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Topic 13

How to write 'Statement of Purpose / Research Proposal' for admission into universities

Statement of Purpose / Research Proposal is one of the main documents that helps in creating a good academic impression on the candidate among the assessors of the application form.

This Statement of Purpose should be accompanied by an applicaiton form for admission into foreign universities. Either it is for admission into Bachelors degree or Masters degree or Doctoral degree, your statement of purpose is the only document that gives you an opportunity to exhibit yourself professionally before the assessors of your application form.

Your applicaition form provides all the general purpose details about you like, your personal details, your qualifications, your financial status and etc. But your assessors want to know "why you are applying for the course you chose?" and "do you have enough knowledge in the field that you wanted to work in?".

You should address all these questions in your statement of purpose.

Here I am writing what all I know about writing a statement of purpose. I will try to explain what I learnt and help you out in drafting and framing your own statement of purpose.

Do not write anything personal or emotional

Normally people tend towards writing personally intended and emotionally rich statements thinking that they will create some sort of personal or emotional sympathy on them while their application is being assessed. This is wrong. You should never indicate such sort of things in your statement of purpose. They will not help in any manner what so ever, because your assessors will be looking only for professional and technical details "in brief" in that statement.

Only indicate your professional interests

Your statement of purpose is to exhibit your professional interests in the field that you are interested in and to put before your idea/proposal of research. That's it you should indicate only those technical and professional details. Nothing else. Your assessors will only look for what you are interested in, what you know and what you want to do and how.

You should never write anything like, "Its my ambition to get into that university from my 5th grade and I am trying days and nights without food and sleep to study for it and get knowledge in it". This might be true from your side. You might be working such hard in your life. But, remember, there will always be people who work more harder than you. And also that doesn't convey anything to your assessors. Even if they read it and get moved by it, they should not give you admission until and unless they are satisfied with your technical and professional capabilities.

So, all these types of statements are a waste of time and effort. You should always write your statement of purpose professionally. You should indicate what made you to be interested (only give technical reasons like your past experience) in the particular course you are applying for.

Indicate what all you did in the past in your particular field. What you know in the field you want to work in and what you want to do and it will be much better if you can give an exact proposal for your research.

Keep it concise

Never exceed two A4 pages. You should be concise in your statement and should be clear in what you say. Do not use anything which is imaginary. For example words like "might" or "shall". Use "will" and "should" instead.

Start your statement directly with what you want to do, what your field of interest is and what you know.

For example,

<this> is my field of interest. I want to work on <so and so topic>.

<write a small paragraph introducing your field. Customise your statement to suit your topic>.

<write about your past experiences in that field and give brief descriptions of what all you did that are relevant to the course you are applying for>.

<write what you know in particular, that are promising and research oriented in your field or what you want to work on>.

<write what you want to do and if you know how you will be doing that, that will be much better>.

<write how you would structure your study and how you will be planning it for the whole duration of your study>.

<write what you want to do in future and end your statement>.

That's it, you will have a professional and good looking statement of purpose. Review it and eliminate all spelling and grammar mistakes. One hint, never write big paragraphs. Big paragraphs always tend to divert attention and readers often forget the scenario in which they are reading that paragraph, by the time they reach end of it.

So, to write a good statement of purpose, maintain good grammar, good technicality and professionalism. You will get a good statement of purpose and it will help you for sure in getting what you needed, like, admission and funding.

V Rama Aravind.

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