Check Out Our Sponsor

Dear Mentor:

How should I write my SOP?
Archives (more questions)
Ask Dear Mentor:
Submit a Question

I have an MA in English from Delhi University. My GRE score is 2100/2400 and TOEFL 263/300, but there is nothing exceptional about my academic background. I am applying to universities in then US for post grad studies in mass communications liberal science instructional technology. What are my chances of getting financial aid? Also, I am nervous and am having major difficulties writing my SOP (statement of purpose). I am terrified that my application will be rejected because of my SOP. Can you help me out and give me some guidelines?

Writing-Challenged, Delhi, India

Dear Writing-Challenged:

The GRE is one of many criteria used by colleges for admission, but it is an important criterion. TOEFL is used simply to determine your competency in the English language. If you reach a certain threshold for the TOEFL score, you are considered qualified and TOEFL no longer plays a roll in the admission decision. Your GRE score is good. You can use the iMahal College Finder to identify colleges for which you stand a reasonable chance of admission, based on historic statistical data.

The Statement of Purpose (SOP) is an important part of your application. There is no magic to writing the SOP. As the term suggests, the prospective school wishes to learn the reasons for which you wish to pursue your education, and particularly at that institution. In order to write a meaningful SOP, you must articulate two items: why further education and why at the target school. The first item is independent of any school. Since you wish to pursue further education, you must have some reasons and purpose. You must be able to articulate them, particularly since you are an English major. If you don't have any reasons or purpose, you may wish to rethink whether you really want to continue studies. The second item requires you to show why you wish to pursue education at a particular institution. You must research individual schools to learn why the program you are targeting meets your purpose. Yes, it is a lot of work and no standard SOP would suffice. You must write a school-specific SOP for each target school.

One strong suggestion: your SOP should be a well-written, clear, and articulate statement. Avoid sloppy and lazy writing, full of colloquial language and non-standard abbreviations. For example, we suggest that you not write it the way you wrote your email to us.

[Editor's Note: The question above was edited for clarity, while using the sender's language as much as possible.]

Read Dear Mentor:
Archives (more questions)
Ask Dear Mentor:
Submit a Question


Forums    Rani & Raja    Pals    Events

Tell a friend about this webpage! Subscribe to iMahal Newsletters
Search Help