Useful Phrases for Writing a Statement of Purpose
In general try to avoid using praise
words in the statement of purpose, do it in the recommendation
letters. In the statement it is better to give facts and examples
which will show you as an educated, determined and successful
If you feel that you want to use some
self-praise please check out
Describing Person's Qualifications in Collection of Useful
Phrases for Recommendation Letters.
to finish school, to graduate from
to attend lectures/seminars/laboratory
practices (word "courses" is rarely used)
to attend advanced courses,
to gain thorough knowledge of
mathematical modeling, learn to handle modern equipment such as...,
to gain valuable experience,
lectures in spring theory by prominent
Russian scientist Prof. X,
qualifiers such as rather, quite, somewhat, probably, possibly, etc.
You might improve
your writing somewhat if you sometimes try to follow this
The example contains nonsense. Deleting unnecessary qualifiers will
strengthen your writing 1000%. Equivocating reveals a lack of
confidence. If you do not believe what you write, why should the
interesting (you can
use it but not too often, remember that it has good synonyms such as
exciting, fascinating, thrilling, amazing, striking, etc)
nice (it is a very informal word)
following phrases might be useful throughout your statement:
While preparing to these Olympiads I
gained not only much new knowledge and experience but also
confidence that devoting myself to physics was the right decision.
During last two years I have spent
most of my time carrying out research and attending a number of
extra-curricular lectures and seminars in optical physics. My
favorite lectures were...
When I was taking special laboratory
courses on advanced optics, I was struck by...
Of great interest to me was... /
2-photon spectroscopy is of great interest to me
I found modeling of cellular development to be of the greatest
interest to me.
I especially enjoyed working on…
To my mind it is of key importance to
have possibilities to obtain excellent education and to conduct
certain research projects independently that is why I consider
doctoral studies at ... University as the next professional stepping
stone in my career.
Further, earning a Ph.D. in history
would advance my other goals by adding to my creative and analytical
skills in history as well as in working with language.
To help you understand my current
goals better, I would like to explain my educational experience up
to this point.
My extensive knowledge of physics and
mathematical modeling proved to be very useful in understanding the
principles that underlie biological phenomena in cells.
Besides studying general and
theoretical physics at MIPT I started to attend advanced lectures in
my major at the Institute of Solid State Physics(ISSP) in
My interest in optical phenomena
deepened when in 1998 I joined the MIPT optical laboratory of Prof.
I carried out my first research
project in biophysics at ... Institute in the biokinetics research
group under the guidance of Prof. X
I have assembled and mastered a Langmuir-Blodgett mini-trough and
managed to obtain good quality films of fat acids and close
I have also got acquainted with ... technique/s of ... and have
fabricated polymer films for the devices.
Apart from the technical problems it is interesting to me to be
involved in experimental investigation of ...
These activities give me valuable experience as well as satisfaction
of hard work.
Along with my studies
and research work I also held a part-time position as a Physics
teacher at Phystech College, which is an extracurricular high
school. I enjoyed this job greatly and I believe that this
experience will significantly help me both in my TA assignments and
in my future academic career.
ultimate goal of our research is/was to check...
The laboratory I work in primarily deals with...
this lab I have gained experience of working with the equipment
From the beginning I was actively involved in the research in this
Currently I am working on a second
research project.../ on the part of this research project that deals
Now my interests in science lie in the area of ...
Our current work concerns creation and investigation of P-contact
and its properties
This research is/was especially
All these significantly improved my
understanding of the subject and further enhanced my interest in it.
By the end of the year I successfully
defended (plan to defend) a bachelor of science senior honors thesis
on the topic
After graduation I plan to continue my
scientific career in the field of...
In conclusion I must say that I would
regard my admission to the University of California at Berkeley not
only as a great honor and success but also as an obligation for hard
I am sure that my curiosity and
research skills will enable me to succeed in the greatly claiming
program to become an experimentalist. Eventually, I deeply believe
that the excellence of your program, along with my capabilities and
motivation, will help me to attain my destination.
After graduation I plan to continue my
scientific career in the field of cell physiology. Successful
research requires modern equipment and facilities which in current
financial situation Russian laboratories cannot afford. These has
forced me to look for other opportunities to continue my education.
Department of Biophysics at Harvard University has excellent
facilities and leading laboratories in which I can fully realize my
scientific interests. Study of molecular physiology of potassium
channels in the laboratory of Prof. Gary Yellen and study of
acetylcholine receptors in the laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Cohen
are of particular interest to me. I would regard my admission to
Harvard University not only as a great honor but also as a great
responsibility and an obligation to work hard.
In the summary, my interest lies in
the field of nonlinear dynamics and its applications, namely
nonequilibrium physics, complex systems, self-organization, dynamics
of neural networks. Research in this areas is very active at
California Institute of Technology, namely at Physics, CNS, CDS and
other departments. Therefore I want to continue my education at
California Institute of Technology. I am sure that your PhD program
will finally lead me to my dream – discovering of a secret of
Your University has a strong
theoretical condensed matter division. Therefore, I want to study
physics at Your University in order to get a thorough education and
a great research experience in the field of theoretical condensed
matter physics. I believe this experience will allow me to increase
human’s knowledge of Nature and, therefore, to be of benefit to
I am a hard-working and determined
person, and I am ready for a new leap in my economics career. I will
work hard in hope that the quantity of the effort I put in will
result in high quality knowledge. The fact is that the best possible
supervisors and a highly competitive atmosphere are necessary for
this quality. The only reasonable decision for me was to aim for
such a place. All this gives me the motivation to apply to Princeton
Taking all the circumstances into
consideration, I came to the conclusion, that the best opportunity
to pursue my �chosen path� would be to continue my education as a
graduate student at Princeton University. The facilities,
scholarship, and traditions of your university, combined with the
caliber of the student’s body, make me confident that I will be
stimulated throughout the course of my studies. Upon graduating from
your program, a variety of options are available for pursuing my
Summarizing all written above, I
believe that my serious intention for study, my past lab work,
strong academic background in various areas of physics and
mathematics will be beneficial for my graduate studies and research.
Attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology would give me an
opportunity to receive high-level education under the guidance of
prominent scientists and excellent teachers and with the help of
first-class equipment. (or Massachusetts Institute of Technology is
a place where I can receive high-level education under the guidance
of prominent scientists and excellent teachers and with the help of