Admissions SOP

How to Write a Winning SOP | 3 min read

Summary
• Mind the composition and structure of the statement.
• The statement should convince the admission committees to consider you for admission.
• Stay focused on your objective to apply for this particular program and what you would like to accomplish by it.


This article will discuss more of Statement of Purpose, in continuation of the previous article about Statement of Purpose. I have already talked about an outline of SOP so let’s talk about more of the structure in this article.

The overall structure needs to be clear and to be central to your research plan. In general, it consists of three parts; Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. You might elaborate on it chronologically - your past in the Introduction, current plans in the Body, and the career plan in Conclusion.

1) Introduction
You should describe the core of the statement in this section. Specify what you would like to achieve through this particular program; your short-term goals and long-term goals. The statement of purpose is to convince the admission committees that not only you are a promising candidate but also you are a fit person who can succeed in the program, contributing to the program.

2) Body
In the body, you should describe why you apply to this particular program. You might start by giving an example to explain what brought you to decide to study your major, what has made you have a passion for it. Give more details about your academic experiences; what you have done in the research projects, what you have learned from them. If you have academic accomplishments, you should elaborate on them.

Just not be repeating the list of experiences in your CV. What admission committees are looking for is genuine in your statement - how significant you are about pursuing graduate studies in their program. Focus on your academic accomplishment and preparation as well as practical experience. Let’s see the extract of the sinning sop provided by the department of history of UC Berkeley.

UC Berkeley's history program looms large in my mind, largely because of its outstanding faculty and interdisciplinary approach to history. In my own quest for a suitable graduate program, I was thrilled to learn that Professors Thomas Laqueur and Carla Hesse both taught at Berkeley. Professor Laqueur's book, Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud, stands out among the many books I read during my undergraduate education; and I credit his book with introducing me to the nascent but fascinating field of the history of sexuality and the body. Together, Professor Laqueur's cutting edge research and Professor Hesse's knowledge of early modern women's history would make my experience at Berkeley a challenging and enjoyable one.

What you can see here is the applicant’s seriousness about studies. First off, the writer shows knowledge of UC Berkeley, mentioning two professors with whom she wishes to work. (By the way, UC Berkeley’s application has a section asking applicants to fill out the professor list with whom they want to pursue their studies). Giving details about research interests that are parallel with those of professors aforementioned also gives how eager the applicant wants to be involved. That’s the point to impress the admission committees.

3) Conclusion
In conclusion, you need to explain why you apply for this particular program. You should tie everything together and leave your reader wanting to know more about you. You could talk about current challenges faced by experts in your discipline, and your own eagerness to become more involved in the field.

Below is part of the self-assessment list when you edit and proofread your statement of purpose.

Self-assessment
• Did you make a summary of the SOP in the introduction?
• Does your conclusion sound compelling?
• Does your experience sound convincing with details?
• Do readers understand why you outranked your peers? and so on.


The Steps of Applying to Graduate Schools will be more discussed in the continued articles.

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