A Statement of Purpose is a letter of intent that expresses your desire to pursue a particular course or take admission to a university. You have to address this to the admissions committee which will cover your goals, interests, professional achievements and the reason behind your wish to pursue a specific program.
The Statement of Purpose is the only area which will tell whether you truly match the given course in line with your interest and goals. SOP works on demonstrating your suitability for a certain course or grant and it is normally submitted as an essay.
Some colleges choose to have it question-based and it is the most important component which determines your admission to the selected institution. An SOP must begin with a self-introduction, followed by a summary of your background that covers your previous academic achievements.
If there are any professional experiences, that can be mentioned and it must be concluded by describing how your previous education and work experience has prepared you for the course you want to pursue.
Proposed Study Plan: This part must focus on the relation between the course you have already pursued and the one which you wish to pursue now. You should also write about how your past in academics will act as a foundation for your education to follow.
Look into the future: It is also crucial to discuss your objectives and what you wish to get out of this program you have applied to. It is necessary to make sure that your future employment goals are related to the course you have planned to study.
You can describe how you picture yourself in the next five years after graduating from college and point to your long-term aspirations along with your professional plans and objectives. Your SOP must begin from your past, focus on the present scenario and move to the future. This may not be the exact structure but it is essential to follow a structure which persuades the reader.
There are also things which must be avoided while creating an SOP.
Don’t include unnecessary details: SOPs often lack a sharp focus and are all over the place. Work on avoiding unnecessary information in your SOP. As universities don’t have any guidelines for SOPs, it is necessary for you as an individual to figure it out.
Professional aid can be necessary at times and contacting such persons may help you draft an SOP in the best way. It is also better to get in touch with someone who has composed SOPs before and has acquired admissions into a college of their choice.
Avoid keeping it very long: College or university officials have to deal with various SOPs that reach them and they obviously don’t have time to spend on each application. Thus, it is necessary that you cut short your content as keeping it long will be a major drawback. Keeping it concise makes you more likely to get your message across convincingly.
Avoid Grammatical errors: Your SOP should be free of grammatical errors and typos and it is necessary to make sure you meet people who may read your SOP independently and point out any errors and inconsistencies. It is a must to avoid slang language as your SOP is a gateway to your future career and must be extremely professional.
Be honest: Lying about your achievements and what you have accomplished could be the biggest advantage for your academic future. You must work on only including details that you can support with the relevant proof of documents. You can omit the achievements that you cannot prove and justify with the necessary documents.
Final word: The first and last sentences of each paragraph pose extreme importance as the evaluator will have only a minute to read out and understand your essay. Thus, they may skim through the SOP without focusing on the main content and read out only the first and final phrase of each paragraph which may determine your outcome.