How to write a Statement of Purpose: Templates, Samples and Guide

How to write a Statement of Purpose: Templates, Samples and Guide

This blog post is for students who are in the process of applying to graduate school or law school. It provides templates for writing an effective statement of purpose as well as samples from successful statements that illustrate various approaches to crafting a strong essay about yourself.  The guide also includes tips on how best use your limited word count when writing this important document which will often be read by admissions committee members who have hundreds or even thousands of applications to read before they make their decisions!

Statement of Purpose Definition

A statement of purpose is a one (1) to two (2) page essay you’ll include with your graduate school application. It should introduce who you are, what motivates you and why the admissions committee should admit you.  A well-crafted statement of purpose can set up an applicant for success by highlighting their strengths and setting them apart from other applicants. The key to writing a compelling statement of purpose is in understanding your audience: the admission officers reading hundreds of applications every year; the ones judging who is deserving and who isn’t. They’re looking for candidates that have mastered skills like problem solving, creative thinking or communication skills – people they would want on their team when hiring new talent.

A statement of purpose is the most important part of your college, university or masters level application. It’s often the first document an admissions officer reads to get a sense for who you are and what motivates you. The best statements show that you know exactly why you want to be in this program, have done research on it, and have thought about how it will help shape your future. If there’s anything we can do to improve our chances at getting into one of these competitive programs…it starts with nailing this essay!

Step to follow when writing a Statement of Purpose

Research:What information do I need? School specific application deadlines (each school may require different lengths) Personal statement length requirement (one page per undergraduate degree level) Contact admissions officers directly with additional questions about their SOP expectations – Guidelines can vary by degree level and institution

Draft SOP:Begin with a short introductory paragraph that includes the reason for interest in your chosen field, what you hope to gain from graduate school/education program and why this particular one is of interest. Expand on these points as necessary in two main paragraphs – One should highlight academic strengths (including GPA if available) and research experience while other should recap relevant job or internship experiences

Proofread SOP:Check spelling, grammar, content areas which are concise but show off personal traits important to admissions officers such as leadership abilities or desire to work hard. Review draft SOP thoroughly before submitting it online

Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose

  1. Define your SOP’s purpose.

Why are you applying? What can this school offer that other schools cannot? How will it help you reach your goals? Where do you want to be in five years’ time and how does the potential institution fit into those plans? The SOP should answer these questions with specifics and show an applicant’s motivation for seeking out education at this particular university, college or professional program.

  1. Determine what is required of the SOP by individual institutions.

For example, some universities may require essays on academic interests while others might not have any requirements outside of contact information. Some programs might request transcripts as well as reference letters if they don’t have any SOP requirements.

  1. Determine the applicant’s most important qualities to make a case for admission.

For example, does an essay on leadership show that she is interested in pursuing a career in business? Does mentioning volunteer work demonstrate her commitment to community service and activism? Applicants should try to include at least one or two strengths in their SOPs.

  1. Consider what goals (educational, professional) they hope to achieve with the degree/education program selected. How will this education help them reach those goals? What are some of their short term and long term academic interests or aspirations?
  2. Brainstorm different approaches for writing about themselves and choose which suits the best based on how much space there is available provided by the SOP.
  3. SOPs should be succinct, but they can still say a lot about who the applicant is and why they’re qualified for this education or program of study.
  4. Try to avoid vague language as much as possible. Be specific with descriptions: What clubs were you in? How did your high school classes go? Include any notable activities that demonstrate leadership, service or other qualities important to admissions officers like persistence, curiosity etc.

The SOP should be able to communicate your:

  • Why do you want this degree?
  • What’s going on in the world and what does it have to do with why you’re interested in this program?
  • What are your goals for after graduation from college or graduate school (as applicable)?
  • How will this education help meet those goals?

Application Requirements

The minimum requirement for an SOP essay is one page per undergraduate degree level application (but more than one page may be necessary depending on how many extracurricular qualifications are presented). Graduate programs often require two pages max because the SOP is less of a determining factor.

Each SOP should be tailored to the program’s requirements, so start by reviewing what they’re looking for in your chosen degree level and institution. For example, if you are applying to an MBA program but have not majored in business studies or management before, it would be wiser to create a SOP that focuses on academic strengths rather than extracurricular or work experience.

Statement of Purpose Template

Typical Statement of Purpose Format for Graduate Degree Level follows this outline:

Introduction Paragraph

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Academic Achievements and Experience

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Summary of Skills and Interests

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Statement of Purpose Example

My name is Jane Doe and I want to be your graduate student! I am a Surgical Technologist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Surgical Technology from ABC University. I am currently working in a Surgical Unit for XYZ Hospital. I have always been interested in medical education, specifically having more involvement on the instructional side. In my spare time, I enjoy reading about advances and innovations that are happening within our field.

My goal is to attain an advanced degree with the ultimate career goals of becoming a Surgical Technologist Educator and Supervisor at hospitals and clinics across the United States, while taking time for travel abroad.

I have outlined several skills that will help me meet this goal such as proficiency in Microsoft Office suite applications including Word, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint; excellent communication skills both verbally and written (I would be able to communicate effectively between patient care teams); experience using hospital equipment like anesthesia machines.

Difference between statement of purpose and Personal Statement

Although it’s sometimes difficult to make the distinction, SOPs are different from personal statements. The Statement of Purpose focuses on your educational goals in relation to how they will help you meet your future career aspirations whereas the personal statement evaluates who you are as an individual- what motivates you, your interests, hobbies and so forth. It also talks about why this particular school appeals to you over others that offer similar programs. Writing both these documents can be intimidating but with time (and practice), most people get better at selecting which aspects of their personalities to emphasize more than others while still being creative and unique! A personal statement is usually used for a graduate school application and is typically 500-1000 words.

A SOP is typically written by undergraduate students applying to colleges or universities; while a personal statement is usually drafted by graduate applicants seeking admission into legal programs or medical schools.

You can read more about personal statements in our next post.

Hire a Professional Essay Writer

We hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. If you would like to learn more about writing a statement of purpose, be sure to check out our article on the subject here at Essay-writing.com! Remember that when it comes time for college applications or job hunting, your personal statements will need to stand alone as an introduction so don’t forget them either!

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