Writing Statement of Purpose (SOP): One Step Closer To Your Dream University

Ferdous Karim Lucy

Motivation Letter or Statement of Purpose (SOP) are especially known to the students who want to pursue their higher studies in abroad. Motivation Letters are basically an application letter written while applying to any university abroad. Statement of Purpose, commonly known as SOP are nominal to Motivation Letter. We will try to cover up details of SOP in this article.

Content of SOP:

SOP is an informative letter that accompanies a prospective student to reach your career goal. You should give proper time and effort to write your exceptional qualities in a presentable manner. Briefly, the content of SOP must answer the following three questions: 

  • Who are you?
  • What is the purpose behind your graduate study?
  • How the program that you’ve applied for, will impact your future?

In general, we spend most of our time in social media; we are fascinated by sports, media issues and lots of other stuffs. The fact is, when a person who has been addicted to the social media culture for so many years, comes to a point in life where he wants to go for higher studies and tries to write a SOP for the first time then he realizes that, he is unable to find his passion. It is true for a lot of people, who wants to go for higher education is only to get e better lifestyle in abroad. While for others, it is a scope of trying different cuisines or discovering the beauty of new places. The question that arises here is, will a professor give you funding based on your fantasies?  The answer will simply be “No”. The professors want someone who is highly motivated, enthusiastic, determined to do top class research. When you’re writing your SOP, it is fine to express your ambition of working in NASA or Tesla or wanting to be a part of Harvard University. But think it in this way, when you’re saying that you want to study in that particular university so that it will aid your career; thousands of other students are also writing the same statement. You cannot consider this as pickup point of your SOP.

Attract the professor by your Motivation!

Those who has a low CGPA than others, face a lot of challenges towards higher studies. But it is also true that, if you are actually passionate about your goal you’ll reach that destination eventually. Expressing your motivation of study in the particular program can be the strength of your SOP. As a Bangladeshi citizen, we may find numerous problems in our country. The trick is to find an idea which might solve even a little problem as a student; and this can be your unique aspect in front of your professor. The point of this writing is, it is OUR duty to try to solve practical problems in our country. One may not be able to do everything by their own. But if you can come up with at least an idea of solving the smallest issue, your professor will know your purpose of enrolling in the program. You have to convince him that, the higher study in your field will make a scope for you to contribute to your own country. This can be a vital point in your SOP.

Things you must AVOID!!!

Hard to understand! Lengthy sentences! Tough vocabulary!

“I was born in….” or “My parents came from….”

Don’t use such common statements. It’ll be boring to read for your professors .


Don’t write when is your birthdate, where was your birthplace. It sounds good in stories but not in SOP.

Impress your reader with your vocabulary.

A lot of us write our SOP after GRE test; so we try to express our knowledge of 5000 vocabulary in our SOP which is not necessary at all. A good writing is never measured by vocabulary rather it is important how spontaneous you are with your expression.

The following is an example of a bad first paragraph which we will try to avoid:

Generic statements and dialogues.

Try to avoid any generic statements and dialogues. There can be some generic lines but try to use as less as possible.

Weak excuses for your CGPA or test scores.

If you don’t have any solid excuse of your low CGPA, you don’t have to write any story about it. Simply avoid mentioning it!

Don’t make things up!

This is very important that you should only write things that are true for you. You may pass the admission phase, but what if during your research or academic period the professor finds out that you’ve lied to him about something? From that moment, he will lose his trust over you. It may or may not affect your funding but it will definitely make a bad impression about you.

Key Points of your SOP must be in the FIRST PARAGRAPH!

The first paragraph is the most critical and vital part of your SOP. If you can hold the attention of your professor in the first paragraph, then you can assume he’ll read more or less the rest of your SOP. There is no direct format of writing SOP. The content and quality of your writing matters here.

Present your passion interestingly!

You have to let your professor know why you are so passionate about the program. You can tell your motivation through a story line. The more you can make your writing interesting, you’ll get one step closer to your dream.

Exciting, Unique, Reflect – 3 in 1

Try to keep in mind the 3 in 1 rule for the first paragraph. Make it sound exciting from the very first line. You have to be as unique as possible in your statements. Reflect your passion and motivation behind choosing this program.

“Lift Speech”

The “Lift Speech” is critical and may be your only chance to draw the attention of professor. You can start with any crisis of your country which is the motivation of your higher study, as discussed earlier. Sequentially you can move forward to your thesis or project experiences or even professional experience as well. The main point is to create a picture of your enthusiasm towards higher education in one paragraph.

Some good examples of SOP are shown below, you can get inspiration and try to write on your own too.

The writer has already drew your attention through a story of his life, so that you are eager to know what is written ahead. You can try to think about a truly motivating story of your own and hold the reader’s attention too.

It is not necessary to always start up with a story. Here we can see, the writer has quoted from a famous scientist which has motivated him.

The beginning is with one of the most tragic stories ever happened in Bangladesh which has motivated the writer to pursue his higher studies with a goal of solving the core of that collapse. If you are fortunate enough you may be able to find a professor as well who will be willing to give you funding for research in related field.

Format of writing SOP:

  • Write the following points with Right Indented at the beginning. Some universities mention what to write here in their website. Check before you submit.
    • Name
    • Intended Department
    • Name of University
    • Session No.
  • Accepted Font:
    • Times New Roman
    • Arial
    • Calibri ( You can use other fonts too. But make sure the font isn’t hard to read or fancy.
  • Font Size: 12
  • Line Space: 1.0 to 1.5

Don’t use multiple line space in a single document.

  • No. of pages:  2

Usually the required word limit fits into this if you follow the above format. Some universities mentions their requirements too. First write a long SOP and then gradually review and make it fit to the requirements.

  • NO Pictures
  • NO Graphics

It is quite unlikely that you’ll write a SOP for the first time and it’ll turn out fantastic. As a result, it is advised to write a SOP by spending adequate time on it. You can’t hurry about writing SOP. Try to take comments from your seniors as it will help you to point out the errors and fix them accordingly.

Watch our video on SOP-writing here!

For your own fund and scholarship winning SOP developed by current internationally funded students abroad, join the Abartan classes here!