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How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Grad School?

May 12, 2024
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While resumes are concise and direct informative documents about yourself, proper communication is set via statements of purpose. In your absence from the selection committee, you would need to express your personality. There is some personalized information that only you can state and express for yourself. The Statement of Purpose, or SOP, is a critical part of the application process that serves the stated purpose and is required by multiple universities. Learn here how to write a statement of purpose for grad school. 

What Should be the Length of Statement of Purpose?

The optimum number of words would be between 500 and 1000. Regarding the number of pages, a single-page statement of purpose is recommended and non-exhaustive to read. Both these things depend on the font and associated aspects, which should be 11 or 12 points, proper spacing, and a font like Times New Roman or a similar one. The stated number of pages and words must be the result after the proper recommended formatting of the grad school. 

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What to Know Before Writing a Statement of Purpose

Since the statement of purpose will be a reflection of your ideologies, passions, and reasons, you must be well aware of your requirements. Hence, it would be better if you ask yourself these questions: 

  • Why do you want to obtain the specific degree you are applying for? 
  • Why are you interested in the course or subject you are choosing? 
  • What are your relevant experiences or skills to contribute to the subject of your choice?
  • What are your long-term career goals? 
  • How will the degree shape your future? 

Remember that while writing a statement of purpose, whatever your reasons or answers to the above questions are, make them precise and clear. Also, you must be well aware of what you are talking about. Superficial statements or unreasonable thoughts are certain to downgrade your value; hence, avoid them. 

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How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Grad School?

In writing a statement of purpose, you must begin by categorizing it into four parts. Here is what it will include: 

Part 1: Introduction 

Of course, you will begin by introducing yourself. The introduction will include your interests, information on your background, and how it contributed to choosing the subject. It should be precise and must not turn into an autobiography. 

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Part 2: Educational Background 

In writing a statement of purpose, this part will include: 

  • Any research conducted along with the title and your responsibilities. You will include the technical intricacies of the project. 
  • Contributions to paper or thesis projects 
  • Work experience relevant to the course of choice. Here, you can talk about internships, volunteering activities, or other activities that sparked your interest in the subject. 
  • In the absence of all this information, you can talk about the learnings from the subjects or professors. 

Part 3: Extracurricular Activities

When thinking about how to write a statement of purpose for grad school, consider the contribution of your extracurricular participation to the career or subject of your choice. Also, enlist the activities that actually developed your skills or knowledge base for the interest. You can write about participation in companies and non-profit organizations, responsibilities, learnings, and other information. Additionally, contributions to research, writing, or related activities can also be included while writing a statement of purpose. 

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Part 4: Your Decision 

It is critical when you consider how to write a statement of purpose for grad school. In this part, you will convince the faculty that you are making an informed decision, and you will be proving it. Hence, the part will include all or any of these: a researched and understood area of interest, a problem you would like to work on, and a hypothesis or solution you have to address the problem. Loopholes in current research that can be filled or similar ideas are welcomed here. 

Alternatively, you can explore the research publications from the departments of your interest or the professors. It will help you gain an idea of what’s trending in that lab and direct your focus on the topic. It will help you connect and correlate with the professor or department. 

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Part 5: Conclusion

It could be a small part of your statement of purpose. Here, you will have to include a brief ‘statement of intent’ or end the SOP on a positive note. You can also fit in a one-line summary of how much you are interested in the program, your grad school readiness, and similar information. 

Points to Consider When Writing a Statement of Purpose

Here are certain things to keep in mind for ease and effectiveness when writing a statement of purpose

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  • Keep your resume with all the information (not a selective resume that includes only relevant details) in front to remember your actions and accomplishments 
  • Write in active voice 
  • Exhibit characteristics like confidence, competence, your potential to thrive in the chosen degree, self-motivation, and the ability to apply your knowledge and skills 
  • Don’t write mere statements but prove them with example 
  • Proofread to ensure conciseness of your write-up 
  • Improve the drafts to get a final copy. There is no need to hurry or write everything in the first go. 

Last But Not Least

At Turito, we come across the common question among candidates willing to apply for grad school. The question is: ‘How do I write a statement of purpose for grad school?’ While it is a simple composition that indicates candidates’ interest in the field, taking care of a few things, as stated in the article, helps to get a proper structure. 

While you know how to write a statement of purpose, guidance for top scores to get into grad school might also be your need. You are at the right spot. We offer expert assistance in the preparation for national and international competitive exams and AI-integrated assessments. Leaving no room for errors, our results speak for ourselves. 

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FAQs

What is the importance of a Statement of Purpose? 

A Statement of Purpose is critical for a graduate school application because it offers a brief overview of candidates’ educational backgrounds, their interests, actions performed concerning the subject of choice, and the actual reason for inclination toward the field. 

What is the difference between a resume and an SOP? 

A resume or CV is a document harboring the technical aspects of a candidate. It includes phrases, figures, and numbers. Statement of Purpose is a theoretical aspect that conveys candidates’ interest and suitable capabilities to take the course of their choice. 

Can I talk about my low grades in Statement of Purpose?

Yes, a Statement of Purpose is the right place to state and explain the authentic reason for the low grades. You must speak about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. You must exhibit to be acceptable and learn from your failures rather than avoiding them. Your tone of conveying will matter here. 

How to Write a Statement of Purpose for Grad School?

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