You’ve prepared yourself physically and mentally to write your Statement of Purpose (SOP) or personal statement – computer fully charged, a cup of your favorite beverage, and the desire to write. Now, how do you get started? Here are 4 things you need to write a great statement of purpose:
1. A clearly thought-out goal. This is the most important thing. No matter what degree you’re pursuing, you need a clear sense of what you want to study in grad school and why.
2. A reason you’re studying this subject matter and pursing this degree. It’s great that you love your field, but love is not enough. You should also consider your post-grad school goals. The adcoms will want to know why you want to get a particular degree and how you plan on using it.
3. An understanding of your field. If you’re planning advanced education in a particular area, you’ve probably done some careful research and preparation. If you haven’t, now is the time. You need to sound well informed and prepared in your SOP.
4. Careful research into each program you plan to apply to. What makes each program a good fit for you? Is there a professor in your department who could possibly mentor you, or whose research excites you? Be ready to explain why/how this particular program is the very best place for you to pursue your goals.
Starting your SOP with a clear sense of why you’re going to grad school will make it easier to write and much more effective. For more help in writing a successful SOP or personal statement, download our free guide, From Example to Exemplary.