海外研究生院·入学申请 自述SOP的撰写格式

个人陈述(PS),公告事项,学业计划(SOP),留学申请(硕士)

在申请研究生院入学时,申请人需要准备很多文件,其中包括推荐信简历

然而,申请材料中最重要的部分是目的陈述(Statement of Purpose),又称个人陈述或自述(Personal Statement)。

Wordvice的海外研究生院(硕博士)申请文书润色服务全方位涵盖您所需要的内容。在这篇文章中,我们将带您了解为什么自述对于研究生院入学申请如此重要,它在格式上与大学本科入学申请陈述有何不同,并用实例展示如何使用正确格式撰写成功的自述。

 

自述简介

什么是自述?

在研究生院入学申请中,目的陈述(Statement of Purpose,简称SOP)或称个人陈述(Personal Statement)是申请材料的重要组成部分。它让申请人有机会陈述与自己所选学习方向相关的学术经历和个人经历,包括专业兴趣、成就、个性、价值观和世界观,以及申请人与研究生院招生项目如何能够相互受益。

研究生院入学申请自述和大学本科入学申请陈述的区别

在申请研究生院时,很多学生已经具有多年研究经验或学术经验。以MBA(工商管理硕士)项目为例,申请人通常具有多年工作经验。他们可以将这些经验写在自述中,强化自己的申请,例如,MBA Essay 四大核心题目解析

专业经验方面的差异使得研究生院入学申请自述不同于本科申请陈述。研究生院的申请人拥有大量的材料和背景经验能够使自己与众不同并脱颖而出。在论述的范围(内容广度)和详细程度(内容深度)方面,研究生院自述均比本科陈述复杂得多。

为什么申请研究生院需要提供自述?

自述能让申请人有机会向招生委员会陈述总结那些不能单纯用分数来量化的素质,包括个人优势、职业长处、专业志向,或对某些学科的强烈兴趣。

研究生院的入学申请竞争通常非常激烈。除了学业成绩等学术资格外,申请人还必须向申请的招生项目展示自己的认真承诺。需要注意的是,研究生学位项目的招生人员所担心的一个问题是学生可能会中途退学,而不继续支付学费。

Covid-19新冠病毒疫情对自述的影响

COVID-19新冠病毒疫情影响了入学标准化考试。实际上,公众对入学标准化考试的公平性是越来越担心的。例如,今年6月15日,纽约大学Stern(斯特恩)商学院宣布其全日制MBA招生项目不再考虑GMAT或GRE考试,使得该校成为全美排名前25位商学院中的第四个放弃标准化考试的学校。

另外,马里兰大学的McNair(麦克奈尔)学者项目主任Michael Hunt(迈克尔·亨特)也曾公开表示

“我的目标是消除障碍,而不是假借学术自由或学校其他政策的名义维持障碍。我祈祷有朝一日,我们将不再需要由委员会或大流行病来决定某些事情是否公平。”

在这种背景下,自述、学术背景、简历推荐信便成为研究生院入学申请中的主要决定性因素。

自述的篇幅应该多长?

自述的篇幅通常应该在500到1000个英文单词之间,不应超过一页,但具体取决于申请的学校或研究生招生项目而定,也与个人的学术经验丰富程度有关。

 

自述的格式

Wordvice过去介绍过如何撰写SOP,以及PS/SOP(个人陈述/目的陈述)写作最全解析

建议您阅读上述文章,并观看我们Wordvice的相关视频教学。

如何撰写一份成功的SOP

撰写入学申请自述和推荐信的方法

 

自述的格式规则

大学本科入学申请陈述格式不同,研究生院入学申请自述通常不会像普通申请资料那样在某些申请平台的文本框或输入框中打字上传。

另外,申请研究生院一般是直接向研究生招生项目及其所在系提出申请。由于研究生学位项目在高校中是各自独立设置的,因此,向文理学院申请与向工学院申请是两种各自不同的申请。

所以,大多数研究生院的入学申请都是直接上传到研究生招生项目中。需要上传的文件通常采用Word .doc或Adobe .pdf格式。

1. Microsoft Word(.DOC)格式

自述的典型文件格式是.doc或.docx。由于Word文件能够被人修改,这便是它的一个缺点。另外,不同的Word版本(2010年、2016年、Office365)之间有时会发生冲突。Word文件的一个好处是任何人都可以查看。

2. PDF 格式

如果非常看重保持文章良好的视觉效果,那么pdf格式是很好的选择。采用pdf格式能够防止旧版Word文件中出现格式问题。

为使自述方便阅读,在格式上应遵循以下原则:

  • 使用1英寸边距。Microsoft Word默认使用这种设置。
  • 使用传统的带衬线的字体。这些字体类型包括Times New Roman、Courier和 Garamond这些常见的优雅漂亮字体。这些字体能使自述看上去更为专业美观。需要注意避免使用极简的无衬线字体。
  • 使用标准12号字体。
  • 使用1.5倍或2倍间距。自述在格式上必须非常便于阅读。只要篇幅不超过1页,就可以使用双倍行距。
  • 在页头(Header)加上申请人的姓名、校名和其他所需信息。
  • 段落要明确分开。标准格式是段落之间空一行。

自述的其他写作原则

  • 检查和修改。确保自述没有错误,包括拼写和语法错误。需要注意的是,准备入学申请资料的一个有效的好方法是使用专业的编辑润色服务
  • 写作风格清晰简明。
  • 避免陈词滥调和重复。
  • 避免随意的、口语化的和短信格式的文字,包括表情符号和标签。
  • 不要写得太长。需要注意的是,招生人员会非常快速地阅读自述。必须注意用空行把段落分开,使得文章非常易读。
如何在格式上编排自述 在格式上编排自述时须注意避免的内容
花时间查阅研究生招生指南。对于不同的招生项目,必须按照每个项目的要求重写。 不要向不同的研究生招生项目提交一份相同的自述。
请辅导人员或专业编辑润色服务仔细检查语法和拼写。 不要只使用在线语法检查器或文字处理器进行检查。
注意单词个数。仔细检查每个学校对于字数的要求。字数要求一般是大约500到1000个英文单词。建议查看如何减少字数 不要写过长的文章。不要写小说。不要写自传。不要事无巨细地编目生活经历。
保持文章的语气专业化,不要使用缩写、俚语或其他口语等非正式词汇。 不要使用标签、表情符号、段子或其他非正式语言。

 

自述的结构

强有力的自述的最重要特征之一是良好的结构。清晰有序的结构布局既能便于读者理解,也能抓住读者的兴趣。

一般来讲,研究生自述虽然比本科陈述更加复杂,但是可以遵循大学本科入学申请陈述的格式

引言——陈述目标并介绍自己

自述的引言部分应该清楚简明地解释申请人希望通过完成学业来实现什么目标。例如,对于历史专业的学生来讲,他们的目标可能是获得博士学位,使得毕业后能够在一家主流非盈利机构或博物馆担任历史学家职位。而对于化学专业的学生来讲,学习目标可能是毕业后在研究型大学从事博士后研究,并希望以后成为一名教授。另外,有些申请人可能希望在毕业后进入私营企业工作。对于任何专业领域,都需要在引言部分介绍专业经历、学术经历、实习经历或工作经历,以及职业目标。

写好引言的技巧

  • 抓住读者的注意力。引言是申请人留给读者(招生人员)的第一印象。
  • 把第一句话写得引人注目。考虑用轶事、典故引用或扣人心弦的故事开头。
  • 预先铺垫。引言的后半部分应简短地对自述的其他部分进行预先铺垫。

正文:学术背景和职业经历

在正文的第一部分,必须详细介绍学术背景和职业经历,以及完成的项目、工作成就和学习经验的例子,以支持自己是一名合格申请人的论点。

首先简要介绍大学本科的学习经历和学习成绩。然后,介绍课外活动、专业经历和职业成就。作为研究生院入学申请人,专业背景和职业经历自然比大学本科入学申请人丰富很多。这些经历能够帮助申请人脱颖而出。

学习经历和成绩是需要或可以强调的。可以陈述如何有效利用大学的资源,以及是否曾经与教授们建立过良好的师生关系——这些都是博士生导师特别关注的素质。

在正文的这一部分,需要使用具体事例来支持论点。

撰写学术经历、职业经验和学业目标的技巧

  • 展示对招生项目感兴趣。陈述申请人为什么对这个研究生入学项目感兴趣。
  • 明确学习目标。作为研究生,申请人要进入的是科研环境。那么,需要陈述希望实现哪些切实可行的科研目标。
  • 明确职业和专业目标。陈述申请人在研究生毕业后准备做什么工作,包括在学术界或工业界的职业发展目标。
  • 评价自己的优点和缺点。描述自己的优缺点是为什么形成的,以及如何形成的。以自省精神展示申请人是如何用自己的行为和个性影响别人的。协作精神和公平公正原则是非常重要的入学申请评选考虑因素。
  • 用文章的论述形式来陈述,不要写成条目式简历。需要将成就和经历融入到引人入胜的叙述中去,而不要写成一条条流水账一样的简历条目。
  • 使用例子说明和支持。使用具有说服力的例子充实叙述,越具体越好。例如,如果申请统计学招生项目,可以描述你在和爷爷玩扑克游戏时对于加权期望值茅塞顿开的那一刻。

正文:陈述为什么你是完美的入学候选者

在招生委员会考虑录取时,申请人的目标和兴趣必须与学校的使命和价值观相一致。一个常见的比较好的写法是突出介绍你对系里几位教授的了解程度,这样可以体现出你认真研究过情况。另外,还可以叙述展示你所钦佩的杰出校友的成就。

申请人可以利用正文的这一部分撰写令人印象深刻的陈述理由,创造性展示对学校和系的深入了解,并把这种认知与自己的学业目标紧密联系起来。

撰写符合研究生招生项目的自述的技巧

  • 与招生项目保持一致。需要以学校的研究生招生项目介绍为指南,使得自述与招生项目保持一致。需要注意陈述与项目内容有关的个人经历。
  • 在社区和文化上吻合。如今的大学希望寻找那些能够代表申请人所在社区并能够对其做出贡献的学生。需要检视你的背景和目标如何融入研究生招生项目所在的城市、大学和文化。
  • 从学位项目中获益。一旦被批准入学,申请人将为研究生学习支付学费和投入时间精力。招生委员会想知道的是,申请人期待从学业中获得什么。因此,申请人可以陈述对系里教授们的学术成就的认识,以展示相关兴趣和学业期待。

结论和总结

自述的结论必须达到两个目的:把前述所有内容予以总结,并使读者有兴趣想了解更多。如果能够达到这后一个目的,自述基本上就是合格的。

申请人在这一部分可以总结攻读研究生学业对专业发展和个人成长的意义,展望申请人对所在领域产生的影响,以及攻读学位对申请人自己所产生的影响。

撰写自述结论的技巧

  • 保持简洁。结论部分通常不包含新内容。因此,不要过度反复重复这些内容。
  • 重述价值。申请人本人是自己最好的推荐者。不仅要表现出对自身能力的自信,还要表现出对入学申请的坚定信心。申请人给研究生院带来的是独特的学术背景、职业经验、个人经历和发展目标。尽管可能不会被录取,但这只是因为背景不适合而已,不要弄成由于自述没有写好而造成价值被低估或被误解。

自述的例子

下面有几个研究生院入学申请自述的成功例子。这两位申请人都申请了全美排名前15位的CS硕士班。可以注意到,他们在文章中是将个人经历与未来的学术目标和职业目标紧密结合的。

注:以下是由Wordvice的专业编辑修改过的文章样稿。为了保护个人隐私,对个人信息进行了修改。注意这些文章并不是可以重复使用的模板。

自述(Statement of Purpose),例1

Computer science (CS) studies require abstract thinking and practical problem-solving skills. Hence, CS students usually need strong theoretical and technical abilities, which I have gained through my undergraduate education. For example, I am well-trained in mathematics, and the courses I have taken in the field have laid a solid theoretical foundation for understanding abstract computational propositions and designing complex algorithms. I am also skilled at computational thinking: I can connect theories with real-life problems and create computer programs to provide innovative solutions. Additionally, I am very passionate about studying CS because I know that CS will significantly impact my career and future life. Therefore, I feel confident that I will succeed in the _________ Program. I am looking forward to studying at ______, where I can learn how to create web scrapers, manage databases, contribute to open-source projects, and research various advanced topics.

点评:引言部分开门见山地说明入学申请招生项目和研究领域。娴熟地定义了什么是CS领域的成功,并将其与申请人的经历、技能和学业热情紧密联系起来。

During my undergraduate career, I took many pure math courses, including Linear Algebra, Probability Theory, and Mathematical Statistics. These courses have prepared me well for studying advanced computer science because a wide range of methods used in modern computational research is based on mathematics. For example, in machine learning, knowledge from linear algebra and mathematical statistics is the basis for two key research methods: algebraic and statistical methods. Thanks to my proficiency in both areas, I will be able to find statistical explanations for the algebraic approach as well as perform algebraic calculations for statistical models. Therefore, I am confident in my ability to solve various theoretical problems during hands-on machine learning research. 

点评:上面这一部分论述学术经验和技能。该申请人具有合适的学术背景和课程学习经历,以此说明为研究生阶段的学习做好了准备。

Furthermore, the computational thinking skills I gained from my undergraduate education enable me to formulate a problem, express the solution, and evaluate the results. In my Mathematical Modeling class, my professor introduced a mathematical model for describing the stock market. However, I soon realized that the model was too simple to illustrate real scenarios due to the lack of time variables. Therefore, I supplemented his original model with an iterative formula to measure time, programmed equations into a MATLAB editor, and generated solution graphs. I was surprised by the results, which implied a potential contradiction with the professor’s proposed solution. When I explained my findings to the professor, he was very impressed by my work. I plan to continue to capitalize on the strength of my computational thinking skills at Columbia to manage complex databases, practice classic algorithms, and apply my computer science expertise to solve real-life problems.

点评:申请人继续以学术经历来陈述自己是如何学习的,包括如何克服学习中遇到的困难,如何与教授和导师互动,以及如何解决问题。研究生学业对于学生的要求是希望学生能够自己采取措施主动学习。

One of the primary reasons that I want to study computer science is my internship experience. During the winter break of my junior year, I worked as an investment research intern at a private equity firm, where I was responsible for collecting financial data and writing industry reports. I enjoyed this work and continued finding methods to improve my efficiency—I wanted to spend more time on data analysis and less on manual data collection. After visiting another private equity firm with my manager, I realized that I needed to learn computer science. At that firm, all of the data collection and analyses were done automatically by its data mining and machine learning system. Using this approach, the firm could spend more time communicating with investors to raise more capital. Although I later switched my career goal to economics research, I am still motivated by what I learned from my internship experience: in the 21st century, computer science will fundamentally change every industry and every one of us. As such, we must embrace computer science to gain advantageous positions for our careers.

点评:申请人接下来解释为什么想攻读这个学位。申请人陈述自己在职场中工作表现突出,指出攻读计算机科学的研究生学位会很有益。申请人指出是在实际工作中体会到了这一点。

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy hiking. During my three years in _____, I climbed many mountains in the area. Hiking can be challenging on steep trails because I am sometimes exhausted, only halfway to the top. However, I never give up. In these moments, I will take a rest, have some energy bars, and continue walking until I reach the apex and discover the beautiful scenery there. Studying computer science is similar to hiking in some ways: as a non-CS major, I may find some CS courses challenging. However, with the patience and perseverance I have learned through hiking, I am able to overcome these challenges and master advanced computational techniques. As an international student, I will maintain full-time enrollment at my current university in order to attend the program if I am admitted. I hope to apply the computer science skills I will acquire at Columbia to boost my career development and achieve a better future.

点评:申请人展示了全面素质,指出将预见挑战并迎接挑战,而不会回避困难。另外,申请人表示,平衡好一切事情是其学习方法的关键之举。

自述(Statement of Purpose),例2

Life is short, but it is enjoyable to pursue and commit to something you love. My interest in information systems arose from my internship. Previously, I just wanted to start my career as a business analyst, more focused on the business side. But after the internship, this changed. At ____ , I gained exposure to SaaS and FinTech, which piqued my interest in programming, machine learning, and technology. Learning about these two fields afforded me opportunities to research technology and information science methods, and the process of actually handling data for analysis taught me that data is more useful in today’s business world than it was in the past, and I need to improve my data processing and forecasting skills to better serve my data-related work. My current master’s program focuses more on statistics than machine learning and technology, so I am eager to enroll in ____ ’s Master of Science in Information Systems program to follow my passion. I am confident that my strong academic background and relevant experience will allow me to succeed in this program.

点评:申请人直截了当地展示其专业背景。如果专业背景是最好的卖点,那就应该从它入手展开讨论。申请人是一位具有成熟职业经验的人士,知道自己想要什么,以及从学业中想获得什么。

After my undergraduate study in finance, I wanted to improve my statistical and technical skills along with business knowledge in order to meet my future job needs. In 2019, having achieved outstanding grades, I enrolled in ____ University’s master’s degree program in Applied Statistics and Decision Making. But based on my previous internships and projects, I want to take more courses in information systems and programming. Upon entering my current degree program, I selected courses on statistics, regression analysis and modeling, Python, R, sentiment analysis, and similar topics. These statistical and data science courses resolved some of the challenges I faced during my internship and helped determine my career goal in technology.

点评:第二段提及申请人的本科成绩和课程。这样做的目的是为了证明自己已经做好了适当的先修课程准备,并且了解研究生学业所需的技能。

This past summer, I interned at Visa in financial data analytics, a business-technology combined role. Compared to my previous internship at ____ , I learned more about data and technology foundations by gaining a comprehensive knowledge of the data analysis process. We use customer reporting and company network data to analyze customers’ credit status and make adjustments accordingly. Specifically, I used Python and SQL to conduct EDA and ETL processes. Then, I wrote a filter function to realize data extraction automation. After that, I compared and analyzed the internal business data. I marked the flagging value with the binary standard, using simple classification models, like logistic regression and random forest, to understand changes in the data. Finally, I designed dashboards using Tableau to show the investment and management team the flagging data of customers and their overall credit statuses. Through this internship, I was able to apply my theoretical knowledge to a specific extent, but it was still relatively simple data analysis and machine learning, as I did not optimize my model or made predictions. In order to conduct more in-depth research and make predictions, I decided to learn more about modeling and technical methods.

点评:这位申请人申请的是纽约的一所顶级商学院。这一部分叙述专业经验。申请人详细说明了所完成的真实的职业项目。申请人展示了每种工具在业务环境中为什么重要以及如何重要。

Therefore, I have decided to pursue graduate study in information systems at ____ . Several features of your program make it the perfect place for my future studies. First, the opportunity to pursue a summer internship to enhance my future job prospects appeals to me. Second, I am drawn to the comprehensive structure of the curriculum. I will have the chance to study in both the ____ School of Business and Computer Science and conduct an information technology project, which will enable me to achieve my goal of mastering business methods as well as algorithms relevant to technology management. Furthermore, I believe I am a great fit for your program and can both succeed and contribute a unique perspective. I have the requisite knowledge of business, statistics, mathematics, and programming required by the program. My previous internships and projects have provided me with substantial experience in both business and technology, and I have a clear understanding of what I hope to achieve in the program. Ideally, I want to consolidate my prior knowledge, focus on algorithms and systems, and deepen my study of machine learning and algorithms to be able to use various models flexibly and fluently. Finally, because I have studied in _____’s summer program, building a strong network with my professors and classmates, and earned my first graduate degree in New York, there is no question of my being able to adapt and assimilate to a new culture or environment. 

点评:这部分解释了申请人申请的原因、学业期望和预期贡献,并指出该研究生项目的强大的人脉关系网络是一个吸引人的闪光点。

Within one year of graduation, I hope to find a satisfying job related to technology and business, such as a technology consultant or product manager position in a technology or finance company. In the long run, I am eager to grow my network, make critical contributions to my team at work, and hope to become successful in the field of technology. Continuing my studies in your distinguished program would be a worthwhile journey for me and an integral step to achieving my goals.

 

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