Statement of Purpose Writing: Practical Guides

knowing how to present yourself is equally as important as being brilliant. Some people have exceptionally great academic results but are poor at packaging themselves. Learn how to write a great Statement of Purpose and increase your chances of admission

things to know to write perfect statement of purpose

There is a previous post on how to write the perfect statement of purpose but so very many people have been responding privately asking for expatiation as they do not really understand hence the need for this follow-up post hopefully with more clarity.

In this new post, I have also done more research and will be highlighting these areas also

  • What is SoP?
  • Is SoP really that important?
  • How really do I start writing an SoP?
  • Things to avoid putting in your SoP

What is SoP (Statement of Purpose)

Just as the name is, it simply means the reason for doing something. In other words, the motivation for doing what you intend to do and in this case, seeking admission into that school.

It simply describes you as a person, your motivation (a convincing reason you chose the course you are pursuing and the school) and this is the main document the admission committee will check before you can get the admission.

An SoP is a document which shows your passion, clarity of thoughts, dedication, inspiration, and most importantly, your uniqueness.

Is SoP really important?

Sometimes, some people, even very brilliant minds think and believe that having a great GRE score or having the perfect CV will guarantee automatic admission. While this can greatly boost your chances – and are of course very important, your SoP does more.

Each institution receiving applications have an admission committee in charge of these admissions and they have never seen you nor heard anything about you, your SoP is what stands in for you.

It is your SoP that tells this admission committee why they should pick you over thousands or millions of other applicants. In short, it is the most important document you will submit and can well decide whether you are accepted or rejected.

How really do I write an SoP?

An SoP is more akin to an essay and there is the tendency for it to be boring hence you need to know how to place your points appropriately to catch attention even in the first few minutes of someone reading it.

Just as this is the most important document you are submitting for the application, you need to put in ample time to perfect it. Never do it in a rush. Ideally, you should make several drafts, review yourself over and over and give others to review for you as it just has to be perfect.

Here is a list of useful tips to help you get started;

  • You may start with a little quote and show how this inspires you especially in relation to your chosen field. It is not compulsory it is a quote but most times these give good ground for starting.
  • Paragraph 1 – You can describe like your childhood moment when you had a particular passion for something and how that lingered on to the point of influencing your decision for the current chosen field. You play with this area but make it short.
  • Paragraph 2 – Brag about your current achievement in a very polite way of course. Your undergraduate results, extra credits earned, awards received etc but be subtle. Make sure everything you write about your past achievements does not deviate from your current chosen field of interest.
  • Paragraph 3 – Talk about your project and how useful and impactful it is. Explain your publications (if any) or research works including independent research.
  • Paragraph 4 – Talk about why you chose the country e.g. US as your postgraduate destination country. Explain briefly why you chose the course/university and the likes. You are supposed to have done enough research about the schools to be able to talk well about facilities and features that make them unique.
  • Paragraph 5 – Explain your short term goals and long term goals. Write carefully and make sure you have researched well to defend anything you put down
  • Concluding paragraph – Write short closing convincing that you will serve really well in the university.

Things to avoid when writing your SoP

  • While you brag about your achievement and result, try and be very subtle about it. Rather than just boasting about it, rather write how your results have kept you motivated and more resolute.
  • Watch your language. Be as formal as possible and don’t be tempted to using colloquial or informal terms. ensure your grammar is also accurate and consistent.
  • Avoid Plagiarism. You can borrow ideas from others but always make sure there is an original touch to it and you should be able to defend it.
  • Make sure your SoP is more inclined towards the course and university rather than some side attractions you plan to engage in.
  • Do not make your paragraphs too long and boring. Remember will be read by humans and not computers.
  • After spending so much time researching and writing, you need to ensure your SoP is safe. The people that will read it have seen many and you don’t want to risk yours being seen before you present it.

More Resources:


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