Writing a compelling SOP is the hardest part of the college applications. But if you use this chance wisely, your SOP can be the ticket to your dream university. While this is the hardest part, an SOP is also the most misunderstood and underrated part of the application. The majority would come out with the usual monotonous stuff, that wouldn’t stand out at all. So even if you don’t have those top-notch grades or a bunch of patents under your name, a well-written SOP can beat the ones that have those.
So let’s get started and learn how to write a compelling SOP.
Start with a hook: The secret sauce.
Well, if you have ever tried to convince stubborn younger siblings to obey you, you must be aware of the kind of struggle it is to accomplish it. The oldest trick in my book that works 99 per cent of the time is to offer them a piece of chocolate as bait.
The admission committee is no different than that. Start your Statement with a hook. In the see of monotonous and similar-looking SOPs, a hook will immediately draw their attention into your statement.
So, how do we write a hook?
Well, keeping in mind that you are writing for the first time, you might be thinking to start like this.
“I am XYZ and I am excited to apply for a Master’s program at your university. As long as I can remember/ Since a kid I have had a passion for Mathematics”
Well, this is exactly how millions of other applicants would also be planning to start with. To come up with an attention-grabbing start, follow the following rules.
- Begin with a pivotal moment in your life.
- Think of an unusual situation.
- Add an intriguing fact/argument or a character.
- Curate the voice of your Narrative.
- Start with a quote. PS, Don’t just put a random quote in the beginning but make sure you substantiate why you put the quote there, to begin with.
- Give it a personal touch of your experiences.
For example, a unique start could be:
“Growing up in the suburbs has given me a lot to learn. Living amidst a closely knitted community I realized that our community pivoted on the intricate and nuanced fabric of Human Resource management that held everything together and ensured everyone contributed towards the development of the community. Inspired by this realisation, I am determined to major in Human Resource to address the complex challenges of the corporates of tomorrow.”
What does the Admission Committee look for?
The admission committee already knows that you are applying to the XYZ course in their ABC university. They also probably know that you are passionate about the subject, otherwise, you wouldn’t be applying for the course, to begin with. They also know that their curriculum is well-designed and they are really not looking for validation from you for it.
But they look for answers to a few of the specific questions.
While they don’t want you to describe how good their curriculum is, they want to know:
- how does their curriculum align with your learning goals and future objectives?
- Why do you think that university is the best fit for you?
- What are your expectations from the course and the university?
- What are your future goals and how would learning from the program help you achieve it?
- What are the qualities that make you fit for the course?
- What have you learned in the past that makes you tick the prerequisites of the program?
Answering these questions would not only substantiate that you have made a well-thought decision but would also give substance to the admission committee to decide how fit you are for the course.
Proof Read and make it Error Free
Admission committee would also evaluate you on the basis of your diction and your writing skills. The way you frame sentences, the tone of your narrative and grammatical errors that you make. While they are not looking for Authors, poor grammar and complex sentence structuring is a huge turn-off. Lengthy sentences make it difficult to read and comprehend. Ensure that you use the right punctuation when constructing lengthy and complex sentences.
I can not emphasise on this point enough. Vague claims and exaggerated examples would not only jeopardize your SOP but would potentially deter the admission committee away from even considering you for admissions.
How do you not be vague?
You can avoid sounding vague by quantifying your achievements. If you led a team or a club during your college/school, mention the size of the team you headed. Mention the scope of your responsibilities and the tasks you carried out. Include the learnings that you gained from the experience.
Keep your GRE Vocabulary to yourself:
It is very intuitive to fall in the trap of including heavy-sounding words in your SOP. Trust us, they don’t add weight to your SOP, instead, they make it obnoxiously difficult for the one reading to understand what you want to say. While writing SOP, readability should be a top priority. If someone would need to sit with a dictionary to understand what you want to say, it is likely that it would be rejected.
Sell yourself on the following grounds:
- Passionate about the study
- Proven academic record
- Willing to learn new things
- Able to handle dynamic and demanding research work
- Have a relevant background or match the prerequisites
- Dynamic and well-rounded personality
In The End, Read, Evaluate, Edit, Proofread, Evaluate again and Submit
Read your first draft multiple times before you submit. Make the required changes. Ask your friends to read it for you and instead of asking if they liked it or not, ask them if they could understand what you wanted to say. Survey if people are able to comprehend the message and if it compels them to give you a seat if they were running a university.
Check for the following:
Does it make sense?
- Are the paragraphs/Sentences well connected?
- Have I substantiated my claim with an example, quantification or an anecdote?
- Have I answered the questions that the Admission Committee looks for?
- Have I made sure the Plagiarism is less than 5%?
- Do I need to Paraphrase any sentence or paragraph?
Glad you followed till here. I think you are good to go. Best of luck students. Go write an epic SOP. And, if you need further assistance, do speak to our SOP writing experts who have years of experience in drafting accurate personal statements for students worldwide. My Assignment Services is a trusted assignment help provider in Australia where students can easily avail professional help with assignments, college admission essay, and SOP. Do visit our website and browse through tens of samples written by our SOP writers. Try our SOP writing services today and fulfil your academic goals.