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Kavitha Vijeyavelan

Hello there. Kavitha Vijeyavelan, is the lead content editor handling all editorial processes for Hotcourses India- an IDP company. Having started out an (other) engineer turned writer, she has a never ending hunger for chocolates ( & counting calories ironically), quotes, & stories worth sharing with the world. Her favorite quote at the moment: "why squeeze into glass slippers when you can shatter the glass ceiling?"

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22 Jan 2015 5.4K Book icon 2 mins Share

Tips for writing an effective SOP

SOP is one opportunity that takes you one step closer to bagging your admission in your desired university.

22 Jan 2015 5.4K Book icon 2 mins Share
Kavitha Vijeyavelan

Hello there. Kavitha Vijeyavelan, is the lead content editor handling all editorial processes for Hotcourses India- an IDP company. Having started out an (other) engineer turned writer, she has a never ending hunger for chocolates ( & counting calories ironically), quotes, & stories worth sharing with the world. Her favorite quote at the moment: "why squeeze into glass slippers when you can shatter the glass ceiling?"

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Tips for writing an effective SOP

As you start writing your Statement of Purpose (SOP), do keep in mind that it is going to be an essay that is read by  a professor who’s probably reviewing hundreds or possibly thousands more at the same  time. As you pen down your first paragraph, there are a few things that you should remember.  If you want it to be the kind of application that stands out and the type they remember, you have to really put your efforts into it. Refrain from making any clearly obvious statements, this could totally spoil the tone of the essay. 

Some Obvious and Major Don’ts: 

Don’t Lose Focus! 

The focus should be on what you see yourself as in the near future. Your potential dream
career and how this course you are applying for is going to help you get there. This is
basically the outline of what is necessary, so keep this in mind , it has to reflect in what you
write; you don’t want to seem like you have no vision of what you want to be. 

Don’t get all flowery! 

Do you really need to project yourself with flowery language? Is that really you in there?
Well, if it’s not, it’s highly advisable to stay back from using high-vocab words in an attempt
to impress. It could totally backfire, so just be yourself. That’s what makes it unique anyway,
not the language!

Don’t Generalise! 

You should discover yourself in your SOP and that’s why it is really essential that it has that personal touch. Sure it can be well composed but refrain from writing a general essay; this will definitely not serve the purpose. 

Some Pointers: 

Speak of Hurdles and Hardships!

If you have had to work your way up from the grassroots level, then put it down on paper. Nothing speaks better of yourself than you speaking of having crossed hurdles and difficulties in life. This gives the professor reading your SOP, a promising image of you as a student. 

What the Course Really Means To You! 

It shouldn’t look like you’re taking up the program just for the heck of having to do some degree abroad, you should really put into words your passion for the subject and how all your goals are in line with taking up the program. 

Be More Than a Bookworm! 

What professors are looking for, are abstract learners not just mere bookworms. In whatever ways you can think of, make sure you portray yourself really well in this aspect. Remember this is how you introduce yourself to the admission team in the university, so make sure you make yourself appear the best.

Elaborate On Your Strengths!

Highlight all your areas of skill and make sure they really stand out. Give any examples from your life, in case you can remember any specific incidents relating to this that could give you the leading edge. 

Talk About Your Projects! 

Go ahead and give all relevant technical details of the projects you’ve been involved in so far. This shows that you have drive to create what you study and can speak volumes of your interest in the subject. Showing your inclination towards research also helps when you are applying for graduate programs.

Basic Outline!

First comes your thesis statement which will introduce the professor to the central concept of your essay. This must be a sum of the essential meaning of the whole essay. Make sure you put a lot of thought into this. 
Next is your intro paragraph which must be about five sentences or so. The catchier the better as far as this goes. Then comes the actual body of your SOP, which must revolve around the central concept of the essay. It must be inclusive of your background, your goals, and most importantly mention why you chose this program. 
Here is a sample SOP for MBA for you to get a better picture of what it should read like. 
As you conclude, make sure you state the thesis once more and include your points supporting the thesis. You can even take it up a notch and end it with any new information or ideas to inspire the reader to think further on that line! 
Image: telegraph.co.uk

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