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Use This Guided Brainstorm to Kickoff Your Graduate School SOP

Often, beginning a statement of purpose (SOP) is the most challenging step. Follow these steps before you start writing to help you discover the content of your primary application essay.

Step 1: Brainstorm goals

  • Where do I want to be after graduation or after 5 years?

  • What are my long term goals?

  • What job will I hold ? For what company or type of company?

  • How will this university degree help me get there?

  • What steps do I need to take to get there?

Step 2: Evaluate your profile

  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?

  • What challenges have I faced so far?

  • How have I learned from them and how will I apply them in the future?

Step 3: Research each university and program you plan to apply to

  • How will they benefit my goals?

  • How will I benefit theirs?

  • What does the program emphasize?

  • What types of candidates are they looking for?

Step 4: Add details to each question

  • Focus on depth

  • Answer “why”

Step 5: Write your outline

  • Write a personal story about why you chose your discipline

  • Include your short-term and long-term goals

  • Explain why you want to attend that university and how it will help you achieve your goals

  • Emphasize how you are a good fit for their program and why the university should accept you (your strengths and how you will be an ambassador of their program following graduation)

  • Discuss any challenges you’ve faced in your academic career, how you’ve overcome them, and how they’ve prepared you for advanced studies

If you’re struggling with your statement of purpose (or any other application elements), reach out to arrange a free 20 minute consultation. My team and I have decades of experience between us. We’ll help you differentiate yourself from all the other applicants applying to your target schools in the United States, Canada, or the UK and ensure you attend the program of your dreams.



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