Sample of Statement of Purpose (Sample SOP)
Referring to a sample statement of purpose before writing your own would help you understand the relevance of content to be included in each paragraph. It is better to understand: What is an SOP or Statement of Purpose before you begin your search on SOP samples.
What is SOP?
Statement of Purpose refers to an essay that states your purpose of applying to a particular course or university is a document that is required by the universities abroad. It is needed to justify your intension behind studying abroad.
In order to better understand how to write a statement of purpose, let us first learn the SOP Format and Template and then check out some Study Abroad Statement of Purpose Sample.
Statement of Purpose Format and Template
To begin with, there are a few simple points to remember. Ensure to keep them on your SOP Review Checklist:
- Statement of Purpose runs in paragraph format and follows the general rules that are associated with essay writing. While using bullets is accepted, they are to be avoided and kept only to the bare minimum.
- Unless otherwise specified, a standard statement of purpose is ideally two pages long, uses a maximum of 12 point font and is double spaced in normal margins. Hence, depending on the font type, a standard SOP would be about 800 to 1000 words.
- There should be no use of colourful text or images anywhere. The text should be plain black (not even grey).
Apart from the obvious, there are simple templates as to how you can present your statement of purpose. Ideally, a Statement of Purpose should have about 5-7 paragraphs of about 150 to 250 words each. Given below is a simple SOP template with a paragraph-wise explanation on SOP Format.
Simple SOP Template
A simple SOP template would help you draft your SOP consisting of different pieces of information attached in a flow. An SOP comprises of paragraphs that can be divided into headings for our understanding. These headings would help you identify what comes in which paragraph. Once your SOP is complete you just need to make sure that all the paragraphs are going in a flow covering all the essential information. A simple SOP template would go like this:
SOP Format for MS, MBA, UG, and PhD
Understanding what to include and what not to include is all very well. What is of most importance is getting the format right. Like all professional documents, SOP also has a standard format that is followed by general universities. It is important to note that irrespective of whether you are writing the statement of purpose for an MBA program, or an MS program or even for any of the UG Courses, the format essentially would remain the same. This article takes note of the same.
Check out the Structure for SOP
SOP Paragraph 1: INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF GOALS
Use this space to talk about your goal in life. You can be creative here and use analogy or quotes to make it more interesting. But, don’t waste a lot of space in introducing your goal. The sooner you lay it out, the better it is. Remember, it is an essay about your goals in life…so starting with it is always a good idea. It is not very unlike a goals essay asked from MBA aspirants.
SOP Paragraph 2 & 3: CAREER PROGRESSION
This is the para that you usually use to talk about yourself. You can start with a brief history about yourself and career progression starting from your school to your college. This is the paragraph that is usually dedicated to your academic pursuits. If you have work experience, you can limit your school life and talk more about your college in para 2 and move to work experience in para 3. If not and you are applying directly after your graduation or school, then you can divide para 2 for academic and para 3 for co-curricular. You can take a hint on how to write about your career progression.
SOP Paragraph 4: WHY?
This is the most important part of your Statement of Purpose for this is the place where you provide the reason as to why you wish to do what you wish to do. You can make it more interesting by narrating an incident that leads you to the decision or a turning point in your life. The more emphatic and passionate you are in this paragraph, the better your essay.
SOP Paragraph 5: HOW YOU PLAN TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOAL?
You are finally ending your essay. So far you have talked about what you want to do, what lead you to that decision and why you are moving towards this course. Now, lay down how you plan to achieve your goals. If you wish to get into research, write it. If you plan to work for a certain organization, write it. This goes on to show how well you have thought your life over. Also, give it time periods…for instance, I intend to work in the industry for 2 years before I start my research program.
Check out the Common Mistakes to Avoid in SOP.
NOTE: It is not mandatory to present the information in the manner as suggested in this sample SOP format. This is only one of many possible ways in which you can present your statement of purpose. No matter how you wish to narrate the story, just remember, it should come together and be cohesive.
Sample of Statement of Purpose for MS, UG, MBA, PhD
We have a few statements of purpose example based on various study abroad programmes such as MS, MBA, UG, and PhD.
SOP Samples for MS
Given below are some Sample SOPs for MS (master's degree), which were accepted in popular schools abroad. See how an MS SOP is written and also refer to various samples for different engineering courses:
An SOP can be written with different approaches. You may check out the samples on:
Statement of Purpose Sample for MBA
Writing a Statement of Purpose for MBA is slightly different than writing an MS SOP. Rather than sounding a geek, you would need to sound more of an all-rounder. Check out the writing style for MBA SOP and SOP Sample for MBA. You may also want to refer to SOP writing for Master in Management (MIM).
Statement of Purpose Sample for UG
A UG SOP differs from master’s SOP, as it has little to no work experience and no information on bachelor’s degree with projects information. Here, students need to mention more about their extracurricular activities. Their participation in quizzes, science competitions, sports, etc. carries a lot of weight. Check out how to go about a bachelor’s SOP and a UG SOP Sample.
Statement of Purpose Sample for PhD
A PhD SOP is a lot different than the rest of the programmes. Understand the importance of and how to write a PhD SOP here.
Study Abroad Statement of Purpose Sample for USA, Canada, UK, Australia
You might be wondering what differs in the SOPs with the change in the country. It is important to note that the format of SOP remains the same for every country unless there is some specific requirement given by any university. If you still wonder how the Sample SOPs for different look like you may refer to the sample SOPs popular countries:
Some pointers that are often missed while drafting an SOP
The most important points that you often end up missing in SOPs are as follows:
- Career Goals: Writing just that you have childhood inclination towards a certain field would not make your SOP any stronger. You should always be able to explain what you aim to do in life by gaining knowledge in that field.
- How the University would help in achieving them: Why do you want to join a particular university and how it would help in obtaining your career goals both are equally important. Writing that you are interested in joining a university abroad due to its location or infrastructure would not help.
Do's and Don'ts of a Statement of Purpose
It is certain that your SOP should sound interesting and convincing yet it is not acceptable that you lie to make it interesting. Likewise, you would definitely want to take help from the samples available over the internet but, at the same time, you need to ensure that your SOP is not copied from anywhere. Giving little to no emphasis on facts and figures would downsize the quality of your drafts meanwhile providing a lot of information is also not a good idea.
We tend to make some mistakes that should be avoided while writing SOPs that are going abroad for review. Check out the Common Mistakes to Avoid in an SOP.
Given below are frequently asked questions about SOP:
Q. Do all schools require SOP?
A. Generally, most of the institutions abroad require an SOP to support your application irrespective of your course. However, in some schools, it is not mandatory or even asked as an optional.
Q. What is the ideal length for an SOP?
A. Unless the university has communicated its specific requirements, an SOP should be 800-1000 words and 1.5 pages long.
Q. What Should an Ideal SOP Communicate?
A. An ideal SOP covers your desire of growing in a particular field with the help of the course that you are applying to in your chosen international college. An SOP is best supported with your career goals when you align them with the course curriculum that you aspire to join.
If you seek guidance related to abroad university application process, you may register with Shiksha Study Abroad and avail our expert counselling services. As a bonus, we offer editorial services ranging from SOPs and University Essays to Academic CVs and Academic and Professional LORs editing. All the best!