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When applying for a graduate programme leading to Master’s

degree/Scholarship program , applicants are requested to submit a


letter of motivation (sometimes also called statement of purpose).
These letters of motivation play an important role in the selection
process. Regrettably, however, they often fail to convince members
of a selection committee.

The Statement of Purpose is the single most important part of your application that will
tell the admissions committee who you are, what has influenced your career path so far,
your professional interests and where you plan to go from here.

The SOP is your chance to talk directly to the admissions committee. To make yourself
stand out from among a multitude of similarly qualified candidates. To convince the
committee that you have the spark, the thirst for knowledge that could add value to your
class.

The Statement of Purpose is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects of


graduate applications. Most students pass it off like it is just another essay about
themselves, and naturally, write monotonous stuff that doesn’t stand out. That is why, the
university admissions committee puts a hefty weight on statement of purposes and their
structure – they want to see whether you take the interest in letting them know how
much you want to study at their university.

There is a small marginal difference between an SOP and LOM, but most of the
time, this difference is not taken into account, and this difference is found
illustratively defined in its reflection of a particular nature of content.

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is more of a reflection into you. Its a statement


about who you are, what has influenced and inspired your academic and
professional journey so far, your interests and your professional goals. A SOP
does not need to be a mere statement of facts, instead it is an excellent
opportunity to include some creative flair into your formal writing through
anecdotes, stories or describing your role models. To be bluntly honest, a SOP
is your chance to to communicate directly with the admissions committee, to
tell them why you are the way you are, what life experiences set you apart
from other similarly qualified applicants.

A Letter of Motivation (LOM) is a letter that accompanies one’s application


and is introductory in nature. The program coordinator and the admissions
committee make use of your LOM to understand your candidacy for the
program. It is your platform to elucidate why do you think you should be
given a spot for the program, enlist your skill set and explain why you think
you are a good fit with the university, program and professors. Your LOM
should also serve to display your significant interest in the program and
should also solicit further attention to your application dossier.

Incidentally, the SOP may also be called an Application Essay, Objectives for Graduate
Study, Personal Background, Cover Letter, or some comparable title.

Writing Approach &


Methodology followed:
It requires a fair amount of direction to successfully complete the application process,
and most grad school applicants don’t enter into the process half-heartedly. However,
when it comes time to express that sense of direction verbally, the pressure can be
intense, even stifling. These tips on how to write a statement of purpose for grad school
will help you translate your sense of purpose into an acceptance letter.

1. Follow Directions: It should go without saying that you should demonstrate to the
admissions committee the same ability to follow directions that you would expect of your
students. Demonstrate flair and originality, but do it while coloring inside the lines.
Anything else is a high-risk strategy.

2. Consider Your Audience: Admissions officers will read dozens, if not hundreds of
statements of purpose during each application season. They can smell formulaic writing
and insincerity from miles away, but they will also get genuinely excited when they read
something truly unique.

3. Demonstrate Interest in the School: If you’re applying to multiple schools, odds are
that you’ll draft a general statement of purpose and then modify it for each individual
application. The key word in that sentence is modify. Do your homework on every
institution you apply to. Make the admissions officers think fate has brought you to their
doorstep, even if you’re applying to ten other schools.

4. Write a Draft: The best writing almost always comes from a lengthy process, rather
than a moment of inspiration. Begin brainstorming ideas for your statement of purpose
weeks before the application deadline (if possible), and write at least one rough draft.
Don’t worry if the writing feels raw while you’re working out what you want to say. Let the
first draft be exploratory. The second or third draft is the time to polish, perfect, and
proofread.

5. Choose Your Angle Carefully: Your goal in writing a statement of purpose is to


present your path through life as a story, one that the admissions committee hasn’t
heard before. If you find yourself writing “As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted
to be a teacher,” it’s time to revisit the drawing board. What will you bring to the
classroom that no one else does?

6. Peel Back the Layers (find deeper meaning as you write) : Maybe you don’t know
what your angle is. Maybe you’ve been staring at a blank page for a while now, trying to
figure out how to write a statement of purpose. Many people need to start writing (and
keep writing) before knowing exactly what they want to write. Start putting your thoughts
down on paper, and you may see patterns and deeper meaning begin to emerge.

7. Be Clear and Concise: A statement of purpose is not the place to show off your
academic writing chops. You’re not writing long-winded literary fiction or a new
philosophy of being. You’re writing a letter to a stranger. You’re trying to communicate a
message, efficiently and effectively.

8. Revise: The next step after drafting is revising. And revision means more than running
spell check. Etymologically, the word revision means “to see again,” and ideally it is a
process of more deeply understanding your own writing—maybe even more deeply
understanding your past, or your goals for the future. It helps to allow a week or two
between drafts, so that you really have time to get some distance from your statement.

9. Proofread: Once you’ve written an exploratory draft and made the changes that
meaningful revision calls for, it’s time to turn your attention to the details. Admissions
officers are unlikely to throw out your statement of purpose if you misspell a word or
misplace a comma, but they certainly won’t be impressed.

10. Have Someone Review It: Once you feel like you’ve written the best statement of
purpose you can, it’s time to get a second opinion. It’s best to ask someone who has
been through grad school or worked in the education field, as they’ll have a sense of
what you’re going through, as well as what you’re aiming for. An objective set of eyes
can often alert you to details you might miss on your own. Even if your reviewer doesn’t
recommend any changes, his or her vote of confidence will help you feel better about the
application process while you wait to hear back from schools.

Structure of an SOP ( LOM ) :


Start (Initialization by Introduction) :
Take your time and start early. The letter of motivation is a crucial document in your
application. Never try to write it down in one evening. Do not start your letter of
motivation by repeating your CV. Most Statements Of Purpose Start Off Like This: “I am
applying to the Master of Science program in Something Engineering at the University of
Example because I believe my technical skills will blossom at your program as it is a
place where I will be challenged and where I can develop my scientific and technical
knowledge.” Or Like This: “I am honored to apply for the Master of Science program at
the University of Example because for as long as I can remember, I have had a love
affair with science. Since I was a kid in school, I have known I wanted to be a
scientist/engineer.” Now, almost 99% of the statements are structured similarly, and
often times, students copy-paste, and edit statement of purposes from their seniors or
friends, making it sound even more generic or irrelevant to their applications. If you want
to stand out from the crowd; if you want the admissions committee to remember your
essay at the end of the day, even after going through hundreds of applications; if you
want to gain that extra advantage by being somewhat special and unique, you will have
to draft a great statement of purpose. Great, but original.

Tell them what you’re interested in, and perhaps, what sparked your desire for graduate
study. This should be short and to the point; don’t spend a great deal of time on
autobiography.

Write the introduction ( and thesis statement if publishing a Paper. Before writing
an essay like this, you must have a thesis statement, this is the one sentence that
introduces the central idea of the paper). This statement should sum up the basic
meaning of the essay, and signal to the reader what to expect. The first sentence
is the most important one because it gets the reader's attention. Create a strong
opening paragraph of five sentences or less. Briefly explain who you are, where
you're from, why you have chosen the particular field to which you're applying,
and why the university is among your first choices.

But instead of SOP or LOM, when we are putting down or publishing a Paper
(Research & Theasaurus), We start off with a "Thesis Statement" and before
writing an essay like this, you must have a thesis statement, this is the one
sentence (can be a simple, compound) that introduces the central idea of the
paper.

Make it count. The first paragraph is very important. It is your introduction,


and should hook the reader from the start. You want to make him or her want
to continue reading. Following are some of the Introductory Paragraphs :
Body (Soma) /Content ( Establishing
Entitlement ):
The body of the paper. Each paragraph should deal with a single central idea. This idea
should be introduced early in a topic sentence, telling the reader what to expect in the
paragraph.

Several ideas in a single paragraph will only confuse the reader. If the central idea has
several supporting points, break it into several paragraphs rather than having one very
long paragraph.

Support your ideas, don't just spit them out without backing—it's like writing a cheque
without money in the bank. By giving support to your ideas, you convince readers of their
truth and accuracy. If you successfully prove your statements, the reader should agree
with your conclusion.

Structure the sequence of ideas carefully and logically. Remember, you are mapping a
course, leading the reader through the points that support your thesis. You do not want
to confuse them, or make them take the long way around. Transition smoothly from
paragraph to paragraph to link them together logically. Use connecting sentences to
keep the paper flowing smoothly.

Summarize your undergraduate and previous graduate career


a) Research you conducted. Indicate with whom, the title of the project, what your
responsibilities were, and the outcome. Write technically, or in the style of your
discipline. Professors are the people who read these statements.

b) Important paper or thesis project you completed, as well as anything scholarly


beyond your curricular requirements.

c) Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing,
designing, researching or interning in an area similar to what you wish to study in
graduate school.

Discuss the relevance of your recent and current activities

If you graduated and worked prior to returning to grad school, indicate what you’ve been
doing: company or non-profit, your work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned.
You can also indicate here how this helped you focus your graduate studies.

Elaborate on your academic interests

Here you indicate what you would like to study in graduate school in enough detail to
convince the faculty that you understand the scope of research in their discipline, and
are engaged with current research themes.

a) Indicate the area of your interests. Ideally, pose a question, define a problem, or
indicate a theme that you would like to address, and questions that arise from
contemporary research. This should be an ample paragraph!

b) Look on the web for information about departments you’re interested in,
including professors and their research. Are there professors whose research
interests parallel yours? If so, indicate this. Check the specific program; many
may require you to name a professor or professors with whom you might work.

Conclusion :
Restate your Statement Of Purpose and the main points supporting it. In the conclusion,
add some new ideas or information to challenge the reader to think further. End your
SOP in a positive manner, indicating your excitement and readiness for the challenges
ahead of you.At the end, your letter of motivation should comprise not more than two or
three pages.

Mandatory Points ( These are some of the Significant Objectives that are
paramount pre-requisutes in writing a Out-standing and Structurally
successful SOP ).
How Can Your Statement Of Purpose Stand Out From The Crowd? How do you write a
great statement of purpose that sounds original, but at the same time gives the
admissions committee what they are looking for? Simple. Basically, every university
expects a student to answer to some basic questions that the admissions committee
has. They may not ask you openly, but these are generally what they expect you to
answer:

What you want to study at graduate school?

Why you want to study only this degree?

Why do you want to study at this particular college?

What do you like in us? Why did you choose to study in this particular country?

What do you like about it?

How much and what kind of experience you have in your field?

Is your experience related to you choice of degree?

If you are already experienced, what additional skills are you planning to gain from the
degree?

What you plan to do with your degree after graduation?

Would you choose to end up with a job or take up research?

What are your expectations from both the graduate program, and the university?

Would you like to study or do research under any particular professor? If yes, why only
them?

How can you contribute to our university and our program?

What specific skills do you bring to the table?

Apart from work and education, what are your hobbies, interests, and habits?

What are you like, as a person?

What do you understand about our student community and culture?

Why do you think you will fit in?

What is that one unique aspect/characteristic about you that we should know?

Why does it matter to us or to the fellow students of your class?

Now, these are the questions you will have to consider before starting off with your
statement of purpose. Write down answers separately to each of the questions asked
above, and try to build a story that the admissions committee would love to read.
Remember, unlike an MBA program, you won’t be having any personal interviews for a
graduate program, so the only way to impress the admissions officers is by telling your
story through the statement of purpose. You will have to convey your story in the best
possible way, such that the committee finds you interesting enough. And if you are
interesting enough to them, you will end up with not only an admission, but also a decent
scholarship as well.

It is important that you follow a specific strategy when it comes to drafting your statement
of purpose. Though most students write whatever comes to their mind, or whatever they
see on the internet, you are not most people. You would want your statement of purpose
to sound brilliant, and original. And for that, you’ll need some strategies.

1. Write Stories. Not Statements:


If given a choice, would you prefer reading a novel or a newspaper? A novel, without a
doubt. Do you know why? Because while a newspaper gives you mere news and some
eye-catching headlines, a novel tells you a story; a beautifully written piece of literature
that you will be emotionally connected to. It brings those humanly feelings out of you,
and involves you in its storyline. You imagine yourself in place of the narrator/character,
and understand why he/she has done that, or taken such decisions. We remember
stories much easier than statements. Because stories connect to us, statements don’t.
For example, most people say this: “I used to work in a multinational software company
in the development team, and I had to do the same job every day: code stuff. There was
nothing new for me to learn at work, and there was nothing very exciting about going to
the office. One day I decided that I had to get out of there, so I applied to college to
study higher courses and get a better job.” Doesn’t that sound like most stories? Albeit, a
very normal story? Instead, how about saying this: “Late in the night one Monday, I had
found myself in the middle of a deserted office, and fifteen thousand lines of code. Full of
caffeine in my bloodstream, and an empty life beyond office, I realized that the
computers started coding my brain, and controlling my life. No longer wanting to let the
machines feed on me, I decided that college would be my salvation.” Both the stories
come to about four lines. But which narrative do you think will keep the admissions
committee reading? Which story do you think will be remembered by them even after
reading 5000 applications? Think again. Do you want your statement of purpose to read
like a novel or a newspaper? If the former is your answer, then you need to put in a lot of
effort to tell your story. Think about ‘why’ you want to study what you want to study. Is
there a strong reason behind it? Is the reason emotional, economical, or any other?
Think hard, and you will find a connection. The reason might not seem obvious in plain
sight, but when you think hard enough, you will understand that there is strong reason
why you want to study a particular course/degree. Now, when you have found this strong
reason, tell it as a story. Write a short, but great narrative about what made you make
this choice. About why you have chosen to study this course at this university. Impress
the committee with your creative storyline, and you will reap the benefits big time.

2. Quantify Your Stories :


Even though we asked you to write a story, you will have to remember that your story
should not read like a thesis. It should rather serve as the best source of information
about you. And when it comes to information, numbers play a key role. Your story should
be not only qualitative, but also quantitative. Which means, your story must contain
measurable quantities instead of just stories, so the reader can understand the depth of
it. For example, if you have worked for a local NGO teaching math to primary kids, you
could say: “During my engineering days, I helped a local NGO by joining as a math tutor,
where I taught basic math concepts to school children.” Now even though this sounds
really good, it doesn’t give the reader the entire picture and they certainly do not know
how much of an impact you made on those children. So, you could change that bit to
something like this: “During my second year of engineering, I joined ‘Teach Math’, a local
NGO, where I was a part of the Math tutoring team. For a period of 10 months, I taught
basic math like algebra, geometry and arithmetic to more than thirty 5th and 6th grade
students. And every single student I taught to, secured an A in math that year. I’ve never
been prouder in my life.” Do you see the difference? These numbers suddenly give a
whole new perspective to the readers, and their respect for you is suddenly multiplied.
That’s the power of numbers; they add authenticity, and authority to your stories. If you
can quantify your stories properly, and show the results instead of just actions, the
committee will not forget your name. You can use the same strategy for the rest of your
story, no matter what it is about. Whether it is a research project you did, or a college
fest you organized, or a college sports team you led, whatever it is, add numbers to your
stories, and make them sound more realistic, and more beautiful.

3. Be Specific :
You have to make sure that whatever you say on your statement of purpose, you need
to be very specific with it. Don’t just say something because you think it will impress the
admissions committee. Whatever you say, you have to really dig into details. Be
introspective. Don’t just say “I chose this degree because I love this field.” Explain clearly
why you love this field, what made you decide that you want to work in this field for the
rest of your life, what skills you are trying to amass, why it completes you as a person,
etc. Don’t beat around the bush like you normally would, when you talk to your friends.
Don’t use ideal sentences like ‘I want to change the world’ or ‘I want to find my inner self’
or any of chose cheesy lines. Just be straightforward and always to the point, but not so
much as to come off as arrogant. Find your reasons and then find a nice, memorable
way to say it. Grad school admissions officers require the statement of purpose not just
because they want to find about you and your dreams. More importantly, they want you
to think for yourself, as to why you are taking such a life-changing step; why you think
this is the best thing that can happen to you; and why you think you truly need it to
succeed in life. The ‘why’ is always profoundly important, and also an extremely difficult
question to answer, which is why, if you can find answers to all the whys, then you are
almost in.

4. Customize Your Essay:


One of the biggest mistakes students make is to prepare a basic template for their
statement of purpose, and if they are applying to more than one university, they simply
change the relevant names and details. But the rest of the statement is an exact copy.
This is never a good idea, because though they might seem quite similar to each other,
every university is vastly different from the others. Each of them has a diverse set of
characteristics that define them, and their cultures, methodologies, visions, values,
mottos, strengths, weaknesses, etc., vary greatly. These things are much more important
than the departments, or university rankings, or number of Ph.D.’s or other materialistic
qualities. So, if you are applying to multiple universities, you need to factor in all these
qualities of every university, and customize your statement accordingly. Mere changes in
names and details won’t suffice. You need to tailor your essay such that the admissions
officers think you will fit in well into their community. Remember, every student
community is like a family, and if you give hints that you cannot fit into a family or their
culture, you may not be welcomed easily. Speaking of cultures, different countries
obviously have different cultures, but even a big country like the US has different
cultures in different parts of the country. So, before you begin writing, try and research
the general culture within the region in which your target university is, and learn
something about it. It may also help in aiding your decision process; if a culture doesn’t
attract you much, then there’s no point in wasting an application.

5. Use a Formal But Conversational Tone :


Nearly all statements or essays come under two categories: The super formal, and the
super friendly. The first category is when you write a statement of purpose that is so
formal, it looks like you are writing to your lieutenant in the military. The second one, of
course, looks like a casual email to a friend. Now, when asked which one seems like a
better choice, most students say the formal way is the way to go, and super friendliness
is a big no. And still, a minor set of applicants think they can outsmart the admissions
committee by sounding friendly, welcoming, and funny. But, on further reflection, you
would understand that neither of the approaches is ideal. And you are right, neither of
them is right. Like we talked about it already, your statement of purpose should read like
a novel: slightly formal language, but still a tinge of fun and uniqueness. That is what you
need. A conversational tone is the best and the safest way to go. Write like you are
talking to someone, but avoid using casual language. Imagine you are talking to your
dean, or the director of your college. What would your language be like? That’s how your
statement of purpose should sound. Now, occasional humor is okay, but you shouldn’t
try to sound too funny or too smart. No intentional jokes or funny lines should find their
way into your statement. After all, it’s a statement of purpose, and the purpose is to
pursue a graduate degree, not to impress people with your sense of humor. So, if what
you write brings a smile on the readers face, then it’s perfectly alright. But it shouldn’t
make them throw away your application because you didn’t seem serious enough to
them.

6. Decide How You Want To Portray Yourself and Learn How


to Portray Indirectly :
You must see that the statement of purpose serves as a medium to convey your
attitude, your personality and your character. Alright, those are some heavy words, and it
can actually be difficult to them on paper. So, what you can do is, learn what your
statement of purpose should portray you as, in terms of a few criteria, which tell the
admissions committee that you are: Very passionate about the field of study you have
chosen. An Intelligent student who can withstand the academic workload of a graduate
program. Well-prepared academically and personally, and eager to study new courses.
Able to take on the challenges of studying at an international graduate school. Able to
build and maintain a good rapport with professors and fellow grad students. Able to finish
the graduate degree within time, and graduate with a good percentage. A potential
remarkable representative of that grad school in your future career. A successful alumni
of the grad school who in the future can help in recruiting graduates. A responsible
alumni who in the future will help raise funds for the grad school, to spend on research,
infrastructure, facilities, student scholarships, etc. These are basically the parameters
that grad school admissions officers look at, when they decide who is joining their class.
Now, I know that the statement of purpose can only be as long as 1000 words, and that
there’s quite a lot to cover in that little space. This is where your writing skills should
come in. You simply can’t just go ahead and write “I am very passionate about the field
of study I have chosen.” That is the last think you would want to write. What you should
instead write is, a sentence that indirectly means the same. You will have to choose your
words wisely so as to indirectly communicate your “passion”. You can use brief
examples to show why you are so passionate about it. For example, you can say
something like: “My grandfather was a car mechanic. I remember when I was nine, he
took me to his garage for the first time and showed me how he could repair my damaged
bicycle so I could ride it again. When he passed away a few years later, he left me the
entire garage. It was a turning point in my life. Some of my best days were spent inside
the garage, where after coming back from school, I tried fixing various appliances in the
house. That was what led me to choose to be a Mechanical Engineer.” The above
paragraph speaks volumes about you as a person and your passion for Mechanical
Engineering without you actually saying it. Any admissions officer in the world wouldn’t
reject an applicant with such a deep reason, and such a wonderful story behind him/her.
Now, remember, you don’t have to lie. Try and remember stories from your life that have
shaped your decisions. And connect them beautifully to your goals and dreams. Now
similarly, your “intelligence” can be conveyed by how you write. The quality of the
statement of purpose, the organization, expression, etc. of your statement tells how
intelligent you are. Demonstrating knowledge of the field, and using related jargon shows
that you are “well-prepared”. Showing what you have done already describes your ability
“to take on the challenges of grad school”. Your grades and your previous performance
prove your ability “to finish the graduate program in time”. Being a “future remarkable
alumni” can be implied by your being a commendable representative of your previous
institutions, like your high school, or undergraduate school. Similarly, you will have to try
and represent all the qualities mentioned above in an indirect, but powerful way.

7. Don’t Create Stories :


Be Yourself Because we asked you to write stories, there would naturally be an
inclination to “create” stories out of thin air. Do not do this at all. Write great stories only if
you have great stories. Some people might come from normal backgrounds, who had
normal lives, and probably didn’t achieve anything spectacular. It’s completely okay. If
you don’t have anything great to write, don’t write it. Be normal, and write normal stories.
It is better to be normal than to pretend to be someone you are not. The admissions
officers are expert psychologists, and they can spot a true applicant from a false
applicant with just one reading. So, you will badly hurt your chances of getting into your
dream school if you try to be someone else. Just be yourself, and write only about the
things that have happened to you, and the things that you are passionate about. Saying
“I love research” just because you think they will like it, isn’t going to help you a lot.
Whatever you say just for the sake of it, won’t appeal much to the committee, as they
would look for relevant evidences in your stories and in your past. So, don’t even think
about fooling the committee with a false storyline. Try and be yourself throughout the
essay.
8. Address Your Problems :
The Statement of Purpose is a great opportunity for you to address some of your
problems. If you have had any problematic academic background, or a gap year in your
career, or if you had any work-related problems, you can address them on the statement
of purpose in order to reassure the admissions committee. You must try and be as
honest as possible, and talk about your problems in a matured manner. Instead of trying
to defend yourself, you can point out the actual reasons that led to the problems, but
more importantly, you should highlight ‘how’ you overcame the situation, and ‘what’ you
have learnt from the experience. For example, let’s say that you got all C’s or all D’s in
one semester. This normally isn’t the kind of academic profile a good grad school would
want from you, unless there is a strong reason behind it. So, take some time and
dedicate a few lines to explain whatever happened. If you had a health problem during
your semester exams, or if you faced any emotional setback during that time, if you
experience any personal loss, or if you had to take up additional family responsibilities
other than studying, you can mention that in your statement. But, more importantly, you
should not forget to demonstrate how your grades have been steadily improving since
then, and that you now have a decent grade-point average in the discipline. If you can
spin this story well enough for the committee to empathize with you, then your story will
enhance the admissions committee’s image of you as a matured student, with the
abilities to “take on additional challenges” and “to finish on time”, even when things are
against you.

9. Do Your Homework ( Acquaint yourself with the Policies,


Awards and Meritocracy of University or
Organization or Institution in which you are applying ) :
This is one very important point you should exercise while you are writing an statement
of purpose. You should be thorough with the details of all the universities you are
applying to, and list down all the things you like about each university, before you write
the essays. Most students simply write generic sentences like “I am impressed by the
importance your university gives to research” or “I would like to study here because you
have 100 Ph.D.’s and 20 Nobel prize winners.” etc. No, that is not how you do it. The
admissions committee knows how great their college is; you don’t have to remind them
again and again. But, you should let them know what exactly you like about them, that
you so badly want to be there. The specifics are really important. For example, you could
say something like this. (Excuse the random jargon, it is only to give you an idea.) “I
would fully utilize the resources that the Wallenberg Hall provides, as I am particularly
interested in the field of molecular chemistry. The special 24/7 laboratories provided for
student research on molecular processing is exactly the kind of opportunity I am looking
for, as I could totally see myself working in the labs day and night.” And something like: “I
especially want to study under Dr. Mark Adams, Ph.D., as I have been an avid follower
and admirer of his work in the field of quantum chemistry, which is not only the field I
would choose for my research study, but also is a topic that I am zealous about,
personally. I would be more than honoured if I can earn a spot in his research group.” Do
you see how professional it sounds? Such things show how well prepared you are, and
how eager you are to study at that university. Now, to write something like this, you
obviously need to do lots of research both online and offline, and be very thorough about
the college, its facilities, courses, and professors. Yes, it is very difficult, but believe me,
it is completely worth all the hard work.
10. Proofread, Edit, and Re-edit. Ask Friends and Family To
Grade Your Essay :
Another mistake students make is, they try and keep their essays to themselves. Maybe
they are shy, or maybe they think their friends and family aren’t necessarily experts on
the subject. So they think there’s no point in asking friends and family to critique on their
essays. Wrong. Your statement of purpose speaks about you as a student, as an
individual. Yes, there is technical slang involved, and yes your family members may not
be experts on that. But, they sure are experts on ‘you’. Which is exactly why you should
approach them. They can not only give you additional points to add, but they can give
you valuable stories about your childhood or schooling days, which you probably won’t
remember. Plus, it’s very easy to say something about others, but at the same time, it’s
painfully difficult to describe yourself to someone. Which is why someone very close to
you, like friends and family, can describe you accurately. You will get new perspectives
on your stories, which sometimes are better than your own versions, and including them
in your statement of purpose will do you a lot of good. Also, remember to proofread your
statement time and again, and keep on re-editing content until you, your family and
friends think you have the best statement in the world. Remember that your statement of
purpose is a literary picture of ‘you’ as a person, and it is representing on your behalf.
So, make it a top priority to avoid typos, misplaced commas and semicolons, overused
quotes, being too wordy, using too many complex words and sentences, and being too
straightforward. Be careful. Be a perfectionist when it comes to writing. It shows how
much you care about going to a particular college. And, once you are done with
everything, do not forget to ask your friends and family to grade your statement of
purpose, and ask them to criticize it accurately, so you can avoid submitting a less than
perfect copy of your statement.

11. Take Advice From Professors :


If you know a professor at your undergrad institution, don’t hesitate to approach him/her
for advice regarding your statement of purpose. They are of course very experienced
prospects, and they might have seen thousands of statement of purposes and students
in their careers. So, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for their opinion. Plus, since unlike your family,
they are technically sound, they can also provide you valuable insights on how to project
your technical expertise and project works in the statement. After all, a professor knows
what another professor looks for in a prospective student, so it would only help if you
approach your college professors. And, if they are really close to you, you can also ask
them for a really good letter of recommendation. So whichever way you look at it, there
are only benefits for you.

12. Checklist for a Powerful Statement of Purpose :


Here’s a basic checklist designed to help you draft a flawless Statement of Purpose.
Make sure you write in an organized manner, and cover your points in a proper order.
We have given this checklist so that you can write your statement of purpose without
confusing yourself and the readers. Following a meticulous order like this will make your
statement of purpose a lot better to read and understand about you and your story. Feel
free to add anything else to the list if you think it will boost your chances, but remember
to not write too much because you would then be exceeding the word limit.
Organization and Text-Framing :
Introducing yourself in a unique manner.

Demonstrating your passion for the field.

Story about your background or experience in the field you’ve


chosen.

Description of your academic background in the field you’ve chosen.

Specific classes or special courses you have taken, that are related
to your field of interest.

Some of the professors you have studied under, especially if they are
well-known in that field.

Co-curricular and Extracurricular activities in the field of you interest

. Publications or other professional accomplishments in the field


(perhaps conference presentations or public readings).

Any community service or leadership experience while in college.

Explanations about problems in background (if needed).

Explanation of why you have chosen the specific grad school and
other related questions as discussed in the beginning of this article.

Mention what you like about the university you are applying for, and
why: facilities, infrastructure, etc.

Mention names of one or two professors in that school and what you
know of and appreciate about their work, and why you want to study
or work under their guidance.

Specific features of the grad program and the university, which


attract you personally. And why.

Get advice from several of your professors, family, and close friends.

Ask for stories about yourself.

Proofread and edit; ask friends and family to proofread for you as
well.