When applying to graduate school, the admissions board will require a statement of purpose that details your reasons for choosing the school and the field of study. It is one of the most important essays you will prepare in your application so take your time and put your best foot forward. A statement of purpose needs to show your previous education, work experience, career and academic goals, as well as what factors have influenced your choice of a profession or major. A well-organized and sophisticatedly written statement of purpose is a solid way to succeed in enrolling at the educational institution of your dreams. Make sure to approach the process of writing your statement of purpose with all seriousness and a responsible attitude to ensure that you succeed with your application.
These few tips should serve as a guide as you prepare your statement of purpose.
- Read all about the educational institution in which you want to apply, the program and major you have selected.
- Make a short list of points that have motivated you to become a student of this particular institution.
- Think of your past experiences, skills and qualifications, as well as personal traits and qualities that will help you successfully perform in the profession you wish to acquire.
- Based on the mission, values and principles that the institution in which you are applying for upholds, think of what personal goals the committee is expecting the candidates to set out. Try to integrate these with your own system of principles in your statement of purpose.
- Draft your statement of purpose, trying to stay within the limit of 400-500 words (if not stated otherwise in the application requirements).
- Write an introduction, specifying the program for which you are applying, briefly explaining your choice of a future profession, as well as this particular institution, so that you can further expand on this reasoning in the paragraphs of the main body.
- Write a conclusion, projecting your future career goals and outlining how acquiring this particular profession in this institution will influence your personal development and career success.
- Proofread your statement of purpose several times.
Important points to note when writing a statement of purpose
- Be creative and unique in your statement of purpose. Instead of using clichés and general phrases, personalize your statement of purpose by writing in your own words, even if they sound less sophisticated and smart. Considering how many applications the committee has to look through. It is the characteristic of being “different” from all the other statements that is your objective.
- Carefully read the institution’s website and all the information for entrants. Do not just assume that looking through the brochure is enough to give you an understanding of what the committee will be looking for in your statement of purpose.
- Start writing your statement of purpose at least a week before the deadline. Allow yourself to absorb the ideas and thoughts that you consider expressing in your essay; make an outline and then draft it, revising the draft a few times to perfect and polish your writing. After the statement of purpose is complete, set it aside for a day or two, then come back and re-read it with a fresh perspective.
- Another useful tip is to let your adviser, someone who knows you well and has a critical mind, read your statement of purpose and comment on how it can be improved. Outside feedback from an intelligent adviser is always a great way to effectively improve your essay.
- Choose an appropriate tone when addressing the committee. Your overall attitude is as important as the actual content of your statement of purpose. Be polite, respectful and use formal language. Avoid slang and conversational phrases, as well as a careless choice of words.
- Think about your statement of purpose as the best chance to introduce yourself and present your goals and motivations to the admission committee. Be positive and enjoy the writing process.