Motivation Statement

How To Write Good Motivation Statement For Admissions

Are you confused about how to write a good motivation statement for your postgraduate application? Are you unsure how to present your motivation statement in a way that will appeal to your desired institution’s postgraduate committee?

If you fall into the above categories, this article is for you! A motivation statement is one of the criteria required for applying to graduate studies overseas. It is a crucial part of the application package and must be regarded with utmost importance.

This article will serve as a guide in writing a compelling motivation statement for graduate studies applications. At the end of the article, you will know how to write a good motivation statement and note things to avoid. Enjoy the read!

What Is a Motivation Statement?

A motivation statement is an academic piece of writing that explains the applicant’s reason(s) for choosing the graduate program to the graduate admission committee.

It is sometimes called a “Statement of Intent,” and as the name suggests, it completely describes an applicant’s true intentions regarding the desired academic program.

The motivation statement informs the admission committee why the applicant should be considered.

What is your motivation?

A motivation statement is vital to the success of an applicant’s admission, so it must be written with the utmost care and attention. A poor motivation statement gives the admission committee the impression that the applicant is unsuited to handle the program’s rigours. Thus, an applicant’s application can be rejected if his/her intentions are unclear. Below are some of the tips to be considered in writing a good motivation statement for graduate admissions:

Address Motivation Statement To The Appropriate Committee:

The first part of the statement is the address. You must endeavour to address the motivation statement to the appropriate committee. In most institutions, the appropriate committee is usually the graduate admissions committee, and as such, the statement must be addressed to them. The applicant’s address is not usually essential and could be discarded. An illustration is given below:

The Postgraduate Admissions Committee,

School of Graduate Studies,

The University of Idaho.

Use A Compelling Introductory Paragraph:

The opening paragraph of every motivation statement is the most essential part of the statement. It should be captivating to catch the reader’s interest. You must endeavour to use a topic sentence that makes the statement appealing to the reading committee.

 It is important to note that there is no specific template for writing the introductory paragraph. A candidate can start with a personal background and relate it to the desired academic program.

See Also:

How To Balance Your Business And Academics As A Student

Be Detailed With Your Academic Qualification and Skills:

You are responsible for being as detailed as possible and having relevant qualifications and skills that could support your application. The motivation statement is the best avenue to highlight your prowess and your suitability to the admissions committee.

It is your best opportunity to tell the committee why you must be selected for the program. Go ahead; do not be afraid to highlight your best qualities. If you have additional skills like using specialized software such as SPSS, ArcGIS, MATLAB, GenSTAT, etc, go ahead and put it down.

If you also attained high academic excellence by graduating with first-class honours or having top GRE scores, endeavour to highlight that, too.

Highlight Your Research Interest:

One way to demonstrate your competence to the admission committee is to highlight your research interest. This will help you relate your interest to the research of a faculty member.

It is important to mention the names of the faculty members who conduct research in your area of special interest. This will show the committee that you have conducted adequate research into the institution’s program.

It will also help them recommend you to the faculty member for a supervisory role.

Relay your Career Goals In The Motivation Statement:

Another significant interest of the graduate admission committee is to find out how your intended study will help your career progression.

You have to relate your research interest to your career plans. Your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Motivation Statement Goals

Avoid the use of generic statements which do not convey the specificity of the goals to you. Also avoid bogus goals that are unbelievable and unrealistic, for instance, writing “I will use my skills to solve food security challenges in Nigeria” is both bogus and unrealistic.

However, you can convey it this way: “With my acquired knowledge and expertise in digital soil mapping, in the first six months upon my return to Nigeria, I shall undertake research which will develop a national soil map legend that is essential to improving food security situation in the rural community”.

Specify Why You Selected The Institution:

The last part of your motivation statement should indicate why you chose the institution for your postgraduate study. Reasons could be the ranking (write down the ranking body and year!), research facilities, specific faculty members, etc.

The committee is aware that other institutions offer similar postgraduate programs; hence, they will be interested in your reason for opting for them, amongst other things.

This article has guided you in writing a solid motivation statement for your graduate applications. If you have any comments or questions, use the comment box below. We shall respond to all. Please endeavour to share this article with your friends and colleagues if you find it helpful.

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