Jobs, Student Life April 10, 2020
University Letter of Motivation: A Cheat Sheet for Writing

University Letter of Motivation: A Cheat Sheet for Writing

Higher educational institutions want to select students who are particularly capable and meet the set standards. These criteria can be different as each university has its own requirements. But your task is obvious – to sell yourself to the university. You should impress the admission committee and convince them it is you who should be taken. You need to demonstrate what contribution you can bring to the program itself. The main goal is to be remembered and show yourself from the best side. And a motivation letter is the best tool to achieve it. But before you sit down to write it, read how to increase your chances of success and what to avoid.

What is a Letter of Motivation?

A motivation letter is also known as a personal statement or a cover letter. It is a short piece of writing where an entrant must form a positive first impression, describe why they want to study at the selected university, their achievements, ambitions, and interests. In other words, it is a presentation of your personality. Its main aim is to convince the admission committee that you are a decent candidate to study at their university.

What Should a Motivation Letter Contain?

An ideal motivation letter should answer the following key questions:

  • who you are and what are your expectations for future studying;
  • what are your skills and accomplishments: what you know, what you have achieved during your school years, and how it all relates to the choice of the university;
  • what it means for you to study at that place;
  • why you are the best candidate for the chosen university.

Note that no one will read a 20-page opus. Your writing should fit on one page. So, all information should be clear, logical, and concise.

In preparation for submitting documents for the academic program, it will be useful to learn properly the academic environment of a country where you are going to study. Explanations and examples of letters can be found on the university website:

·       Stanford University;

·       Berkeley;

·       Northern Illinois University;

·       Purdue University;

·       Central European University.

You may access a lot of other resources containing motivation letter templates using VPN for Kodi to get access to sites if needed.

University Letter Structure

The following cheat sheet will help divide your motivation letter into important sections:

  • Introduction. Write up to 5 sentences of your global goal. No need to repeat the same information you have already stated in your resume, just cover the basics.
  • Section 1. Tell about your previous relevant experience and skills. Describe your

            background (professional, academic, volunteer).

  • Section 2. Explain why this university is best for you. Tell what you expect to achieve  

            professionally and personally.

  • Section 3. Why should I be selected as a future student? Here it is necessary to state what you will contribute to the student environment and what will the university gain in your person.
  • Conclusion. You need to summarise everything written. Once again emphasise your interest in the subject, experience, and achievements to prove you are the most suitable candidate for study at the chosen university.

Secrets of a Successful Motivation Letter

Writing a cover letter causes some stress. The following hints will help you focus on the main points and achieve the best result.

·       Tell your story

We are all unique. But how to deliver this idea to the admission committee? Tell a story about yourself. People like stories. White your motivation letter in a way to take a reader on a journey from your early interests to professional skills. Tell about your life goals and how you intend to use the knowledge and experience gained during education. Members of the university commission look through hundreds of application forms. So your main task is to stand out from the crowd and be remembered.

·       Reveal your special skills

Are you a cool headman or president of the student council? Do you know how to organise parties and camping events for friends? Or maybe you help on weekends at a local nursing home?

Tell about things that characterise you as a person. Even if you do not have the highest academic performance, show your rich inner world, tell about experiences or dreams. A motivation letter is your advertising tool to drag the interest of the admission committee. It should show you as an educated person with great potential.

·       Connect with university values

Each university wants to know that future students share its moral principles. Get as much information as possible on the university’s website, as well as from other sources on the Internet – its pages on social networks, Wikipedia, ratings, etc. Be sure to write down what role you assign to yourself in the development of the university. 

·       Tell about your hobbies 

Think about how your education can be associated with your hobbies, interests, and social activities. Is there any link among them to the course you have chosen or to the skills necessary for studying at the university? If there is such a connection, then describe it in detail. Any relevant information will work for you.

·       Show how you can make a better university campus

The safety of the educational process and the friendly atmosphere are always important. So it is great if you have some ideas to integrate into campus life. It can be a new student dormitory project or food quality control system in the dining room. Try to show you can become useful.

Edit Your Motivation Letter

You may need to repeatedly edit the text at all levels, from words and sentences to entire pieces of content. To make the editing process less tiring, use the following hints:

  • Write the first draft, not particularly worrying about the correctness and the volume. This will give more scope to your creativity.
  • In a couple of days, evaluate the text with a fresh look – the problem areas will become more obvious. Delete sentences without meaning, get rid of common phrases, rewrite boring paragraphs.
  • Check for typos and grammar errors. If you do not fit into the volume, see what can be reduced without losing meaning.

Your motivation letter needs to be honest and objective. Use your chance to sell yourself as a student and prove that you will be a good choice.

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