A statement of purpose (SOP), also referred to in some cases as a letter of motivation or personal statement, is an essay document submitted during graduate school application. The primary purpose of this document is to demonstrate the applicant’s interest in a particular course and how the course aligns with his/her current and future career goals. It also gives the admissions committee an overview of the applicant’s social and academic background.
The document/essay is critical to any graduate school application and therefore must be carefully constructed such that it conveys the right information to the admissions committee. In order to construct an SOP that stands out and leaves a lasting impression on the admissions committee, here are some tips to consider.
First, a good SOP should be delivered within the given word limit range, which is usually between 500 to 1000 characters. In as much as you’re meant to tell a story or describe why you are a good fit for the programme, you should be able to communicate all relevant information within the word limit.
Secondly, a good SOP should be free from grammatical errors, easy to read and understand. Points should be briefly discussed in paragraphs while ensuring a good story flow. Be original and straightforward as possible.
Lastly, write in the required language. As an international student, language could be a barrier also when constructing your SOP especially when you are applying to a school in a region that speaks a language different from yours. However, most institutions in Europe require graduate school applications to be submitted in English or the country’s local language. For instance, as an international student applying for a program in France, you could write your SOP in either French which is the country’s official language or English. This rule generally applies to most non-English speaking countries in the EU.
A good statement of purpose is as good as a good scholarship application and it requires your best.