Useful Tips on How to Write a Motivation Letter

How to Write a Motivation Letter to Get a Scholarship

In the modern world, motivation letters are keys that can open many doors for you. A well-written and creative piece can persuade an employer, an HR manager, or a project leader that you are the suitable candidate for the position. If you decide to apply for a scholarship program, you should include such a letter in the standard set of documents. In such a manner, to have your application approved, you should know how to write a motivation letter and learn tips from the best experts who represent a reliable service

What Is a Motivation Letter?

In most basic terms, a motivation letter is a cover letter to be included in the scholarship or job application package. It pursues two main goals:

  • To persuade the reader why you are the best candidate;
  • To explain your intentions to enter a university or join a .

This short piece of writing is of primary importance. Usually, admission boards shorten the list of applicants by picking over applications with motivation letters only. What about the rest of them? Nothing! The board will simply pass on other candidates. If you need to make it to the shortlist, develop an amazing and attention-grabbing personal statement and submit it with the application form.

If you apply for a graduate-level scholarship, a motivation letter is a must. Similar specialty programs for Bachelors require the student to submit such a paper, as well. If you do not know whether to include a motivation letter in the scholarship application or not, the answer is always the same, “Yes, you should!” It is a unique chance to impress the review committee and win a few extra points.  

This article discusses how to write a motivation letter to obtain a scholarship at the college or university of your dream. But let’s start from the beginning!

Step 1. Select a Format

A motivation letter follows a standard three-part structure, just like an essay. You should write a few introductory lines in the first paragraph, describe the purpose in the second one, and summarize the whole matter in the last paragraph. Alternatively, you can compose in a flow. This monotonous writing can do you a disservice. Such a letter might be boring and confusing for the reader.

A Letter of Motivation of Five-Seven Paragraphs:

You can organize your letter of purpose into five to seven paragraphs. This format is the most effective. It allows presenting your thoughts in a logical and understandable manner. Again, you need one paragraph for the introduction and one paragraph for the conclusion. The body should address each application goal in a separate paragraph. Take into account the limit. You should fit all your thoughts into five paragraphs maximum. 

Step 2. Brainstorm 

You have to understand clearly WHO the admission board is looking for. Next, you should conduct an objective self-evaluation to see whether you match the image of a perfect candidate or not. A brainstorming session might be helpful. You can even invite a friend or a person, whom you trust and who knows about your skills, personal traits, academic achievements, and professional successes. For the session, you can use the following questions:

  • What course do you want to choose?
  • How could the chosen course help you in the implementation of your long-term plans?
  • Why do you need a scholarship?
  • What makes you a unique candidate?
  • What have you achieved so far?
  • What contribution have you made so far? 
  • What are you going to do if your scholarship application is approved? 
  • How could a scholarship help you achieve your goals?
  • How could a scholarship help you contribute to society?

Step 3: The First Is not the Best: Work with Drafts

If you have minimal writing experience, consider that the rough draft you write first is never to be submitted. It is not a strict rule but a self-evident principle. Giving a paper a second look may help you understand how it should be changed. If you have a chance to improve your letter, just use it. It might be beneficial to take a break, a week or two, before you get back to the draft. This short period allows you to renew your strength and return to writing your motivation letter with renewed vigor. Trust your feelings and instincts. Eventually, motivation letter writing is all about art and inspiration. It is quite possible that you may write three or more drafts before you come up with a worthy piece. Again, the first draft is not to be submitted. That is just the way it is. Instead, it should be improved. 

Step 4: Strike the Balance

Another common mistake is trying to squeeze all your life into such a short essay. You should clearly understand that it is not complicated but just impossible. Your life is much bigger than one page. To avoid stress and confusion, try to determine the most important milestones in your biography. They could help the admission board understand who you are and what you can do. Your letter should be logical and clear. Be sincere and personal but do not go intimate. Your letter should demonstrate your personality, skills, ambitions, and creativity, as well as the ability to think outside the box, be creative, and analyze. Think about one life-changing event and develop the story. Striking the balance is not easy. Spend enough time thinking about the paper plan.

Step 5. Write a Conclusion

The last paragraph of your motivation letter should wrap up the whole story. In the conclusion, you should emphasize the major issues and sum up your professional goals and plans. Here, it would be appropriate to draw a bright image of your future. Stress again why you need the scholarship, for which you apply. You can tell them something about your dream job. You should keep in mind that this piece of writing can open many educational opportunities for you. 

Step 6: Read, Proofread, Improve; Repeat

At the final stage, you need to polish your letter of motivation. Also, you can ask a few friends, peers, or colleagues to take a look at the paper. Their feedback may help improve the paper holistically. The more people you engage, the more chances you have to eliminate all mistakes. You can and should use automatic spellcheckers (about a few) but you should know that they cannot catch every mistake. Also, they will not give you a human perspective. After all, you are writing for people, not machines. Ask the readers to share their general impression of your letter. Ask whether they believed you or not, whether the topic and message were clear or not, and whether they saw any clichés or even bias. Ask them about the weakest aspect of the paper. 

Do not be afraid of negative feedback. It can be the most useful. In such a manner, you can detect all weak links and improve them. Finally, ask them whether the letter sounds familiar or not. If the answer is ‘Yes,’ we have some bad news. It means that you failed to demonstrate your personality. No panic! Nothing is lost! You can still improve the letter and make it perfect. 

We hope that after reading this article, you understand how to write a motivation letter. Now, you can manage! Good luck!

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