Statement of Purpose is extremely important when applying for admissions abroad. Universities expect students to describe their achievements, their goals, personal anecdotes that molded them to become what they are now - all in an effort to make a case as to (a) how your target course will help achieve your goals and (b) how you are a good fit for your target program. As no two people have the same set of circumstances, motivations, and goals, hence, each SOP has its own individuality.
We have received several requests from students asking for SOP samples. Using a sample SOP is not an advisable approach as there’s a high chance of plagiarism creeping into your writing, and should the university detect any plagiarism in your SOP, your application is sure to be declined. For your guidance, we have put together a generic template and approach for drafting a Statement of Purpose:
Before putting pen to paper, we suggest students introspect and answer some basic questions, which can later be used in the SOP:
What are the important events in your academic or professional life? This can be an achievement, a motivating or inspiring event or anything the student feels might add value to their SOP. Listing down major 5 incidents would be good. However, feel free to add more if you feel the need.
What subject and specialization did you choose in your Bachelors and why?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Which course are you applying to and why? You can also add anything that motivated you to pursue this particular course. This can include anything that shows your interest in the field, such as any previous research work, conferences, work experience, paper publication or courses.
Did you choose to work after your under graduation? And if you chose to, then why work and not pursue a Masters?
If you have some work experience, then list down what you have gained professionally and why you are applying for a Masters now.
What are your goals - both short term and long term - and how will the university and the course that you are applying to help you in achieving them?
Most universities prefer students who dabble in multiple things. So, adding a few lines on the co-curricular activities that you have been a part of would be great. As would some involvement in community work. Any international exposure - whether professional or academic- should also be shared in the SOP.
After answering these questions, you can start drafting your SOP. Typically, it will have around four paragraphs. Introduction and the inspiration behind your target course is the first paragraph while education and evidence of your interest, which makes you an ideal candidate for that field will constitute the second paragraph. Your personal and professional goals will be stated in the third paragraph, which will also as to how your target university can help you in this regard. And the last paragraph will talk about why the target university is suited for you and this persuasive conclusion can also include specific details like mentors, infrastructure, course- structure, internships, assistantships, and seniors etc.
Once you have the first draft of your SOP ready, students can further refine it by incorporating a logical flow and making it more impactful.