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Starting the essay
Preliminary Research
Background issues
Writing the Essay
Editing and Rewriting
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The 'In their shoes' check
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    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!

Read the essay question carefully to find out what the university expects you to write about. While you don't have to stick to the questions asked, you must be sure to answer them all in your SoP. Refer to your lists of background research and write about two handwritten pages in response to the essay question. Go through them the next day.

Remember that your essay has the following objectives:

Show your interest in the subject. Rather than saying that you find  electronics interesting, it is more convincing to demonstrate your interest by talking about any projects you may have done and what you learnt from them. If you have taken the initiative to do things on your own, now is the time to talk about them

Show that you have thought carefully about further studies, know what you are getting into, and have the confidence to go through with it.  Have the admissions committee like you! Avoid sounding opinionated, conceited, pedantic or patronizing. Read your essay carefully, and have others read it to find and correct this.

Demonstrate a rounded personality. Include a short paragraph near the end on what you like to do outside of your professional life.  Keep the essay focussed. Each sentence you use should strengthen the admissions committee's resolve to admit you. So while you may have done several interesting things in life, avoid falling into the trap of mentioning each of them. Your essay should have depth, not breadth. The resume is where you should list achievements.  Remember that you have very little space to convey who you are, so make every sentence count.

Pitfalls your essay must avoid : It is a repetition of the resume or other information available from the application form,  It could have been written by just about anybody; your individuality does not come through, It is not a honest account in response to the essay question (why you want to study what you do, what you have learned from an event/person in your life and so on) It has embarrassing, highly personal and emotional content that should be avoided unless it makes a unique, creative point. The admissions committee would not appreciate reading about the pain you went through after breaking up with your boyfriend. An account of how you overcame difficult family circumstances, illness, or a handicap, would be a valid point to include in your essay.  However, avoid emotional language.

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