Statement of Purpose or the SOP is probably one of the most misunderstood aspects in the series of documents that you add to your list while applying for your graduation program abroad. Apparently considered as an essay about oneself, the Statement of Purpose is a lot more than just that. That is why it is given the maximum weight to see how much you want to study in the college. In our earlier article on ‘How to begin a SOP’, we talked about the importance of beginning the SOP in the correct manner so as to get the reader interested in what you have written. Following are 8 tips that can make your Statement of Purpose stand out:
Write stories and not statement:
One thing that surely catches the eye of a reader is not merely a catchy headline, but the beauty with which he/she has written the story. A simple introduction in the Statement of Purpose highlighting the reason for your study in the university is never enough. You need, to begin with, a catchy line like, “It was ever since the age 10 when I found myself in a place surrounded by books that I got into reading,” rather that “I am here to apply for this course because I love reading.”
Your story should tell you:
What you write in Statement of Purpose is not for you but for those who will decide whether you shall study in their university or not. Hence, your stories in the Statement of Purpose should be informative and quantified to allow the reader to get a fair picture of you.
Do not generalize points:
It is true that you are writing interesting stuff about you, but that does not mean you can drag the same explaining each point to the level of boredom. “I would love to study here because I like this course,” is a general way of stating your love for the course, which is quite obvious. Instead, talk about what is it that you like about the course, thereby allowing the reader to understand better.
Customize your SOP:
Your Statement of Purpose is one of the many SOPs that the reader shall come across and apparently will be flying through it by the time your turn comes. Hence, always customize the SOP in small topics such as your cultures, methodologies, visions, values, mottos, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
Keep it interesting yet formal:
The tone of your write-up matters the most. After all, it is something that will be scanned by the senior faculty of a reputed college and for them reading something written in an informal way might turn out to be a drawback for your application.
Learn to portray yourself indirectly:
Nobody likes a self-centered person who is quite involved in his/her own world. Your Statement of Purpose is a mirror of your image and thus a hint of pride with confidence is what it should portray and nothing else. For example, explaining your ability to handle pressure can be said as “An intelligent student who can withstand the academic workload of a graduate program.”
One of the most important factors to be kept in mind while writing a SOP is to be yourself. Because even if your Statement of Purpose does get cleared, there is a chance you might falter at the time of an interview with the faculty as your stories were not what you are but made up things that you might forget causing a great problem.
Proofread and re-check:
Last but not the least, rechecking and reading the Statement of Purpose for any grammatical mistakes or typos is essential. A very small mistake might leave a wrong impression on the reader.
Wish you luck with your SOP!