Letter of Intent, Personal Statement, Statement of Purpose & Study Plan

Letter of Intent, Personal Statement, Statement of Purpose & Study Plan

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There are thousands of students applying from all over the world with similar application to yours. Therefore, your writing is arguably more important than anything else you submit, as it gives you the chance to express what makes you stand out from the rest of the applicants.

When applying to any school, whether it?s undergraduate or graduate, you will always be required to submit one or more written document. The purpose of these written document is to allow the admissions committee to find out more about the students on a personal level.

The purpose of your SOP, PS & Study Plan is to allow the admissions committee to find out more about the students on a personal level. Looking at your test scores, credentials, class rank, and similar data is not enough.

Different schools ask for different formats. Writing off-topic, no matter how creative and special your story is, could lead to an automatic filtering by the admissions committee because you have failed to read the requirements and deliver what they are asking for.

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent is one of the most critical documents examined by the Graduate Committee in evaluating your application. A well written letter is essential to the success of your application.

In writing your LOI, organize your material in a manner appropriate to your own style of expression. Description of your current work and study activities.

What are you doing now?

What studies are you involved in, if any?

What is your present work? How might it relate to this graduate program? Indication of your work history as it relates to this graduate program.

What positions or work have you had that helps prepare you for this graduate program?

What orientations or skills have you derived from your prior work, activities that might assist you in this graduate program? Statement of your professional goals where you want to be in five years time.

What are your goals five years from now?

What kind of work would you like to be doing?

What setting would you like to be working in? What kind of organization? Is this a continuation of a line of work that is presently represented in your activities or is this a whole new direction? Indication of your learning style and prior involvement with experience based education.

How do you learn best? What have been your best experiences with learning?

What background do you have in experience-based learning? What is your experience in working in groups?

What is your learning style?

What is your typical pattern of behavior in groups? Indication of what you know about this program and why you chose it.

What attracted you to this program?

What do you see as its special draw for you?

Description of personal factors that support your ability to do the kind of professional work for which this graduate program will prepare you.

How would you describe yourself in terms of qualities that you believe will enable you to function effectively in roles related to your goals and the objectives of this graduate program.

Why did you choose to study at the uni?

Thank the committee for evaluating your application.

Reference: https://t.co/k6zHcyfAgO

How to write a personal statement for Masters courses

A good personal statement can mean the difference between getting an offer and being rejected. Your personal statement should show us that you are the right person for the course. It is a statement of academic interests and should not contain any autobiographical information about your personal life.

Instead, it should show us that you are the right person for NAME OF UNIVERSITY by telling us why you want tostudy your course, and any extra information about your achievements to date.You need to:

  • carefully read the information required of you
  • research the course you are applying for, so that you can explain why you want to study it.If you are applying for more than one course, do not use the same statement for all applications.

The following questions may help you plan your personal statement:

Why do you want to study a Masters and how will it benefit you?

How does the course fit your skill set?

How do you stand out from the crowd – e.g. work experience?

What are you aspiring to be/do in your future career?

How can your work contribute to the department/University/society?

If you’re applying for a subject that is in a different field to your undergraduate degree, tell us why you have decided to change your direction of study.Think about:

how you will bring fresh insight to your course as a result of your undergraduate degree

the reasons for deciding to change your field of study

how changing your direction of study will help you with your future career.


Use a tight structure in your personal statement and make sure each paragraph logically follows on from the one before.Your personal statement must:

  • have an eye-catching and interesting introduction, and an engaging middle part and conclusion
  • have an introduction that acts as a framework for the rest of your statement, with the main part of your statement detailing your interests, experience and knowledge
  • be between 250 and 500 words
  • have short sentences of no more than 25-30 words
  • use headings (if you wish) to break up the content – for example, ‘Why this university?’ ‘Why this subject?’ ‘Ability’, ‘Personal experience’ and ‘Career aspirations’
  • use a sentence structure where you:make a claim and back this claim up with evidence.This can be achieved by talking about your work experience and academic interests.
  • don?t start with cliched and overused sentences:’I have always wanted to study’ or ‘I feel I have always had a passion for this subject.’ Instead tell us what has influenced you to study this course.

the conclusion should sum up your main points, reflect on your main accomplishments and clearly show your desire to study.


Your personal statement is where you show us your commitment, dedication and motivation for studying the course. It is your chance to show us the course is for you.Your personal statement should:

  • give strong reasons as to why you want to study the course at NAMEOFUNIVERSITY. This could be for your future career or because of the University?s reputation
  • mention relevant study – including projects, dissertations, essays – or work experience
  • provide evidence of your key skills including, research, critical thinking, communication, organisation, planning and time-management and show how you can contribute to the department
  • show what makes you stand out as a candidate
  • explain who your main influences have been and why
  • draw on your other experiences: for example are you a member of a society, have you written any papers or won any awards, scholarships or prizes?
  • highlight your career aspirations and show how the course will help you achieve them.


Your tone should be positive and enthusiastic. It should show your willngness to learn and persuade us you have what it takes to suceed on one of our courses.

You should:

?use fresh and exciting language to make your application stand out, and use engaging opening paragraphs

?use accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling

?use clear language in short sentences and avoid extravagant claims

?avoid using generic terms and talk specifically about the course.

?proofread your statement and ask a friend or relative to read it.

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Just by looking at the title, we should already know that this paper is focused on your purpose, or the reasons why you want to study a particular course/major at this university. Usually, schools will assign what they call ?prompts,? which are focused questions which you need to answer in detail.Failure to answer the question automatically marks you as an unfit candidate. It is very important to direct your response to the particular questions at hand.

Effective SOP writing discusses your career plan and future goals. This must be well thought out, as it takes focus and determination to pursue a degree, especially if you are applying for a master?s or doctorate degree.

The admissions committee wants to see how well organized and prepared you are. Your readers need to know that you are serious about the degree program. They do not want slackers; they want well-defined research interests. A well-written SOP formally expresses the candidate?s background (education, interests, credentials, etc.), but the candidate does not brag. The candidate explains in detail his or her desire to gain acceptance into the program of choice.

The statement of purpose should convince readers? the faculty on the selection committee? that you have solid achievements behind you that show promise for your success in graduate study. Think of the statement of purpose as a composition with four different parts.

Part 1: Introduce yourself, your interests and motivations

Tell them what you?re interested in, and perhaps, what sparked your desire for graduate study. This should be short and to the point; don?t spend a great deal of time on autobiography.

Part 2: Summarize your undergraduate and previous graduate career

a) Research you conducted. Indicate with whom, the title of the project, what your responsibilities were, and the outcome. Write technically, or in the style of your discipline. Professors are the people who read these statements.b) Important paper or thesis project you completed, as well as anything scholarly beyond your curricular requirements.c) Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, researching or interning in an area similar to what you wish to study in graduate school.

Part 3:Discuss the relevance of your recent and current activities

If you graduated and worked prior to returning to grad school, indicate what you?ve been doing: company or non-profit, your work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned. You can also indicate here how this helped you focus your graduate studies.

Part 4: Elaborateon your academic interests

Here you indicate what you would like to study in graduate school in enough detail to convince the faculty that you understand the scope of research in their discipline, and are engaged with current research themes.a) Indicate the area of your interests. Ideally, pose a question, define a problem, or indicate a theme that you would like to address, and questions that arise from contemporary research. This should be an ample paragraph!b) Look on the web for information about departments you?re interested in, including professors and their research. Are there professors whose research interests parallel yours? If so, indicate this. Check the specific program; many may require you to name a professor or professors with whom you might work.c) End your statement in a positive manner, indicating your excitement and readiness for the challenges ahead of you.

Essential Tips

1. What the admissions committee will read between the lines: self-motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student.2. Emphasize everything from a positive perspective and write in an active, not a passive voice.3. Demonstrate everything by example; don?t say directly that you?re a persistent person, show it.4. If there is something important that happened to you that affected your grades, such as poverty, illness, or excessive work, state it. Write it affirmatively, showing your perseverance despite obstacles. You can elaborate more in your personal statement.5. Make sure everything is linked with continuity and focus.6. Unless the specific program says otherwise, be concise; an ideal essay should say everything it needs to with brevity. Approximately 500 to 1000 well-selected words (1-2 single space pages in 12 point font) is better than more words with less clarity and poor organization.Reference: https://t.co/aVy3fNLKnk

Study Plan

A study plan is just another way some schools around the world, particularly in Asia, refer to a personal statement/SOP. They are looking to learn about your personality, past achievements, present roles, and future goals. There may be a shorter word limit for a study plan or no limit at all, depending on each individual school?s guidelines. When you are reading through the requirements, pay special attention to what the school is asking for so that you can focus the essay accordingly. If you do research on how to write a study plan, notice that the term ?study plan? can also refer to a planned schedule to help students prepare for tests and exams. E.g, some students make study plans/ schedules to determine how productive they can be during a class, exam, etc.

Here are some questions that you need to be able to answer before writing your proposed plan of study.

Why this program in particular? Why a Masters rather than a PhD (or vice versa)?

Why this college? Don?t fall back on the question of prestige. There are lots of prestigious universities. You need to have a better reason than the fact it?s famous.

Why this country? There are some countries that will be better suited to your research interests than others. So why the UK, for instance, and not a graduate program in the U.S or Canada, Singapore, China, Spain or Australia?.

Is there a particular professor you?re interested in studying with. Why him or her? What idea are they working on that?s interesting to you andwhyis that interesting to you?

Why, at this particular moment in your life?

What has prepared you for this experience?

How do you think this experience will help you in your future career?

What ideas will this experience allow you to think about in more detail?

What areas of your life is this program going to allow you to pull together? What kind of synthesis of ideas and practice are you going to experience that you couldn?t get anywhere else?

What do you see as the principal benefit of this award beyond the financial support and prestige?

What chain of events led you to be interested in this particular line of study? (i.e. influential classes, teachers, high-school, college, people in your life, other events that, on the surface, don?t look related, but you know are?)

What patterns of focus are there both inside and/or outside your university education?

I?d recommend trying to answer all of these questions, then using your notes to draft your proposed plan of study.

To simplify the differences:

An SOP describes why you want to attend a university while offering some details about your fit for the program, whereas a PS or SPlan is all about representing yourself, your skills and accomplishments, and why this university should choose you.


  1. Writing the Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should convince readers? the faculty on the selection committee? that you have solid achievements behind you that show promise for your success in graduate study.


2. How to write a personal statement for Grad School Application

A good personal statement can mean the difference between getting an offer and being rejected. Your personal statement should show us that you are the right person for the course.


3. Proposed Plan of Study Guidelines

Some school applications including awards/scholarships will ask you to submit a proposed plan of study. You should take this as an opportunity to research your options.



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