This article contains the steps and examples on how to write a motivation letter for University admission.
On various occasions, I have seen people struggle with this aspect of the admission process. Sometimes, it can be very daunting to even pen down your thoughts especially when there is no clear understanding of what a motivation letter entails.
Have you ever been asked to write a motivation letter and at the end of the day all you do is staring at a blank page? Well, it is normal to experience such, especially when you are yet to get the striking difference between a motivation letter, cover letter, personal statement and a statement of purpose.
For better understanding, these words are mostly used interchangeably, thereby causing a lot of confusion in the minds of applicants.
To clear these confusions, a motivation letter is a letter you write to an Institution, stating in clear terms what motivated you to apply for admission in the Institution and personal experiences behind your decision to apply.
In other words, a motivation letter is a perfect opportunity for you to explain why you’re a good fit for the admission into a particular University. It is not just an ordinary letter you write in a hurry. It reflects your level of commitment and intentions and as such, determines whether or not you will be admitted into the University.
A cover letter may be used interchangeably as a motivation letter but in the real sense, they are two different words with different purposes. While a cover letter is a letter you write to an employer for a job application, the motivation letter as stated above is specifically written to higher Institutions when applying for admission and can also be referred to as a statement of purpose.
On the other hand, personal statements may sometimes be used in place of motivation letters. While it is not a crime, bear in mind that a personal statement is quite different in terms of length and intentions
Ideally, personal statements are more personal and refer to the past, while motivation letters are focused on future plans. Thus, in motivation letters you refer to past achievements as proof of your commitment towards your future goals.
Now that you know the difference between each of these letters, let’s quickly dive into the steps in writing a motivation letter.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU START WRITING A MOTIVATION LETTER
1. Prepare Your Information
Motivation letters may look simple to write yet so dicey. It is an important letter that can bring your dreams to reality and as such, is not one to be written in a hurry. Therefore, before you start writing, make sure you have your ideas properly arranged and summarized. Find out more about the University you’re applying to. Their website is just a perfect place to get such information in one click.
This information will certainly come in handy while writing and it will show the admission committee how much research you have carried out about the school. Only a serious minded candidate can go the extra mile and that’s a good first impression to create.
2. Organization and structure
The second step to consider is the organization and structure of the letter.
A standard motivational letter is not lengthy. It is usually one page writing where you state a brief introduction of yourself; share your experience via storytelling and indicating your interest as to why you need to be given the admission.
In terms of the structure, there are basically two ways to structure your motivational letter:
You can either choose the 3-paragraph structure which comprises of an introduction, body and conclusion, or the 5-paragraph structure where the only difference lies in the splitting of the body into 3 separate paragraphs.
Both are good options. However, the first option is good when you want to use storytelling approach in order not to break the flow.
For the latter option, it is used when you want to be more factual as well as sharing each unique experience and achievement in separate paragraphs. In all of these, remember the target is one page which shouldn’t exceed 1000 words maximum and 600 words minimum.
PROCEED WITH THE WRITING PROCESS OF THE MOTIVATION LETTER
After you must have put your facts together, you proceed to write.
1. For your introduction:
Before the formal salutation of “Dear Sir/Madam or “Dear Mr. Norbert” as the case maybe, make sure the letter has both the address of the writer and recipient and has a simple heading. To avoid complication, stick with “Letter of Motivation”.
The introductory part is strictly where you give a personal pitch and introduction. It’s where you let them know who you are, what you do and why you are applying.
2. For Your Body:
This is where you use both past and present experience to prove that you’re a perfect candidate for the admission. Avoid appearing desperate and beggarly. Exude some confidence and resist the urge to lie.
3. For your conclusion:
Avoid much talk here. To keep it simple, you can do a quick summary of your main points just to remind them why you deserve the admission, after which you stick to the almost common strategy of being thankful and making a call to action.
AN EXAMPLE OF A MOTIVATION LETTER
I am writing to express my interest Master’s program at the EYZ University. As a Bachelor graduate in Applied arts coming from the respected ABC university, my latest goal is to become a fellow colleague researching the exciting area of Cinematography while further gaining experience at GT digital concepts.
During my Bachelor degree at ABC, I succeeded in thoroughly preparing for my chosen Masters study while developing excellent understanding my advice subjects. Furthermore, I managed to apply a great extent of theory to practice at my working position as content writer. In combination with my creative, analytical and multitasking skills, each of my given tasks and projects seemed more and more interesting, which further lit my interest in Cinematography.
“I am grateful for the given opportunity and time to review my motivation letter. I will look forward to your reply and hope for a positive reaction. Kindly inform me about a potential interview if there is a further need for information required.”
Writing a motivation letter for admission at university can be somewhat tricky and challenging and with this article, I’m sure the process has been made easy.
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Chioma Oparah is a very talented and passionate freelance writer that has dedicated her skill in helping young minds to self-discovery. She has 4 years of experience in the field of content writing.