It is well-known that European and American universities focus special attention on the essay. Admission counsellors consider an essay as a key part of the application documentation concerning graduate programs in the largest universities. All other documents of your application including the results of the GRE and a recommendation letter are examined only as an additional part to the essay.
A grad application letter allows you to express your personality and present yourself in a favourable way by adding information from the application form. By requesting an application essay, the admission board gives you the opportunity to express yourself through a small text, telling about yourself and your achievements. Thus your application letter becomes obvious for everyone that you really want to participate in this program and you are a perfect candidate for this position. Here are some guidelines to help you write this essential document correctly.
Remember to do your homework
Before writing an application essay, it is advisable to study the information about the university you are going to join and the program itself. Usually, a detailed requirement list for the program and personal qualities of a candidate is published on the university website. Even a brief knowledge on the demands of the university, its main projects and mission will help you understand what is better to mention in your essay.
Find the right tone
People tend to think all papers concerning the application should be written in an academic manner and follow strict rules. Surprisingly some institutions encourage students to present themselves in an unusual style. Learn what kind of tone is required at the university you would like to get to be enrolled but in any case, try not to write an essay in too negative or informal style.
Remember, you are entering a high-level school program it is obvious that the admission committee expects you to sound like a young academic. Avoid telling jokes and anecdotes. Be serious and do not change the topic.
Plan your text
There is no standard form of an application essay. It can be limited to 500 – 1000 words. The generally accepted structure: introduction, main part, conclusion. But it would be better to clarify the requirements of a particular institution for an application essay in the admissions board.
To create a positive first impression, sometimes little things such as the length of your letter, its structure, and even font size are essential.
Carefully read the text several times
Your graduate essay should be perfect not only in terms of content but also in terms of grammar, typography, spelling and style. Re-read the text on your own several times, ask your friends, family and supervisors to read it. If you read it many times it is more likely you can lose the freshness of vision, it can be postponed for a few days and then you’d better re-read it before sending it.
How to start your application letter
You should answer these questions in your grad school application essay:
- What is your background experience?
- Why should the university choose you? show what makes you a unique or special candidate. Feel free to list your achievements.
- What obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them? These can be stories from childhood, life. But do not be pathetic.
- Describe what motivates and inspires you? Explain why did you choose this program?
- Why do you want to study at this university?
You should stick to these suggestions to write a great application essay
- Distinguish your application letter among others. In order to do this, think carefully about the introduction, it should “caught” the eye from the first lines. No just ‘Hello, my name is. ..’
- Specify your personal achievements in the non-academic sphere (music, sport). Show that you are not obsessed with studies, but you are a versatile person.
- Explain how your experience can be useful for the university.
Professionalism and self-confidence
Your professionalism should be demonstrated in the style of your essay. Keep in your mind you are not an undergraduate student. Describe yourself with maximum objectivity stating facts about your attainments.
All these tips may be useful for you when you are writing a letter, but your knowledge and a non-trivial approach should be the real key to success. If a candidate is really interested in enrolling in a certain master’s program, he or she simply cannot fail to write a good application letter. Believe in yourself and do not be afraid of anything. If you fail for the first time, you can always try again.