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How to Write a SOP- Everything You Need to Know

This guide covers all you need to know about what makes a statement of purpose and how to write one. The Personal Statement and the Statement of Purpose are the two categories of essays that appear more frequently than the other.

A Personal Statement is a narrative of your life experiences, job, volunteer work, and everything else that has shaped you into the person you are today and lead you to this point where you are determined to go to college. The admissions office often uses a personal statement to determine whether you fit within their student community or student body.

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) on the other hand, is a link between your past experiences and the future you wish to create at this university’s program. The SOP is used by the admissions counselors to decide whether you’re the right fit for that program. Generally, undergraduate programs ask you for a personal statement and graduate schools ask you to submit a statement of purpose.

Before you start writing that ideal statement of purpose, make a list of all your qualifications, experience, award certificates, and everything else you have on a sheet of paper and split it into three categories.

  • The first is what information do you believe your cv or resume should include, and keep in mind that most resumes are one-pagers.
  • The second type of information is that which you believe should be on your statement of purpose.
  • Third, what are some interesting life experiences that you’d want to keep for your personal statement?

Statement of Purpose (SOP) is divided into six parts – “6P”

1. Purpose:

You must create a clear statement of your aims and interests in the SOP, which contains questions such as –

  • Why do you want to do graduate study in the first place?
  • Why do you want to pursue this particular degree?
  • Now if you’re doing a research-based program is there any particular research interest that you have that you want to fulfill through this degree?
  • If you are undertaking on the other hand a professional program what are the skills and knowledge that you hope to gain through this program?
  • What do you want to do after you complete this program? for example, do you want to take up a job? do you want to set up a startup or do you want to get into research and academia.

These are some of the questions that should be addressed while answering the first P, which is an important part of the application process.

2. Past Experience:

The following are a few questions to consider within this category of past experience is:

  • What sort of experience do you have and how much of it do you have?
  • What skills do you intend to develop from this program if you already have that employment experience?
  • What is the connection between that experience and this program?

Now, when you’re talking about your past experience, it’s important to give vivid concrete examples of the work you’ve done, such as writing a paper that may or may be published somewhere, any project related to this college that you want to do, or any presentation you worked on with a mentor. All of this is directly related to the program utilized, so provide them concrete examples to convince them that you’re ready for graduate school.

3. Program:

This is the main point of the approach. While you’re dealing with this, the first thing to remember is that if you’re applying to Germany, you must answer the question “Why do you wish to study in Germany?” If you’re applying to the US, you may skip this question. Why are you interested in attending that particular college? This is where you must be cautious to use the appropriate words. You must remember to utilize the appropriate language to demonstrate that you’ve done your homework on a program at the college and are serious about attending. While in the program one of the questions you should consider is:

  • How does your work relate to the program?
  • What are your requirements and interests?
  • Do you hope to get out of the program?
  • What will you do to help with the program?
  • Is there a specific research approach or aspect of the curriculum that appeals to you in the department, or is there a particular professor with whom you would want to collaborate?
  • To mention that professor in your statement of purpose; you could even try to contact the professor before writing the SOP and ask them to recommend your SOP when it’s submitted.

However, having done all of this research shows them that you’re genuinely interested in the program and that you’re willing to put in the effort to get into this one.

4. Personality:

Instead of writing the obvious, I am honored to join this program, how about beginning your statement program with a quotation, event, or personal experience that is directly related to the program you choose to pursue. Questions to be answered include the following:

  • What is it about you that makes you special, aside from your career and education?
  • What are the one or two characteristics of your personality that you wish to highlight to the admissions officer?
  • What are your impressions about the student body and how do you believe you’ll fit in?

5. Plain English:

German universities want a plain language with no complexity. You must be able to communicate effectively and logically. Make it basic and powerful by using the proper words, yet make it very easy to read. Allow yourself time to gather information and write it on your own because universities have a method of linking previous works of writing to this one, such as other little essays you’ve submitted or your TOEFL or IELTS course. For instance, they may link together any of those components to determine whether your writing is genuine. So write it yourself and trust in yourself since authenticity, uniqueness, and genuineness are the hallmarks here.

 

6. Process:

If you follow the steps correctly, the ultimate product will be excellent. This section is broken down into 4 sections.

  • The first step is to get started as soon as possible- So, if you’re applying to college and the deadline is at the end of the year, start your application before June; it’s a good idea to get started right away. Give yourself 3 to 4 months because as you write and rework, you may see deeper meanings in what you’ve written, and a beautiful composition will emerge only if you devote that much time and effort.
  • The second stage is to read a lot of sample SOPs- for example, on the Internet if that gives you confidence, but never copy a single sentence from there.
  • The third stage involves following instructions- Be original, but do all of your styles while staying within the lines because anything other would be a high-risk plan.
  • The last element is proofreading- reread your statement, checking for grammatical errors, commas, punctuation, and spelling mistakes, as well as allowing others to view it and provide feedback. Show it to your friends, professors, and seniors, and then edit accordingly.

Things to be Avoided

1
Don’t overuse the word like can’t, won’t, and don’t; give the full form of those acronyms.
2
Don’t exceed the word limit of 2 pages, make sure to keep it within 1 page.
3
Keep your personal details to a minimum, unlike your personal details statement.
4
Always keep SOP in Pdf format.
5
You can use a reading app to help you. Connect your computer to a reading app and have the computer read the statement back to you. This works well since you can hear something that doesn’t sound right and you can figure out what needs to be changed.

Here are some examples of SOP:

Image
Template SOP
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Template SOP

In summary, a well-written SOP gives universities a picture of your whole personality. It’s your chance to tell the committee why you’re the best candidate and why they should pick you above the others. When you have a weak academic profile, an excellent SOP can help you compensate by outlining your future aims and desires. A well-written SOP also demonstrates how well you can communicate yourself through writing.

Visit for more information:
How to Write a Letter of Recommendation (LOR)- Everything You Need to Know

How To Write Curriculum Vitae (CV)- Everything You Need to Know

How to get into German Universities: Everything You Need To Know

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