In one of our lessons, we discussed the chronology of the events: you may start from the past moving to your plans, or you may start talking about plans right from the first paragraph.
Regardless of the structure you choose, keep in mind the purpose of your writing. Here is a checklist from a specialist from the admissions Committee:
Things that must be included in the SOP are (Saxena, What to include in your Statement of Purpose (SOP): 5 Points that add value, 2020):
o Personal and Financial Background
You are not required to be humble about your background here, if you come from a poor family and despite that you made things happen, talk about that. Do not shy away from highlighting things that could make you stand out of the crowd.
o Extra-curricular activities you were involved in
You are not expected to have won awards at national level, however, what is important to highlight is that you were actively participating. These activities are an ideal way to represent your personality traits such as leadership, working in a team or public speaking skills which might not be visible otherwise. Here you could elaborate how extra-curricular activities such as sports, debates, speech competitions helped you inculcate some extra ordinary skills and helped you enhance your overall personality.
Yes, you got it right! Your failure must be included as it plays a very important role in making you a mature and successful individual. Also, the idea is to convey to the admissions officer, how you tackle such circumstances and most importantly rebound from such instances. Moreover, it also emphasises on how positive you are as a person and how confidently can you handle unfavourable situations.
o Education Background
This is an important part of the motivation letter, so flaunt all your academic achievements and if you changed careers explain, what made you do so. Talk about all your interests, and link these with the program that you are applying for.
Remember - Do not lose focus from the main goal of writing this letter and remember you need to link all the above-mentioned aspects to the program and your goal after completing this program.
o Work Experience (of any kind – paid, unpaid, full-time, part-time)
At university, not all the programs require you to have prior work experience, however, if you have one, mention that as it will only add weightage to your profile and convey to the admission officer that you have exposure to the professional world.
o Publications or papers submitted
This is an important aspect for masters or doctorate programs, if you have submitted any research paper, mention that. Having involved in research explains that you think scientifically, logically and critically.