Thursday, November 25, 2010
How to Judge SOP yourself
This is always a good idea to get your statement of purpose viewed by some experienced person, may be a professor or some of your seniors who have already got through PhD program. They can read and make some valuable comments. However before sending them you need to read your SOP carefully several times to make sure that there are no grammatical and spelling mistakes and that SOP is cogent and nice to read and is likely to make a good impression on readers.
Spelling mistakes and grammatical mistakes are fine but how are you going to judge if it’s impressive and cogent? There is a nice way which came into my mind randomly when one of my friends asked my comment on his SOP. I was not very much convinced on his writing style but could not find the right words to explain what the problem was with his SOP. And then suddenly an idea came into my mind and it worked. I am going to share this idea here.
Well, you don’t have to do anything much. All you need to do is to find someone who is very close to you. May be your parents or siblings or some close friend however I think the best person for this which I am going to explain immediately; could be you if you can forget for some time that it’s your SOP. You have to be unbiased.
Here it is: start reading your SOP from first sentence and finish it in one go. Yes… you have to finish it in one go. After you finish it, ask yourself: did you or naturally finish it in one go or you had to force yourself to finish it in one go? Did you feel like quit reading it in the midway? If you did that means there is something wrong with your SOP which makes it non-cogent. And when you have read it you probably have got some idea that what is wrong. Where the lack of cogency is and what can be changed or modified. What is needed to be deleted or what else can be added. If someone else has read it, don’t tell them beforehand to finish it in one go. Rather simply ask them to read it and try to observe their facial expression. Do they look bored? After they finish it ask them the same questions which have been mentioned above.
After making perceived necessary changes, read it again. Duplicate the process until you are satisfied. Once you are satisfied with your SOP read it completely at least three times. If even after third time you read it and you didn't feel like making any modifications, probably your SOP is done and you can send it to some other person whose comment you think will be good.
I hope it works for you too. Please leave a comment if it worked and if you were able to make some improvements after using this technique. Before this read “How to Write Strong Statement of Purpose”.