How to write an SOP?
One of the main problems when writing an SOP is that applicants fail to take a very thorough, probing, and analytical look at themselves and their objectives. The admission committee members are looking for interesting, insightful, revealing, and non-generic essays that suggest you have successfully gone through a process of careful reflection and self-examination. To stand out, you should conduct an introspection of yourself and ask the following questions at the outset.
1. What’s special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story? What details of your life (personal or family problems/ history, any genuinely notable accomplishments, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
2. When did you originally become interested in this field and what have you since learned about it – and about yourself – that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? What insights have you gained?
3. How have you learned about this field – through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, or conversations with people already in the field.
4. If work experiences have consumed significant periods of time during your college years, what have you learned (for example, leadership or managerial skills), and how has the work contributed to your personal growth?
5. What are your career goals?
6. Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (for example, great grades and mediocre LSAT scores, or a distinct improvement in you GRA if it was only average in the beginning?)
7. Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (for example, economic, familial or physical) in your life?
8. What personal characteristic (for example, integrity, compassion or persistence) do you possess that would enhance your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
9. What skills (for example, leadership, communicative or analytical) do you possess?
10. Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school – and more successful and effective in the profession or field — than other applicants?
11. What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?