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How to Write a Statement of Purpose

What is the statement of purpose?

  • What subjects do you want to study at graduate school?
  • Why have you chosen them?
  • What experience can help you to achieve success?
  • How are you going to use your degree?

This set of questions is the answer to the question: “What is a statement of purpose and what should be mentioned in it?” A paper of this type will help an admission committee to make the decision of whether or not you are an appropriate applicant to study in graduate school.

statement of purpose definition

Statement of purpose should describe the applicant’s background, interests, experiences, and future plans, and is often required as part of an application process for universities, graduate schools, and some job positions.

The aim of an SOP is to provide a clear and concise picture of the applicant’s intentions, abilities, and achievements, and to demonstrate how their aspirations align with the goals of the program or position they are applying for. A well-written paper can also highlight the unique qualities and qualifications of the candidate, and differentiate them from other candidates.

Questions may change from school to school, but their general essence remains the same. Admission officers search for applicants with strong and clear research interests based on their experience. One should prove he/she is deeply interested in chosen spheres and has a solid background to support his/her point of view.

Statement of purpose writing tips

Writing a statement of purpose requires sticking to several tips to achieve your desired aim:

statement of purpose writing tips

1. Define your purpose of your application. Do not state you’ve chosen the school because of its closeness to your home and suitable price. Find out more about the establishment you are interested in and check out their website, research info about about your preferred department, read the program’s curriculum, etc. Make sure you understand the benefits of education for your future career and are able to prove this understanding.

2. Make a clear outline of your paper. Choose the direction of your statement of purpose and plan its main points. Planning your work will help you be consistent in your thoughts and, at the same time, streamline everything you want to talk about. When creating papers of any type, the plan helps to see what exactly you will place in each paragraph. In your case, your academic future will depend on this, and not just your grade in the subject. You can use any note-taking app you like, like Evernote. Or, in an old-fashioned way, take a notebook and state all your thoughts.

3. Do not write how cool and well-rounded you are – you are not applying to college. Graduate schools are interested in bright minds who will be able to achieve success in a particular sphere. Show yourself as a professional who has done more than one study and can qualify for a place in graduate school. Create an image of what kind of scientist you see yourself as and why you think you are. What matters in a statement of purpose is not creativity, but your value as a member of the academic world and what you can bring to it.

4. Statement of purpose should present unique and relevant information about you and your skills. To start writing this type of paper, one can present an idea which is intellectually attractive for him/her and demonstrates one’s interest in the field of studies. Speak also about your passion for the program and the reasons why it inspires you. Imagine that you confess your love to your field of study in science and want her to feel the same feelings for you. Many people consider the study of science in detail impartial, but those who conduct research are exceptionally inspired by what they do.

5. Support everything you say. Use active verbs, sensory details, “smart” nouns, relevant facts and descriptions of objects. It would be best if you stood up for what you tell the commission about to prevent them from doubting your words. Imagine that you are in an interview and need to be confident, speak like a pro, and use professional terminology to be remembered among other candidates.

6. Stick to the rules, if they were given. Read the instructions attentively to follow them directly in your writing. Eliminate all types of mistakes, misspellings and other inaccuracies.
Now you know what is a statement of purpose, let us give you a hint what words you should be careful with in your studies. Do not mention them in your paper without adequate explanations:

  • Significant
  • Interesting
  • Challenging
  • Rewarding
  • Meaningful
  • Incredible
  • Remarkable
  • Exciting
  • Helpful
  • Valuable, etc.

Writing a statement of purpose should take a significant amount of time and thorough research. One should think over its content, write an outline and the first draft, revise the paper and proofread it several times. Do not send the same paper to various educational establishments. The information may be the same, but make sure it fits a specific school’s program and requirements.

What should be included in a statement of purpose?

Of course, while writing a statement, you can be anxious, and sometimes you can get lost in what exactly to write to you about, but you should take it into your own hands since you are already an experienced student. We have written the main blocks of text that should be in your statement of purpose so that, looking at them, you can understand exactly where and what exactly you should write. Get inspired by our experience to quickly and efficiently write your paper and get a place in graduate school.

  1. Introduction. Mention in what way your preferred disciplines grab your interest, using a lot of details and being far from predictable with your phrases. Express your personality when writing a statement of purpose. In the first lines, you should introduce yourself to the commission, briefly discussing your past and indicating your career goal or task in a future dissertation.
    Talking about food, your hobby, won’t help you vividly describe your accomplishments. You must understand that all the information you will add to your introduction should directly relate to your chosen program. Make sure that everything you write about is directly related to the details, the program, and the coursework provided for it. Thus, it will be easier for you to adhere to those requirements that are directly related to your direction.
  2. Academic biography. Speak about previously taken classes, influential figures in the development of your academic pursuit, gained experience and practical skills, unusual experiments, etc. Briefly describe any experience you may already have in your chosen field. This will help you demonstrate to the commission the critical nuances of your personality. Remember all the scientific and related activities you have previously engaged in projects, internships, work, and much more. You can talk to someone close to you if you find it difficult to remember what you did. That way, you don’t miss anything important if you can’t pack up. Be sure to describe your experience directly related to the program, as committee members want to see only the most suitable candidates for the program.
  3. Graduate research project. Present information about a particular project you are going to work on in graduate school. When you decide which program to choose, you also look at the project you want to create during training. Your aspirations help you make decisions about the program, and you need to demonstrate how the program will help you develop the project. A professional approach to this stage of writing a statement of purpose will significantly help you when deciding on your candidacy.
  4. Arguments. Prove the chosen graduate school is a perfect place for you and you will do your best to make a contribution in its development. You may speak about your future career goals and people you would like to work with. Be as specific as possible when writing about your goals. The final paragraph should very clearly discuss where you want to see yourself in a few years. For example, your next developmental step might be to be a secretary, but your longer-term goal might be to be a director in your field of study. Discussing professional plans in your statement of purpose will help inform the admissions committee about the seriousness of your aspirations.

Idea examples for student statement of purpose

There are numerous compelling arguments a student can include in their statement of purpose. For instance:

  • To demonstrate a genuine comprehension of the program’s objectives and how they correlate with their own interests and experiences is paramount. This will reflect to the admissions committee that the student takes their studies seriously and has thoroughly researched what they’re applying for.
  • In order to portray oneself as the perfect fit for a certain program, it is important to express experiences, abilities and accomplishments that will resonate with the admission board. If research or volunteer work are highly valued in this particular program, then presenting your own related journey could be an advantageous strategy.
  • Discussing their long-term goals and how the program will help them achieve those goals. This can show that the student has a clear vision for their future and has thought about how the program will fit into that vision.
  • Demonstrating how they have persevered despite any gaps or deficiencies in their academic record can help show the admissions committee that the student is resilient and committed to success. This reassures them of their ability to excel in the program, proving just how dedicated they are.
  • Illuminating personal stories or perspectives that have formed their interest in the field will help a student to stand out from other applicants and show how they are unique. This can demonstrate their remarkable viewpoint, as well as distinct background information.

Overall, the argument in a statement of purpose should be focused on demonstrating why the student is a strong fit for the program, and how their background, experiences, and goals align with the program’s objectives.

How much text should be in a statement of purpose?

Sometimes students are tormented by doubts about how long the wording should be. Your statement of purpose should take up just one page. Of course, if you have something to talk about, you can write half a page more, but no more. It is essential for you to not overload the reader with your thoughts and all the experiences that you want to fit into one page. Members of the admissions committee read a lot of applications per day, which is why you need to be very brief and, at the same time, accurately state everything you want to say. If you write more than a page and a half, then in the process, you may begin to feel that you have lost the thread of the essence. You should not write the data that will be submitted along with your documents, and they will be able to see your grades in the GPA if necessary.

Statement of purpose writing checklist

We have created a standard checklist for you to review your Statement of Purpose. You need to make sure that you write in a structured way and that you describe all the topics in the correct order. Our experts have created this checklist so that you can be sure of the correctness of the work done on the paper and not confuse the reader and yourself as well. If you follow the list, what you write will be readable, and your candidacy took into account. You can always add something of your own to our index, but be mindful of the scope of your statement of purpose, which is best to stay within the scope of your statement of purpose.

  • Present your personality in a unique way.
  • Show all your passion and admiration for the chosen field.
  • Mention your past experience in this area.
  • Tell us about your professional education.
  • Assess if you have a list of courses and classes related to the field of study that you have previously attended.
  • Write about the famous professors you studied with if you had such an experience.
  • Tell about extracurricular activities related to the field of study.
  • List all publications and any other professional accomplishments.
  • What kind of community service did you have while you were in college?
  • Explain why you chose this particular Ph.D. program and everything related to it.
  • Write what precisely you like about this university.Think of a few names of professors who teach in this program and that you appreciate their work.
  • Present the features of the university that could attract your application.
  • Have a close friend or professor read your statement of purpose.
  • Ask others to tell you stories about themselves during your studies.
  • Do a multi-step check for errors on your paper.

How does EssayShark help with a statement of purpose?

In case you are unsure about how to write this type of paper and how to impress an admission committee, you can get needed help from experts. All you are required to do is to specify your instructions and graduation school expectations. During the writing progress, you will stay in instant contact with the writer and will be able to discuss paper details and ask for needed corrections. Get professional help and forget about your worries.

Our authors have higher education and extensive experience in helping students. You can definitely rely on us, as we guarantee not only quality but also safety. All papers are created from scratch for you, and at the same time, we allow you to check everything written on a free plug-checker independently. Support managers are available 24/7 so that you can get the help you need at any time. Therefore, when we say we can save you from problems, we clearly know how to do it!

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