Fortunately, in the contemporary world we live in, we can pursue have numerous education paths. However, choosing college and career path is only half the battle. The hard part is gaining admissions into the school of your dreams. Make no mistake: this is not an easy task. Most schools require not only outstanding grades, but also a thorough motivational essay explaining your motives for pursuing your chosen major at their institution.
This is the opportunity to stand out and show your character and ability to turn your education into a successful venture. In the following article, we will give you some writing tips and practical advice on how to write a superb essay for college admissions and earn that acceptance letter.
1. Do your research
One of the most common mistakes people make when writing a motivational essay is creating a template piece for every college they apply to. This is a huge no-no, and here’s why: each academic establishment has its own agenda and preferences. Some appreciate social initiatives and volunteering experience, some look for passion and determination to succeed, while others pay more attention to grades and test scores. Try to research your chosen school as much as possible and write a unique essay accordingly. Sometimes colleges provide specific questions they want to see answered in your essay, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Edit your work so the readers will feel the school’s spirit in your essay. It’s a good start to help your application stand out from the crowd.
2. Be personal
This part may surprise you: you don’t need to be an excellent writer. Sites like EduBirdie might save you some time, but they skip over the real reasons colleges want a motivational letter. Colleges want to get to know you — the person behind the application forms, documents, and numbers. They want to see what your aspirations are, what you like to do, why you decided to pursue this particular path, and what you consider your strengths to be. A generic, standard letter with no personality simply won’t. Don’t just repeat your application verbatim — embrace your life and interests and show off the real you! Try to present yourself in an informal way; don’t worry about formalities. Let the university staff get to see your unique character and way of thinking; perhaps you can include a relevant joke or an anecdote from your life that is connected with your choice of profession, etc. A strong personal approach goes a very long way here — trust us.
3. Drafts are important
First impressions matters. In the case of college applications, your first impression is in your motivational essay. Of course, you want to give a good first impression. Proper grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation are the key. This is why editing and revising your text is crucial. Play around with word choice, ensure the paragraphs are clear and concise, and pay close attention to sentence structure. Online programs like Grammarly are great for checking spelling and other possible issues in your writing. If the admission committee reads an essay with a clear sense of purpose, excellent grammar, and determination, they will see the applicant as a good fit because they understand the applicant’s goals and abilities. Don’t underestimate the power of proper styling and grammar.
4. Survey your essay
This may seem like an odd tip, but it can help with your essay quite a lot. If you’re unsure about the motivational essay you’ve written, or maybe you’re looking for ways to make it more memorable, try creating an online survey. You can put it out to the masses on social media, or even ask a few close friends to take a read and give you their thoughts. Ask their opinion on your writing: what points are the strongest, what areas did you struggle, and how could you improve. This will provide you with real feedback to identify any issues you may have overlooked.
5. Get to the point
It may seem alluring to include every seemingly-relevant detail in your motivational essay. However, this can make the whole piece come across as vague and all over the place. Pick a couple of routes to follow, assess your best qualities, and decide what areas of your life and background you wish to include. Don’t try to cram in every idea that crosses your mind; this will only clutter your essay! One good suggestion is to ask your friends and family to list your best characteristics, skills, and talents, then pick a few of most common to include in your essay.
6.Professional goals matter
While showing personality in your essay is essential, don’t forget to talk about your professional goals. Clearly state your motivation for choosing this career path and why you’re most suited for it. Explain why you are the best candidate for the program. Don’t overdo it by showing off or praising yourself too much. Instead, talk about what personality traits will help you success, and where you plan on going with the degree you earn.
Remember, balance is the key to a good motivational essay; putting less information than needed is just as bad as putting too much. Getting too personal and informal will harm your application,but so will being too bland and official. The secret is to maintain balance, and include only the points that matter. The most important advice is be yourself and be inspired.
For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on College Basics.