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Statement of Purpose Format

Leena Palande Feb 17, 2020
Are you thinking of applying for Master's course? Do you know how to write a winning 'Statement of Purpose' and how the universities use it for admissions? Here, we provide information on some important points like format and content of a statement of purpose. Scroll down....
With more students opting for masters courses or applying for doctoral programs, it has become a hard task for the university professors to select a proper candidate from the list of applicants. With an increase in population and advanced media of communication, there is an increase in the awareness of opportunities of education and earning worldwide.
Almost all students who apply for post graduation, have good educational background. So, universities demand a statement of purpose (SoP) from these aspiring students. There is no specific format for writing a 'SoP'. It is left to the applicant only. So, how would you format the statement of purpose? Here are some important tips.

Formatting the Statement of Purpose

In school, you must have mastered the art of 'essay writing' and 'letter writing'. SoP is nothing but a brief and concise essay which describes your past achievements, future goals and your ability to achieve your goals. You may use the format of an essay which usually consists of an introduction, main body and conclusion.
This might help you organize your thoughts. You can then divide the body into different paragraphs to explain your experiences, past achievements, what has influenced you, what are your future career plans, how hard can you work to achieve your goals, current work experience if any, why have you chosen the particular field and the particular university, etc.
There is no fixed format, but for the sake of convenience, you can break up the gathered information into different paragraphs and then you can reformat the whole SoP in a better looking format. You can first write down the rough statement, then show it to your friends, teachers or parents.
You can then change it considering their valuable suggestions, if any. Finally, it should be able to convince the admission committee members that you are a 'perfect match' for the program you are applying for. For this, you may have to learn the art of persuasive writing.

Simple Way of Writing Statement of Purpose

The SoP should be of two pages, not more than 2MB if it is a PDF file. Without thinking about the statement of purpose format, just start writing as described:.

1st Paragraph

While writing about your aim in life, you should also write about your excellence in academics. The first paragraph is going to create the 'first impression', so it should be carefully crafted to show your interest in the chosen field from the very beginning.
You can explain why have you chosen this field after 12th, how have you pursued it with great vigor till your bachelors, showing consistency towards the field. You may write briefly about subjects covered (tactfully link them with your specialization of masters) during bachelors.

2nd Paragraph

You can write about your career goal, plans, what you want to be, your confidence and skills to pursue postgraduate/doctoral studies in the chosen field. You can explain everything, relating it to your chosen field.

3rd Paragraph

Here you can write about your projects done, your internship, your paper presentation seminars/symposiums attended, about the awards got, publications, reading related journals, etc. Do not just write point-wise. You should skillfully interlink everything, stressing on your field of interest. But the essay should not sound too personal.

4th Paragraph:

Here you can describe your extra curricular activities, like sports, drama, music, etc., your technical and managerial skills, your ability to work as a team member, result oriented efforts, etc.
Everywhere you are supposed to convince the admission committee members how all these activities have inspired you, influenced you to choose this particular field and how these achievements are going to help you achieve your goals.

5th Paragraph

In this paragraph you can write about your social activities if any. For instance, organizing a blood donation camp, organizing an event in your college, which might reflect your social behavior. This helps to convey that you are a responsible citizen, aware of civic duties, you respect different cultures and traditions, etc.

6th Paragraph

Using modest language and exhibiting your Internet skills, you can explain what you searched for, when you decided to apply for post graduation. You are expected to write about why have you chosen the particular university for your post graduation plan. Remember, they know that they have good faculty, good infrastructure, etc.
You have to write about the research work done over there, for which you may have to go through the brochure or site information thoroughly. You can say that other related branches in the university will also help you to achieve your goals. Write about how you visualize yourself in the next 10 years.

7th Paragraph

This will be the concluding paragraph where you can again lay stress on your determination, ability to work independently, etc. You can end it with a sentence like I look forward to be a strong addition to your department...I hope you do consider me for the masters program....
Leave the essay aside for 2-3 days and then reopen it with fresh mind and thoughts. Keeping in your mind that the statement of purpose should be well-organized, concise, absolutely free of grammar, punctuation and spelling errors; check it from the professor's point of view.
Keeping the introduction and conclusion as it is, you can rearrange the paragraphs in between. Think over it seriously whether the essay tells everything about you, in a polite way. You may put yourself in an admission officer's shoes.
Avoid including any false statements in your SoP. It is not necessary to describe only the spectacular things in your life. Do not copy SoP from Internet sites. You can write about simple things. Honesty is important.
For instance, if you write about your ardent desire to make society a better place, don't make vague statements. You are expected to tell what you have done regarding this desire and if you can talk about your actions, it can do more towards boosting your chances of getting admitted.
Before submitting the statement, you may seek constructive comments and criticism from friends and advisers. We hope that these writing tips were beneficial and formatting the 'statement of purpose' would no more be a cause of worry.