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Statement of Purpose VS Personal Statement | Writing Guidelines & Tips

18th December 2018 by Varada A | Uncategorized

Regardless of whatever course one intends to apply, there are general mandates to be submitted for the admission committee to consider.  Mostly, each university will be providing clear instructions about the application procedure and relevant documents required. Apart from these, some institutions individually specify about their key guidelines. It is here, where both the drafts, statement of purpose and personal statement come in a tight rivalry. Both these serve the identical purpose and in a vague sense, are similar to each other.

Through both these documents, one is obliged to make the admission officer understand from a personal perspective. Even though admission processes still rely on good grades, universities go keen on candidate’s personal details, since it is definitely a “make or break” aspect to their reputation. From an applicant’s view also, writing these personal essays are quite challenging, because these drafts are viewed as “difference makers” and helps him to outshine other applicants. The bigger responsibility is to understand the university requirements completely, before writing. Else the application might get rejected, for not having written in a prescribed personal statement or statement of purpose format.

Basically, the candidate has to provide relevant personal information about education, achievements, career aspirations, and short and long term goals. Precisely in a much organised manner, one should speak about himself and his eligibility for the course referring to his relevant skillset and real life experience, which is not covered by any other application or certificate or resume.

Broadly speaking, both statement of purpose and personal statement are more or less the same, such that a very clear and precise style of writing is preferred in them. The core matters should be, the applicant’s purpose of studying a course and his future plans after completing it. Apart from realising these generic similarities, it is more essential to know where to draw a broad line in-between them.

In this article, we help you to fundamentally distinguish the statement of purpose and personal statement in a very simple yet detailed way.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

With a more formal tone, the SOP is meant to explain the real purpose or the reasons why one had chosen a course in a particular university. The general format of statement of purpose requires it to be within a page or two.

Majority of the schools will have a pre-prepared set of important questions, which they expect to be answered by each candidate through their SOP. Particularly when you are applying for graduate or professional courses, they would want to know about the candidate’s work experience or research interests.

Additionally, one is supposed to mention concisely about his future career goals and how he finds the course of study is going to benefit him in achieving them. One has to be optimistic through their writings – projecting his future backed by his present and past abilities and practical experiences. Take help from statement of purpose examples in getting better idea about this.

If you can succeed in presenting yourself as an aspiring and organised individual in your SOP, you are closer to your dream destination. While writing statement of purpose for phd or doctorate programs, a comprehensive plan has to be made before hand to write an appealing SOP.

Knowing to wisely manage both the serious and creative aspects in a SOP is actually an art. By not using creativity and writing skills effectively, it can lead to a complete rejection. Be confident yet don’t sound like you are bragging or even begging.

Personal Statement

The title itself gives it an intimate or personal character. Here also demonstrate how you outstand the rest of the applicants, through your personal accomplishments rather than work-related or academics pursuits.  By choosing your own topic, you have the total freedom to draft it in whatever sequence or format you like. However, since this letter addresses a reviewing officer of a reputed university, remember what you are planning to write should be relevant in making you the right candidate for their university.

All of us have lot to say when it about our own achievements. Thereby, is the biggest mistake most candidates make while writing their personal statement. Narrating different stories without any connection between the subsequent paragraphs is a wrong practise. Pre-plan and identify the most applicable and significant incidents to include. If you have more than one story to share, check which of them are relevant.

The admission committee mostly comprises of the senior most and experienced persons in a university. Hence, are well aware of how to detect a fake personality, however sugar coated the personal statement is presented. So, be honest and most importantly be yourself.

The word limit, which is not a strict mandate in the case of personal statement is around 250-300 generally. Get help in drafting your own document by taking notes from online personal statement samples.

As we near the concluding section, here are some must-remember points, which will be very useful for you later on. Either you are writing a statement of purpose or personal statement, understand that,

  • Each university and specifically each course is different, so tailor your essays accordingly.
  • Extensive research about the university, its faculties and academic environs will be beneficial – not only while writing, but also for personal interview.
  • Proofread and edit your drafts until you feel it completely reflects you and your objectives.

Get help from professional services, as the money you invest will be worth providing you to achieve your dream. If you want to know more about statement of purpose vs personal statement, feel free to reach out to us.

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