Writing a Statement of Purpose

When I was writing my SoP, I could not find too many good resources, and I was not exactly sure what people looked for in that essay. Since then, I have found a some good resources, but I am still on the look-out for more. Here is a list of resources to help write a SoP as it is meant to be written - not at all like what I wrote and have seen many others writing. The initial list is modest, but it's something:

  • A professor's take.
  • A lot of advice on SoP's and a number of other things besides.
  • This has an excellent sample SoP at the bottom of the page. Clearly and lucidly written, with very little "gas".

Looking beyond Edulix

Edulix is no doubt a great resource for Indian students looking to study in the US. After a while though, it gets old. I was on Edulix for about a year and a half before coming here, and by the end of that time, it wasn't hard to predict exactly what the answers to the questions posted on the forums would be. I would recommend taking a look at The Grad Cafe for some different perspectives. While the information there may not be immediately "useful", it'll give you an idea of how other people think, not just non-Indians but also people who are not doing either Computer, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering - let's face it, at first glance one would be forgiven for thinking that Edulix is only for students in these disciplines.

Before you get all starry-eyed about a PhD...

...read this. I like this essay because it is balanced; it isn't filled with horror stories about PhD's gone bad and neither is it all fluffy and rosy. There are others like it, but this is one of my personal favourites: recommended reading, especially if you are seriously considering a PhD. (Don't miss the Feynman Problem Solving Algorithm, it's hilarious!)