Oftentimes, a statement of purpose is misconceived as a boring and long essay that gives one a pass to pursue graduate school. However, this kind of perspective will only result in creating the most monotonous statement of purpose that the screening committee will not care about.
For you to be able to write an effective statement of purpose, think of it as a strong piece of narrative that tells a story about why they need to be granted the opportunity to clinch an academic diploma in a master’s degree or doctor’s degree. It can be nerve-wracking to write one, especially that an important part of your educational career heavily relies on this comprehensive piece. However, this article will tell you the tips and tricks in writing a statement samples of purpose that will help you land the graduate school of your desire.
Elements of a Good Statement of Purpose
A good statement purpose works more like a comprehensive application letter for a graduate school where you introduce your interest and experience to the university’s admissions committee so that you can pursue a higher degree in graduate school. It must also have a specific set of characteristics for it to become interesting and compelling to read, and these characteristics are the following:
1. Goals and Interests: These pertain to what you want to achieve upon accomplishing the program as well as your specific interests that are relevant in making you reach that goal. Your goals and interests will fuel your discussion on your hopes and expectations while pursuing your field of study.
2. Relevant Experiences: A good graduate school will want to know if a certain prospect has already accumulated enough experience that is relevant to the program. This will help them know if the applicant can withstand the curriculum. Your relevant experiences are best told by drawing on specific and vivid examples.
3. Viability: This is a characteristic of your statement of purpose where you justify why you and the particular program you are applying for are a good fit. For that to be realized, you need to identify the reasons why you are best suited for this field of study.
4. Strong Writing Skills: Writing skills will not only help you produce a good statement of purpose, but it will come really handy when you get to work on your dissertations and term papers. Consider your statement of purpose as some sort of prelude for the screening committee to know that you can communicate clearly and effectively.
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Steps to Make a Great Statement of Purpose
1. Introduce yourself by telling a story: Most applicants write the introductory paragraphs of their statements of purpose like a plain exposition about who they are and what they want to do in their career. Well, writing it that way will make it generic and will encourage the screening committee to skip reading your statement of purpose. To make it more compelling, write a short, but great narrative about your background and your career objective while keeping the information you are writing relevant to the industry you are pursuing. A beautifully written introduction will make the readers emotionally connected, hence, they will be enticed to read the succeeding paragraphs.
2. Explain how you became interested in your current field of study: Now that you have gotten your reader’s attention in the first paragraph, continue to reel them in deeper as you tell them a solid and worthwhile justification of the reason why you chose to pursue this kind of career. To do this, you will have to be specific and introspective in stating your reason. For one, instead of resorting to cheesy lines like you chose this career because you love it or you want to change the world, cite some short experiences where you first realized you like to be working in this field and what specific skills you are trying to get for this field. Find a memorable way to answer all the whys that got you in your current career point.
3. Fortify your case: This next part will be the most important part of your statement of purpose. This is the part where you quantify your experiences and skills to convince the screening committee that you are the fit for the program you are applying for. Enumerate your previous academic achievements, internships, and projects that are relevant to your field of study. Take your career goal stated in the introduction as a reference point and how your experience has helped you prepare in pursuing this kind of program. Overall, this part can be expressed in at most two paragraphs.
4. Wrap it up with a foreshadowing: End your statement of purpose with a brief description of your long-term plan in your career. Up until this part, you have been talking about your past and present experiences and objectives, but for this part, you will be talking about your career objective in the more distant future. This helps the screening committee determine which applicants have a clear vision on how one wants to grow in the particular field, and this makes up for a great sign that one is really serious about expanding their career by pursuing further studies. After you have made this part, make sure to go over the entire document again, and proofread what you have written. Consult your previous professors and ask for pointers on how to improve the parts that you had a hard time writing.
Tips for a Great Statement of Purpose
- Be yourself: While it has been encouraged in the previous part to write your statement of purpose as if you are writing a story, this does not mean that you will be creating stories to make you look good. Stick to what you have and never resort to lying. Write great stories only if you have a great, real story.
- Choose a compelling angle: One strong approach in drafting a statement of purpose is to present your chosen career path as something like a story that the screening committee has not heard before. Don’t simply resort to common idealistic lines. Instead, bring something that no graduate student has brought before.
Types of Statements of Purpose
- Statement of Purpose for Master’s Degree: This type of statement of purpose communicates your research interests and career goals in pursuing a master’s degree. A master’s degree allows a holder to specialize within a field and will help increase the chances of landing a leadership position if they have been for quite some time. It is also useful when one considers a career change and they don’t want to go back to being an undergraduate student.
- Statement of Purpose for Doctor’s Degree: Used by applicants who are planning to pursue a Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, this type of statement of purpose provides in-depth information on the applicant’s academic background, motivations, and previous projects. A Ph.D. is considered to be a terminal degree or the highest educational degree that one can earn. By this time, the person has already gained the necessary experience that allows them to focus on their research in their particular field of study.
- Statement of Purpose for Businesses: This type of statement of purpose differs from the preceding two in a way that it is used in a non-academic setting. It defines the company’s core goals, purpose, and becomes a basis for the company’s brand to the consumers. It isn’t as broad as a mission statement, but it gives a short message that guides the company in creating its business practices and procedures.
Statement of Purpose Template Sizes
Statement of purpose documents are printed on papers with the standard sizes of US letter (8.5 inches by 11 inches), US legal (8.5 inches by 14 inches), and A4 (8.27 inches by 11.69 inches). Carefully review the guidelines from your prospective graduate schools and see their required paper size for the statement of purpose.
Statement of Purpose FAQs
How long should a statement of purpose be?
Generally, a statement of purpose spans to around a page and a half long. Take note that you will be going to use a font size of 11 or 12 and observing standard format found in usual business documents. In the end, a concise statement of purpose always beats a lengthy one that does not have much information in it.
Can I use the same statement of purpose for all the universities that I apply to?
While it has been recommended that you compose a unique statement of purpose for each university you apply to, this approach takes a ton of your time. Instead, make one good statement of purpose and edit out important keywords and facts depending on what graduate school you will send them to. Doing so will prevent your statements of purpose from being completely identical all the while making them seem more personalized.
One of the most principal pillars to adhere to in writing your statement of purpose is to make your goal coincide with what the program has to offer and how well you can fit in given your qualification. It is these personal narratives that let you connect to the screening committee, and makes up for a bigger deciding factor other than your academic grades. Devote some time in writing your statement of purpose, and you will soon find yourself pursuing your graduate studies at the university of your dreams.