A Statement Of Intent (SOI) is a document that explains an author’s qualifications and an author’s intent with a dissertation or other form of documentation. It is most commonly used in the application process for graduate school, and it is also a part of a doctorate thesis. Anyone who wants to attempt to achieve the most advanced educational degrees must learn how to write a SOI.
Understand The Process
Each organization has different rules that must be followed for submitting an SOI, and the applicant must understand those rules clearly. Any SOI that does not satisfy the stated instructions of the receiving organization will not be accepted.
Try To Stand Out
An SOI is something that is part of every graduate and doctoral application, which means that administrators read a lot of SOI documents. That is why you want to take the time to understand your audience and make your SOI stand out from the rest. Each organization has its particular preferences when it comes to information included on an SOI, and you need to become familiar with your audience’s preferences if you want your SOI to make an impact.
Avoid Using A Template
Most people who submit an SOI are submitting one to multiple schools or organizations. The temptation is to write a template and fill in the appropriate information for each organization. While this will save time, it will also significantly degrade the quality of your SOI. Each one of your letters needs to be unique and directly address the concerns and interests of each target audience.
Always Write Multiple Drafts
In many cases, your first instinct about what to include in an SOI is the best. You need to sit down and start writing whatever comes into your head and use that brainstorming document as your first draft. As you edit that first draft, you will eventually arrive at a thoughtful and effective SOI.
A good SOI tells your story in a way that will grab the reader’s attention. Since you know that the people reading your SOI have read and will read hundreds of others, it is important that you choose a unique angle to present your story and explain what you hope to accomplish with your document.
Offer Good Information
It is important to avoid using irrelevant or duplicate information in your SOI. Your technique should be concise and to the point, while presenting your information in a professional manner. Your SOI should get to the point and stay on point until it reaches its conclusion.
Not only should you be sure to proofread your SOI at least twice before submitting it, but you should get someone else to proofread it as well. Your other set of eyes is looking for grammar, spelling and sentence structure errors that will be used against you by the administrators reading your SOI.
A good SOI can be your ticket into graduate school, or it could mean being approved for a doctorate program. Be sure to put plenty of creativity and thought into your SOI, and try to submit something that the administrators have never read before.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!