Friday, 6 November 2015

Student Guide Statement of Purpose for MS in USA ...USA లో MS కోసం పర్పస్ స్టేట్మెంట్



If you are applying to any of the top and middle-ranking universities in US, your Statement of Purpose (SOP) will play a very important role in you getting the admission (or otherwise) because the admissions committees in these universities take SOP seriously. This is the case because generally, almost all applicants to these universities would have good academic background and high scores in the standard tests. So, what differentiates you from other applicants is your SOP. Further, SOP can significantly impact your chances of getting a scholarship or assistantship.

In case of low-ranking universities, submitting SOP along with the application is just a formality. It does not matter even if your SOP is not very impressive or sometimes, is copied from someone else. However, if you are looking for scholarship or assistantship, make sure that your SOP is decent so that you stand a better chance of getting some financial assistance.

Writing an SOP
Writing an SOP is one of the most dreaded things by students, especially those who are not used to writing regularly. It might take a few weeks for those who are fairly good in English. Those for whom English vocabulary and grammar seem intimidating are often left at the mercy of a friend or a professional 'SOP writer' to help them with the task. There is no doubt that writing an SOP is challenging, but with a few tips you can write a good SOP yourself.

SOP contents
Remember that SOP is like a personal letter of recommendation i.e. you are recommending yourself for the program in the university. You need to make the admissions committee feel that you can add value to the class and the university with you knowledge, experience and diverse background.

So, a personal touch is central to an SOP. You should mention what fascinated you as a child, what you did in your school, college, any life-changing moments, how all this lead you to choose that particular program in that particular university and finally, how you are going to benefit from it and what you intend to do with the knowledge and experience you gain at the university.

Note that all this should come within two pages. If it is too short, it shows that you are not interested to talk about yourself or not interested in the university. If it too long, it might get boring for the reader and give a negative impression about you.
Now, let us see how an SOP can be crafted (yes, it is almost like an art) to make it look impressive.

Include a quote only if it is relevant
There is a general impression among students that one needs to start an SOP with a philosophical quotation of a famous person. This is not at all true. In fact, if the paragraphs that follow do not show the intellectual depth required to justify the relevance of the quote in your academic or personal life, it could even prove to be counter-productive because it gives the impression to the admissions committee that you are not being genuine.

So, quote someone only if that person had an impact on your life. If you haven't been inspired by anyone but are curious to start your SOP with a quotation, then read thoroughly about the person whom you are quoting, in what context that person has said that quote and how his/her quote has relevance to your life. Also, somewhere your SOP needs to sound like you are justified to use the quote.

Introductory paragraph
How to start an SOP could be one of the most daunting questions while writing one. The general advice given by experts is to read a few SOPs so you can get an idea how to start your own. This is a good suggestion. However, if you have a creative idea and are confident that you can present it well, you may go ahead with it. The point is to make sure that the person who is reading your SOP gets interested to know more about you and goes on to read it till the end.

Do not start your SOP by stating something already mentioned in your resume like 'I am xxxxx. I completed by B.Tech from xxxx college in the year 20xx' and so on. This might make the reader lose interest.

Body of the SOP
The body of the SOP should look like a extension to the first paragraph. In other words, each paragraph should convey a message or mention a fact and then flow into the following paragraph naturally. One way of doing this is stating your events chronologically i.e. start with your schooling and proceed to describe your college life and your work experience, if any and significant events that affected your career choices.

Remember that the admissions committee is more concerned about what you did immediately prior to applying for MS. So, emphasis should be more on your most recent engagement, whether it is B.Tech and work experience and lesser on the older events, unless there in anything very important.

The most important thing to be mentioned in the body of the SOP is why you want to pursue MS (or any course) in that university only. The name of the Statement of Purpose suggests that you are telling the reasons for pursuing your higher studies in that university. In order to make your case stronger, research thoroughly about the program, the department, including the professors and their areas of expertise, the university and relate it to your goals.

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Conclusion
Conclude the SOP by stating how pursuing that program from that university would help propel your career and make you become a better individual. You can give a brief summary of what you said in the body of the essay to show that your decision of applying for the program is a logical extension to what you have been doing and will play an important role in what you are want to do in the future.

It is advisable to give at least three readings of your SOP before submitting it. Ensure that there are no major grammatical errors. You can also seek help from your friend or someone good in English to help you with editing it. However, avoid including ideas which are not your own, even if they come from persons very close to you.
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