Getting admission to graduate school is extremely competitive. For this reason, writing an essay, letter of intent, motivation letter or personal statement, is the hardest part of the application procedure. Requirements differ extensively, with a number of programs requesting only one or two paragraphs regarding why you want on pursue graduate study. Others require five or six part essay in which you are anticipated to write regarding your motivation for graduate study, your strengths and weaknesses and your professional/educational achievements.
• Start before time to allow for more than a few drafts
• Be creative while writing in academic tone
• Keep the length of letter one to two pages
• Articulate your motivation and ability to do well, and why you and this program are an excellent match
• Use first person (“I”) and active voice
• Carefully review the instructions and arrange an outline
• Show your ability to think and gather ideas clearly
Purpose and Audience
Your purpose should be a clear, concise statement showing that you have a clear picture of what you want to do and eagerness for the field of study you have selected. Your essay letter of intent should mirror your writing abilities; it should disclose the simplicity, the focus, and the intensity of your understanding about your selected field of study.
Prior to writing anything, think what a reader might be seeking; the general directions provided by school may help n this regard. Moreover, you should research the school, department and faculty to which you are submitting your application. Your audience for this essay will contain faculty and staff members of the department to which you are applying, and possibly, members of the university’s graduate school. These readers usually have different levels of knowledge in your field. Therefore, keep your readers in mind when explaining any technical work or research you have done.
Admissions committees might be trying to assess numerous things from your statement, including the following:
• Educational background
• Motivation to a field of study
• Expectations regarding the program and career opportunities
• Short-term and long-term goals
• Reasons for deciding to follow graduate education in a exacting field and at a particular institution
• Maturity and intelligence
• Personal individuality – How you would add to the multiculturalism
• Writing aptitude
• Main areas of interest
• Research and work experience
Content and Format
An essay, personal statement, motivation letter or letter of intent is actually a statement of your thoughts and goals. Typically it includes a certain quantity of personal history, but, if institution did not especially ask for autobiographical information, you do not need to provide any.
Even it is a “personal statement,” the possibilities are almost limitless. There is no set method to follow, and, if you do write an autobiographical piece, it does not have to be arranged chronologically. The following areas are normally addressed in a graduate school essay, but pay concentration to the specific content requested by your school.
Background and Abilities
• Show a relationship between your background and the degree program you wish to enter.
• Show a rational transition from your experience at school/work to graduate school. How has that knowledge cultivated your attention in this degree program?
• Feature your related experience. Balance content among academic and work-related experience.
• Draw attention to your transferable skills, abilities and character qualities, focusing on those that correlate with achievement n graduate school.
Goals and Motivation
• Talk about your motivation for pursuing graduate education. Show how the degree program can assist you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
• Speak about your qualifications, experiences and skills to your goals and to your school’s resources.
• Make sure that your goals are a rational extension of your qualifications, experiences and abilities.
• Spell out your short/long-term goals, including proposed areas of research and professional interests.
• Answer the question, “Why this school/program and why now?”In each case, ensure that you:
• Communicate that you are acquainted with what you desire to do and why. Sound wholehearted regarding it.
• Be succinct; Prefer what’s most important rather than trying to mention everything.
• Don’t hike on or be self-pitying in your presentation. Keep away from redundancies.
• Avoid large words without cause, hackneyed expressions and attractiveness.
Coping with Problematic Areas of Your Academic Record
If there is information in your application that might adversely effect you, for example poor grades or little admission test scores, it is better not to include this information in your essay except you are asked to do so. Keep your essay positive.
On the other hand, you might be asked to explain negative aspects in your application and failing to do so may eliminate you from consideration. The most excellent way to do this is on a separate sheet entitled “Addendum,” which you fasten to the application, or in a cover letter that you enclose.
In either form, your clarification of these shortcomings must be short and straight forward – avoid long and boring excuses. Besides your own explanation, it is also good to ask one or more of your recommenders to justify any negative issue in their recommendation letter. Request them to do this only if they are previously familiar with your trouble and could talk regarding it from a positive perspective.
Process of writing a Motivation Letter
There are two major approaches to write a motivation letter:
• You can summarize the points you desire to cover and then expand on them
• You can do brainstorming, put your ideas down on paper, going over them, get rid of certain sentences, and moving others around until you attain a reasonable sequence. Making an outline will most likely lead to an ordered essay, whereas writing suddenly may yield a more moved piece of writing. Use the approach you feel most at ease with.
Either approach you use, you will want somebody to review your essay. Your counselor and those who write your letters of recommendation may be very obliging to you in this regard. If they are already working in the same field, they will be able to tell you what things to pursue and what things to keep short.
Do not shy to write even if you have different opinion. Diversity in opinions are important, as your essay will almost certainly be read by more than one individual. Nevertheless, in the end, only you can make a decision on the best way of presenting yourself.