How to write a motivation letter?

How to write a motivation letter?

How to write a motivation letter?
Banita KhanalFri Dec 31 2021

A motivation letter is an important part of the application process for a higher degree at an international university.

A well-written motivation letter can be a decisive factor in ensuring placement in your dream university. Since the motivation letter is the most personalized document in your application, try not to take it lightly. 

Students are often confused about how the letter should look like, what it should contain, and how to convince coordinators that they are the right ones to be chosen for the programme.

Therefore, to clear their confusion, let's discuss the motivation letter in this article.

What is a Motivation Letter?

A motivation letter explains the qualities that make you a  good fit for a particular course and degree in the University you are applying at.

This letter plays an important role in being accepted or rejected in universities that have high application standards.

A motivation letter is not something generic. This letter reflects the applicant’s commitment and intentions, therefore admission committees take it very seriously. The quality of your writing in the letter provides ideas about your character, goals and ambitions.

While writing this letter, try to be as original as possible. Take it as a chance for you to prove yourself in a short document that contains some relevant and interesting insights about yourself.

How to write a Motivation Letter?

Include the following information somewhere in the motivation letter. 

  • Your professional or personal life goal
  • Your reason for choosing this programme
  • Why they should choose you for the programme

A motivation letter should complement your CV, and the two should be able to showcase you as a whole person, both from the achievement side and your personal side.

Follow these instructions while writing the motivation letter: 

  1. Before drafting the letter, create some bullet points that include the major ideas and elements that you want to include in the letter. 
  2. Start writing content around those bullet points. 
  3. Always put the objective in mind while writing 
  4. Focus on your strongest qualifications, past experiences and qualities
  5. Organize the middle paragraphs in terms of the qualifications most relevant to the program to the qualifications least relevant to the program
  6. Refer to your resume/CV for more details.
  7. Don't make it unnecessarily long, a page long article is enough. 
  8. Write about the source of inspiration for choosing that program.
  9. Follow the basic essay structure
  • Introduction
  • body and 
  • conclusion


Start writing the letter by addressing the recipient. Avoid addressing the reader using "Dear Sir or Madam”.Try to include the recipient name (if possible) to personalize your motivation letter. 

Consider the following:

  • Your name and your work
  • Your work position and location
  • Explain the general reason that made you apply for the program. 
  • Keep checking if you have included all necessary information.
  • Compare your outline with the material you got from your school for demonstrating characteristics and qualifications that they want.
  • Examine the flow of your writing. 
  • Find out if structure rearranging makes the letter more appealing, if so, change the arrangement


Start writing around each and every bullet point. Try to explain one topic in one paragraph. For another topic start another paragraph. Utilize compelling facts to prove to the reader that you are worth it. 

Consider the following:

  • your values that align with the program. 
  • Qualifications that make you a perfect candidate for the program.
  • Your hopes that can be shared  in order to increase the chances of getting accepted for the program


Highlight your objective and make a favourable impression while finishing your motivation letter. 

Consider the following:

  • Do not forget to express your gratitude to the receiver for taking out time for examining your application 
  • Invite them to contact you if they have any questions.

Proofread your letter

Proofreading will make your motivation letter more professional. 

Consider the following: 

  • Read the letter multiple times and find out if that flows logically.
  • Check the grammar and spelling and if you find mistakes correct them.  
  • Cut down the sentence that feels odd to read. 
  • Do not repeat things previously explained. 
  • If you have anyone trustworthy, let them read and edit it. 


Motivation Letter: Structure Sample 


<Professor’s Name>, PhD

Department of Political Science,

University Name>,

Cambridge, MA, United States


Dear Professor <Name>

I am writing to express my interest in the doctoral program in the Department of Political Science at Harvard University. I have always considered politics to be one of the most influencing factors in the development of the country. Since <country> has been facing political instability for years, I have made it my goal to become a political advisor to the Prime Minister of <country>. 

I have always been fascinated by the level of confidence of top politicians worldwide. I participated in many leadership programs related to politics while doing my bachelors.  I pursued a Master's degree in Political science which I completed on <date>.

I believe that there is no better place than your University for continuing my academic career as I consider it as an opportunity to meet students from all over the world and learn about their culture and values. Subjects like Democracy and citizenship, Public policy analysis and management of religious diversity would give me more insight into how world politics get influenced by other factors aside from the citizens and the politicians. From the knowledge I gained from my previous studies, I am confident that this PhD program at your University will bring me a step closer to becoming an advisor to the Prime Minister of <country>. I have always been a hard-working and passionate student. I never left a due assignment. I gained my political interest from the volunteer work I did for a political party <name of party> of <country>. While I was working with them, I attended meetings, developed political campaigns with slogans and texts.  

Doing a PhD in Harvard University is an opportunity, I would like to take to dedicate myself to politics and I hope that during my stay in the USA, I will be able to contribute to the local community as best as I can. I am confident that my previous experience combined with my studies in Harvard University, will prove to make me an asset not only to my country but also to the whole world. 

I hope my application will get due consideration at your hands.

Yours Sincerely,

<Applicant’s Name>


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