How To Write A Statement Of Purpose for Ph.D

Statement Of Purpose for Ph.D


A statement of purpose for Ph.D. is also known as a research statement or a letter of intent. Programs like masters and Ph.D. require a statement of purpose. The statement of purpose explains the area you are interested in carrying out your research to the admission committee.

Your statement of research is expected to focus on past research you have carried out and your plans for the research at hand.

When writing a statement of purpose for Ph.D., you have to include certain things that will give information about your research.

You will need to include your skills, experience,  your interest, your motivation, and every relevant information about you that can help convince the admission committee that you have had some laudable achievements and that you have good prospects for excellent performance during your Ph.D. study.

You need also to check if there is specific information that the department requires from you and make sure you add that information in your statement of purpose.

Your statement of purpose needs to be captivating, organized properly, and very informative. All that you want the committee to know about you, your determination, and your commitment to the research should be contained while writing your statement of purpose for Ph.D.

You need to, however, avoid making it too long by adding unnecessary information.

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What does the Admission Committee look forward to seeing in your Statement of Purpose for Ph.D.?

  • You need to emphasize all your positive attributes and achievements. Your writing should be written in an active voice. You need to captive your readers( the department committee,) and not bore them with negativity and poorly written statement of purpose.
  • Your statement of research should be able to convince the committee of your achievements and skills. You need to show them in very convincing words how determined and focus you are on any given task. They should from your statement of purpose, be convinced that you will be able to do thorough research on your research topic. If you had faced obstacles that affected your grades, your statement of purpose should capture it, and emphasis is made on your ability to withstand challenges. From reading your statement of purpose, the committee should be able to tell you are a self-motivated candidate with determination and potentials.
  • Except where you are given the exact number of words your statement of purpose should carry, being concise and brief with your statement of research is key. You should be able to organize your work to include all necessary information in the shortest possible way. The committee is not interested in using its whole day going through just your work. Clarity and proper organization of your essay are very important.

You should have all of this in mind when writing your statement of purpose. They should serve as a guide to you.

Don’t forget to check all necessary department platforms to see if there are certain requirements the committee will be looking out for and endeavor to bear that in mind when writing your statement of purpose.

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Parts of a Statement of Purpose/Research

As earlier stated, your statement of purpose needs to be written properly and well organized. You need to organize your work into parts for ease of organization.

When your work is in part, you can focus on one sub-topic at a time. This will enable you to stick to one thing at a time instead of beating around the bush. When you fail to properly organize your work, you will fail to pass across the message.

Organizing your work into parts with sub-topics will stop you from talking about everything and nothing at the same time.

-Part 1 (Introduction of your Statement of Purpose for Ph.D)

The first part of your statement of purpose should be an introduction. This should be as short as possible. You are to start by introducing yourself.

Talk about your interest, your motivation, any relevant skill and experience that should be discussed at this point. Usually, the introduction is what endears the committee to you.

In as much as you want to impress the committee, this should be kept as short and concise as possible. You do not need to bother the committee with little mundane information.

The committee is only interested in knowing your skills, interest, motivation. It would be great if you say why you decided to take on a Ph.D. study also.

-Part 2 (Summary of previous undergraduate and graduate degrees.)

At this point in your statement of purpose, you are to talk about previous research you have carried out. Talk about any project you have written. The title of the project, the supervisor of the project,  the outcome of the research, etc.

If you have been engaged in writing any relevant paper or thesis, this is the point where you get to share your experience with the committee.

Any internship or research work that you have carried out and is relevant to your Ph.D. should be discussed at this point. Again, you are to offer only relevant information.

In as much as this part of your statement of purpose/research is integral to the Ph.D. research you wish to undertake, the committee is not interested in long unnecessary information about such previous research from you. Go straight to the point and point out relevant information.

-Part 3 (Current activities.)

It is good that you include your current, relevant work experience in your statement of purpose. What are you currently engaged in? How has the experience helped prepare you towards undertaken the Ph.D. research you intend to carry out?

What responsibilities do you have at your workplace? Have you learned any skills as a result? These are the information you should pass at this point in your statement of purpose. You need to say how the experience has prepared you or will help you focus on your Ph.D. research.

-Part 4 (Intending research interest.)

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Everything you have so far written in your statement of purpose boils down to this point. The fourth part of your statement of purpose for Ph.D. introduces the topic you intend to carry out your Ph.D. research on.

You have to give enough details to convince the committee that you understand the topic and the scope of the research you want to carry out. This part carries the bulk of your statement of purpose. You will need to undertake in-depth research on the topic.

Is the topic in line with your department? Are there professors who have researched such areas? You might be required to name professors who have interest and experience in that field and who you would want to work with as supervisors during your research.

You will need to raise a question you intend to find answers to. Indicate a problem you hope to find a solution to through your Ph.D. research.  You should also state questions that arise from any research that has been carried out on the topic.

You will need to convince the committee that you have done your homework properly on the topic. Your excitement and readiness to undertake your Ph.D. research on the topic should be communicated to the committee at this point.

Your Statement of purpose for Ph.D. needs to be properly written. It is what the faculty will use in determining whether or not you are serious and ready to undertake graduate research on your chosen topic.

You, therefore, need to ensure you do a thorough research to find out if the department has a requirement you need to follow while writing your statement of purpose.

Remember that an organized, concise and brief statement of purpose is key.

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