Statement of Purpose Editing
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How to Write a Successful Statement of Purpose with this Format

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Updated: March 9, 2023
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The hardest part of any piece of writing is just getting started after choosing the writing direction. Having a format can help quickly give structure to not only what you should write but what the finished piece should look like to impress readers. The following statement of purpose (or statement of interest) format offers some general direction so you can start getting ideas and get to writing to get an amazing outcome.

Before taking up the process of writing, you may wonder how long should a statement of purpose be, the difference between statement of purpose grad school and Ph.D. statement of purpose, or how to end statement of purpose to leave an unforgettable impression.

Our statement of purpose editing is to help you find out the answers for all the bothering issues.

Think about it, do you really want to waste your time trying to figure out everything you need to know about your statement of purpose? Of course not. That’s why we wrote this quick explanation guide to tell you everything you need to know to go from staring at a blank screen to writing a statement of purpose first successful draft.

What is a statement of purpose?

A statement of purpose (SOP or also called statement of intent), in the context of applying for graduate schools or universities, is an essay that’s one of the most important aspects of your application because it tells the admission committee who you are, why you’re applying, why you’re a good candidate, and what you want to do in the future, your professional goals, what will you do when becoming alumni or Ph.D., apart from your GPA, test scores and other numbers. Therefore, don’t neglect the importance of this essay. It’s sometimes called an SOP letter, application essay, personal background, objectives for graduate study, cover letter, or something similar to one of these. The thing is that this diversity of titles implies SOP anyway. Keep in mind that even top-rated universities, like MIT, Stanford, or Berkley take essays as a deciding factor.

See also: personal statement vs statement of purpose to know the difference between the essays and not to fail the admissions to your dream university. 

What are the general conditions required for statement of interest? 

The statement of purpose (statement of interest) reflects not only who you are as a candidate but your writing abilities and qualifications as well. In college and graduate school, you’re going to be doing a ton of writing. Seriously a ton. It is a common deal for universities. It was not unusual for me to write papers 10-20 pages or longer. Take it as a commitment. With that in mind, it is really important to show that you are a truly competent writer. Some quick statement of purpose tips are:

  • Your statement of purpose shouldn’t have any typos, spelling or grammatical errors
  • Use strong, clear, and concise writing
  • Avoid cliches and repetitive language
  • Stay away from overly informal language
  • Keep a positive and confident tone

Also, there is a common question of how to format a statement of purpose and fit into the common requirements. There is a diversity of variants. However, the general format is similar to any other piece of academic writing. You should use:

  • 12 point Times New Roman font
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • 1.5 line spacing

This format will make your writing easier to read and provide you with some additional explanation. It is also the expected format. Sadly, you probably won’t get bonus points for standing out with your general visual formatting. It is going to benefit you much more to focus on wowing your reader with your actual content. It will help you get a great outcome.

Do’s of Personal Statement Formatting

  1. Format the essay.
  2. Avoid informal language.
  3. Check grammar and spelling.
  4. Space the text.
  5. Use readable font.

Don’ts of Personal Statement Formatting

  1. Submit half-backed paper.
  2. Pretend as you write a message to your buddy.
  3. Use overcomplicated language and sentence constructions.
  4. Apply colorful and vivid background.
  5. Use a beautiful or awkward font.

Do I need to put my name in the statement of purpose heading?

In general, no, you don’t need to put your name on your SOP. The reason is that your statement is a part of your larger application which already has your name throughout it. However, it is important to look at the specific requirements for the program you’re applying to. If the requirements for your program say that you should include your name, then you should follow those directions. You may also like diversity statement.

How long should a statement of purpose be?

Many students are doubtful regarding statement of purpose length and its importance. A statement of purpose should really be one page and only one page. You could write up to one and a half pages if needed, but nothing longer than this. The reason is that you need to be economical with your writing and not overwhelm your readers. Admissions officers departments read dozens of applications a day, so you are going to need to be able to concisely and clearly state what you want to say. Writing longer than 1 – 1.5 pages will make you seem like you lack focus and clarity in your purpose for school. Get rid of all unnecessary data, like descriptions of your grades, anyway, they can be found in your GPA paper.

Questions to the Expert
Julia Z.
Professional Essay Editor. Education: PhD, University of Oxford, Experience: 8 years. Member of EssayEdge team.
Hire Julia Z.
What makes a strong statement of purpose?
Julia Z.
A perfect statement of purpose has a few different features. First, your SOP should be clear and concise. Second, all the information (such as your background, experience, and skills) is relevant to a chosen grad/undergrad program. Thirdly, it corresponds to formatting requirements. Finally, it should be free of stylistic, grammatical, and punctuation errors.
How long should my statement of purpose be?
Julia Z.
In most cases, one single-spaced page is enough. If to focus on the word count, it should be between 500-1000 words, but not more. Besides, the statement of purpose is of purpose not detailed as, for instance, a personal statement. Instead, it should be as clear and concise as possible.
What is the difference between a personal statement and a statement of purpose?
Julia Z.
The main difference between these two admission essays is in the purpose of writing and format. Thus, the personal statement focuses more on your personality, skills, goals, and background. Instead, a statement of purpose highlights your motivation to choose a particular academic program.

Besides, you should check the official site of the educational institution you want to apply to. As a rule, admissions offices or departments promulgate the conditions of how long should a statement of purpose be.

Check out personal statement length for more detailed information. 

Statement of purpose tips that will help you create your best essay ever

It can be hard to know what to include in each section of your writing and what strategies to take into consideration. The following statement of purpose format is a simple five-paragraph essay that will help you address all the points admissions officers expect you to cover. Also, this section is supposed to help you decide on the way how to write a statement of purpose on the whole.

Part 1: Who are you, and what do you want to do? – 1st paragraph

In the first paragraph, you should introduce yourself by briefly giving your background and stating your current career goal or objective in the thesis. Your introduction should be relevant to the specific program and its coursework you’re applying to. Talking about your love of cooking when you’re applying to medical school won’t really help you by itself or play the role of your accomplishments. Any information you include in your introduction needs to be relatable back to specific aspects of the program. Moreover, think closely about the topic of relationships for your essay as it can provide a twofold impression in some cases.

For example, consider this statement from the description of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) program, it will help you decide on how to start a statement of purpose, “HST students learn to carry their engineering and scientific expertise from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside and to bring clinical insights from the bedside to the bench.” If you were applying to this program, you’d probably want to include some background you have with scientific research and what was its relevance for you or bedside interactions with patients to let the faculty staff and particular department know more about you. Your career goal or objective should also clearly show that this is the kind of work you want to do.

Research the program and its coursework you are applying to thoroughly, and make sure that what you write about directly relates to the specific details included in the program description and include those points into your statement of purpose outline. It will help you stick to the requirements connected exactly to your field of interest.

See also: how to start a personal essay and college essay introduction writing tips and tricks to make it magnificent.

Part 2: Why do you want to do it? – 2nd paragraph

The second paragraph should explain how you came to be interested in your specific area of study, either it is faculty of literature or economics. Now that you’ve made it clear that you have a background and goal related to the program, explain your interest in it, why the commitment of successful admissions is that crucial for you. Your statement of purpose tells admissions officers why you’re applying, and fast! Think over the fact what is a statement of purpose for you, your relationships with this particular field of interest, and your future career before you start making up the reasons for the second paragraph.

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Don’t give really general reasons like, “I like helping people.” General reasons don’t help admissions officers understand you as an individual as they haven’t been in a close relationship with you. This is because so many people give these reasons. You probably do like helping people, and that’s great; now look deeper and try to include it in the list of your accomplishments. Why do you like helping people? How did you come to like helping people? Why do you want to learn in this specific program to help people? What is its relevance for your life? Why graduate school is the crucial place for your future? The more completely you understand your reasons, the better you’ll be able to convince admissions officers you’re the right choice. Concentrating on the reasons why you are the most appropriate person is the most essential part of writing, either you are to submit college statement of purpose, grad school personal statement, or personal statement. In the way of submitting letter of intent graduate school has a chance to see what is a statement of purpose for you and how you took the opportunity to prove yourself to receive further qualifications.

Part 3: Why are you the right candidate for the program? – 3rd and 4th paragraphs

After this, in the third paragraph, briefly describe any experience you may already have in your area of study. In this way, you can provide the admissions committee with more crucial data about your personality. Think of any jobs, internships, projects, and so on that, you have done. It all matters if you want to give the faculty staff and department of your studying field a comprehensive overview of your background. It can be difficult for some people to think of any applicable experience they may have. If this is you, try talking to some friends or family that know you well and with whom you have a great relationship. They may be able to help you think of some relevant experience.

Look back to the background and career goals and motivations from the first paragraph. This should be your point of reference when talking about your experience. Using the school’s program description as a guide on how to write a statement of interest, talk about any related experience you have. The more direct the experience, the better. If you don’t have direct experience, choose the most closely related experience if possible. Be sure to reference how your experience relates to the program. This will show that you have a clear understanding of what the program is and how you fit into it. The admissions committee seeks the candidate whose professional goals and personality can match the student community.

Next up is the fourth paragraph, where you can describe any other experiences you’ve had that helped you decide on your specific area of study or have helped you prepare for graduate studies in general. Tell about the book that made you interested in literature or the volunteer work that made you love economics. Do this briefly, though. Your statement of purpose is not the place to give long narratives. To find some inspiration and become aware of how to present the data briefly, look through statement of purpose examples

If there is any other insight information you really think the admissions officer should know about you, include it here. It is important to emphasize that the admissions officer really should know this insight information. Ask yourself if you can clearly articulate the specific value these experiences add to your story. Would you mention those as your recommendation? This is another chance to stand out and be unique, but it still needs to be tightly focused on explaining why you are the best person for the program.

Part 4: What do you want to do in the future? – Closing paragraph

And here the concluding part of statement of purpose tips from the professional team of EssayEdge. In the final closing paragraph, you should very briefly describe your long-term career goals and motivations. Be very clear and specific when you write this. Also, notice how this is a bit different than the current goal from the first paragraph. In the first paragraph, you talk about what you want to do right now, in other words, the next goal you want to achieve. Do you want to stop education at the stage of alumni or do you want to become a Ph.D. in your field? The closing paragraph discusses where you want to be years from now. For example, your next step may be to become a manager in your field, but your long-term goal may be to be a director or CEO or whatever the applicable title for your field is. Discuss these professional goals in your essay to tell the admissions committee about the seriousness of your intentions.

Up until this point, you’ve talked about the past and present and went through statement of purpose formatting. These are important for showing how you fit the program right now. From the admissions and universities’ perspective, they want to select students that have a long-term vision related to the program. The reason is that it shows you clearly see yourself as using what you’ll learn to truly grow and contribute to your field of study. Why would an admissions officer want to admit a student that doesn’t have a clear vision of how they want to grow their field? It doesn’t make sense for them to choose a student that does not have a clear long-term goal over a student that does.

Our recommendation is to look through this article, it can be useful for you: how to end a personal statement as it also has importance for the reader.

1-st paragraph Introduction
2-nd paragraph Tell the reader why you apply
3-rd paragraph Your uniqueness
4-th paragraph Any additional data that you want to share
5-th paragraph Conclusion


Statement of purpose examples and a great editor are what you need to polish your essay

Now that you have a basic idea of the statement of purpose format, the next thing to do is to get started. If you’re ready, you can get started writing immediately. If you’re not quite sure what this format looks like in action, you should read some statement of purpose examples.

While you read a sample essay, try to notice how the writer either followed or diverged from the above format. Evaluate whether or not you think the writer was clear in their statement of purpose and what you might do differently when you write your own. Make sure to take notes while you read and use them as a reference. Take into consideration that it will certainly help you further!

Remember, you want to be able to show admissions officers that you are clearly focused on your purpose for going to graduate school. This process will help you truly take control over how you convey yourself in your writing.

Writing and editing are complicated. Really complicated, in fact, if you don’t have several thoughtful strategies. This statement of purpose format is meant to give you a great head-start on how to write statement of interest, but there is a lot more than just the format. There is a fine art to selecting the right verb for a sentence. You also need to cut through the clutter and deliver your message with just the right blend of punchiness and evocativeness. Good writing is clear thinking and varied vocabulary made visible. When you have 1-page to convince a stranger that your future should be what you think it should be, you’ll want some really good writing.

Your willingness and awareness can help you create the best possible essay ever, even if you decide not to refer to statement of intent examples. However, when you’re writing something as important as a statement of purpose, having your essay well-edited can make the difference between a letter of acceptance and a letter of rejection. You also don’t get to reapply right away. If you get rejected from the school you want, you may have to wait months or even up to a year before you can reapply. If you’d like to be more confident that your statement of purpose has the best chance of getting you an acceptance letter, consider hiring a professional editor who has enough proficiency in your field of interest. Therefore, refer to law school personal statement editing in case you apply for a place in the law school, or the editor who is acknowledged in the medical field if you want to enter the medical school. In the scheme of how much school costs, a professional essay editor is pretty inexpensive. Most textbooks you’ll buy are more expensive.

The team of our proficient editors has prepared a successful essay statement of purpose example to inspire you and provide you with a case example that won admission and enter the top-rated universities like Harvard or Berkley.  Check out our samples page to be aware of different types of essays. We have:

Checklist for your best statement of purpose

  1. The main idea is presented clearly.
  2. There are no grammatical errors
  3. There are no typos in the text
  4. The lexis usage is appropriate
  5. 1 paragraph – 1 idea
  6. The text is engaging
  7. There is clarity of the narrative
  8. You have looked through statement of purpose sample
  9. The vocabulary isn’t too familiar
  10. The editor has checked everything
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