The Art and Science of Drafting your Statement of Purpose

Drafting your Statement of Purpose should be considered to be, essentially, a communication exercise, which you ought to take very seriously. Why do we say this? Well, for two reasons: first, going forward, there will be many such situations in which you may have to interact with others by means of the written word. And second, subject-matter knowledge is not enough. You would need to find an effective way to communicate your message so as to evoke the desired response from its target reader(s).

Below are a few tips to draft a decent SoP:

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Dr. Harchol-Balter on the Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose is an extremely important part of your application packet (click here for an explanation). A well-written SOP that brings out the most important facts about you as a candidate for higher studies, can open the doors of opportunity for you. On the other hand an SOP that tries to impress but focuses on facts that the admissions committees consider irrelevant can lose you the opportunity that you have dreamed of.

In the extract below Dr. Harchol-Balter, an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie-Mellon University points out two common mistakes that many applicants make:

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September Alert for Students Applying for Admission in Fall 2014

fall 2014September 2013

Here’s your checklist of tasks for this month – and note there’s a lot of heavy documentation work that you have to be doing, so be prepared to do a lot of running around to your college and your university

  1. Arrange for 10-13 sets of transcripts in sealed covers from your college or university – some universities insist on university transcripts
  2. Choose your recommenders (generally 3 recommendations are required, at least one of which should be from the educational institute last attended) and give them the necessary details – resume, copies of your mark sheets etc.
  3. Start working on your Statement of Purpose (target date for completion 31 October 2013) and resume

Note: for the full schedule see: timeline for fall 2014

Related Links:

Application for MS (or PhD) in the US: Key Steps, Crucial Decisions, Vital Information How to Crack the GRE All the Key Facts about TOEFL and IELTS

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MBA Application Essays for American Universities Explained

Application essays for B-schools touch upon various facets of your personality as an applicant. B-schools use these as substitute for short-listing interviews to choose good candidates for the final telephonic interview. We can divide application essays into three categories:

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