How to write Statement of Purpose | Step-by-step format

Are you a prospective graduate student, and you’re wondering how to write a Statement of Purpose and what it should say. Don’t look any further. This article will teach you how to write an outstanding statement of purpose that will impress the admissions committee.

What is a Statement of Purpose

So, what exactly is a Statement of Purpose, abbreviated as SOP? It is one of the most important documents you must submit to the admission committee during the application process to be considered for admission. A Statement of Purpose is an essay that describes the reason for applying to a specific course at a specific university. This essay summarizes who you are, who you want to become, your goals, and how prepared you are to pursue a specific degree in an institution.

Why Should You Write a Statement of Purpose

Aside from a statement of purpose highlighting who you are and your goals, it can also assist you if you have got a low grade in one or two of your courses. It can break a tie with other applicants who scored at your level on the GRE and GPA. It can help you get into programmes where standardized exam scores are given far less weight than displaying one’s professional interests and aptitude (i.e., Humanities and certain Social Science fields).

What Should Be in Your Statement of Purpose

When you are writing a statement of purpose, it should contain the following:

  • Personal history
  • Financial history
  • Academic details
  • Professional experience (full-time, part-time, or volunteer)
  • Short-term and long-term goals
  • Reasons for choosing this particular institution to study at
  • Reasons for being interested in a particular field
  • Concerning extracurricular activities
  • Published works, if any
  • Submitted papers, if any
  • Hobbies and interests

A Step-by-Step Guide to How To Write Statement of Purpose

Plan Before You Begin

Understand that your statement of purpose is your one chance to introduce yourself to the admissions committee. They will have an idea of who you are based on your recommenders’ notes and the writing sample you send, but this is your time to make a personal, lasting impression. That is why you must conduct thorough research. Look for information about the programmes you’re interested in. Study their websites, and if there is anything you are interested in but don’t see listed, such as the graduate curriculum or research opportunities, contact the programme administrator.

Be Specified With Your Approach

If you Google “statement of purpose examples,” you’ll most likely find generic ones that give the admissions committee little about your passions and academic ability. But provide your perspectives and how you plan to address issues well.

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Work On The Draft

The first draft does not need to be flawless. Write, rewrite, and rewrite some more. Before you begin drafting, you can use several exercises to write down some preliminary thoughts in a non-linear fashion, such as prewriting to get your ideas flowing; sketching out a preliminary outline; or using a variety of other invention strategies such as brainstorming, freewriting, clustering, or asking questions to help you get your thoughts on paper.

Statement of Purpose Format

How to Write Statement of Purpose comes in various formats. However, this article will demonstrate a format for writing a statement of purpose by a format provided by The Graduate School Hub Mentorship.

First Paragraph:

Your motivation for your desired program, your inspiration to pursue an advanced degree, and what led to you choosing your Bachelor’s degree. It could be your childhood experience and exposure, an interesting class you took in university, a teacher who inspired and tutored you etc. Parents, guardians and mentors’ professions and their role in your academic experience.

Second Paragraph:

Your academic excellence, CGPA, and how outstanding your academic achievements are. Your previous research experience (include the most relevant details). Certifications and conferences attended related to the course of study and specific courses related to the graduate program you are applying for.

Third Paragraph:

Work, Awards/scholarships/leadership/voluntary experience (membership of societies, bodies, prefectship etc.) from high school till now.

Fourth Paragraph:

The professors you are interested in and their respective research interests. “I am interested in Dr… XXX’s research on YYY (Include a BRIEF explanation of why). Dr ZZZ’s research on XXX is also of interest because —————. I would also be willing to work on Dr ——- research on the ———— “

Fifth Paragraph

Your love for the program and institution, why you would love to be considered for admission, why the institution is unique, and the program is a great fit for you.

Last Paragraph

Your goals after the program, short-term and long-term career plans.


You have learnt in this article how to write a Statement of Purpose and the right format to use. Kindly drop all queries and comments so we can respond to them and provide better insight. In case of contribution, we will really love to have them as well.

Silas Bamigbola
Silas Bamigbola

Certified Computer Engineer & Author, 'Lost Boys'. I believe in the influence of right information. Join me on Twitter.

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