If you are like me, you have probably struggled with writing your college application (or are facing those difficulties now). It can be quite difficult to pinpoint what the review board is looking for exactly in their candidates, meaning that you will often be left confused as to what to write.
Luckily, some rules are universal and apply for motivational letters across the board (or the US, as you see fit). What are some of the must-know rules and advice you should apply to your motivational essay in order to get accepted into the school of your choosing?
Focus your idea
Potential students are often unfocused and their essays are all over the place for no reason whatsoever. For example, if you are applying for a linguistics course, focus your motivational essay on your writing successes so far. Don’t stray far from the initial idea since you will only confuse the reader with unnecessary details.
Choose the trait or skill that makes you unique enough for them to consider accepting you as a student. Of course, the essential personal motivation and background information should also find its place, albeit in a smaller form.
Don’t try to impress
The best way to impress a professor is by working hard once you are actually accepted. There are so many candidates that the review board has to go through, and all of them claim to be “the best there is”. Being yourself is the best thing you can do when writing your motivational essay.
Don’t try to oversell yourself as the next big thing and simply state your intentions for the future without going too far. Talk about your motivation to study at that particular college and what made it stand out from the rest. Keep your writing grounded and to the point, without including any abstract ideas.
Outline your essay
It’s easy to lose track of where you are once the motivation letter writing starts. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to outline your writing before you start putting words on paper. Simply divide your sheet into three separate parts, namely the introduction, body and the conclusion of the motivational essay.
Answer the necessary questions
Every university will have its own set of rules and requirements when it comes to motivational essays. Make sure that your piece answers every requirement without question. Submitting an incomplete essay may disqualify you before you even get a chance to talk to the college staff about your wishes to study there.
These questions should be answered directly in a separate paragraph, unburdened by the personal motivation part of your essay. Mark the section with questions and answers clearly so that the review board has an easier time finding it. Being forthcoming in such a way can boost your chances of being accepted since it shows a level of maturity and cares that most applicants simply overlook.
Finish it on time
The worst thing you can do is start writing your motivational essay days before the submission period ends. This will only cause panic and confusion that won’t help you write a good piece. Take your time and start writing and editing your essay well ahead of the submission deadline. You will likely want to revisit, reread and fix some of the statements and grammar mistakes you have initially made.
A good motivational essay is only as good as the honesty and care put into writing it. You don’t have to be an expert on the major you want to study as long as you are truthful about your intentions and the reasons behind your wishes. No one has ever written a perfect motivational essay and neither should you – the real journey begins once you are successfully accepted into the college of your choosing.