How To Write A Compelling Statement Of Purpose

Premier educational institutions from all over the globe receive thousands of applications every year for admission to the multitude of courses on offer. Each college has an admission committee which has the unenviable task of sifting through this virtual mountain of applications and selecting a well-balanced class of contrasting personalities who can effectively contribute to the institute and create an ambience conducive to learning. The most effective method by which the committee can gauge an applicant's character and understand his/her thought process is from the Statement of Purpose, henceforth referred to as SoP.

What is a Statement of Purpose?

ASoP is a statement or essay that gives the committee insight into what kind of person you are; your professional history and interests, and your plans for the future. It is an opportunity for you to catch the committee's attention and convince them that you have something unique to offer to the institute as a student. Committees see thousands of applications professing varying degrees of excellence on a regular basis, and such generic trivia often fail to register on their minds, whereas a SoP has a personal touch that dry statistics cannot replicate.

Things to keep in mind while writing a SoP

A well written SoP can often compensate for other shortcomings in your admission form, such as low test scores and an absence of extra-curricular activities. Given below are certain tips which can aid you in writing an interesting SoP.

Follow guidelines:

Every admission form has certain directions which the committee expects you to follow. These directions extend to the SoP also. Ensure that you write an interesting SoP while sticking to these guidelines. The ability to follow instructions is greatly valued at institutions, and doing so will help create a good impression in the minds of the committee.

Don't forget your audience:

Always remember who your intended audience is. The admission committee is generally made up of respected professionals who are adept at gauging people from how they present themselves in writing. Avoid copying from other sample SoPs or using clichcs. A generic and insincere essay will turn the committee against you. Make a genuine attempt to be unique and the committee will take notice.

Say no to one-size-fits-all statements:

Several candidates make the mistake of learning a general SoP and using it for every institute they apply to. Make an effort to research on each institute and let this research reflect in your SoP. Explain how the institute and the unique resources that they have can help you grow as a professional and as a person.

Start early:The process of writing a SoP should start long before the actual deadline. Start writing a few weeks before the deadline and make a rough draft. Then spend adequate time rewriting and refining it till you are satisfied with the end product.

Keep it interesting:The objective of a SoP is to present your life as a story which the committee will find interesting. Ample time should be devoted to planning the essay thoroughly. Choose anecdotes and instances from your life that you think will leave an indelible mark on the minds of the committee members, and project yourself as a candidate with something unique to offer to the class.

Keep it clear and concise:The SoP is a tool to convince the committee of your merits as a student, not as an author. Get your thoughts organized and present them in a clear and concise fashion. Ensure that the committee doesn't have to go through any mental strain in order to understand your essay. Avoid overcomplicating the essay and let it be brief and succinct.

Proofread and edit: All the research and hard work put into a SoP can be undermined by a failure to proofread it. With the advent of the internet and texting language, several errors inadvertently sneak into our writings. Upon completion, allocate a sufficient amount of time for spotting errors and rectifying them. Ensure that your essay is error-free before submission.

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