How To Write An Outstanding SOP
Statement of Purpose (SOP), also known as Personal Statement, Statement of Intent or Academic Essay, is the most critical document in your university application as it can help differentiate your candidature. This is your opportunity to communicate your skills, abilities, and motivation to the admissions committee. The SOP is a perfect place to elaborate your strengths, vision and future goals. The following five tips will help you articulate your ideas better and present the best version of yourself.
- Introspection – A good essay requires a lot of introspection and brainstorming. You need a captivating story which can’t be accomplished in a day or two. Discuss your ideas with your mentors, colleagues, or counsellors as they can help your thought process in the right direction. Start working on your first draft several months in advance and keep enhancing it until you are satisfied with the final version.
- The Power of a Story – Start your essay with a fascinating narrative that will transport the reader to the setting of your life and create a sense of wonder and anticipation. The admission officers are interested in knowing you as an individual. They want to hear about the hard work, the efforts, and even the hardships you have experienced in your life to reach where you are. Through a compelling story, you can not only bring your accomplishments to life but also leave a lasting impression on the admission officer.
- ‘Ordinary’ Vs. ‘Extraordinary’ – Are there certain events that are out of the ‘ordinary’ that have shaped you as a person? Use details, both concrete and intangible, along with real-life examples to give an edge to your essay.
- Don’t Miss the ‘Point’ – One of the most challenging parts of the SOP writing process is to convey your point with brevity. What do you want the reader to remember once they have finished reading? Students often digress while narrating their stories. The paragraphs in the SOP should be linked and smoothly convey a meaningful recount of your personal, academic, and professional life.
- Passion and Persuasion – Don’t try to guess what the admission committee wants to hear. Instead, be honest and write from your heart. It is perfectly fine if you took a gap year owing to bad health or scored a low GPA due to familial issues. Talk about it with conviction. Bring out what has changed from that time.
Admission Officers have an enormous number of documents to read in a limited amount of time. It is essential that your SOP be crisp, concise, and well-organized. Avoid using flowery language or complex technical terms so that even a non-expert can understand it. Avoid hyperbole and keep the above mentioned tips in mind while writing your statement of purpose and you should sail through your application process with ease.
About the Author:
Nimisha Padliya is an Admissions Specialist with extensive experience in undergraduate and graduate admissions. Over the years, she has helped hundreds of students in securing admissions to their dream universities. Nimisha is a post-graduate in Electrical & Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, US.
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