Content Writing

How to write a better statement of purpose for a PhD (1300 words)

PHD Statement of Purpose - PHD SOP

We’ve all been in a situation where we had to write a statement of purpose, and we can all agree that it was not the easiest task. Writing a statement of purpose can seem intimidating to a lot of people because there is a lot of pressure to do it right, especially when you are writing it for a research program. So, without any further delay, let me tell you some things about a statement of purpose writing, which will make your experience significantly better. Also, the things we talk about in this article are specific to applying for a Ph.D. application, so, please keep that in mind.

1. Be convincing

When you’re writing your statement of purpose for a Ph.D. program, you want to be really convincing. Convince them that you actually want a Ph.D. and give reasonable and good reasons for that. These reasons can be your love for research, or that you care very deeply about a particular topic that you want to add more knowledge to the world on that topic. It can also be that you have a passion for teaching and would like to be a professor, although, it is advisable that you do not make your entire sop about that. The faculty is going to evaluate your statement of purpose based on your research potential, so make sure that that is the emphasis of the statement. Do not add unnecessary details that aren’t relevant.

2. Describe your motivation for research

A passionate person catches everyone’s eye, a driven man can do anything. And you want them to see it through your SOP writing. Make a convincing argument and make it look like getting a Ph.D. compliments your long term goals. Talk about things like your previous experience with research, or what makes it interesting for you, or what made you explore this topic even more. Things like your contribution to research projects in the past, and the research papers written, and if you enjoyed the process and can’t wait to lead your own research projects can make a huge impact on the reader. One really important thing to show them is that you know what research is, what it entails, and make them feel confident that it is what you really want to do. Even if you do not have a lot of research experience, talk about how you know it is what you want to do, in terms of your own motivation and passion for it.

3. Show your ideas for a particular topic

You want to tell them that you have ideas and things you want to pursue. But make sure it is not too specific either. You want a balance, so, you have enough flexibility and direction. Bottom line is, do not be too specific, but do not be too vague either. Balance the two.

4. Your reasons for choosing that particular program

You want to show them that you did your research when you were deciding which program will be the best fit for you. Also, one more thing that you should keep in mind is, do not send the same SOP to every program. It is really easy to tell when you have done that. Take your time and do your research. Mention how that program compliments your interests. It is a good idea to reach out to faculty members, that you think will be evaluating your SOP before turning it in.

5. Demonstrate that you can write

Writing is a huge part of a Ph.D., and it is a skill that always compliments research. A student who can write well is very compelling as a Ph.D. applicant. Writing is a skill that can’t be taught very easily, so, if you have that skill, use it well. Even if you’re not a writing genius, having a good narrative and errorless writing can take you a long way. Check your statement of purpose for grammatical errors and typos at least twice.

6. SOP vs. Personal Statement

A statement of purpose is not the same as a Personal Statement that you would write for a UG college application. They do not need to know your life story, they need your potential and passion for research. Your statement of purpose must include your purpose of getting the program and what you plan to do with your Ph.D. once you are done with it. Focus on the things in your career that are related to, and compliment research work.

7. Be extremely clear

Clarity is a must, you do not want to confuse them. Make your plans and goals painfully clear and leave no room for confusion. Write it like you are writing a story, something that is inviting and compelling to read. Do not let it be boring. If you are already working on a research draft, it is always a good idea to mention that.

8. Have a friend proofread it

It is easy to miss your own errors, so it is always advisable to have someone else proofread your draft. Find someone who has a good hold on the language. They can suggest relevant changes and a way to present your statement of purpose better. Your entire draft should demonstrate your intellectual curiosity and your will to pursue your career in academia.

9. Closing remarks

Do not tell them more than they need to know, make sure that everything in your draft remains relevant from start to end. It is always a good idea to take some help if you are not confident about your draft. It is always best that you write it yourself as it is based on your personal experiences and your future ambitions. But if you are not comfortable with your writing skills, you can reach out to a good SOP writing service. They can assign you, good writers, to help you make your perfect draft.

Some of my personal recommendations would be

  • Taletel
  • Estorytellers
  • Write Right

I have had a very positive experience working with them, and they have helped me on quite a few project deadlines. Even when you can write well, sometimes you need external help due to work load and deadlines. Write Right have the best writers and they are very cooperative and easy to work with.

I hope this article helped you in some way, thank you for staying till the end. If you think I missed something or would like to add something, be sure to add it in the comments below, so everyone can read it. I hope you have a good time writing your statement of purpose, and if you have any additional questions, I would try to resolve them to the best of my knowledge. Just mention them in the comment section and I would get back to you as soon as I can. Best of luck, and have a good day!!

Published by Bhavik Sarkhedi

Storyteller by heart and head. Explores the intersection of philosophy and psychology, passion and patience, money and mind.