- The requirements of a specific university. This is especially important for candidates who wish to apply for a master’s program. Some universities request not one, but two motivation letters for different master’s programs. Others require you to send only handwritten versions of motivation letters, specifying even the color of the ink that should be used. You can find the exact instructions on the official website of the selected university.
- The introduction should start with some original statement or a fact from life in order to grab the attention of the reader and make him follow the whole story to the very end;
- The most interesting facts should be presented at the beginning of the letter, or at least in the first part since no one knows if a member of the admission committee will want to finish reading your letter.
- A logical and sequenced story: as you read through the letter, the character in it should develop as a person in all areas of his or her life.
- An easy-to-follow narrative. Divide the text into smaller paragraphs and try not to use long and flowery expressions along with complex grammatical constructions. This will help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes and confusing punctuation. Each paragraph should have its own small story with the beginning, climax, and end. The speech should be simple and clear, although it is acceptable (and even encouraged) to use highly specialized terms, provided that you understand what they actually mean.
- The conclusion should be a summary, briefly reviewing the information and expressing hope for further cooperation with the university. Reading the letter should leave a pleasant aftertaste, do not describe any negative events or criticize yourself.
Stages of writing a motivational essay
„If you are going to write a winning personal statement, you cannot do it in two or three hours; it requires a lot of thought.” – Faye Deal, Director of Admission, Stanford Law School.
Preparatory stage: study and reflection
„What I would love to have people do in preparing their essays is to do a great deal of self-assessment and reflection on their lives and on what’s important to them because the most important thing to us is to get a very candid and real sense of the person.” – Jill Fadule, Director of Admissions, Harvard Business School.
It is often difficult for people to start writing something personal about themselves that requires introspection. If you often face a fear of a blank slate, try the following tips . Creative solutions will not take long.
Record all events that happen to you, be that new experiences or abilities. Never underestimate anything. You may think that a summer trip to Europe, a recently read book or your newly discovered talent as an artist is not so significant, but it is. The sooner you start doing this (several weeks, months), the better. At the same time, you should not immediately evaluate your experiences in terms of their usefulness. Keep this until the next stage.
Try creating an experimental sample of your essay. Imagine that you are taking a creative writing course, and your task is to write a couple of pages about an event from your life that has had a significant impact on you. This must be done so that after reading the essay in front of strangers, they feel as if they have known you for a very long time. It might feel like a rather stupid exercise, but as we heard from the statements of the members of the admission committee, they expect this approach from the applicant.