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Pretty good «hook» in the introduction part of the letter

A rhetorical question helps to create an illusion of an actual conversation, and in turn bridges the gap between the author and the admission committee, helping them to know the person behind the letter a bit better

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  • Lack of spell checking and text editing. Before sending the letter, ask a teacher or another competent person to check your essay to avoid annoying typos and errors. Even the most interesting motivation letter might be put aside if members of the committee find mistakes in it.
  • Writing an essay a few days before sending it. It is advisable to devote enough time to writing a motivation letter. Try to write several letters, then compare them and choose the best.
  • Demonstration of other people’s achievements. Never appropriate qualities and merits that are not really yours. Be yourself, disclose in your letter only your positive aspects, hobbies, hopes for the future, because in a personal interview, members of the commission may ask you about a fictional hobby or achievement, and then you will have to improvise.
  • Lackluster representation of the topic. When writing a motivation letter, it is advisable to adhere to a certain structure of the text, i.e., to gradually explore each paragraph. Otherwise, instead of an ordered essay, you will get a messy gibberish, which will definitely not interest the admissions committee.

Analysis of motivation letters

We have collected several interesting excerpts from the motivation letters of real students in two versions: the original and edited by UniPage specialists.

Here we can see a story of a third-generation builder. In the original excerpt we can sense the idea of craft inheritance, but it is not explicitly expressed with words. After editing the motivation of the student goes beyond the desire to preserve the family craft, and transforms into the idea of leaving the legacy in the form of a building, that will keep the memories of its creators. This might seem a little too sublime, but it shows the author’s personal stake in the profession, that now has a subtle sheen of valor and nobility.

An excerpt from the letter of an experienced journalist, who already works, but strives for more. The body of the letter was fine but the introduction part felt incredibly dry. For example the essay competition «hook» could have been way more fun, it certainly has potential, but as is, the whole introduction is unacceptable for a journalism program applicant. In editing we fixed some of the stylistic issues and made it more sophisticated. There’s not much factual information, but it sets the benchmark for the applicant’s literary talents. The core theme is of uncertainty about the future and gradual realization – the calling was always close.

A very original and lively letter. The irony of the situation is that the author (a girl) has nothing interesting to say, unlike her peers that often come up with «special» reasons and situations. This is the case when a lack of an interesting story turns out to be a really engaging one. In this context a simple desire to learn and realize your potential sounds sincere and immediately makes the reader empathise with the author. After editing this thought reached a conclusion: no matter how mundane your reason is, it is a good one, since a lot of people don’t have any reason at all.

In version 1, you can write the title of literally any book and the meaning of the paragraph won’t change. It is very inconsequential and says nothing about the author’s personality. Variant 2 has that personal touch, but has its own issues. For context: the author is applying to a certain prestigious university and wants to study politics and international relations. Being diplomatic is crucial. However not only the author gives a pretty binary representation of Singapore’s first prime minister, but also uses offensive language. For example saying «jealous neighbors» might be considered an insult towards SEA countries. In the last sentence, without mentioning any particular politician, the author manages to insult the whole professional group, which might lead the admission committee to question the applicant’s diplomacy skills. In the editing we softened the edges while trying to preserve the authors position, taking other perspectives into account. It is important to understand that we cannot predict BDSM description the personalities of the people responsible for the admission of applicants, we don’t know whether they sympathize with this politician or not. In general this advice is applicable to the majority of programs, you should remain sincere, speak your mind, but not paint the world as black or white.