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Common Mistakes in SOP
Prior to discussing the common mistakes in SOP that students often make, let us have a quick look at what SOP or Statement of Purpose is?, what does it comprise of and how important it is?
Also known as Letter of Motivation, SOP is an utterly important document which every student needs to submit while seeking admission to the University of their choice.
Typically it is a personal statement written in an essay form comprising of 500-1000 words and outlines professional as well as academic achievements of the students. Commonly committed mistakes in SOP can become a rejection reason of SOP.
The document is important because it serves as a building block for a successful application. Most of the students lack the desired skills to write it, either they do not know what all to incorporate in it to make it sound complete or they do not know how to write it effectively. So, here are we for help.
If you want to leave a great impression on those who examine it for giving you admission, make sure to incorporate all the important things about yourself like: “who you are, what all you have done so far and what all you want to do?” In this document, you can discuss your achievements, your career aspirations, your academic qualifications etc.
All the important aspects have to be weaved in a clear and cohesive manner to provide you a complete idea about you as a student. It is to be written with all the possible care because it can make or break your chances of acceptance.
SOP is very important because the document sets you apart from others seeking admission to the same University and having the same set of academic qualifications. This is the best chance to prove your worth and secure admission to the University of your Choice.
A well-written SOP secures the chances of your admission and enables you to study in your dream University. A winning SOP written meticulously can be a doorway to your success. Apart from that, students with weak academic profiles lacking any special skills can cover all their shortcomings. Being a scholar you should know how to frame it properly. If like others you think you can also make mistakes then given here is a thorough help for you. Avoid doing these mistakes while writing SOP and come out to be a winner.
SOP impacts your applications and drafting a SOP proficiently with a presentable touch ensures your success.
Most of the times students underestimate the importance of SOP and they begin to think that it is just a formal document. Just copying and pasting SOPs from the Internet will ruin the impression. Plagiarism of any sort is a punishable offence. So, you need to make very sure that you write as many rough drafts as possible and begin to work on your SOP for at least a month prior to sending your applications.
SOP is the result of meticulous planning and nothing should be left for the eleventh hour.
Since introduction would be the very first thing to be read, you should try to make it as engaging as possible. It should be written in such a way that it can catch your attention at once. At the same time, you also need to ensure that the admission committee goes through the entire essay carefully. Begin with a powerful quote that can directly reflect your aspirations and mindset. You need to aim for presenting a summary with a punch that can motivate the readers to read further.
Similarly, if you have to end it poorly or abruptly it can be a reason of SOP failure. You can wrap the entire profile with an influential ending that can be on how you think the University would fulfill your career aspirations and how you hope to become an asset for the University. The conclusion should be a window of the knowledge and information that may have about the University.
Make sure to use a professional language only and write formally and politely. Always keep in mind that your vocabulary and grammar should be good. Spelling errors can leave a bad taste on the mouth of the distinguished academicians that review your SOP so it is good to avoid slangs, informal vocabulary, abbreviations and more.
Try to be simple and lucid yet presentable. Refrain from using lofty words that you think can embellish your writing. Write the words and phrases you are familiar with only.
You will think that you need to be honest but talking to much about the backlogs would ruin the entire impression of your SOP. So, you should aim at maintain the positivity and highlighting your learning experience. You should mention backlogs only in the condition where you suffered from adverse health conditions or in any other extreme circumstances. Avoid this common mistake in SOP and stay positive all through.
Most of the times universities specify the word limit that students need to follow. If the word-limit is not there, it is good to set that limit to 1000 words only. You have to keep in mind that an elaborately written SOP will not be reviewed fully because the reviewing committee has to deal with as many as 10,000 applications in each session.
What can endanger your chance of SOP acceptance by the reviewing committee is the information that you choose to put there. You need to keep in mind that you are writing a SOP and not your autobiography so avoid using any type of personal information which is absolutely irrelevant. Incorporating personal information like the family background or financial assets will spoil your SOP. So, talk about yourself as much as you think would be sufficient for highlighting your academic excellence.
There are two important ingredients of SOP one is font and another one is content. While on one hand it is important to talk about what you want to achieve it is even more important to not sound conceited. Keep in mind that you just need to present your learning, need to state your experience and educational qualifications, your aspirations etc. Try to show that your polite, yearning to learn and ready to contribute for the progression of University.
Try to be simple as far as use of fonts is concerned. Do not use italics, bold, highlights, underlines, fancy fonts, bright colors and more. Make use of simple font and basic formatting. You should not use any color other than black. SOP generated by you should appear clean and clutter-free.
As mentioned, there is a set word limit for writing SOP so try not to waste your words on sweet talking. University and professors that review your applications want to know what you have achieved academically so far. They want to know your future aspirations so refrain from flattering the University or its departments in any form. Doing so can do more harm than any good. But, you can include things like what all you expect from the University by stating the specifics like the current areas of research.
Sound practical, logical and well-informed. If you have conducted a background research about the University, you would be helped while taking your VISA interview programs when you will be asked as to why you have chosen to study in a particular university.
Your SOP should be authentic. Honesty is the hallmark of a good SOP. So, you should refrain from exaggerating facts and write them as they are. Remain honest all through. Present only the genuine facts as the admission committee can contact back for the verification. This is a most common mistake in SOP that students often make.
Once you are through with writing SOP, make sure that you have proofread and edited the document up to your satisfaction level. Avoid making any type of spelling errors, improper grammar, punctuation errors or repetitions. Check it thoroughly for any skipped part or missing information. Keep in mind that a third person is in a better position to spot errors.
So, give final tweaks and edits in your essay. However well you may have written your SOP, it will fail to impress if it is laced with errors. So, revise and re-read it for making it flawless. Avoid these common mistakes in SOP, make it impressive and ensure admission to the University of your Choice.
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