Are you planning to follow some easily available formats to guide you with SOP samples? Well, sure you can! But they won’t serve you the values and quality of SOP writing.
Moreover, following the examples will not give you an idea of how to apply different referencing styles, like Oxford referencing, which is also very common. Instead, they will trick you into using AI tools like Chicago reference generators to divert you more on how to persuade an SOP in less time than researching and writing it well.
But that’s the route to make your SOP win. In fact, the road is going to be a lot bumpy—your SOP may get rejected, or it may turn out to be just average despite following all the guidelines.
Hence, what things must you take care of while writing an SOP? Let’s check below and learn –
- Share a story before addressing the statements
Given a chance, what would you choose to read – a novel or a newspaper? It would be a novel without a doubt.
Well, novels offer you a brilliantly crafted work of literature that you can be emotionally linked to in contrast to a newspaper, which only offers news and a few attention-grabbing headlines.
Now, that’s the purpose you must focus on while writing an SOP as well.
For starters, try to put yourself in the role of a narrator and share a story by starting to share a personal anecdote.
That way, you can connect with readers who will be able to recognise your SOP later. Now, this is very effective because stories are far easier for us to remember than facts. In fact, statements don’t resonate with us the way that stories do.
Next, consider “why” you wish to study and what you are eager to study.
There must be a good rationale behind your desire to pursue a particular course of study or degree. You can tell a tale about it once you have discovered this compelling justification.
Also, provide a brief history of how you came to the decision to attend the particular university and the course. You can score better if your imaginative plot manages to win over the committee.
- Balance on the creative & factual content
When you narrate a story, keep in mind that it shouldn’t sound like a thesis.
Instead, it must work as the most reliable source of information that will represent you, mentioning which numbers are important when it comes to information.
You should include both qualitative and quantitative elements in your story so that the readers can grasp the depth of your story.
The committee will recognise you better on campus if you properly quantify your stories and demonstrate your skills and achievements. No matter what the subject of the remainder of your narrative is, you must employ this technique.
Add numbers to your stories to make them sound more realistic and beautiful. Whether it is a research project you headed, a college festival you planned, a college sports team you oversaw, or anything else – measurable data will solidify your claims.
- Be detailed about what you say
You must make sure that everything you include in your SOP is specific. Stating a point because you believe it isn’t enough to impress the committee.
If you say, “I selected this degree because I like this field,” it will be insufficient.
Adding passion to your statement is not making it mean anything important.
Hence, provide specific reasons why you love this field, why you choose to work in it for the rest of your career, what skills you’re striving to acquire, how it makes you feel whole as a person, etc.
Next, don’t make the mistake of using cliched phrases like “I want to bring a revolution to the world” or “I want to discover my inner self.”
Instead, be honest and straightforward to keep the clarity of what you aim to do.
- Address your problems
You have a fantastic chance to address some of your issues in the Statement of Purpose. In order to comfort the admissions committee, you might address any concerns you may have about your academic history, a professional gap, or work-related issues in your statement of purpose.
You must make an effort to be as sincere as you can and discuss your issues in a responsible manner. Instead of attempting to defend yourself, you can identify the precise causes of the issues, but more significantly, you should emphasis “how” you dealt with the problem and “what” you took out from experience.
Say you scored mostly Cs and Ds in a semester. Now, unless there is a compelling reason, a decent graduate school won’t typically want you to have a profile like this.
Hence, spend some time and write a few paragraphs to describe what resulted in the poor grades.
You can also highlight any personal issues in your statement if you experienced any of the following during your semester exams.
But more significantly, make sure to highlight how your grades have increased gradually since then and that you currently have a respectable grade-point average in the subject.
Doing so, the admissions committee will have a better impression of you as a mature student with the capacity to “take on additional tasks” and “to finish on time” even when the odds are stacked against you if you can make the committee empathise with your narrative.
- Always go by a professor’s advice
Don’t be afraid to ask a professor you know at your undergraduate university for suggestions on how to improve your statement of purpose.
All the PhDs and MBA applicants are mostly seasoned candidates, and throughout the professions, the professors may have seen hundreds of pupils and personal statements.
Hence, getting their input wouldn’t harm you.
Also, make use of the advice on how to convey your technical experience and project efforts in the statement to make your content technically sound as well.
Moreover, a professor understands what qualities another professor looks for in a prospective student. Hence, you can keep the guilt of asking questions aside and make the best use of what your professors say.
- Learn from a senior’s mistake
Don’t you get curious as to how your seniors made it to their dream careers or how some struggled to achieve that? You can definitely show concern and talk to a senior about the same.
When you talk to someone with similar interests, you can learn how he or she managed the blunders in their SOP. You can also seek their guidance by sharing your method of writing the SOP and saving yourself from the mistakes your seniors already did.
The ultimate tiebreaker among the top applications is the best-written SOP. Now, if you want to be the chosen one, there must be something different and compelling about you which will make your application shine.
Hence, when you are about to prepare and draft the first copy of your SOP, keep the above things in mind. It will only make you nothing less than a winner!
Author Bio – Lily Gladstone is a guest lecturer to some top business schools. She is also associated with the academic brand My Assignment help where she offers tutorials on techniques like oxford referencing. Apart from that, Lily also loves baking.