How to Write a Statement of Purpose?
When applying for a college, university or graduate school, you need to submit important documents on the basis of which the admissions committee will make a decision on whether or not you will be accepted. These documents include your academic performance records, recommendation letters and statement of purpose.
Why is the statement of purpose important?
Of all the parts of the application, the statement of purpose is the only one that you have the most control over. In fact, it is probably the most important part of the graduate school application. Your grades and non-academic performance are part of your past and you cannot change them. But although you decide who to list as references, you can’t really tell what they will say about you when the admissions committee talks to them.
On the other hand, in the statement of purpose, you basically have full control of your writing and you can be creative in making your application stand out from hundreds of other applicants. You can do your best to convince the admissions committee that you are worthy of being part of their institution.
Tips on how to write a successful statement of purpose
Some people make the mistake of thinking that the statement of purpose is something they don’t have to take seriously. This is usually the case for people who have excellent academic record and think that they will let their grades speak for themselves.
But that’s not actually what happens. Universities place a lot of importance on the statement of purpose as it is a key part of graduate school application. This is why you should take care of accuracy and style, and do everything you can to make sure you have a stellar statement of purpose that will increase your chances of getting accepted into your chosen university. Here are some expert tips on how to accomplish just that.
Answer all questions
Some application forms include specific questions that you are expected to answer, such as the reasons for choosing the university. If there are such questions in the instruction, you need to start your statement of purpose by answering them clearly. Make sure you answer the questions thoroughly before providing other information that you think may also be beneficial to your application.
Highlight your background and skills
You don’t need to repeat information that can already be seen in your academic records or resume, such as the straight A’s you have earned or the merits and awards you have received. Instead, it would be better to highlight your background and skills so that the admissions committee knows the value you can bring if they accept your application.
Attract the reader’s attention
You have to keep in mind that your application is just one out of hundreds, or maybe even thousands, so it needs to stand out if you want the admissions committee to really take notice of it. There is no single rule on how to create an attractive statement of purpose, but there are several creative approaches you can try. Many successful statements start with an interesting anecdote, striking statistics or some intriguing observation that is sure to grab the attention of the admissions committee.
Follow a good structure
Your statement of purpose must not look like a random set of sentences that have been put together. It should have a clear, professional structure that will show the admissions committee that you have put a real effort into writing it.
You can start by saying a few things about your prior studies or work experience, if any, and how they led you to choose the degree program you wish to pursue. Continue by talking about your proposed field of study and the career path you intend to follow after graduation.
Follow the word limit
Most universities have a word limit for the statement of purpose. It can be 500 words, 5 pages, and so on. In any case, make sure to never exceed the limit set by the admissions committee. However, it is perfectly fine if your essay doesn’t reach the limit, as long as you have already said everything you wanted to say.
Edit and proofread thoroughly
A few spelling or grammar errors can affect your application badly, so you should check your statement of purpose to make sure it is written impeccably. Stick to sentences that are concise and easy to read. Avoid rambling and making descriptions too long. If you are unsure of your writing skills, it would be a good idea to ask someone to review your statement of purpose before you submit your application.
A good statement of purpose can definitely boost your chances of admission, but a bad one can pull you down despite your excellent academic records. So, if you want to enter a college or university of your choice, you really need to put a lot of effort to write a spectacular statement of purpose.