Five things to NOT write in SOP
While circumlocution may be a great art of communication in real life, using the trick in an SOP may prove to be fatal for your future. There’s much talk about the ‘Dos’ in SOP, and much less guidance on the ‘Don’t’s’. This article intends to point out some common errors committed by students that led to their rejection in universities abroad. These are some of the things that you must NOT write in an SOP. The Checklist:
1. Poison phrases: Indians are prone to use phrases like ‘stuff’, ‘just like that’, ‘and all that’, ‘untill and unless’. Make sure you get your SOP read by someone who knows English and can point out some of these poison phrases that put a reader off.
2. Short forms: Do not think that just because you are applying in the USA, you can write in slang or short forms like ‘can’t’ or ‘don’t’ or ‘wanna’ etc. Understand that regardless of the country like UK, US or Australia, any written document in English will follow the rules of formal writing.
3. Negative ideas : Negative ideas such as Indian education is not up to the mark or the company you worked did not give you growth opportunities or you met an accident and so had a year drop-up or a family tragedy etc must be categorically avoided in an SOP. This dubs you as a person who is looking for excuses.
4. Bias : This may sound strange and contradictory but avoid making the SOP look like a statement of your opinion. There’s a difference between your purpose and your opinion. Avoid sentences that would highlight your bias against a place, people, subject, field etc. You can make your point without negating another.
5. Beating about the bush : Stick to the topic of your SOP, that is, your area of interest. If you have no experience in the field, simply state how you got interested in it. But do no exaggerate and circumvent in your SOP.
Understand that SOP is a document that is going to your first impression to the university you are applying to. Put in it as much effort as you did during your GRE/GMAT preparation. Do check out specific articles on SOP writing.