How to write essays and motivational letters: tips and tricks

The education systems have significant differences between the west and the east. Therefore, east people planning to enter foreign universities, participate in volunteer or educational projects, go on exchange programs, get a scholarship or grant or find a job in a global company may face tasks that Western applicants are much more familiar with. This of course reduces the chances of getting the desired result. The main tasks are usually writing essays and motivational letters. Such texts are a familiar form of teaching in Western schools but are gradually coming into circulation in all universities.

This is why we want to introduce you to a charity education project “How to write essays and motivational letters: tips and tricks”. The lecturers were students from different worldwide universities. We discussed how to write an essay or motivation letter to win the jury. The first and simplest advice is to find an essay writing service, you will trust during the whole studying. It must be a professional paper writer, who has already experience in application essays and so on. Fortunately, you can easily find such person on WritingAPaper. However, if you still think about writing essays on your own, here are some of the tips we offer you to note.

It takes 10 seconds to read your essay for the first time

It is this thought that should be kept in mind in all writing. After all, it is from this that the structure of the essay and all the other parameters it has to meet follows. In those 10 seconds, the reader should see something that will make them want to come back and take a better look at you. After all, sometimes there are thousands of applications for an opportunity and you need to stand out from them to get noticed. The first question you should ask before writing is what is in my story to intrigue the person, to encourage them to read on. It is this information that should be placed at the beginning of the text.

Structure of an essay – argument, discussion, conclusion

Unlike school works, the most interesting and elegant thing in an essay and motivational writing should be at the beginning. The main argument should be given out at once to interest the reader. The reader should have questions that the essay will help answer – “how does the applicant want to do this?”, “How did he achieve this?”, “Why does he think so?”. This will motivate you to go back to your text to find out more. Often when writing an essay, we only get to the most interesting part at the end and realize what we wanted to write about. Then you should take that thought and start a new essay with it. Writing a few preparatory texts will improve the result. The essay should not be a list of your virtues, it is a development in the text of the argument that was given at the beginning.

Uniqueness, clarity, comprehensibility, originality, and intrigue

These are the criteria for a good text for an essay or motivational letter. Avoid clichés and hackneyed turns of phrase – they don’t make you stand out and take up unnecessary space. Avoid descriptions. Instead of describing yourself as stress-resistant, give an example of how you handle a stressful situation. Once you’ve finished your essay, be sure to set it aside for at least a few days, and come back later with an edit. Let other people read your essay to question it. If the length of the essay or motivation letter is not specified, do not make the text longer than one A4 page (12 font with 1.5 spacing or 14 font with 1 spacing). Pay attention to the way the task is set. If the terms and conditions specify the font, the number of words, and the formatting, the style should be formal and serious. If you are asked to disregard the formalities, you can afford more jargon or slang. However, an essay is not a biography, if it is not spelled out separately, avoid circularity.

You can write about anything, the important thing is how

Suggested topics for motivational letters can vary widely. Standard ones – “who is the leader”, value-based – “the biggest tragedy of your life”, competency-oriented – “how I work in a team”, creative – “give 10 unlikely facts about yourself”, complex – “how I became what I am” (these can be very long, e.g. 2000 words, and are super difficult to keep the reader’s attention), thematic – “why I chose this particular direction”. A good idea is to show your attitude to the issue, and how it affects you as a person. Such people are passionate about an idea, inspire others, and can cause social change, so are desirable in all projects. It is not a bad idea to write about your own negative experiences and mistakes. You should demonstrate how you overcame this obstacle, what you learned from the experience, and how it made you the person you are today.

Preparatory work is important

Before you write an essay or motivation letter, you need to do your “homework” – do some research on the opportunities you want to apply for. This will also require asking yourself some questions – “what do I want to get?”, “what are my limitations?” and “who do those who will read my work want to see?” The more you know about the organization you are applying to, the better you will be able to answer these questions. Think also about what the purpose of your involvement is, what your requirements are for the chosen opportunity, what the program’s requirements are for applicants, and why they should choose you. If you have started preparing in advance, you can sometimes even tailor your own experience to specific needs – volunteer experience or language certificates. The main thing is to know exactly who they are looking for in this program. Prioritize the opportunities you are considering for yourself – a dream program you have little chance of getting into, but need to try; a realistic and good program; a program you are sure to get into. To do this, assess the strengths/weaknesses of the chosen program, its opportunities, and threats. Make plans with deadlines so that you don’t miss them.

Need more than just an essay or letter

An essay and letter of motivation is a basic but only part of the application package you submit for any opportunity. The submission package must be unique, coherent, and substantiated. It includes curriculum vitae (passport, transcripts with grades, etc.), an essay (or letter, video essay, CV, or research), and related documents – test scores and references. Write a unique essay for each program. The likelihood that one essay you send out to 8 programs will not be liked by any jury is greater than the likelihood that none of the 8 essays you’ve written will be liked. Plus, it will allow you to hone your skills, try different styles and adapt your essay to the needs of specific programs. You don’t need to send in your publications on the structure of plant cells if you’re looking for a position as a marketer or school diplomas if you’ve already graduated from university. The appearance of all the papers in your packet must be justified. However, it will always be appropriate to talk about the development of Skills software – leaders and communicators are needed in all fields. Gather references from previous jobs or internships in advance. If you can write several essays, each of them should be coherent and self-contained, because they can be read by different people. But as a whole, they should form an overall picture of you as a person. In the essay, you can explain features of your history that are apparent from other documents – why you have had a gap in your studies, changed countries, or retaken tests.

Last word

Not all opportunities require an essay or motivation letter specifically. Sometimes they are videos or special tasks, but their purpose is the same – to create an impression of the candidates, so the basic principles of preparation are the same. Also, we advise you to ask for feedback from the jury on your work if you do not get into the desired program the first time. Such comments are very valuable for your work on the text. And we warn against using unreliable services because it’s better to contact the best writing services which are time-proved and have many satisfied customers. Writing an essay is a great opportunity not only to get the desired place of study or work but also to understand yourself and your desires.


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