Home Guidelines How to Write a SOP or Statement of Purpose?

How to Write a SOP or Statement of Purpose?

How to Write a SOP or Statement of Purpose?
How to Write a SOP or Statement of Purpose

How to Write a SOP or statement of purpose for Scholarship? Every national and international school demands the statement of purpose, principally for admission in graduate school. Most of the people have difficulty in writing a suitable piece of the statement of purpose.

An effective sample will not merely increase the chances of admission but also curtail the investment of time and effort. An overall guideline will give you a general direction about getting innovative and apply unique ideas to make your statement of purpose concise yet effective.

Statement of Purpose:

A statement of purpose is a contextual statement of a student giving answers to questions like:
  • Student’s personality,
  • The reason of applying in the graduate school?
  • Why they should choose you?
  • Your aims about what to go on in the future. It is called a cover letter, the purpose of graduate studying, personal background, Application Essay, etc.
  • It provides a criterion for student selection and writing abilities. Throughout the education journey, students practice a lot of writing.  They just need a direction to write SOP.
  • The statement of purpose is evaluated in a way that it represents a refined view of a student.

How to Compose a Statement of Purpose:

1. Institute Requirement:

If you apply for a particular scholarship, the institute gives all the details of scholarship along with the SOP specifics.

However, all the graduate schools ask for the same information made in the four parts:

  • The particular field you want to study in the institute you applied
  • Reason for studying the particular program
  • The experience you gained already in the particular field
  • Aims of acquiring the desired degree from the institute in the future

2. General Format:

The general pattern of all the SOPs is the same except the word count. The word count is different for different institutes. Mostly, it is within the range of 800-1000 words.
  • Font Style: Times New Roman, Font Size: 12-point
  • Margin:1-inch margins on all sides
  • Line Spacing: 1.5
  • The general format extends the readability of application essay but does not form your content interesting and suited. The value of your content solely depends upon your handwriting style and connectedness between the written sentences. The certification board of the institute search for the candidate that certainly exposes their research activities through their writing.
  • A diligent and dedicated student with the great persuasive background explains the idea that he cares about the preferred degree with a solid knowledge of research method.

Length of Statement of Purpose:

As mentioned above, the word count is previously indicated. However, the 800-1000 words fill up one page and not over one and a half page. An overwrite page comes up the professors in the selection committee that you are not precisely concentrated on what to do in the future with the desired degree. Be concise and economical with an application essay. A lengthy makes officer drift and you will unquestionably be rejected.

The layout of the Statement of Purpose

Part 1: Who are you and what do you want to do?—1st paragraph

Part 2: Why do you want to do it?—2nd paragraph

Part 3: Why are you the perfect applicant for the program?—3rd and 4th paragraphs

Part 4: What do you want to do in the future?—Closing paragraph

Steps of Writing a Statement of Purpose

The five parts that you are finished with the finalization of your application essay will be:

First Paragraph:

  • During the first paragraph, introduce yourself by describing the background and career goal or aim. The introduction should be completely attached to the applied program. Irrelevant background led to your deselection. Your background knowledge must be strong enough that it will help you convince the professors.

For example,

If you want to apply in the Health Sciences Program, you must have some background knowledge and experience in scientific research involving the patient and public health care.

Second Paragraph:

  • The second part of the statement of purpose is the reason for your interest in the applied study. Most of the students have a very vague notion of doing academic things. Make yourself clear and focused on why you want to have the desired degree.
  • Once you describe the background and goal, explain the reason Do not give general statements and reason. Be specific and fast. No one in the admission office will consume hours to figure out your unclear thoughts.
  • Do not go with the flow. Be unique in your statements. For example, if you think you are applying for just liking research or want to do the higher studies, it will not help you out. Dig deeper and interpret the valid reason in the most practicable way.

Third Paragraph:

  • If you are an undergrad student and wish to pursue higher studies on scholarship, start gaining the possible and relevant experience through Jobs, Internships, projects, etc. Some people might think they do not have any relevant experience. Talk to your mentors, family, and friends. They must guide you about how your internship or job is associated with the study program.

For example,

If you want to research the studied program, describe the research project that you have done in your last undergraduate year.

  • Try to gain some present experience because it will increase your chances and make the professor think that student clearly understands the journey you have found very early. Add a reference to the experience. It will illustrate the linkage between your experience and degree.

Fourth Paragraph:

  • After writing about the most relevant and peculiar experience, moved to the experiences that are related to the degree. Write the information that may prove helpful to the professors of the selection committee in this paragraph. Be explicit.
  • The great narratives will not increase your chances of selection. You added reference in the previous paragraph. Must describe if you conclude any value from these experiences. This point will make your content unique and quite valuable.
  • Overall, it must be focused enough to reveal that you are the best person for the entire program.

Fifth Paragraph:

  • The last and concluding paragraph will comprise your long-term career goals. In short, this paragraph will briefly tell professors about what you want to do after completion of the degree. How you would practice the degree.
  • You got confusion between 1st and last paragraph. The first paragraph includes only the current aims and last one deals with goals after completion of the degree. It is a defining moment for the candidate to convince the reader about long-term goals.
  • Your long-term vision will not only show professor your commitment towards goal but it also shows your dedication.

Proofread your Essay

  • Double-check and proofread the essay. Make a draft of the essay and polish your statement of purpose. Your content must be unique and stand out. It should not be plagiarized. Sadly, most of the academic freelance writers were hired to complete this job. But it won’t help you during the interview. Be honest and accurate.

Editing of Application Essay/Statement of Purpose

  • Proof is the one of the most important part of how to write a SOP. After proofreading the essay, edit the statement of purpose. Writing and editing are two hectic and difficult tasks. So, it is suggested that writing and editing should not be done on the same day. The clutter of the essay will only be cleared after good editing.
  • Give two to three revisions. There will be no grammatical mistakes in the essay. A sentence should be restructured if it is too long or too complex. Your application fate can be altered forever if the essay has a great head-start.

Tips for Writing the Statement of Purpose

Be specific:

  • It is significant for the experience paragraphs. Write all the experiences in a descending manner, starting with the most relevant and specific to the less relevant at the end. It will encourage the professor to see your devotion towards the target.

Make your SOP stand out:

  • Different content will surely lead to a vaster difference between selection of application and its rejection. That turns the selection committee on intellectually will open up the candidate idea of the applied field. Writing an established idea automatically describes your interests in the field.
  • A unique and relevant essay will justly define you and your sense of the field.

Feedback on the SOP:

  • Your respectable professors and your mentors can give feedback on your content. You can take criticism from some acquaintances which you perceive to have some knowledge related to SOP.
  • It is advised that the people which are writing recommendation letters for you can give the best feedback on your statement of purpose.
  • Recycle your statement of purpose. Do not reiterate the same essay in all the scholarships. Every institute has a different concern about the essay.

Strategies for Writing an Application Essay


  • Write your Sop in a linked manner, in the form of stories, not different irrelevant descriptions. It can be carried out by employing a casual yet formal tone.
  • Your subject must have a uniqueness. There are thousands of applications; your unique, honest and accurate SOP will stand out.

Portray Yourself Directly and Indirectly

Your personality, attitude and character are mirrored by your SOP. Though it is troublesome to demonstrate these terms on paper. But learn to depict yourself agreeing to the:

  • Criteria offered by admission committees such as your passion about the field
  • Intellectual ability,
  • Commitment to the work
  • Well-preparedness
  • Hard-working personality
  • Good attitude towards grad fellows and supervisors and an outstanding alumnus with an appropriate percentage helping in the research work.

Addressing the Problems

Do not get reluctant or suppress the issues you encounter in your academic course, activities, etc. Never talk immaturely about the problems. Always talk in a sophisticated manner with a concise number of words.

For Example,

If you have an academic gap because of health issues, collect time to write 2-3 lines with a legitimate reason that aid in your selection instead of justifying yourself. This brief story will spin-off if it is well written. The professors of the selection committee will empathize with you and see you as a matured student who can withstand any problem to continue his passion.


If you are an avid learner and academic enthusiast, first understand what the desired institute requires in the SOP. Go through all the details and make a list of all the details you think you can write while explaining why you like about the applied institute. Do not repeat the sentence of what you like or what you are passionate about. Random vocabulary and random sentences seem to be useless in SOP with limited word count.

Make a Checklist

For a powerful statement of purpose, make a checklist of all the things you want to write. Do not confuse yourself and the reader with an essay having improper layout and structure. Improve the sentences to make the essay flawless and worth-reading.

An SOP with proper layout, a proper list of the required things, and mature content will boost the chances of your selection. You can add anything that can indirectly help you in admission but never overwrite to exceed the word limit. It will lead you towards rejection. The application essay must have the following pattern:

  • Your unique Introduction.
  • Your passion for the applied field.
  • Personal background story
  • Academic background of the chosen field.
  • Co-curricular and Extracurricular activities in the field of interest.
  • Professional accomplishments or Publications in the field
  • Community service or leadership experience
  • Explanations about problems in the background (if needed)
  • Mention what you like about the university in which you are applying
  • Specific features of the grad program and the university, which attract you personally
  • Long term career goals
  • Benefits that the institute gained (if required)
  • Benefits that society gained (if required)
  1. The above checklist will let you stand out in all the candidates. You are a writer of your own story.
  2. Make sure not to get influenced by others.
  3. Practice as much as you can until you feel the actual difference.
  4. Your long vision can change the fate of society. Be honest, be specific and be unique.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here