SOP 的写作指南

SOP,Statement of Purpose,可以看作为:读书计划、申请目的陈述,是目前高 排名、研究型大学、研究型专业主要采取的文书形式。采取 SOP 的研究形式,主要是 希望了解申请人的申请原因、读硕士/博士的目的、职业规划、个人背景等信息。 

在咨询过程中,经常发现有的同学写作文书很随意,想到哪里写到哪里,并没有 一定的规范,更不参考学校文书的题目。这其实就是不了解文书的范式。 

所谓文书的范式,就是大学对于申请文书的格式、内容的具体要求。我们参考几 所有代表性的文书题目,来帮助大家分析 SOP 的写作要领。 

Brandeis University 布兰迪斯大学,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要求 是 Please attach a statement of purpose in essay form, indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the master's program and your objectives in undertaking this program. You should discuss your plans for your academic and professional career and how the degree will help you attain your goals. Cornell University 

康奈尔大学,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要求是 The statement of purpose is your opportunity to help reviewers better understand your academic objectives and determine if you are a good match for the field to which you are applying…The statement of purpose should include your reasons for undertaking graduate work and an explanation of your academic interests, including their relation to your undergraduate study and professional goals. 

Duke University 杜克大学,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要求是 Write a statement (1-2 pages, single-spaced, in 12-point font) indicating your purposes and objectives in undertaking graduate study, your special interests and plans, and your strengths and weaknesses in your chosen field. Briefly describe any research projects or any independent research in which you have actively participated and indicate how this has influenced your career choice and desire to pursue graduate studies. 

Harvard University 哈佛大学,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要求是 Describe your reasons and motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in your chosen program of study at Harvard. What experiences led you to your research ambitions? Concisely state your past work in your intended field of study and in related fields. Briefly indicate your career objectives. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology 麻省理工学院,研究生院的文书 Statement of Objectives 要求是Please explain why you are a good candidate for graduate school. You should describe why you wish to attend graduate school, what you would like to study, and any research experience you have. Describe one or more accomplishments you are particularly proud of that suggest that you will succeed in your chosen area of research. 

Northwestern University 西北大学,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要求 是 All applicants are required to upload a Statement of Purpose while completing the online application. Your Statement of Purpose should describe the following: Your purpose and objective for undertaking graduate study. Any special research interests or qualifications you possess. Why you chose to apply to Northwestern University.  Write a statement (1-2 pages, single-spaced, in a 12-point font) explaining your interest in and objectives for pursuing graduate study. You may also wish to include other information, such as any undergraduate research experience, internships, or other experiences you have had to demonstrate your preparedness for graduate study in your chosen field. 

Stanford University 斯坦福大学,研究生申请文书 Statement of Purpose 要求是 The Statement of Purpose should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at Stanford, your preparation for this field of study, research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. 

University of California, Berkeley 加州大学伯克利,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要 求 是 Please describe your aptitude and motivation for graduate study in your area of specialization, including your preparation for this field of study, your academic plans or research interests, and your future career goals. Please be specific about why UC Berkeley would be a good intellectual fit for you. 

University of Michigan Ann Arbor 密歇根大学安娜堡,研究生院的文书 Academic Statement of Purpose 要求是 The Academic Statement of Purpose should be a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how this graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

University of Virginia 佛吉尼亚大学,研究生院的文书 Statement of Purpose 要 求是The Statement of Purpose should describe your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the University of Virginia, your preparation for this field of study, study and research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study. Your commitment to a selected field of study is assumed; we want you to discuss some of the problems and issues that particularly engage your mind. 

可见,在基于背景的基础上,SOP 还需要讨论学习/研究的兴趣和计划,学习 计划,申请的动机,职业规划,与申请专业的匹配度,专业对于实现学术/职业目标的 帮助等方面内容。 

这是针对 SOP 的题目要求,另外有不少大学和教授,都对于文书的写作、内 容提出范式的要求。 

比较有代表性的有 University of California, Berkeley 伯克利加州大学研究生院 给出的 Statement of Purpose 写作范式。Writing the Statement of Purpose: 

Part 1: Introduce yourself, your interests, and motivations 第一部分做自我介绍,兴趣和 动机 

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 an autobiography. 

Part 2: Summarize your undergraduate and previous graduate career 第二部分阐述职业 规划 

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 第三部分讨论背景活 动经历 

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: Elaborate on your academic interests 第四部分讨论学术兴趣

 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 interest. 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, and 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) are better than more words with less clarity and poor organization. 通过大学给出的范式,我们才能知道应该在文书里面写哪些内容,讨论哪些 要点。同时也算要明了文书的内涵:招生官希望看到学生的自我动机、毅力和作 为研究生的潜力,所有的写作内容都必须要是从积极的角度展开,有例证、精炼。 

伯克利加州大学 Dr. Gloria Chun 教授也谈到自己对于 Statement of Purpose 写 作的理解:

Things to Keep in Mind 

• What they read between the lines: motivation, competence, potential as a graduate student. 

• Emphasize everything from a positive perspective and write in an active, not passive, voice. 

• Demonstrate everything by example; don’t say directly, for example, that you’re a persistent person—you must demonstrate it. 

• You don’t want to make excuses, but you have talked about the mistakes you’ve made as a learning experience. 

• If there is something important that happened (poverty, illness, excessive work, etc.) that affected your grades, go ahead and state it, but write affirmatively, that is, in a way that shows your perseverance.

• Make sure everything is linked with continuity and focus. 

• 500-600 words, 1 to 1.5 pages single-spaced, typed. 

Writing the Statement of Purpose 

Part 1: Introduction 文书的开端介绍 

• This is where you tell them what you want to study. For example, I wish to pursue an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in controls. 

Part 2: Summarize what you did as an undergraduate 本科经历的概要 

• Research what did during your undergrad career. Describe your best project(s), indicating with whom, the title of the project, what your responsibilities were, and the outcome. Write technically, professors are the people who read these statements. 

• Important classes or classes you took which stimulated your desire for graduate study, or a specific project for a class. 

• Work experience, especially if you had any kind of responsibility for testing, designing, or researching a product or apparatus. 

Part 3: If you graduated and worked for a while and are returning to grad school, indicate what you’ve been doing while working. 

• You can discuss your company, work/design team, responsibilities, what you learned, etc. You can also indicate here how this helped you focus on your graduate studies. 

Part 4: Here you indicate what you want to study in graduate school in greater detail. 研 究生期间想要学习的内容 

• This is a greater elaboration of your opening paragraph. 

• Indicate the area of interest, then state questions you might have which are associated with the topic, i.e., what you might be interested in studying. You should have an area of emphasis selected before you write the statement.

• Call the department or look on the web for information about the professors and their research. Are there professors whose interests match yours? If so, indicate this, as it shows a sign that you have done your homework and are highly motivated. (Be sincere, however, don’t makeup something bogus just to impress people.) 

Part 5: Conclusion 

• End your statement in a positive and confident manner with a readiness for the challenges of graduate study. 

这样我们通过一所大学研究生院申请的文书题目要求、大学对于文书写作的 范式建议、教授对于文书写作的范式建议,我们就可以很好的分析针对一所大学 的申请文书应该怎么写作。


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