Write about your world and your experiences. Seventeen-year-olds inhabit a foreign country, and adults who work in colleges and universities are curious about what it’s like to live within its borders. Essays about a friendship that was forged or one that failed, buying a pair of sneakers, an afternoon working at Dunkin’ Donuts, the first trip to the museum Es‘say’ it without mom or dad, or getting robbed on the subway can provide glimpses of your ideas, values and passions,” advises Glenn C Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and Dean of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions at Cornell University.
If you are applying to foreign universities, chances are high that you will need a statement of purpose (SOP) or essays to complete your application. Most universities require international students to submit essays along with their applications. Don’t forget, the SOP is the place where you can get the admissions committee to know you, outside of your academic qualifications and professional pursuits. These essays help the admissions committee to get to know you better. It tells the admission officers what is important to you and what your values and career goals are. It is imperative that you put your best foot forward and write an essay or SOP that clearly talks about who you are, what your career goals are and why you are applying to that particular university.
Most students tend to be frightened about writing essays. Admission officers are not looking for flowery language and ‘big’ or ‘impressive’ words. The admissions committee prefers essays that are well thought of and reflect what’s important to you.
Be honest and straightforward when writing your admission essays. Admission officers are well-trained professionals and can spot a fake easily. Don’t try and bluff your way and exaggerate your achievements. Similarly, don’t guess what the university is looking for and tailor your essay accordingly. Admission officers have several years of experience and can easily tell if you are trying to make them hear what they want to hear.
It is not a wise idea to copy material from the Internet or books. Also, beware of people who claim to write your essays for you. If a university suspects that your essay or SOP is not your work, you can be certain that your admission will be denied. Universities have your GRE and GMAT AWA (Analytical Writing Assessment) score and will know your true writing potential. Therefore, if you submit essays that are not your true writing style, you are jeopardising your chances of admission. Similarly, the new SAT will also have a writing component and hence, the admission committee will know your writing capability.
Applicants for MBA programmes should be sure to include all relevant work experience, teamwork and leadership experiences and post-MBA career goals in their essays. B-schools rely heavily on essays and even if you have excellent GMAT scores and topnotch work experience, badly written essays can certainly be the cause of denial of your application.
Writing your SOP or essays for your university applications may seem like a daunting task. But, if you use this opportunity to do some soul searching and understand your reasons to study further, it can be an enriching process, if you want it to be.
CUT TO THE CHASE
Look at this example that has been reviewed by experts, and you’ll know what to avoid.
During the course of my work at IIAE, I have come across several scientists. Most of them work in different areas of communications. Interactions with them have made me realise the vastness and the scope of communications. My discussions with them convinced me that specialising in communications will suit me very well.
The subject of research, which interests me very much, is spread spectrum communication systems. Coding theory and combinations is another research subject which arouses my curiosity. The subject Communication Theory, which I am studying at present introduces these topics in theory. I am eager to find out more about the applications of coding theory to spread spectrum communication systems.
The essay is considerably strengthened by his being able to convincingly convey his strong grounding in electronics. The two paragraphs mesh in ideas and content, but the essay loses continuity because the project has been spread over two paragraphs.
A project is generally a golden opportunity to convey personal growth, an issue whose importance cannot be understated. An applicant could do well to focus on how she grew as a result of her experiences. A project is perfect in this sense because it can be used to convey both personal and technical growth.
Dos don’ts & of SOPs and essays
- Be honest in what you write.
- Check and recheck your essays and SOP, and avoid obvious grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Follow a logical flow in your essays.
- Analyse information rather than just stating it.
- Use words that you normally use. Don’t try and be someone you are not.
- Don’t sound too pessimistic in your essay.
- Don’t ever plagiarise information from the Internet or or any other source.
Volume 1 Issue 3