These days, most well-established institutions seek documents like essays and a Statement of Purpose to assess the overall personality of a candidate. An effective SOP can be a tough nut to crack if due diligence is not observed while writing. If you want to ace the SOP game, the structure and flow of your writing must be smooth. To get things in perspective, let us take the example of an SOP for MS in Engineering.
Generally, a statement of purpose contains three parts: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. But you can tinker with them and add a couple of more paragraphs to segment the information better. Since the admission faculty of any university reads numerous SOPs regularly and is short on time, it is essential to set the right pace from the very beginning to leave an impactful first impression.
What should your introduction of an SOP for MS in Engineering have?
The best way to start an SOP, as experts point out, is with a motivational quote. However, you can choose to write anything that evokes curiosity in the reader’s mind to move forward to the next sentence of your SOP. Probably, a metaphor related to engineering would work. In the following sentences, gradually begin narrating a personal incident that shaped your decision to pursue a particular discipline. For example, suppose you are applying for Chemical Engineering. In that case, you can choose to briefly explain the first time you learned or personally witnessed a chemical reaction taking place and how it aroused curiosity in your mind. While maintaining the flow, now mention your academic qualifications subtly. Finish the first paragraph by acknowledging the contributions of the university you are applying to in the field of engineering. Don’t overstretch the introduction; keep it limited to 100-150 words at the maximum.
Having dodged the first bullet, now it’s time to craft the second paragraph that stores your work experience, additional academic information, and any other thing you feel would help your cause. Under this section, you can touch on the technical aspects of what you have studied till now and connect the same with the subjects you are excited about in MS. There’s no need to hold back in this paragraph, and you can explain in detail the exposure you have had during graduation or while working. Throw in the research projects you were a part of or other similar acts. If you feel the part swelling, start a new paragraph and continue where you left. Tell them if you ever participated in a debate competition, or were involved in co-curricular activities, or if there was an exhibition you attended that propelled your thoughts further towards an MS in Engineering.
Common mistakes to avoid till now
To sound proficient in the English language, don’t use superficial words that look different from the rest of the content.
– Keep it simple and maintain the flow, for only then can someone reading it be able to connect emotionally.
– Focus on your program. Don’t lose your way while conveying an interest in other academic fields, for that might create self-contradictory statements.
– Don’t over appreciate yourself. Sometimes, candidates tend to exaggerate several of their accomplishments to show their academic and professional excellence. Such an approach can have disastrous consequences later on, during interviews or meetings with the admission committee.
Did you receive an award during school, college, or your professional career? If yes, then you must mention them to add further substance to the document. Moreover, since an SOP is meant to be high on emotional features, recall if you were ever involved in a social cause like helping drought-affected people get food supply, or joining an NGO to work for a particular social cause or any other thing that focused on assisting those in need of humanitarian assistance. Such things can earn you brownie points and provide the edge you need to be successful.
Before concluding, mention how you are planning to use the MS degree upon completion of the program. If you are planning to improve the lives of the common people, don’t shy away from writing it down. Even if your goal is just to apply your learnings in an organizational setting, no issues, be truthful.
Concluding the SOP
What begins well also has to end well to prove consistency. The conclusion of any write-up usually contains a brief gist of what is already explained in detail earlier. Make sure to be concise and crisp while writing the conclusion. Moreover, another thing to keep in mind is that you let the admission council know that you have done thorough research regarding the university. Provide some words of praise for its faculty, and talk about the student community, infrastructure, etc. As the last line of the SOP, you can consider expressing what immense impact would the decision of the admission panel have in your life.
Mistakes to avoid while penning a conclusion
– Don’t include any new information.
– Don’t consistently repeat the already given information in the garb of summarizing it.
– Don’t get too informal and choose words wisely.