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How to write an effective Statement of Purpose

This blog contains everything that you needed to know while writing a perfect SOP. You will need a multitude of essays to get into an institution abroad. But mainly, there are two types of essays that appear more often than the others. One is your personal statement and the other is SOP.

A personal statement is all about your personal experience which includes your work, volunteer experiences, and the things that had happened in your past which made you the person you are today to get inspired to arrive at this current position to apply for this particular program. This personal statement is typically used by the admissions office to determine whether you fit into their student body.

SOP or a Statement of Purpose, on the other hand, is an essay in which you state the purpose of applying to a particular course in a particular university. This essay must consist of a gist of who you really are, who you want to become, and more importantly, how ready you are to pursue a certain course in a particular institution that you chose to apply. So SOP will help the admission counsellors to determine whether you are a right for their program or not.

Generally, an undergraduate program asks you for a personal statement and graduate schools ask you to submit a statement of purpose but sometimes also additionally CV and personal statement as well.

SOP is a  bridge between your past experience and your future that you want to build while studying a particular program at the institution that you have opted. SOP helps the admission counsellors to decide whether you are the right fit for the program at their school. Hence a well-written SOP can open up the doors of best institutions for you as well as the prospect of getting a full scholarship for the courses you dream about (even if you have lower grades by chance).

Most of the time, the non- native English speakers tend to think that SOP is a platform to showcase your skills in the language. That is not true at all, instead, your TOEFL and IELTS is the better indicator of your English language proficiency.

SOP is in simple words is a single-page summary of a person. In objectively designed application form, there is hardly anything to judge upon aptitude and future prospects. But by reading an SOP, the reader is able to determine what this person might be like when put in the demanding world of academics. It can tell a compelling story which a plain application form with only certificates and grades cannot ever tell.

The process of writing an SOP may seem difficult because the formula to write an SOP is often vague and open-ended. So before you start writing the essays for your admissions it would be advisable that you write down to list out all your credentials: experience, awards, certificates down on a piece of paper and divide them into three main categories: (1) the information you want to write to your resume or CV, (2) the information you want in your statement of purpose and (3) stories you like to talk in your personal statement.

Let's look at some important information that you must include while you write your admission essays to make it easier for you to remember and relate.


The first thing you should notice during the articulation of your SOP essay is to make sure that you convey your interest and goals. Hence try to answer the questions: 

Why do you want to do this particular degree? 

Is there any research interest that you want to full fill through this degree?

(If you are taking a professional degree) What are the skills that you hope to get by taking this program?

What do you want to do after completing this program?

Past Experience

While addressing the past experience, you just have to make sure you answer the following questions, which are:

WHAT - experience?

WHAT KIND OF- experience?

HOW MUCH- experience?

What skills do you hope to gain from this program (if you already have experience)?

How does your past experience related to this program?

It is important that you produce vivid concrete examples of your work that you have done. Like for example, a project that you have done earlier that relates directly to the course you are opting to study or you may have written a paper that got published somewhere or a presentation or you had worked with a mentor which relates to the program you are pursuing to achieve. When you present such proofs you can make the authorities believe that you are ready for graduate school.


The program is truly the most important aspect of the whole SOP. While explaining the program you should first answer the question that: 

Why do you want to study in that country? (You can skip this question if you are opting the US)

Why do you want to study at that college? (Show it in your answer that you have done good research on the college and are really interested in joining it)

How does your work connect with the program and how the program fulfils your interests and needs?

What are your expectations from the program?

How are you going to contribute to the program?

Does the department have a research methodology that you like?

Is there a particular facet of curriculum that you prefer?

Are there any particular professors that you want to work with? (If there is a professor in the department that done work along the lines of your aspiration, you can refer to that professor in your SOP and ca even contact that professor beforehand)

Having done all this research you can easily convince them that you are genuinely interested in the program and is ready to work hard to get into this course.


The personality is what is about you which makes you unique. It indicates those one or two things about your personality that you want to showcase to your admission officers. The personality of yourself that connects to the personality of the college that you choose also shows your knowledge of the student body and how do you think that you will fit in it. 

Simple English

To communicate clearly effectively and logically you should use simple language. There always is a tendency to use very difficult vocabulary to make your SOP look exotic. But that is not tall a right approach to writing your SOP.  You just have to use simple vocabulary in order for the readers to understand it clearly. There is often a tempting tendency to make someone else write your SOP for you. But even if writing it consume so much time, you should write it your own. Sometimes the examiners have a way of connecting your SOP with your previous writings like your TOEFL score or IELTS score or some other samples of essay you wrote or SAT exam. So you should maintain authenticity, uniqueness, and honesty while writing.


Start Early

If the process in which you wrote your SOP is right, the end result will definitely be excellent. The first thing to be varied in the process is that you must start early. Try to compose your SOP 3-4 months prior. After writing and re-writing repeatedly will only you realize the deeper meaning of your words and can polish it finally to produce a perfect of SOP. 

Some tips to write a good SOP 

  • Creating a really an SOP that is very different from others and is unique is the main key. The contents of you SOP should linger on the mind of the admission long after he/she reads it. 
  • Rather than beginning your SOP with some regular ordinary statements, you should begin it with any quotes or anecdotes or even some experience of yours that will connect directly to the course that you want to pursue and that will be a good way to impress the officers.
  • Read examples of SOPs from the internet but make sure that you never ever lift any single the lines from it. 
  • Make sure you stick on to the instructions and lastly you should proofread your SOP to find out any kind of grammatical errors as well as lexical faults.   
  • Show your final piece to any number of people( professor, any relative worked in the same area, friends, seniors) and listen to their suggestions and feedback and don't be worried about the negative comments.
  • If there is a word limit given, stick on to it. (If there is no word limit, don't let your SOP exceed two pages)
  • Don't overuse the words "I" or too much of slang like "can’t", "won't" or any short forms. 
  • Keep your personal information to a limit.
  • Use any hearing app and let the computer read your SOP back to you.
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