• SOP

Statement of Purpose | How to Write | Format

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Sep 06,2023 05:09 PM IST

A statement of purpose is a document or letter which students draft for the visa officer. It includes their academic qualifications, professional experience, achievements, accolades, institution preference, course preference and country preference, which helps the visa officer in assessing their profile for the student visa.

how to write statement of purpose.webpWhat is a Statement of Purpose?

A statement of purpose is a document that students write to the visa officer to express their intentions to study in a particular country. In this document, which is also called an SOP, students write about their personality traits, educational journey, internships & projects, Professional experience, Financial background, why they chose that particular country, why they want to pursue that particular course and why they want to study in a particular institution along with their future plans and goals. 

This Statement of purpose document or letter helps the visa officer assess your profile, educational background, and professional background. It helps them discover why you are the suitable and best candidate to study in a particular country, University or course.

In this article, we will discuss how to write a statement of purpose and the correct format students can follow while drafting a statement of purpose (SOP) for their visa applications. So, if you want to know how to write a great statement of purpose, follow the steps and format mentioned below.

Right Format for writing the best Statement of Purpose

1. Students should always write a Statement of purpose in paragraph form.
2. Ideally, it should have 6-7 paragraphs, each having 125-250 words.
3. You can use the pointers and bullet points in it, but you should always use them only when required.
4. Always adhere to the general rules of essay writing.
5. A two-page SOP is ideal.
6. The ideal word limit for a visa statement of purpose is 800-1200 words.
7. Try to draft it within that specific word limit using a 12 font size.
8. Don't use fonts, text and images that are colourful; you should always use black fonts while drafting a visa SOP.

As we have seen above, the ideal format and general guidelines we must follow while drafting a statement of purpose for a visa. Now, we will show you the perfect and ideal structure to write the ideal statement of purpose (SOP) below.

How to write a statement of purpose (SOP)?

Before guiding you through the ideal structure and the points you must follow while drafting a great statement of purpose for yourself. The below-mentioned structure is not the only way to draft an SOP. Still, it differs from person to person depending upon their academic and professional journey and reasons highlighting why they want to study in a particular institution, course or country. Below is a general structure you can follow while writing a statement of purpose (SOP).

1. Mention your name and address with your primary email address at the right-hand side corner of the page. Coming downward, on the left-hand side of the page, you can address the SOP to the visa offer of the country for which you want to apply.

2. Moving further, you must write the subject (Heading) of the Statement of purpose, specifying your primary goal of writing a statement of purpose or SOP. For example: Statement of purpose for an MBA.

Introduction

Now, this is where you will start writing a statement of purpose; there, you can describe what you want to discuss in your SOP for a visa by using various approaches.

1. You can mention your long-term and future goals and link them with the program you want to pursue.
2. Students can share their knowledge about that particular field and how they can contribute to it after completing that course.
3. You can describe your academic background and link it with your career aspirations and goals.
4. Students can also describe an incident that helped them realise their interest in the chosen field, as it helps the visa officer connect with their statement of purpose.
5. You should not only tell your story in the SOP, but you can also mention your experiences in the past, current aspirations and future plans through your statement of purpose while explaining to them how you will contribute to their country through your knowledge & skills.

Educational or Academic Journey 

In this paragraph, you must describe your academic journey in detail, mentioning the institutions where you studied, marks percentages and years of completion. In this academic journey paragraph, you can also note your educational qualifications and accolades while pursuing your studies. You can also describe the projects you have worked on and the industrial training & internships you have done, which helps the visa officer thoroughly assess your academic profile.

Work Experience or Professional Journey

You can mention your work experience and professional journey in detail while describing how your professional career started and progressed with time while working in different companies and on different designations.

Why you have chosen a particular course: Moving downwards while writing your statement of purpose, you will need to mention why you have chosen to pursue that specific course, what influenced you to select it, what you will be studying in that course, what are the skills you will be learning while studying it and how those skills will help you in the future.

Career Aspirations

You must write this paragraph in SOP very carefully because it comes among the most critical points in your statement of purpose. In that paragraph, you can discuss your short and long-term goals.

Short-term goals and aspirations


While mentioning your short-term goals, you can describe what you will do after completing the course, in which sector you will work, the companies where you'll be seeking employment and the designation you want to work on.

Long-term goals and aspirations


This paragraph will be about what you want to become in the future, your ambitions, and what you will achieve in 10-12 years. There, you can talk about working at the top managerial designation, establishing your own business, spreading your family business as an entrepreneur, becoming a researcher, doing a doctorate and how you will contribute to the skills & knowledge of the young aspirants who want to achieve something in life.

Why you chose that particular institution

At that point, you will describe the reasons for choosing a particular institution for your further education. In that paragraph, you can mention the features of the institution, like its experienced faculty, modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities and high reputation, which will help you further enhance your skills, knowledge and personality. You can also explain why you are the most suitable candidate for that institution.

Closing paragraph

The closing paragraph should be the concluding point of your statement of purpose; in that point, you'll have to talk about how willing you are to pursue that particular program at that institution in a particular country. 

You can also explore: How to prepare for the IELTS exam

Tips to Write a great SOP

Now, as you know about all the points and paragraphs, you must have in a statement of purpose. Below are a few tips to write a great statement of purpose for a visa.

1. Refrain from copying and using the SOP content available online in your statement of purpose.
2. Make sure that you don't write a very long SOP exceeding the 1500-word limit.
3. Always try to keep all the mentioned points brief and crisp.
4. Always keep the written sentences short, simple and grammatically correct.
5. Try to write your statement of purpose in a conversational tone to make it interactive and interesting.
6. Always make sure to highlight all your achievements, whether it's academic, professional or extra-curricular.

What to not include in the statement of purpose?

There are many things that you should not include in your statement of purpose because these things may lead to the rejection or refusal of your visa application. All those points are mentioned below.

1. Sentences that are very long and don't have any meaning.
2. Information that is irrelevant and not required.
3. Usage of language that is not formal at all.
4. About the background of your family
5. Usage of repetitive words.

This article describes all the points you should or should not mention in a statement of purpose. This article will guide you and lead you to write a great statement of purpose for yourself. 

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FAQ

A Statement of Purpose (SOP) is 800-1000 words in length depending upon the font size. It follows a standard font of 12 and is double-spaced in normal margins. It is ideally two pages long. 
The two questions that a statement of purpose should answer are “Why are you interested in this program?” and “Why should you be selected for this program?”. These two generic questions give all substantive information about the student to the concerned faculty. This information will help the faculty make a decision whether the student should be admitted to the course or not.
The following information should be included in a Statement of Purpose:

1. First Paragraph: You should introduce yourself by talking about yourself. This should be followed by few lines on your career objectives
2. Second Paragraph: In this paragraph, you need to explain what has inspired you to take interest in the program you have applyied to and the specific field of study.

It is a big NO-NO to make an SOP excessively flashy. Underling, bold words, italicized words, highlighted words, bright colours and fancy fonts are a strict no. 
An SOP with a standard font size of 12 should be 800-1000 words long. This makes the SOP about 1-2 pages long.

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