Do universities check for plagiarism in SOP

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Mar 24, 2020 16:28 IST

Do universities check for plagiarism in SOP? All those who are in the midst of the application process have this question in their mind. Whether you are applying for a UG or PG course, usually universities demand an SOP from the aspirant. SOP or Statement of Purpose states your achievements, academic, extracurricular or professional, so, the admission committee can evaluate your profile. In this article, we will inform you whether universities check for plagiarism in SOP or not?

What is a Statement of Purpose (SOP)?

An SOP is a long essay required by universities abroad that include the academic and non-academic achievements of the aspirant. Through SOP, the admission committee of the university also gets an idea of why the aspirant is seeking admission to their university for that particular program. It helps them in evaluating the profile of the candidate and also helps them in deciding whether the candidate is fit for pursuing that program or not.

Why you should not copy SOP?

Nowadays, a lot of SOPs or sample SOPs are available online, so, many aspirants copy them while applying to a university. Even after knowing the importance of the SOP in the admission process, many aspirants copy the SOP which is available online. Here, we should understand that the CV/Resume of two individuals can have similarities, however, there SOP should not be the same in any circumstances. The challenges one has gone through while working on their research projects or some particular skills one has learned in their internship period cannot be the same even if they have encountered different problems, their approach cannot be the same always. Also, their goals in life cannot match.

Some students complain about not having good English skills to write a good SOP. Here, you need to understand the Statement of purpose (SOP) that need not contain fancy vocabulary. It should contain your goals which you want to achieve in life apart from what you have learned in your academics and professional life.

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How graduate schools assess SOP?

Graduate schools in the US look at the holistic profile of the candidate. They match your SOP with your academics and other details which you have mentioned in the SOP. Your SOP should state your achievements, drawbacks, how you tackled them and what you have learned from them. If the admission committee does not find your application in sync with your SOP, then you might think that you have copied it from somewhere and then there are chances that they will reject your application. Also, it should contain your experiences like if you have worked on a research project then you will mention everything which you have done or faced while working on it. So, it will support your application. Therefore, you should be extra careful not to copy your SOP from anywhere.

As the format of the SOP remains the same, admission committee members often encounter sentences that are commonly used by students. It can happen that you or someone who has worked with you (colleague or batchmate) may have encountered a similar situation. But your approach to solving that issue matters and how you come to the solution is important. Apart from this, you may have a similar kind of achievements, but how you achieved it, your working style and approach cannot be similar to your colleague. Even how you express yourself cannot be similar with anyone else. A personal statement is that it has to be from someone who is applying, so, you should explain your goals, achievements, and aspirations.

SOP Formats for USA, Canada, UK, and Australia

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio


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