Personal Statement is an essay on 1-1.5 pages. It should explain the choice of University and academic program, talk about their academic interests, experience, achievements and goals.
There are two formats of a motivation letter:
Unstructured essay. The candidate is given the opportunity to present himself in a free form. Typically, a standard structure is used: introduction, conclusion, and the main part is devoted to the argumentation of the choice of the program and the description of relevant skills and career goals.
An essay in answer to the question. The candidate is required to write several short essays, each of which is the answer to the question. Most often, this version of the essay is required for admission to MBA or undergraduate programs in the United States.
Why is cover letter important?
Without a motivation letter for the Admissions Committee, you just present the facts and figures: the average score, the result of the language test, dates of study, citizenship, etc. Since most foreign universities accept without exams, a motivation letter is an opportunity to learn about your goals, why you chose this particular University or program.
The purpose of any motivation letter is to convince the members of the Admission Committee of a foreign University that you are the candidate who should be preferred. Therefore, it is important to show the following:
- Why you are a good fit for the University and the program.
- You have a true interest in the intended field of study.
- You know why you need it, i.e. you have a career goal.
- If there are controversial points in your biography, then there is a reasonable explanation.
- How to write.
- Ways of presentation.
There are two general approaches to writing:
- Chronological approach. A consistent account of events from the past to the present. At the same time, there is a possibility that the motivation letter will turn into a monotonous autobiography “I was born, studied, married”.
- Thematic approach. Focus on 1-2 key topics that may or may not be presented sequentially. The advantage of the thematic approach is that it allows combining two time-separated events related in meaning.
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Structure of motivation letter
Its purpose is to attract the reader’s attention and interest. The introduction may also indicate the direction of further narration.
- Main part
Here you describe what you got as a result of brainstorming. The order doesn’t matter. The main thing is that one logically follows from the other.
Topics should be synthesized rather than summarizing facts and experience. There is no need to recapitulate paragraph by paragraph or remind the reader once again of what was discussed earlier. Instead, it is better to touch on key topics once again, but not just to retell them in other words, but to present them from a different angle.
If you use a thematic approach, you can combine two related topics, but separated by time. In this case, you do not have to “dilute” the time gap with unnecessary details. Each paragraph is a mini-story, so at the end of each paragraph is necessary semantic denouement. Try to formulate it in such a way that it follows logically from the content of the paragraph.
After the letter is finished remember that you will not be able to change the application already sent to the University, so we advise you to make all the changes and carefully check
Do not include false information about your achievements in your motivation letter. All information is checked, taking into account the recommendations of third parties and statements about academic performance. If you are invited to an interview, expect that questions will be asked including on the basis of a motivation letter. Therefore, be sure to save the final text and reread it before meeting with a representative of the University.