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    Writing Tips:
Starting the essay
Preliminary Research
Background issues
Writing the Essay
Editing and Rewriting
Polishing the essay
The 'In their shoes' check
Showing your stuff around
The final printout
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    What the site contains:
What is a Statement of

What do colleges look for
in an SoP?

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Scholarship SoPs?
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Give your Statement of Purpose an Edge at!

Ask yourself why you want to study further. Take a piece of paper and start writing down all the reasons. Spend about half an hour on this, so that you can go beyond cliched ideas like wanting to improve your prospects or contribute to society. Write a few sentences on any reason that particularly strikes a chord with you.

Make lists of instances you can use in your SoP. For example, if you've been asked to talk about an important event in your life, list down events that have made a significant impression on you. Don't worry if these are events that are not 'conventionally' important or seem insignificant; what matters is that they have had some influence over you. Similarly, make a list of people you admire or who have influenced you - this could be a friend, a family member, a teacher, etc. and need not necessarily be a famous person.

Go through your resume and reflect on what you have learned from your various experiences. How have they molded your interests and led you to this point? Pick one or two cases that you can talk about in-depth. For graduate school, it is best to take at least one professional situation and show what you did and learned.

Make a list of schools you plan to apply to. As you continue through the background check, you will add a few universities and delete several. A final shortlist of ten to fifteen schools is common. Ask yourself why you wish tostudy at each of the schools you have listed. For graduate study, it is important to ensure that your interests are compatible with the research interests of the department you are applying to. As you progress through the background check and understand more about your interests through subsequent revisions of the SoP, add to and improve the list.

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