SOP, along with visa, so as to get the consent to study there.

SOP for Visa is a 3000-4000 words document stating why a student wants to study in a country and reasons he/she should be selected.

  • Write about the organization/university in the beginning.
  • Discussing your passion for studying in a particular field.
  • Academic background and extracurricular activities should be listed .
  • Discuss additional professional achievements to impress the selectors.
  • Explain the reasons for selecting the particular university for admission.
  • Proofread and edit the SOP.

The SOP is not required officially for Visa.

Still, it is highly recommended as it increases the chance of successfully obtaining a visa , since the Australian student visa doesn’t require an interview so SOP justifies the sole intention of students.

A SOP is vital for an applicant when applying to his dream college or job but it becomes more important what is written in a SOP. It is not just any other essay that institutions demand, but is a significant one in deciding the fate of the candidate.

FAQs

✅ What is the format of SOP?

Ans. The format of an SOP depends upon the course and the University the student is applying to. There may be some specific things that a certain college/ university may require in an SOP. Some colleges have a specific format that students are required to follow. The general format of an SOP has an introduction, brief academic background, reasons behind applying to the course, conclusion.

How do I start writing an SOP? 

Ans. student should first start by going through the program information and course and curriculum of the program he is applying to. He should check if the university has specified any format of the SOP. Next, he should decide what to include in the SOP. Since the contents of the SOP make or break the SOP, a student should include only relevant information in it.
After this, the student must include information on the course and the university he is applying to. He must demonstrate that he knows what he wants. The next step is writing the first draft of the SOP. Once a rough draft is completed, the final steps include editing and modifying the SOP until the final draft is ready.

✅ What should an SOP include?

Ans. 5 Things that add value
Your Academic Goals.
Your Professional Goals – Short and Long Term.
Your Final Project, in detail.
Your Personal Motivations.
Your Specific Reasons for choosing the University you are applying to.

✅ How do you write a statement of purpose?

Ans. Some quick statement of purpose tips are:
Your statement of purpose shouldn’t have any typos, spelling, or grammatical errors.
Use strong, clear, and concise writing.
Avoid cliches and repetitive language.
Stay away from overly informal language.
Keep a positive and confident tone.

What are the guidelines of an SOP?

Ans. An SOP has some do’s and don’ts that a student must keep in mind. These are basic rules that are followed everywhere in the world while writing an SOP to create a polished and well-written document. 

Keep it plagiarism free
Keep it free of grammatical errors
Make it a well-structured document
Avoid excess of information and details
Be honest in your writing
Do not brag about yourself or your achievement 

 
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About the Author

Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world’s # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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