Tips for Writing a Statement of Purpose

Jan 02

Before you know that what is to be included and what not to be mentioned in your statement of purpose, you should first know what a ‘statement of purpose’ is. A statement of purpose is a tool used by a university to assess your knowledge, motivation, experience, and intellectual maturity to pursue your research in a particular field. This is a crucial step where you have to explain your doctoral committee about the purpose of your research as well as expected benefits associated with your research.

Below are the components of a statement of purpose:

Introduction
This is the first paragraph of your statement of purpose that delineates who you are and where you are going. You will foreground qualities that will make you stand out from other scholars, or in other words, why you are the only right person to carry out research in the chosen field. In addition to writing the name of your degree programme, department and school to which you are applying, you will discuss how you got interested in your research area, what spurred you on carrying out research in the chosen domain, and why you want to pursue a PhD.

To ace in this section, browse over the website of your department or programme that interests to you, and mark the highlights of the programme. Go through recent articles from your research field and try to get a general understanding of how the field developed and what its current problems and challenges are.

Research experience
Demonstrate your research or other relevant experience. Highlight your research goals. In this section, you will explain all your research experiences that are relevant to your current research experience. Enlist the skills that you have for conducting your research. When did you realise that you wanted to pursue research in the chosen field? Do remember that your skills and experience should relate to your current research objectives.

Current interests
In this section, you will explain what you intend to achieve with the help of your research. Where do you find yourself in the next ten years? Who influenced you to carry out research in the particular field? What were the significant moments in your life that led you to your current research interest? What is your motivation behind conducting the research?

A statement about your suitability with the programme
You will also explain you are completely fit to conduct research on a particular topic. It involves answers to the questions like what attracts you to the programme? What characteristics of the department can help you accomplish your goals? What positive aspects will you introduce to your university or department?

Summary
Do not regurgitate previous sections. Conclude what you have stated to finalise your statement of purpose.

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