Feeds Topics Study Abroad Tips on Writing a Good Statement of Purpose

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    Deborah Etim

    If you are seeking admission into a post-graduate school, this post is for you!

    Every school has its own set of application criteria; some ask applicants to answer a set of essay questions, while others require a Statement of Purpose. This is done to gain a deeper understanding of the applicant’s profile, which gives them a better foundation for selecting the top applicants.

    The Statement of Purpose (also known as a “letter of intent,” or “graduate statement”) being one of the most crucial parts of your application process, gives the admissions review panel information about who you are, what you want to study at the graduate program, and why you want to study it; your proficiency and motivation for graduate study in your area of expertise, including your preparatory work for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests in your chosen field of study, and your future career ambitions. Regardless of other credentials, a thoughtful and well-written remark can frequently be the difference between admittance and denial. However, in their statements of purpose, applicants frequently fail to do credit to themselves. 

     Here are tips on how to write a great SOP, to give you a shot on your application. 

    Research: Visit the websites of the schools, departments, and programs that interest you. Obtain brochures and books and thoroughly read them. Emphasize the qualities of the shows that you enjoy.  Learn about the faculty’s research interests and projects in the schools, departments, and programs. Examine the publications of a faculty that interests you. Study recent articles in your study subject of interest to gain a general overview of how the field has evolved and what its current problems and challenges are. 

    Brainstorm: Write a rough note about the important life events that brought you to your current research interests and school, and when they occurred. What or who (i.e. role models) influenced your decision or interest? What was it about them that boost your interest? What personal qualities do you have that would help you succeed in your preferred field of research interest? Is there a method to prove or verify that you possess these qualities? 

    • Reflect: Ask yourself questions like; What are my professional objectives? In ten years, where do I see myself? What do I want to achieve? What is it that motivates me? What inspires me? 

    Outline your Essay: Determine and develop a major theme/topic that sticks out or drives your motivation. Organize your ideas that strengthen the major theme/topic of your statement of purpose using bullet points and brief comments/statements. Focus on your personal experiences and provide specific examples. Only write down the things that interest you. Don’t make things up!
    Your outline should cover the following information in the following order:
    – What features of the school, department, or program pique your interest?
    – What area(s) of research do you have a particular interest in?
    – How did you become interested in the topic/area of your current research?
    – How did you prepare (i.e. research experiences, courses, etc.) to address the difficulties in – this study area/topic?
    – What are your long-term objectives for graduate school?
    – What are your career ambitions (for example, a professorship)?
    – What aspects of the school/department/program can assist you in achieving your objectives?
    – What benefits do you provide to the school, department, or program? 

    • Draft your Essay: Write a strong introduction and conclusion paragraph. You want to stand out among the thousands of other candidates. Write an opener that will pique the reader’s interest. Transition words, phrases, and paragraphs should all be used. Your statement must be easy to read. Express positive statements about the points you want to make. You don’t want to expose any flaws in your character. Describe a significant experience that is related to your chosen curriculum. This section of the essay should normally be placed at the beginning. This encounter may have shaped you into the person you are now. Make sure to mention it in your writing. Demonstrate everything by example; don’t just say you’re a hardworking person; demonstrate it. Be specific, succinct and truthful. Explain why you would be a good fit for their program. Tell the committee about your qualifications and interest in the program. Write about your objectives. Describe how a graduate degree will assist you in achieving those objectives. Any flaws in your background should be explained. (For example, if you had a low GPA in your first year.) Put a positive spin on this statement by demonstrating how your GPA has increased as you’ve become better in studies. At the end of your statement of purpose, thank the admissions committee for their time. 

    Write the Actual Essay: After writing your draft, is time to develop and edit it into your Essay. Make sure you check for grammatical errors and unnecessary information. Unless the program specifically states otherwise, be concise; your essay should communicate everything in a short amount of time. 500 to 1000 well-arranged words (1-2 single space pages in 12 point type) should do the trick.

    Note: A Ph.D. program’s statement of purpose differs from a master’s program’s statement of purpose. A master’s degree isn’t inferior than a doctorate; it’s just different. As a result, it would be incorrect to assume that the standards for a statement of purpose in a doctorate program application are greater than those for master’s degree applications. However, the standards are definitely different.

    At the PhD level, academic programs are more highly focused, and you should expect a corresponding degree of specialization and clarity in the manner they explain your academic objectives. Even at the master’s level, evidence of your acquaintance with the university’s current educational research is usually a nice thing to see in any statement of goal. In a doctorate application, however, it is critical to demonstrate that your interests are closely aligned with the present research of academics in the program to which you are seeking. As a result, doctorate applicants should definitely do this; if they don’t, they will lose a significant competitive edge to those who pay attention to the above-mentioned considerations.

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