How to Write a Successful Motivation Letter

This guide contains not only a list of recommendations and definitions, but it is aimed to provide a source of helpful tips and interesting approaches to writing this type of document.

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When the time comes to write a motivation letter, some students may face such challenges as a lack of background knowledge or writer’s block. A motivation letter, also known as a statement of purpose or a cover letter, is a document that describes personal and professional skills, competencies, and intentions in regard to choosing and seeking acceptance to an academic program, a job position, or any important endeavor. It is an important part of an application process when students must prove that they are the best candidates for a chosen position.

Key Elements in Writing a Motivation Letter

Motivation letters play an important role in shaping a reviewer’s attitude toward an applicant. The reviewer would like to see the answer in the paper why the applicant deserves a chance to participate in a program. The letter format, tone, and style will also be part of this consideration. Thus, this piece of writing can mean the difference between admission and rejection. In other words, you want to capture attention while avoiding the risk of conveying the wrong impression.

The major elements in writing a motivation letter include:

  • a properly organized structure with clear topic sentences and examples;
  • personal information that distinguishes a writer from other applicants;
  • interesting examples from the personal and professional life of the writer.

As soon as you have determined the content of your letter, your next task is to start working on the text. The following steps offer a helpful approach.

  • Read several motivational letters and get an idea of the future project.
  • Review the initial instructions and decide on a style.
  • Underline the main topic to be disclosed in the writing.
  • Develop an outline and follow it.
  • Edit and proofread the letter in order to ensure proper grammar, punctuation, and style.

Common Mistakes in Motivation Letters

Although writing a motivation letter does not require serious academic research and analysis, a variety of challenges may arise in the composition process. Students must be prepared and choose an approach that facilitates writing. Several important rules that can help you avoid making common mistakes are listed below.

Introduce unique information. Admission officials might have already read your CV and application form. The nature of this task is not to repeat the facts but bring in a new position.

Keep in mind the goals of a course or a program. Remember that the aim of a motivation letter is to prove your suitability and demonstrate your understanding of the opportunity, not simply to provide a list of personal qualities.

Focus on one or two points. Although the possibilities for topics to write about may be seemingly unlimited, keep in mind that the goal is to avoid a jumble of ideas.

Develop a personal piece of writing. Motivation letters are unique due to the inclusion of personal facts and experiences, where it is appropriate for the author to share a moment with the reader.

Stay professional and pay attention to the style. Humor can be a dangerous tool in the hands of even the most qualified writers, and it is necessary not to confuse a positive tone and having fun with black humor and mockery.

Motivation Letter Outline

Like any other piece of academic writing, the structure of a motivation letter should include an introduction, main body, and conclusion. The writer should pay attention to properly organized connections between words, sentences, and paragraphs. Therefore, every sentence should have its place in the motivation letter. Each section is described in more detail below.

  1. Introduction
    Three to five sentences are usually enough in this part of the work. Here, you should:
  • identify the person or organization that is the potential reader of the letter;
  • supply concise information about yourself, including your name, current degree, position, and facility;
  • highlight your personal intentions and goals;
  • develop a strong thesis statement.
  1. Main Body
    Three paragraphs provide sufficient space for you to tell about: your academic background and readiness to join a new program/course/job position; your professional qualities and intentions to strengthen your skills and knowledge; your personal values, activities, and unique experiences that can distinguish you from the bulk of other applicants.
  2. Conclusion
    In composing your motivation letter final section, you will develop one paragraph with three to five sentences containing concluding remarks and formulating final impressions about yourself for the benefit of the reader, including:
  • an overall assessment of the work done;
  • explanations of why this letter is worth remembering;
  • a closing statement that makes a favorable impression on the reader.


In general, motivation letters help writers to disclose their unique skills and identify their strengths. It is not enough to create a paper and enumerate accomplishments; in addition, recounting your personal experiences will help you stand out as the most suitable applicant on the list. It is important to prove that you have specific qualities and are the right fit for a program or an activity.

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