How to Write a Motivation Letter to Support Your University Application
When you are applying to college or university, one of the main questions is how to write a motivation letter. In fact, you cannot apply for a college or university in the U.S. without attaching a motivation letter to your application. It is not enough to submit your grades, because members of all admission committees in the U.S. want to see a personality behind numbers. A motivation letter is a good way for any applicant to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of his (her) character and provide a rationale for seeking admission to this particular college or university.
When you are applying to a U.S. university, you will have to submit two basic things. Firstly, it is a personal statement. Secondly, it is a statement of purpose. A personal statement is usually required from applicants seeking enrollment in Bachelor’s-level courses. However, even if you are to write a personal statement, you will have enough information to include in it. At this age, and at this point of life, you have accomplished enough to stay out among your colleagues and peers. These achievements frame the key message that you are going to communicate through your personal statement.
If you seek enrollment in a Master’s-level course, you will have to write a statement of purpose. This is the most common component of application packages in U.S. postgraduate institutions. You may not need to focus on your past achievements, but you will need to outline the purpose and motivation to continue your education. Your task is to prove that you will not succeed in your career or personal life without getting into this program, at this particular university.
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How to Write a Motivation Letter – Several Simple Lessons
With a strong and properly structured motivation letter, you will greatly influence the admission committee’s thinking and readiness to grant you admission. In this letter, you are strongly encouraged to explain why you are so determined to get to this university and why you are best fit to become a student in this program.
Rest assured that members of the admission committee will read your motivation letter. U.S. universities review thousands of motivation letters annually. You will submit a package of documents, but the only thing that will decide your future in this university is the quality of your motivation letter.
The hardest part is choosing a topic for your letter. If you fail to choose a good topic, you will not have a chance to demonstrate the strength and perseverance of your personality. You will not have a chance to describe all possible reasons for seeking enrollment in this particular course.
Do not choose popular or common topics. It is also a mistake, and it can cost you admission. Your motivation letter should stand out among others. It should be noticeable, and for this reason it should also be original and creative. If your motivation letter is poorly written or boring, your application will be rejected, and you will have to wait a year to re-submit your application.
Writing Motivation Letter: Valuable Tips
- When you are student, you get to the point when writing a motivation letter is simply inevitable. Follow these five recommendations to produce a brilliant motivation letter. Learn more about yourself. No, you do not need to visit a psychotherapist. The best you can do in this situation is taking your time to understand what you want, expect and need to become successful. You must be confident that you want to get to this university and enroll in this particular program. By knowing yourself better, you will have enough information to justify your motivation to get to the university.
- Research the university and the program of your choice. The next step is to explore the university, its mission, vision, philosophy, past achievements, and expectations. You should be confident that you fit the image of an ideal student in the university of your choice. With this knowledge, you will draft a motivation letter. In case of any difficulty, buy a motivation letter online.
- Write the first draft of your motivational letter. Now you are ready to write. Generally, you will have 3-4 drafts before you are ready to submit the letter with your admission package. The first draft is likely to be the first and most “imperfect” version of your motivation letter. It will take time to refine it. Check if all needed information has been included and paragraphs flow smoothly and logically.
- Review the first draft and edit it. At this point, your task is to review the information included in your motivation letter. For example, have you specified the program or course you want to get in? Have you outlined the characteristics and achievements that make you an eligible candidate? What are your professional and personal qualities that can help you assimilate into the culture and climate of the selected institution?
- Refine and finalize the motivation letter. It should not exceed one page. Therefore, you will have to be very critical choosing what information you want to include. Check if you have used the right font. Check spelling and grammar. Your letter should stand out among others. It should be different. It should be unique.
How to Write Motivation Letter: Structure and Format
Consider the way you address the target audience. It will set the tone for your motivation letter. Follow several simple rules. Firstly, if you know the name of the admission committee member who is going to read your letter, you can use this name preceded by Mr., Ms., Mrs., or Dr. Do not forget about using a full stop after the abbreviation. Include the person’s surname, followed by comma. For example, “Dear Dr. Pauls.” In this case, your motivation letter should be finished with the words “Yours sincerely…”
If you do not know the name of the admission committee member who is going to read your motivation letter, and this is almost always the case, begin your motivation letter with the words “Dear Sir”, or “Dear Sirs”. In this case, you will have to finish your letter using the words “Yours faithfully.”
After you address the recipient, or recipients, you will start writing the body of your motivation letter. Given that the whole letter should be one page long, the body will include 3-4 paragraphs. Make sure that your motivation letter has at least 3 paragraphs (you cannot have 2 or 1 paragraph).
- In the first body paragraph, outline your position and motivation to pursue enrollment in the selected university, program or course.
- In the second body paragraph, include your qualifications and personal achievements. Use the information you have about the selected course and the university, in general. This way, you will know how to align your personality with that of a perfect student. Do not lie. Just emphasize the qualities, which will increase your chances to get to the program. Be creative. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Acknowledge your weaknesses. State why you believe you can address them in future. Overall, you should be fit for this course, and you should be able to prove it.
- In the third body paragraph, tell the admission committee why you want to get to this particular program. Apart from stating your interest, you should also tell the admission committee how enrollment in this course or program will contribute to your professionalism and continuous growth. Say what you can do to contribute to the university.
- In the last paragraph, state if you are available for further interviews and follow-up. Make sure that you leave a blank line after the last sentence of the last paragraph. Use appropriate closing. Include your name. Check your motivation letter for errors and typos before you submit it to the admission committee. Make sure that you have included all contact details, so that the admission committee members can contact you for an interview.
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