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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
Writing Guides New

    What the site contains:
What is a Statement of

What do colleges look for
in an SoP?

How do I start writing mine?
How do I polish my SoP?
Can I see some sample

What about recommendation

Can you help me with
Scholarship SoPs?
What other resources can I


Give your Statement of Purpose an Edge at!

Once you have the final draft ready (you have to stop sometime!), do the following before you take a final printout:

  • Run a spelling and grammar check. 
  • Read the essay carefully two-three times for spelling or grammar errors the program did not detect. 
  • Look for and correct any anomalies in spacing, font and margins.
  • Choose a readable font and size, nothing fancy. Avoid special effects like underlining, boldface and italics (except in the title, if you have one). Donít use colors. Donít use special stationery or your letterhead.
  • Make sure that the school and program mentioned in the essay are correct. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
  • Include a header in the top right-hand corner with your name and the name of the program you are applying to. Use a smaller font size for this.
  • Take a rough print and show it to someone else who can read it over carefully for errors and anomalies.
  • As far as possible, print out your SoP on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure that the printer cartridge is good enough to print clear, crisp copies. Put in a good-quality sheet of white paper. Keep the printed copy carefully in a folder till you are ready to transfer it to the application envelope.
If you must print or write your essay on the application form itself, take a photocopy of the form. Print or write the essay on the copy first, to ensure that it fits easily in the space provided. If it doesnít, and you donít have the option of attaching more pages, cut portions of the essay to reduce its length. This is painful, but a much better idea than reducing font size to unreadable levels or using tiny, cramped handwriting Ė the essay should never cause strain while reading. While writing by hand, use a good pen, write slowly and carefully and if necessary, draw light pencil lines on the form to ensure that your letters are uniform and in a straight line.

"In their shoes" check or Showing your stuff around

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    Recommended Resources:

The Merriam-Webster
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'On Writing the College
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- Harry Bauld
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