Menulis Statement of Purpose
Statement of Purpose (SOP) biasanya memiliki panjang 1-2 halaman. Isinya terutama menerangkan tujuan ingin melanjutkan sekolah ke jurusan dan universitas yang kita tuju.
Menulis SOP merupakan salah satu persyaratan untuk mendaftar sekolah. Ada beberapa hal yang harus diperhatikan sebelum mulai menulis sebuah SOP.
1. Menentukan Tujuan
Tujuan SOP adalah untuk meyakinkan komite profesor bahwa kita adalah pelamar yang layak dipilih. Cara membuat mereka yakin yaitu dengan menunjukkan kemampuan dan motivasi bahwa kita bisa sukses di bidang yang dipilih. Tujuan ini mesti tertulis jelas dalam SOP.
2. Membuat Isi SOP
Biasanya SOP dibuat dalam format bebas, tapi dalam kasus tertentu mereka telah menyediakan semacam outline atau daftar pertanyaan yang mesti dijawab. Jika ini yang terjadi, pastikan menjawab pertanyaan secara langsung dan lengkap tanpa berbelit-belit.
Isi SOP hendaknya mencakup:
- Tujuan kenapa ingin studi lanjut
- Spesialisasi atau minat yang dipilih
- Manfaat bagi masyarakat atau perusahaan setelah studi lanjut
- Persiapan yang sudah dilakukan (akademik, kegiatan ekstrakurikuler)
- Penjelasan jika ada nilai akademik yang naik-turun (mis: ada nilai jelek di satu semester)
- Hal khusus lain yang belum terungkap di form pendaftaran
- Alasan kenapa tertarik mendaftar ke sekolah bersangkutan
Dan yang paling penting, SOP adalah cara kita memperkenalkan diri pada komite profesor. Pastikan hal yang relevan terungkap semua.
Berikut adalah contoh SOP:
I suppose if we all knew why we think, feel and act like we do, Psychology wouldn’t even exist. It seems next to impossible, t herefore, to try to describe in detail why I have chosen to be a clinical psychologist. All I can possibly tell you is the sort of experiences I’ve had that demonstrate how interested I am in clinical psychology.
I can’t even remember why I chose to major in psychology, but I knew once I enrolled in Psychology 101 that if I just stayed in psychology, I knew I would never be bored with my education or my career. I soon learned how important it was to get research experience, so I enrolled joined Dr. Sensali’s lab in September, 1999. While there, I was primarily responsible for entering data from a survey we were conducting of students’ attitudes toward different types of teaching styles. One of the things I most appreciated about this experience was that I got to interact with other graduate students, and observe firsthand the stresses and joys of graduate school. I also got my first exposure to SPSS that semester, and I am grateful for that because it gave me a bit of a head start in learning how to use a statistical analysis software.
In January 2000, I enrolled in Abnormal Psychology. Dr. Richmond taught this class, and it was probably his enthusiasm for the subject matter that eventually converted me to the idea of becoming a clinical psychologist. I did well in the course as I did in most of my courses, but the most important thing about that class was that I had to write a research paper on personality disorders as a course requirement. For whatever reason, I was particularly struck by narcissistic personality disorder, and as I spent hours and hours in the library researching this topic, it became clear very quickly that although psychologists know a lot about this and other disorders, more high-quality research is sorely needed. I remember thinking how frustrated I was as I realized that there were gaps in my paper-no one seemed to have explored this question or that question-and I could only imagine how practitioners felt as they tried to do the best they could for their clients but didn’t quite have all the information they needed in order to do so. Good research is crucial to alleviating people’s distress, and I want to be any research that moves toward that goal.
In my final semester of my senior year at XXXXXX, I joined Dr. Raskin’s lab. There, I was able to run married couples through an interview procedure as part of a study on how marital communication is affected by the death of a child. I appreciated Dr. Raskin’s trust in me, even if it was scary at times. Later I also assisted as a data enterer and response coder. On a few occasions, I also participated in data analysis sessions with the graduate students.
Another important experience I had that semester is that I began volunteering for Crisis services. This was not just an eye-opening experience, it was also a real personal challenge for me, as I was basically forced, with minimal training, to somehow establish common-ground with people who were experiencing acute, severe distress. Some of my life’s scariest experiences took place while I volunteered for Crisis services, but it was so uplifting to be able to know I might have made a tiny difference at just the right moment for a handful of people. After this experience, I knew for certain that I would attend graduate school in Clinical Psychology.
Overall I am pleased with my academic record and I believe that it has prepared me very well for graduate school. As you may notice, however, my grades improved over time. I began college as a pre-med major, and as should be evident, most of the “damage” to my GPA occurred in my freshman-year chemistry and physics classes. I learned important things about the philosophy of science in those classes, but as I learned about a year later, my interests were clearly elsewhere (i.e., in working with people).
I assume that my recommenders have adequately addressed my qualifications for your graduate program. I hope you will seriously consider me as a student in your program, because by interest in personality disorders is well-represented by the faculty in your department. I sincerely believe I would make an excellent student in your program, and I am prepared to work and study hard in order to meet the high standards that CWRU is known for. Thank you for your consideration.
A beluga whale helped me first realize my true academic passion. I spent my high school summers and weekends volunteering at the New York Aquarium, first in the education department, and later in the training department. It was there, through casual and research-oriented observations of cetaceans, that I began to wonder about animal and human minds. I later had the opportunity to participate in an observational research project, helping to record data on the behaviors of new whale calves and mothers. My informal and formal observations fed my interest in the phylogenetic and ontogenetic bases of cognition and language.
As a psychology student at [my school], I had numerous opportunities to research and observe human psychology, both in and out of the classroom. As a sophomore, along with a professor and fellow students in a seminar class, I helped design and run a study on categorization and user’s intentions. Later that year we presented our findings at the annual American Psychological Society meeting. In that same year I also assisted a professor in conducting a study on the effects of familiar and unfamiliar music on reading comprehension.
I spent the summer following my sophomore year (1997) as a research assistant in the [my school] Psychology Department, funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Foundation. I collaborated with a professor, a fellow undergraduate student, and a visiting high school student to research, design, and run a study on attitudes towards germs and illness. This included conducting an extensive literature review, specifying research questions, and designing questionnaires that would help us effectively answer our research questions. In addition to strengthening my research abilities, this experience gave me the invaluable opportunity to interact with fellow researchers as a student, a peer, and a mentor.
My extracurricular research experience during my sophomore and junior years of college gave me the tools to independently develop and carry out research projects. During my senior year at [my school], I completed a long term library-based research project on the evolution of the human linguistic ability. As a person who tends to look at the big picture when conducting research, this project was the perfect opportunity for me to integrate research from numerous fields and subfields in order to answer a psychologically based question. Through the study of anthropology, paleoneurology, neuropsychology, linguistics, and psycholinguistics, I explored theories debating the neurological and behavioral bases for language evolution. Although I do not envision the study of language evolution as being my main focus in graduate school or beyond, I still hold an interest in the field. As soon as I complete my graduate school applications, I plan to start preparing peer commentary articles on this topic for the on-line journal Psycholoquy.
My current research interests include language acquisition and cognitive development. I would like to study the relationship between language acquisition and the development of other cognitive processes. More specifically, I am interested how the development of metacognition and concepts affects and is effected by semantic and lexical development in toddlers and preschoolers. This research interest has developed over the greater part of the last decade; starting with my observations of behavior development in beluga whales, and shaped by my in depth study of cognition and language as a college undergraduate.
I feel that my research interests fit extremely well with the psychology department at [school I am applying to], and in particular with professors [a professor] and [another professor]. I would be elated to have the opportunity to study in a department where there is such a plethora of researchers who study cognition and development. The breadth of research done at [school I am applying to] would allow me not only to pursue my interests in depth with talented researchers, but would also allow me to eventually pursue some of my secondary interests in other areas of cognitive development. It is because of these fabulous opportunities that [school I am applying to] is my top choice for graduate study.
I am confident that graduate study at [school I am applying to] would prepare me well for my long term career goals. I wish to eventually hold a tenured position at a college or university, where I would have the opportunity to do research and to act as a teacher and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students. My undergraduate experiences at [my school] have fostered my love of and dedication to research, and provided the necessary tools to pursue my goals. I know that the opportunity to study at [school I am applying to] would allow me to grow as a student and researcher, and allow me to make significant contributions to the field of developmental psychology.
Please note that I have replaced identifying information (my undergraduate institution, and school I wrote this essay for) with “[my school]” or “[school I am applying to]“. Also note that the paragraph about my fit with the school was different for each school. And I didn’t say that every school was my first choice… I only told that to the two school that were at the time my top choices. (I couldn’t decide between the two, so I felt justified in telling both of them that they were at the top of my list, since they were.) Paragraph divisions have also been removed.
Sumber tulisan: Writing a Winning Statement of Purpose by Glenn M. Callaghan, Dept. of Psychology San Jose State University
Sumber gambar: http://www.moleskinerie.com/onesmallpage.jpg