So, you settled on a college and even made up your mind about the major. You are totally confident about your choice and do not see yourself in some other place.
But the truth is that you might not be alone. Perhaps, dozens, hundreds, or thousands of graduate students would like to pursue the same academic path. How do you stand out? How do you show that you are worth it to the admission committee?
Do not worry, you have a splendid chance to win your spot in the dream college. However, you’ve got to put in some effort and craft a virtuous statement of purpose (SoP).
If you are clueless about what you need to write in this type of paper to win the hearts and minds of the committee members, we have you covered. We have compiled a guide that will show you how to format a statement of purpose to make sure it brings you to the right place.
Let’s Talk Basics First - How Do We Define a Statement of Purpose?
Before we explain how to make a statement of purpose, let’s check if you get this paper type right.
It is defined as an essay written by an applicant-student to introduce yourself to the admission committee and explain why you are a good candidate. That’s a great chance to make a statement and get noticed as that’s probably the only way for you to show your personality and individuality. Of course, your GPA, course scores, extracurricular activities speak volumes of you, but that’s just harsh facts. A statement of purpose allows you to awaken emotions and break through the competition without mercy.
What Makes a Great Statement of Purpose?
The admissions officers are most likely to be checking thousands of statements of purpose every day. What do you think will urge them to give their preference to you rather than to another guy from your school? What do you think will convince them that you are a perfect match for their college community?
Right, that’s the statement you will make. Here are the basic things you should keep in mind before you open a file and draft your essay. So, make sure that your paper:
- feels genuine and unique;
- is free of clichés and trivial statements;
- has an interesting hook at the beginning;
- tells a story to demonstrate your traits;
- is free of slang and other inappropriate wording;
- sticks to the academic writing style;
- is flawlessly written without spelling or grammar errors;
- has logical bridges between ideas and paragraphs;
- represents clear and concise language.
In other words, don’t try to pretend to be a person you are not. Make sure the statement tells a story about you and is free of clichés or other phrases all students make, but do your best to sound optimistic yet professional. Check statement of purpose formatting, spelling, and grammar. Also, pay closer attention to stylistic and logical congruency.
How Long Should Your Essay Be?
Here is the deal. The admission committee does not have enough time to read the dissertation about you, your achievements, and how your background is going to benefit the institution. So, you are limited in the space on the paper to showcase that you are a great candidate for their college.
Usually, the statement of purpose should be no longer than a page. It’s something in between 500-1,000 words. That’s enough to explain who you are and why you have a desire to be enrolled.
How to Format a Statement of Purpose - Tips & Tricks
You definitely want to make sure that your essay is easy to read. If you fail to make a format of a statement of purpose in a proper way, this might ruin all your odds to be noticed. Poor formatting can spoil even the brightest essay, so pay close attention to it.
But how to adjust a format for a statement of purpose so that it ensures a flawless reading experience for the admission officers?
First, let us stress the idea that the formatting requirements might vary depending on the establishment. Always read the instructions before attaching the paper to your admission files. However, here are the general recommendations most colleges set for the format of statement of purpose:
- a traditional Times New Roman font in the 12 size;
- margins on all sides - 1 inch;
- double spacing between the lines;
- indents for every new paragraph.
Should You Add a Heading and Your Name to the Page?
If you do not know how to head a statement of purpose, that is understandable. The confusion is stemming from the fact that sometimes you have to title your essay and specify your name and sometimes you don’t.
The best bet for you is to check the requirements provided by the institution. They should give you clear guidance on how to title your paper and where to add your name. Usually, the title of the paper is centered with the essay going one or two lines below it. If you are supposed to specify your name, it might be added on the next line, right below the title.
How to Structure Your Statement of Purpose
You don’t have enough space for making long introductions or philosophizing about all your life shifts. As you remember, you’ve got only one page, so make the most of it. Here is the classic structure of this essay. However, we will give you some tips on how to write a remarkable paper that would stick in the minds of admission officers.
1st Part - Who You Are and What You Want
It’s a bad idea to start your paper by retelling your life starting with the birth till the present time. If you think that you will make an unforgettable impression by enumerating all your relatives and how they shaped you, you will make one, but probably, not from the right perspective.
Should you probably start with paying compliments to the institution or using the phrases all students implement? Nope, that’s not the best way to gain acceptance from the admission commission.
Then how should you start your essay? We recommend you brainstorm all the stories or situations that happened to you and pick one that influenced the choice of the college and specialty. Select the brightest and most vibrant situation that is relevant for the field of your choice and describe it briefly.
2nd Part - Why You Want to Pursue What You Want to Do
In the first section, you were dwelling on the situation that shaped your choice. Now it’s time to tell the commission why you believe you’ve made the right choice and why you want to become a teacher, doctor, marketer, or whoever.
You’ve got to dig deep to understand what drives you. The statement that the job is prestigious or you will be making good money won’t probably work. Explain why you love the field and why you would like to work in it for the rest of your life.
Again, speak from the bottom of your heart and avoid overused phrases that are too general and make no sense.
3rd Part - Why They Should Choose You
It’s time for you to shine, our friend. Describe the experience you have in the specialty. Perhaps, you’ve taken some courses or already worked in the niche. Any experience counts, so do not turn away even the tiniest idea.
When you think of any background, don’t forget that it should be relevant to the statement. Link it with the story you used in the beginning or make a logical transition to the new idea. If you would like to make a lasting impression, use vivid and dynamic language while being specific.
4rth Part - Your Plans for the Future
It’s time to wrap the essay up, so tell the admission committee about your long-term career goals. Would you be satisfied with the Bachelor’s degree, or would you like to become a Ph.D.? Perhaps, you do not have huge ambitions and you will agree on the position of manager. If you have the nerve to become the shark in marketing and be CEO in a well-known company, go ahead. This might add you extra points. But would recommend you to be realistic and share things that you genuinely believe in.
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