How to write a powerful Statement of Purpose (SOP) | Format, Tips, & more!
What if my Statement of purpose is not good enough? What if my writing style isn’t up to the mark? What if my SOP is too common? Get answers and tips for all these questions and more in this blog about how to write a Statement of Purpose (SOP).
These questions mentioned above are the ones running through the mind of almost every student writing a statement of purpose for their college applications. To help you write a rocking SOP, I’m gonna give you some simple tips on how to write a statement of purpose and what to avoid while doing so! Now, we don’t blame you for feeling nervous. Your SOP is what makes or breaks your college application. To help negate the stress, it is crucial to back your abilities and have full faith in your writing style.
Statement of Purpose (SOP) format
While writing your Statement of Purpose may seem like a very monumental task right now, it won’t be the case once you start writing. The most common problem most students face is editing their SOP after they’ve written it. You can save yourself some major trouble by following these SOP format suggestions:
- Write your Statement of Purpose (SOP) in a paragraph format with not more than 1000 words or one to one and a half pages.
- Make sure you mention your full name and the program you want to apply for at the top of each page.
- To make sure that your SOP is the easiest to read, use a Times New Roman font (12 point) with 1-inch margins on all sides.
- The SOP format and the number of words vary according to each university
SOP writing tips:
Your statement of purpose is what sets you apart from all the other candidates that apply for the same spot as you do. So making sure that you write a powerful and convincing Statement of Purpose is of utmost importance. Here are a few tips to help you along:
1. Make sure it’s structured
While there is no specific order of writing an SOP, to make sure your SOP is easy to read, its ideal to have a structure to your text. Start with a basic introduction, your personal details, program and career details, etc. and then move on to talking about your experiences.
2. Break out your writing skills
Along with your IELTS or TOEFL, your SOP is also a direct reflection of your English language skills. So be careful not to make any grammatical mistakes, use proper vocabulary, and have someone proofread the SOP for you.
3. How to write an SOP
When the Admissions Officer reads your SOP, there are a few questions that he wants answers to. The best thing to do is to make sure you write your SOP in a way that answers all of them. Some of those questions are: Who are you as a person and what are your interests? What and why do you want to study at their university? Why did you choose your field of study? Why are you the right candidate for that university or How are you different than the other candidates?
4. Research, don’t copy!
One of the worst things you could do while writing your SOP is to copy a template or sample SOP from the internet and use it as it is. Your content is what makes the SOP unique and convinces the university to let you in. So do your research about the SOP writing format, but always make sure that you put your own original words inside the Statement of Purpose (SOP).
What not to write in your Statement of Purpose
To help you overcome the pressure of writing your SOP and avoid making any mistakes, we have a few tips on the top 5 mistakes to dodge while writing your SOP:
1) Boasting and Bragging
You need to know the delicate balance between informing and boasting. Your essay should be the reflection of the confidence you have. You need to keep in mind that boasting about achievements shows a great deal of insecurity. Bragging about your achievements also gives an impression of self-importance and conceit. This is not the kind of impression you want a selection committee to have of you.
2) Beating around the Bush
The one thing that all selection committee members despise is candidates not coming to the point. Many candidates needlessly focus on elaborating the fine details that they forget to put a persuasive reason that keeps the reader hooked. Create an outline containing the experiences and achievements you want to talk about and then structure the essay accordingly. Carry on fine-tuning the essay until you feel that the SOP does not beat around the bush and is perfect for presentation.
This is the one thing that happens when students try to present and carve an image of themselves rather than showcasing their true self. For example, your SOP might state that you love sports; however, the resume does not have any mention of your sporting activities. Such tactics will send confusing and contradicting signals to the committee.
4) Weak Introduction
A strong introduction sets the tone of your essay. An introduction that does not gain the attention of the reader renders the SOP useless. To ensure that you have a gripping introduction, connect your personal background with the academic goals you want to achieve. Avoid providing irrelevant background information and making unclear statements about your future goals.
5) Writing an SOP at the Eleventh Hour
It is easy to differentiate a hurriedly written SOP from one that is well thought-out and engaging. Therefore, the art of how to write a statement of purpose is a gradual process; good SOPs are a result of days of introspection and hard work. Therefore, it is advised that you take the SOP seriously and write with a clear state of mind. If you want your SOP to stand out from the other SOPs, it is imperative that you don’t make mistakes like the ones mentioned above.
Before enrolling to any university, it is important that you keep documents such as your Essay, SOP, Letters of recommendations, etc. handy. At iSchoolConnect, we help you perfect your Statement of Purpose using our cutting-edge AI technology. We recommend programs and universities based on your scores and expectations.
Counselors at iSchoolConnect assist you every step of the way and help you find the program you are passionate about. Book a consultation today and gear up to pursue your degree of dreams in the country of your choice. Select the country and the university you want, mail us your information by filling out a simple form on our website and we will help you get into your dream university!
You can also get more study abroad tips and information from our other blogs such as Tips for scholarship applications, Colleges most preferred by Indians, Top Computer science universities, Managing your finances, and so much more.