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How to Write an SOP with Great Paragraphs

Writing a Statement of Purpose can be a daunting task. We have developed a scientific way of writing paragraphs for your SOPs. This approach has ensured that our students have consistently been able to put forward their points in a lucid style that grabs the evaluator’s attention.

We recommend that every paragraph should consist of these 4 elements (SHPC)

1) Start of a Statement of Purpose paragraph

The first sentence of the paragraph should be the most important sentence of the whole paragraph. It should summarize the key message of the paragraph and ideally should be action oriented. Avoid passive voice in the first sentence at all costs!

2) Handover from a paragraph to the other in the SoP

The first sentence also works as a handover from the last sentence of the previous paragraph so as to ensure reading continuity. Drafting a first sentence which serves these dual roles is challenging at best. Our research has suggested that ‘summary’ is more important and should be explicit. On the other hand ‘handover’ should be implicit and could be implied. In case you are not able to achieve this duality of roles, we recommend using two sentences with handover preceding the summary.

3) Proof in a paragraph in the SoP

Subsequent lines should put forward the logical reasoning behind the first sentence. We recommend that you use 3 reasons to validate your point of view. Our research has shown that 3 points of evidence generate the maximum impact on busy evaluators. (2 is too few and 4 may be too many.)

4) Conclusion of a paragraph in the Statement of purpose

A good paragraph should end with the summary of the arguments and cogently guide the reader towards next steps. The best way to achieve this is to reiterate the start and reinforce call-to-action based on evidence presented in the body of the paragraph.

As leading College Application Consultants we have analyzed over 20,000 successful SOPs and have found that the SHPC method generates the maximum acceptance with the application evaluators.


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