There’s no question about it: competition when applying for your accounting degree is tough. Different schools will vary in their acceptance rate, of course, but all will be tough, so your accounting statement of purpose needs to be great and fit the statement of purpose format that university requires.
Did you know, for example, that Michigan State University’s accounting master’s program gets 360 applicants on average, but they only admit about 180? But how can you make your statement of purpose for masters in accounting distinctive? Here are the best ways to really make yourself stand out.
- A unique beginning. As Yale says, beginnings like “I’ve always…” and “ever since I was a child” are tired and cliché. Start with something new when you write your statement of purpose accounting essays.
- Show some personality. Your personal statement is about you as a person. So make sure you’re including the unique experiences that lead you to accounting and finance!
- Be specific. Talking about your qualifications is great, but not if you’re vague. Rather than saying “I have a background in accounting,” say “I worked as an undergraduate in an accounting firm” or “I took x, y, and z classes that prepared me for this program.”
- Let your passion shine through. Although the word “passion” itself is a cliché, there’s no harm in letting people know that you love what you want to study and why.
- Demonstrate future plans. Talk about what you want to do with your accounting degree! Recruiters love to see that you’re a forward thinker. Again, this is a good place to be specific.
- Keep it super relevant. A lot of students include info that strays from the point: why they want to be in an accounting program. Stand out from the crowd by using only information that’s clearly related to your goals.
- Tell your story. Create a narrative that the reader of your personal statement can become invested in! This helps create a personal link with the reader.
Writing Strategies for SOP Accounting
Now you know how to stand out from the crowd…but how do you actually start writing? These strategies can help take the task of writing statement of purpose accounting essays from big and intimidating to simple and easy.
- Strategy One: Notes and Outline. Whether you’re used to writing or not, this strategy is a classic. Start by jotting down some notes. Organize them into an outline which sketches out roughly what each section of your paper will say. Then, start building the paper paragraph by paragraph. It’s not exactly painless, but it’s much less painful than staring at a blank page. Give yourself something to go on.
- Strategy Two: Talk It Out. Not very visual? If you’re an auditory learner, or you like talking better than writing, there’s an easy solution: dictate to yourself. Get a tape recorder or even a friend, and have a conversation with yourself or someone else about why you want to attend an accounting program and why you’re qualified. Once you’re done, just write down the important parts of what you said and smooth it out! This can work well when paired with an outline that you can jot down as you listen to yourself.
- Strategy Three: Cold Hard Facts. Like outlining but more direct, this strategy is good for those of you who know what you want to include, but aren’t sure how to do it. The first step is to write down the most important facts that you want to include. Make each a single paragraph. The second step is to build on them – add extra information and explain. The third step is to add transitions. Finally, read your paper over and smooth out anything that seems awkwardly-phrased.
Editing and Proofreading Your Statement of Purpose for Masters in Accounting
Now you know how to write a statement of purpose. But do you know how to edit one? Editing can make or break your personal statement. Writing is always a messy business, and you need to learn how to turn a messy first draft into a perfectly orderly final revision. Here’s a checklist that can help you figure out what you need to do.
- Use your spellcheck. This is by no means a complete fix for all your mistakes, but it’s a good place to start. Obvious spelling mistakes will be taken care of quickly and easily. You may have used it while writing; if so, give it a final look anyway to see if there are any squiggly red lines you missed.
- Check for homophones. Homophones are those tricky little words that all sound the same but are spelled differently. These can trip up students in a major way.
- Check commonly mistaken words. “Prospective” and “perspective”, for instance, aren’t quite homophones, but they’re similar enough that you could mistake one for the other if you wrote your essay late at night.
- Check your possessive apostrophes. According to The University of Illinois, possessive apostrophes are one of the biggest mistakes students make. Here’s a quick rule of thumb for you: use a possessive apostrophe only when something belongs to something else, except in the pronoun its as in “Its sins are many”. If the word already has an s, just stick the apostrophe after it. Example: “The cats’ composure was ruffled when their room was invaded by a dog.”
- Make sure you stay relevant. Be sure to cut out anything in your personal statement that doesn’t contribute to the point. Make things tighter!
- Read your work out loud. It sounds odd, but this is a great way to catch any mistakes that you may have made. This is because it makes you pay more attention. When reading silently, you tend to skim. Another strategy for editing is to read backwards – it jolts your brain into paying attention due to the unfamiliarity!
- Have someone else look over it. Ultimately, no matter how much you do, it’s hard to catch every single one of your mistakes. For that reason, it’s best to get someone else to look at your paper and help you revise it. A teacher, friend, or editing service can help.