How to Write a Winning Statement of Purpose


When applying to college or graduate school, your Statement of Purpose (also known as a Study Plan / Personal Statement) is a very important part of your application. Many will say it is the most important part of your application, though this is not necessarily true.


If your grades are terrible, a great SOP may not be able to rescue you. If your grades are outstanding, your SOP won’t prevent you from getting accepted unless it is really terrible. However, if your grades and test scores are pretty good, your SOP may be very important in convincing the admissions personnel to give you a chance. In this case, it is important that your SOP doesn’t have any red flags.


“Red flags” are sentences, words, or errors that warn the admissions officer that you are not a good writer and, perhaps, not worthy of admission. Simple mistakes with punctuation, capitalization, organization, or subject-verb agreement may convince an otherwise charitable admissions officer to pass on your application. Therefore, it may be less important for you to have a great SOP than to have an SOP that is not bad. Here we offer some tips and ideas on how to plan, organize, and write an SOP that may, just may, help you get into the school of your choice.


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