sample sop(2K)

Statement of Purpose Tips!

Statement of Purpose (SOP) is a very important requirement in your graduate application process. We have tried to make this page very comprehensive about SOPS and irrespective of your majors,you could use these guidlines for all types of graduate schools and universities such as engineering,arts,life sciences etc.

You will find everything you need to know about an SOP(statement of purpose).

Sample SOP's of students from various majors!

Browse through sample SOPs written by Students who have made it to the graduate schools and colleges:

What is a graduate School interested about in an applicant :

Usually graduate and professional schools are interested in the following:

  • Your purpose in graduate study. This means you must have thought this through before you try to answer the question.
  • The area of study in which you wish to specialize. This requires that you know the field well enough to make such decision.
  • Your future use of your graduate study. This will include your career goals and plans for your future.
  • Your special preparation and fitness for study in the field. This is the opportunity to relate your academic background with your extracurricular experience to show how they unite to make you a special candidate.
  • Any problems or inconsistencies in your records or scores such as a bad semester. Be sure to explain in a positive manner and justify the explanation. Since this is a rebuttal argument, it should be followed by a positive statement of your abilities.
  • Any special conditions that are not revealed elsewhere in the application such as a large (35 hour a week) work load outside of school. This too should be followed with a positive statement about yourself and your future.
  • You may be asked, "Why do you wish to attend this school?" This requires that you have done your research about the school and know what its special appeal is to you.
  • Above all this, the statement is to contain information about you as a person. They know nothing about you that you don’t tell them. You are the subject of the statement.

  • SOP Words to avoid using without an explanation- Prof.SJSU

    Significant Invaluable appealing to me
    interesting exciting, excited appealing aspect
    challenging enjoyable, enjoy I like it
    satisfying, satisfaction I can contribute it’s important
    rewarding valuable fascinating
    gratifying helpful appreciate
    meaningful useful helping people
    meant a lot to me feel good I like to help
    stimulating remarkable people

    Keep to the Page Limit Number!!! Reviewers have to read hundreds of these applications, don’t overburden them with extra pages.

    Do not leave in typographical errors. You don’t want to be taken less seriously due to a typo, rite?

    How to ask a professor to do research with him:

      i. Make a list of professors with whom you might want to work. Most professors have a web page with lots of papers and descriptions of their research. Take your time and read these.
      ii. Make a summary sheet about yourself. This is a one-page piece of paper which you will be giving out. It should have the following information about you:
      (a) Your photo. Professors can’t remember names, but they do remember faces.
      (b) Your name and contact info.
      (c) Brief description of your research interests.
      (d) Your availability – are you looking for a full-time summer position, a part-time fall position, both? How many hours can you devote to this project? Are you looking for class credit?
      (e) List of every class you took and your grade and the professor you took it with (professors like to talk to each other about you).
      (f) Relevant previous experience and skills.

      iv. Pick a professor from your list. Go to his/her office hours or send email to schedule an appointment (most professors prefer office hours). Explain your situation and give your summary sheet. Be prepared for the following questions which he may ask you:
      (a) Do you have any ideas about what you might want to do research on?
      (b) Which of my projects are you most interested in working on?
      (c) Describe your math background.
      (d) Describe your programming background.
      With very high probability the professor will thank you for your interest, but tell you that he isn’t taking on any undergraduates this term. This does not mean that he hates you! Be brave! Try the next person on your list. You may have to try this 10 times. Hang in there. If the professor does say yes, you need to be prepared with your own list of questions:

    Sample SOP Template:- Graduate School Wisconsin-Madison

      Opening Paragraph. Here, you want to introduce yourself and give your general reasons for pursuing graduate study. Because the selection committee members will read many applications, make your statement relevant by stating your particular talents and individuality.

    Qualifications. In this section, the aim is to build a foundation for your forthcoming work. You should discuss your experiences in the following:

    Explain why you chose this field. What motivated you. Your expertise and accomplishments in your major field, including any research you've performed. You should mention the project and the name of the professor who you worked for or under the direction of.

    Your undergraduate studies in general and how they relate to what you intend to do in graduate school.

    Your specific experiences that demonstrate your motivation and inspiration for continued study.

    Other relevant experiences (i.e., jobs, community activities, leadership in school organizations, awards, honors, etc.). Be sure to include names of person/s, names of organizations, and other important details.

    Explain (briefly) any discrepancies on your transcript which would include having a lower GPA in a particular semester or year. No details are necessary.

    Mention specific faculty you are interested in working with. Background. Here, you want to tell the school about yourself. Also, describe your family and your community (or a community in which you once lived).

    You could include whether your family, a family member in particular, or someone in your community influenced your chosen field of interest.

    Also, you want to give examples of personal attributes or qualities that you know will help you successfully complete graduate study. For instance, describe your determination to achieve your goals, your initiative and ability to develop ideas, and your capacity to work through problems independently.

      Closing Paragraph. Finally, leave the reader with a strong sense that you are qualified and will be successful in graduate or professional school.

    The statement should only be 1 to 2 pages long so you need to be concise.

    Sample SOP Template:- Prof: CMU

      i. First paragraph – Describe the general areas of research that interest you and why. (This is helpful for a committee to determine which professors should read your application.)

      ii. Second paragraph and Third paragraph – Descibe some research projects that you worked on. Tell us what you found, what you learned, what approaches you tried. It’s fine to say that you were unable to prove what you wanted or to solve your problem.

      iii. Fourth paragraph – Tell us why you feel you need a MS/Ph.D.. Look back to section 2 and explain what in there appealed to you.

      iv. Fifth paragraph – Tell us why you want to come to CMU.Whom might you like to work with? What papers have you looked at from that particular university that you enjoyed reading? What will the university teach you?

    We also have complied an interesting link with guidlines and sample SOPS. The samples provide here should be used just as a guideline and should not be copied or mailed directly as is.

    Sample SOP's of students from various majors

    Browse through 20 or more SOPs written by Students who have made it to the graduate schools:

    To know more about:

    1. Guide lines for writing Recommendations letters
    2. The Art of writing recommendation Letters

    Asking for a letter of recommendation won’t be a problem if you have been doing research with this person, but that won’t be possible in every case. Here’s a guideline which willmaximize the contents of your letter. This works on the theory that professors have very little time and little memory (both of which are good assumptions):

    i. Prepare a packet for each recommender. This packet should contain all the relevant information about you that could help the recommender. Be careful not to make the packet too large.

    Here’s what should be in it:

      (a) Your statement of purpose.
      (b) A summary of every research project you worked on and with whom, regardless of whether this was at a school or research lab. If you have published a paper, or have a technical report, please include that too.
      (c) A sheet of paper listing all math/cs/engineering/science classes you have taken with the names of professors and grades.
      (d) A list of extracurricular activities and awards/competitions.

    At the top of the packet should be:

      (a) A recent photo of you – professors receive many such packets and don’t remember you the second after you leave the office.
      (b) Directions. E.g., please seal and sign and send to this address by Jan. 5. Put an earlier date than the real deadline – professors are notoriously late.
      (c) Confirmation information: Please send me email at blank address after you send this off. If I don’t hear from you by Jan. 5th, I will send you an email reminder. (You need this confirmation information because otherwise you’ll never know if the recommendation was sent and you’ll be sitting around biting your nails wondering.)

    Go to your potential recommender with your packet and ask him/her the following question:

      “Do you feel comfortable writing a strong letter of recommendation for me to graduate school?”
      You need to phrase the question this way so that the potential recommender has a way out. Do not be upset if the potential recommender says no. It is good that he/she let you know. This is much better than getting a weak letter
      Check with the school to confirm that they have received a letter from each of your recommenders.
      Remember to at least send your recommender a thank you card! It’s a lot of work to write a decent recommendation letter, and you may need more letters in the future.

    Whom to ask for a letter

    Ideally you would like to make all your letters of recommendation count. Consider the following two letters:

      i. Letter 1: “I highly recommend student X for your graduate program. Student X received an A+ in my undergraduate algorithms class. He was ranked Number 2 out of 100 students. He got the highest score on the final. He worked very hard all semester, never missed a class, and was always able to answer the questions that I asked in class. This conscientious attitude makes him an excellent candidate for any graduate program. ”

      ii. Letter 2: “I highly recommend student Y for your graduate program. Student Y received a B in my undergraduate algorithms class. He was ranked Number 29 out of 100 students. Halfway through the semester we started working on network flows. Student Y seemed extremely excited by this topic. He disappeared for 4 weeks and even missed an exam. However when he came back, he showed me some work he had been doing on a new network flow algorithm for high-degree graphs. He had done some simulations and had some proofs. I’ve been working with student Y for the past couple months since then and he is full of ideas for new algorithms. I think student Y’s initiative makes him an excellent candidate for any graduate program.”

    Which letter do you think is stronger?

    It turns out that Letter 2 is very strong. Letter 1 actually counts as 0. At top schools they mark all letters like letter 1 with the acronym D.W.I.C.. This stands for “Did Well In Class” which counts for 0, since we already know from the student’s transcript that he did well in class.

    By contrast, student Y’s letter gives us a lot of information. It explains that the reason student Y didn’t do better in class was that he was busy doing research. It also tells us that student Y started doing research on his own initiative, and that he is quite good at doing research. The professor was impressed enough with student Y’s ideas that he took him on as a student researcher despite student Y not having high grades.

    You want your letters to all be of type 2 (this doesn’t mean that you should skip class!). Remember that letters of type 1 will not count. You want words like self-motivated, strong research potential , own initiative, independent, and driven to appear in your letters.

    These are the words that we circle when reading recommendation letters. You therefore want to ask letters from people who have seen you do research. These may be professors or employers.

    One caveat: It makes some difference whom you ask for a letter. As a general rule (there are always exceptions due to people’s fame), letters from professors count the most. Next highest are letters from research scientists.

    After that come letters from lecturers, systems scientists, employers, or postdocs. Please do not get a letter from a graduate student.

    If you found yourself doing research where you were supervised by a graduate student or postdoc, you should ask the professor for whom they work if she can co-write the letter. The reason is simple: professors are the ones reading the letter, and they are most likely to know other professors.

    There is an issue for students who have been working for a while. You will certainly want a letter from your employer, but you will also want two letters from professors.

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