What is the definition of a Statement of Purpose (SOP), you may ask? It is the expression of your personality presented before the admission committee in the form of writing. The primary purpose of this Statement of intent is to get you enrolled in a university overseas. It can also be called a Personal Statement.
The internet is full of many statements of purpose samples. However, the question of credibility of these many examples still lingers in the minds of many.
This article seeks to give you a well-researched and informed take on this type of writing with examples. It will enable you to craft an impressive personality of yourself that the committee won’t think twice about forwarding your name for approval.
But wait, let’s look at the importance of an SOP first, shall we?
Table of Contents
What Is A Statement Of Purpose?
First, you must be wondering: what’s a statement of purpose? A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is usually one of the elements of an application process, be it for college, a graduate program, or even occasionally a job.
The goal of a statement of purpose is to, in a way, convince the admissions committee to see the value in you and thus accept you to the program. You have to stand out from all other applicants, and show your best sides and all your accomplishments.
Importance Of A Statement Of Purpose
The statement of purpose is one of the most important aspects of your application. It is read by the admitting parties and serves as an introduction to who you are and what you represent. It is a step in the application process that should not be overlooked.
The SOP enables you to affirm your uniqueness, which makes you extraordinary from the rest of the applicants. Therefore, it is a document that significantly has a say in whether you will be admitted or not. Admission representatives will learn a lot about you from your statement of purpose, from your background, to what you value, to what you have contributed to society, to your voice and point of view. All of these aspects are very important to consider.
An important and basic part of this type of writing is the structure. This is the first part of how to write a statement of purpose. Let’s understand the nuts and bolts of a Statement of Purpose.
Structure Of A Graduate School Statement Of Purpose
Here is a look at the basic structure of statement of purpose, and what each part should include and talk about.
One can have a captivating story on an incident connected to the area of study you are applying for in the particular graduate school. From the story, the committee should be able to see your reaction towards a testing circumstance.
You can also choose to give a short tale as to why you zeroed in on the course you are applying to be considered.
- The Body
It provides an account of your personal experiences that distinguish you from the others. Every detail, including past work experience, should be included to give the recruiters a chance to see your uniqueness.
The first paragraph of your body should show your academic qualifications with the merits achieved at each level. After that, the subsequent paragraphs can give an elaborate illustration of the course you would like to pursue and the reasons for choosing that particular course.
So, what’s the catch? The information already included in the application letter should not appear in your Statement of purpose. That would bore the committee, and what follows after that is your letter landing right into the trash bin – you don’t want that to happen, right?
The body paragraphs of the graduate statement of purpose should also have information about the awards, publications, or promotions you got of late concerning the course you are applying for in the institution. It increases your chances of getting selected over the other applicants.
- Concluding paragraph
It presents you with the opportunity to showcase your objectives in a detailed manner. You are also at liberty to tell the committee how the particular course being applied for will enhance your skills and the personal impact it will have on you generally.
Look, the Statement of purpose should make your application as personal as possible. Let the admissions committee see you through the writing and feel the impact you would create in the society if given a chance to study in their institution.
Stay with me now as we look at some of the prerequisite requirements of a statement of purpose.
What Should A Statement Of Purpose Include?
Now let’s take a look at what a high quality statement of purpose should include:
- Academic qualifications
- The specific field of study to which one is applying
- 500 to 750 words
- Four sections
- What next after completing the course
- Applicable strengths and weaknesses
- Unique technical skills
- Publications you have about the field of study
Statement Of Purpose Examples
Now let’s look at a sample statement of purpose for your inspiration as we nearly draw to the conclusion:
“I finished my 4-year Arts & Science undergraduate course and earned a major specialization in Linguistics. It has enabled me to attain strong and reliable skills in analytical research, a creative and critical mindset essential for global appreciation.”
The example shows an interconnection of the academic qualifications of the applicant with the world at large. One can also list out some of the skills the candidate has acquired from the undergraduate course in Linguistics.
The next Statement of purpose example will enable you to see the interplay between the candidate’s course and the publications he made.
“My interest in the languages, and how these interplay between people and society, was the motivation for my senior undergraduate research project entitled, “Communication: Enhancing the diverse languages to demystify the language barrier.”
We will now see the applicant’s role in the field of linguistics and some of the key figures he has interacted with within the area in the following excerpt from a example statement of purpose.
“In my endeavor as a linguistic, I was able to meet and work with distinguished professors in the field, such as Prof. Andrew Bottoms and Prof. Jeremy Rau. They were able to shed more light on the Structuralism and Poststructuralism theory that form major backgrounds of human linguistics. In the acting capacity of a research assistant, I was involved in successfully carrying out four literature reviews. One of these was used by a senior graduate student in defense of his thesis.”
From the few select samples above, it is clear that a statement of purpose is something anyone can do.
So, you might be asking yourself, where can I get some introductory phrases for my upcoming Statement of Purpose? We’ve got you covered.
- “The purpose of this paper is to…”
- “In this paper, review the…”
- “My main aim for writing is to…”
- “This paper will discuss the…”
Good Statement Of Purpose Example
After looking through the small bits of examples of statement of purpose, here’s a full statement of purpose sample that might inspire you to write your own and give you an understanding of what SOPs look like:
The Occupational Therapy Program at Columbia University prepares “leading clinicians, researchers, or teachers in the field of occupational therapy.” This is one of the many reason why I know the Master’s Degree program would be a perfect fit for my professional and personal goals.
I am currently an occupational therapy assistant, and have been working with developmentally delayed children for almost three years and with geriatric patients for two years in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In addition to honing my skills in occupational therapy, I have learned that patience is key to a successful healthcare provider/patient relationship. Many of the children and geriatric patients I have worked with can become easily discouraged when trying to reach their therapy goals. By working together as a team in creating realistic goals and setting milestones, listening to their concerns and showing genuine empathy, the therapist/patient relationship is gratifying. When patients have trust and confidence in their therapist, they are more likely to speak freely about their condition and frustrations, which can be a key motivator.
Columbia also states the “the (Occupational Therapy) curriculum is based on the premise that students attain competence by learning in collaboration with their peers.” As an OT assistant, I have learned so much from my peers who have worked for many years in the field. One of the many things I have learned is that therapists gain a tremendous sense of accomplishment and personal gratification working with patients. I have always wanted to by a healthcare provider and to help people attain their goals. Furthering my education and refining my skills and knowledge within the OT field is my primary goal.
One of my primary goals upon completion of this degree program is to travel to Third World countries, perhaps through Projects Abroad or The World Federation of Occupational Therapists, to gain the invaluable experience I would need to open my own clinic and provide services to those in need.
Columbia’s outreach initiatives would also give me the opportunity to volunteer in local settings to provide services to those who otherwise could not afford it, such as a men’s shelter or at a local church. These are the kind of experiences I know will not only make me a better therapist, but a better person.
Some of the most gratifying experiences I have had while working as an occupational therapy assistant is knowing that I’m helping someone who, for whatever reason, is unable to help themselves. Watching a patient struggle during the initial sessions and then gain the confidence and ability to do things on his or her own, reassures my decision to dedicate my professional career to this field.
I am confident the program at Columbia will also help build skills in research, administration and leadership, which will prepare me to enter the workforce upon graduation. I also know that attending the Master’s Program in OT at Columbia will provide a myriad of opportunities in the field.
Essential Tips For Statement Of Purpose Writings
Finally, let’s take a look at some tips from an experienced personal statement helper about how to write a great statement of purpose that will catch the attention of admissions committees.
- Ensure to include aspects such as self-motivation, competence, and potential as a graduate student. It gives the recruiters a chance to see another dimension of you not included in the application letter.
- Use active voice and positively stress your points.
- Instead of telling, show. Use reliable illustrations to support every claim, be it an achievement, experience, or academic qualifications.
- Do not assume anything; let out your full armory. Incidences that had an impact on your performance in undergraduates such as a disaster or domestic conflict should be included. You should show the committee how you turned around that difficult circumstance to your advantage.
- Use progression and align every thought to the program you are applying for in the institution.
- Maintain conciseness; use very few words to communicate to the committee all about your personality. The word count should be between 500 to 1000 well-articulated words.
- The spacing should be 1-2 single-spaced pages. Use 12 point font size to enhance clarity and legibility. The poor organization will automatically lead to disqualification, and this might put you on the receiving end.
- It should be goal-centered given in light of what you aim to achieve after completing the program.
- Maintain specificity and preciseness. A general SOP will be broad and obscure, thus not being able to cover all aspects of your Statement in detail.
- Clarity should be at its best. A vague and ambiguous Statement of Purpose may be confusing and thus reduce your chances of being considered.
Statement Of Purpose Writing Help
That’s all you need to know about a Statement of Purpose. However, do not be subjective to the guidelines, and samples are given, bearing in mind that different programs may call for a separate statement of purpose.
Let your ambition and passion drive you towards writing an SOP that will land you into that dream university.
Why don’t you try writing one with the guidelines given? It would be a good start for you. Writing help is also available from professional SOP writers for those who still have a problem. If you’re thinking “who can write my statement of purpose?” or “I want someone to write my dissertation for me,” then we are here for you.