A Statement of Purpose or SOP describes your life’s journey and all the events that finally led you to the need for further upgrading your knowledge and skills through higher education. It’s an essay that covers every aspect of who you are, what you did, how you did and what you want to do.
The SOP gives the admission committee all the information they require to know you better and understand your need to study at graduate school. They get acquainted with your level of preparation, area of specialization, research inclinations, and future career goals.
It’s one of the most crucial documents, and you should give enough thought and effort to make it as brilliant as possible. The document can make all the difference between admission and rejection. SOP for a scholarship is asked for when you’re applying for a scholarship.
Here are some tips to make it stand out.
Research well: Collect booklets and brochures of the school, their programs, and departments. Go through their websites and gather as much information as you can for the programs you’re interested in. Read publications, projects, and research interests of your faculty of interest. Scan through recent articles to identify current problems, challenges, and understand how the field developed.
Make the first impression: Don’t miss the initial impact. Add an element of interest at the beginning of the draft itself. The application committee goes through tons of essays, and it takes creativity to grab their attention. A gripping start goes a long way to strengthen your case.
Contemplate on intellectual development: Ponder upon the crucial moments of your life and what influenced your decision and got you interested in your current search of program, school, and department.
Reflect upon the critical personal characteristics that you possess, which would help you improve your prospects and steer you in the right direction. Demonstrate those characteristics to deliver a genuine impact.
Answer questions like what your career goals are and where do you see yourself after ten years. What motivates you, and what you want to accomplish?
Make it presentable: Apart from a formal storyline and a perfect draft, always be aware of the word limit. Include your original style into it because what is uniquely you, instantly draws attention. A neatly presented copy stirs up a favorable response. Make your SOP free of grammatical errors, and use proper fonts to make that first impression. Don’t shy away from having a professional counselor review your write-up for style and content accuracy.
Create an outline: Carve out a central theme that dominates your ideas. Brainstorm topics and add bullet points to convey your statements.
- Provide specific life experiences with examples
- Don’t bluff
- Add things that genuinely excite you
- Why does the program or school appeal to you?
- Mention what is your research interest and why you got interested in it
- State your approach to all the issues in your research area
- Put down your future goals and the aspects of the course and school that will help you accomplish your career goals
- Give positive impacts that you may bring to the program or school
Mention the reason for school selection: Jot down the points on why you chose the school and why do you think it’s the right choice for you. Do your research, dig out the school’s characteristics, and you’ll be able to stand out from the competition. Your credibility increases and enhances your chances of getting the scholarship if you approach this section with a proper plan.
Why do you deserve the scholarship: You’ve got to prove your point as to why you must be awarded the scholarship and not the other guy. The whole point of submitting an SOP is to prove to the committee that you’re the deserving candidate. Keenly assess yourself and mention your strengths, the knowledge you carry, or the exceptional grades you possess.
Carefully go through the criterion required to be eligible for the scholarship and skillfully fulfill those criteria.
Revise and edit: Once you’re done with your final draft, read it out aloud. If it doesn’t sound right, it needs correction. Ask your friends and professors to read it and consider their feedback. There is no end to revision and do it till the last minute before submission.
Maintain composure: Don’t take stress if you find it challenging to complete your SOP. Put some time out for this task. During the preparation, you’ll come up with ideas and contents to spice up the copy. It takes a well-thought plan and effort to put your best foot forward and complete the SOP.
Be honest and continuously work it out. Don’t stop after sending it to your initial schools of choice. Keep improvising and adding relevant points.
Start writing your SOP not just for admission but for scholarship too. If you follow the strategies explained above, you’ll surely ace the admission process and soon find yourself studying at your dream college.