As a prospective graduate student, you’re probably aware that a statement of purpose is a critical component of your graduate school application. In the SoP, you get to explain who you are, what sparked your interest in the field, and why you want to pursue further studies. Additionally, the SoP enables you to showcase your unique attributes, achievements, and experience. The professional tone of the SoP should reflect your writing and communication skills, as well as your analytical and critical thinking abilities. However, crafting an attention-grabbing and persuasive statement of purpose conclusion can be challenging. In this blog post, we’ll offer some insights to help you craft a memorable and winning statement of purpose conclusion that resonates with admission committees.
First things first
To effectively conclude your statement of purpose, it’s important to remember that the conclusion is the last part that the admission members will read, so it’s crucial to make a strong impression. Therefore, your conclusion should not be an afterthought. You should pay attention to the format and structure of the conclusion, just as you would with any other paragraph. In other words, the statement of purpose conclusion should not be treated as a separate section, but rather as a natural ending to the overall message of your essay.
However, it is also important to remember that there is no cookie-cutter ending that applies to everyone. Your statement of purpose is a reflection of who you are as an individual, and it should be treated as such. When writing your conclusion, take the time to consider your goals, interests, and unique attributes, and allow yourself to be creative. By doing so, you’ll create an ending that truly reflects who you are and what you hope to achieve. Don’t be afraid to take risks and think outside the box when it comes to concluding your statement of purpose — your unique perspective could be just what sets you apart from other candidates.
Here are a few suggestions and guidelines to inspire you to come up with a statement of purpose conclusion that truly resonates with your reader.
Leverage the bookend strategy
Bookends are physical objects used to keep books standing upright. However, in writing, the bookend strategy refers to using the introduction and conclusion to support the main body of your work. For instance, you can start your essay with a theme or anecdote and then use that same theme or anecdote in your conclusion to explain your reasons for pursuing a specific career.
The introduction and conclusion are closely connected and should reinforce the same ideas that define the overall theme of your statement. The introduction should introduce these ideas, which will then be reiterated and summarized in the concluding paragraph.
Another strategy to write an effective statement of purpose conclusion is to recap your main points. You need to remind the admissions committee what you have discussed in the essay and how you have presented your qualifications. However, this should not be a mechanical summary of your paragraphs. Instead, try to connect your arguments and show how they all support your application.
Restating the highlights of your essay in the conclusion of your text can be a helpful way to reinforce your sense of purpose. This can be satisfying both literally and figuratively. However, make sure to summarize the important points in a clear and simple way. After writing each paragraph, make a list of the main takeaways and integrate them into your conclusion using one sentence per point. This will help the admissions committee easily understand the main points of your statement.
Speak from the heart
While we recommend avoiding an overly emotional tone in the introduction and main body of your text, your statement of purpose conclusion is an excellent opportunity to show your personality. You can do this through reflections that showcase your character, values, and worldview. As much as possible, end on a positive and memorable note that has a personal touch. This way, you will be able to create a lasting impression in the minds of the admission committee and stand out from the crowd.
Portray yourself as an enthusiastic contributor
Enthusiasm and confidence can be crucial elements of a successful statement of purpose conclusion by showing the admissions committee that you are excited about the prospect of joining the program and that you have what it takes to succeed. Describe your plans to participate in campus student life and mention specific extracurricular activities and academic achievements you wish to pursue inside and outside the classroom.
Studying at a university is more than just a pathway to a career. It’s a transformative experience that allows you to connect with new peers, create lifelong friendships, and find mentors who will support you as you pursue your career goals.
When writing your statement of purpose, consider how you can contribute to the university and make it a better place as a student. Show your enthusiasm for meeting new people, building strong relationships, and serving them.
One of the most common mistakes that students make in their conclusions is using cliches or overly generalized statements. For example, phrases like “I have always wanted to be a ________” or “I have always been interested in __________” can weaken your conclusion and leave the admissions committee feeling unimpressed. Instead, use specific examples and personal experiences to demonstrate your passion and commitment to your field of study.
Emphasize your fit
In addition to reiterating your strengths, your conclusion should also demonstrate your fit with the program to which you are applying. Use this opportunity to showcase your knowledge of the program, discuss your specific research interests, and highlight any specific coursework or faculty members that align with your academic goals.
Re-emphasize your motivation
If you want to leave a lasting impression, consider restating your motivation for your chosen field. Since some students may choose their field without a clear sense of direction, having a clear purpose can help you stand out from others. Emphasizing your “why” can demonstrate your strong commitment to your goals and provide clarity on why you’re pursuing this degree.
An effective statement of purpose conclusion should also look forward and show how the program fits into your long-term goals. You need to explain how the program can help you achieve your career aspirations and give back to society. You can describe your ideal job, your research interests, or your vision for a better future. This will show that you are not only a strong candidate for the program but also a valuable member of the academic and professional communities
Refer to the next steps in the admissions process
What happens after the admissions committee approves your application? In many cases, you will be invited for an interview, which you can include in your concluding remarks. You could, for example, that you are eagerly anticipating an invitation for an interview or a campus visit. The goal is to demonstrate your sincere dedication to the process.
Portray yourself as an active learner
Demonstrate your willingness to learn, as universities are designed to train and shape students. Being humble can go a long way, and eager students are always a teacher’s delight.
To successfully achieve this, it is important to identify the values that your course promotes, such as service, excellence, inclusivity, and others. Conclude your statement by expressing your anticipation to acquire skills related to the values that you resonate with and use them to thrive in your field of study.
To impress universities, demonstrate honesty and authenticity by crafting a captivating introduction and finishing with a powerful conclusion. Remember that honesty is highly valued.
To convey honesty, it is important to write with the mindset of revealing your true self and showcasing why you are a deserving candidate for the course.
Avoid trying to sound impressive. Doing so may cause you to exaggerate or add unnecessary details. Admissions committees are adept at detecting insincere personal statements. Therefore, be true to yourself and let your individuality show.
Last but not least, you should review, edit, and format your statement of purpose conclusion just like you did for the earlier sections. Ensure that your conclusion is well-organized, free of grammatical errors and typos and that it conveys a clear message. Read it aloud to check its flow and to ensure that it sounds authentic and professional. Additionally, ask for feedback from friends, family, or professionals to get a fresh perspective on your conclusion. Their feedback can help you refine your message and optimize your statement of purpose for maximum impact.
Your statement of purpose conclusion is your last chance to impress the admission committee and make a lasting impression. By recapping and highlighting your main points, explaining how the program aligns with your goals, showing enthusiasm and confidence, revealing your personality, and reviewing and editing your conclusion, you can craft a memorable, compelling, and winning text that gets you admitted. Remember that the SoP is a crucial aspect of your graduate school application and that the admissions committee wants to see your potential to succeed in the program and in your future career. Therefore, crafting a persuasive, informative, and professional SoP conclusion is essential for your graduate school success. If you need any help editing your essay or are looking for help creating a statement of purpose from scratch, make sure to check out our editing services. Got questions? Sign up for a consultation, or send us your draft for an estimate. It’s FREE!
With a Master’s from McGill University and a Ph.D. from New York University, Dr. Philippe Barr is the founder of The Admit Lab. As a tenure-track professor, Dr. Barr spent a decade teaching and serving on several graduate admission committees at UNC-Chapel Hill before turning to full-time consulting. With more than seven years of experience as a graduate school admissions consultant, Dr. Barr has stewarded the candidate journey across multiple master’s and Ph.D. programs and helped hundreds of students get admitted to top-tier graduate programs all over the world.