How to format a statement of purpose for graduate school?

I’m applying to grad school for Library and Information Studies at the Cornell University, where I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. How should a statement of purpose be formatted?

4 Answers


  1. If nothing else was stated you need to follow this rules:

    • margins need to be: 1″ from top, 1″ from bottom, 1.5″ from left and 1″ from right sides;
    • sentences are double-spaced in all situations;
    • Font Family – Times New Roman, size – 12-points;
    • justification is only on the left side of paper – text on the right side of the paper should have ragged edges.

    Some of the information I found online that will help you to learn which formatting is generally used in different academic and non-academic papers:

    SOP format

    SOP format sample

    The point for admission committee is to see who you are and what you do (anyone can format their text but that doesn’t mean that they are the best candidates for specific position). Unless you’ve written all your text in capital letters or you have been using different formatting all over the statement you will be fine.

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  1. The statement of purpose is your chance to help reviewers to better comprehend your academic objectives and decide whether you are a decent coordinate for the field to which you are applying. So it is really important to write it correct.Your statement of purpose should be one or two pages with your name and proposed field of study. Also add explanation of your academic interests.

    Firstly, introduce yourself and your interests. Here you also can tell what are you interested in. But don’t write to much.

    Secondly, tell about your undergraduate and previous graduate career.

    Thirdly, describe the relevance of your recent and current activities.

    Fourthly, here in details you can indicate what you would like to study in graduate school.

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  1. If you’re interested in how to format a statement of purpose for grad school, you should know that it’s pretty simple. The most important thing is to stay calm and confident in your success. With such a positive attitude, you’ll create a great SoP for sure.

    Here is how to format a SoP:

    • optimal length of a good statement is one or two pages;
    • at the top of each page you need to include your full name;
    • read requirements concerning SoP writing carefully and find out which font, font size, and so on are appropriate;
    • stick to the standard SoP structure: the introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs, and conclusions;
    • hook your readers from the very beginning and express your passion for the chosen field of study;
    • in the body sections describe your academic background (which classes you took, lectures and seminars you attended);
    • if there are any publications or other professional achievements, include them in your paper;
    • explain why you’ve chosen this program, how it inspires you.

    Hopefully it helps. Best of luck with admissions!

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