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How to Write a Successful Motivation Letter (Complete Guide + Samples)

It is common practice to include a motivation letter when submitting an application for a scholarship, admission to a college or university, or a position volunteering. In this article, we will discuss how to write an effective motivation letter, and we will also provide some tips and examples to assist you in crafting your very own letter.

What is a motivation letter?

A motivation letter is a personal document that describes your professional skills and the reasons why you are applying for a particular opportunity, such as a course of study, a scholarship, or a volunteer job. This letter is to be included with your application and any supporting documents that you have attached, such as a transcript of your grades or a resume. A “statement of purpose” or a “motivational letter” are both names that are occasionally used to refer to a motivation letter.

It is not common practice to use motivation letters when applying for paid jobs; rather, paid job applications are typically accompanied by cover letters. A cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume and provides examples of how your previous work experience is relevant to the position for which you are applying. On the other hand, a motivation letter places more of an emphasis on your personal narrative and details your interests, personality, and reasons for applying for a programme.

How to write a motivation letter

It takes time to write a good letter of inspiration, so make sure you work through each step systematically to ensure that your letter is as effective as it can possibly be. When you give yourself more than enough time to write your motivation letter, you ensure that you include all of the required content and follow each key step, such as the ones that are listed below:

1. Write a list of bullet points

Write an outline in the form of bullet points, outlining the content of your motivation letter and the order in which it is presented. Write  bullet points that cover the following topics:

    • Why you are interested in taking the course or becoming a volunteer with the programme.
    • Your skills and knowledge that will be to the advantage of the school or nonprofit organization
    • Why you are interested in the school or non-profit

Give some serious thought to whether or not you are including all of the important data. When compared to, for instance, a motivation letter for a bachelor’s programme, a motivation letter for a Ph.D. programme will require more particular information about your previous experiences and goals for the future. If you want to show that you have the qualities and qualifications that the school or nonprofit organisation is searching for, you should cross-reference your outline with material from their website. Analyze your format and structure to assess whether or not rearranging the points might result in a flow that is more logical.

You shouldn’t stop revising your outline until you feel like it’s perfect. When you are through with your outline, you can refer to it when you are writing your motivation letter so that you do not get off track.

2. Write an introductory paragraph

Write an opening paragraph in which you introduce yourself to the person who will be reading it. If you are able to do so, addressing the receiver of your motivation letter by their name will help give the letter a more personal feel. Include details about your accomplishments in this section so that your introduction might attract the attention of the recipient and inspire them to continue reading.

3. Develop your body’s structure further based on your outline

Develop the points raised in your outline to create the body of your motivational letter. Create a new paragraph for each new subject being discussed. Keep in mind that the purpose of your motivation letter is to demonstrate to the recipient the value you bring to the table; therefore, you should use facts that are convincing.

4. Conclude your motivation letter

Write a conclusion for your motivation letter that briefly restates your objective and leaves the reader with a positive impression ultimately. You should also take the time to thank the recipient for taking your application into consideration and urge them to get in touch with you if they have any queries.

5. Proofread your motivation letter

Your motivation letter would benefit from being proofread in order to make it more succinct and professional. Find and correct any instances of misspelling, poor grammar, and odd phrasing. It is important to ensure that your motivation letter contains solely original content by revising any information that is already included in your application form or résumé.

It is possible that you may need to proofread your motivation letter multiple times in order to locate all of the problematic parts. If you have the luxury of time, wait at least two days after drafting your motivation letter to go on to this phase. This will give you the opportunity to assess your work in a more detached manner. Asking a reliable friend or family member to proofread your motivation letter after you is a good way to help ensure that your letter contains professional-level grammar and spelling.

Tips for writing a successful motivation letter

By adhering to these guidelines, you may help your motivation letters stand out from the crowd and persuade decision-makers to give your application greater consideration.

Tip 1: Follow any guidelines.

Be sure to adhere to any rules on format, length, and content guidelines that are specified by the prospective school or nonprofit organisation. If the organisation does not supply any further details, you will need to write anything from a half page to an entire page of text using a standard font size of 12 points, such as Times New Roman or Arial.

Tip 2: Write with your own unique flavour.

Write in a conversational tone that is reflective of how you would talk to the person receiving your message if you were in the same room with them. Include compelling anecdotes and information that will set your motivation letter apart from those of others. Since humour is prone to be misunderstood, you should go for a more serious tone.

Tip 3: Use accessible language.

Whenever you are proofreading, you should search for any unnecessary difficult terminology or jargon and then replace them with words that are easier to understand. Write in concise, action-oriented sentences that cannot be misunderstood in any way.

Tip 4: Pay attention to the things you’re good at.

Instead of writing about your inadequacies or constraints, you should focus on your personal strengths. When you write about your significant achievements, it helps the people who are receiving your motivation letters appreciate your value to their organisation, and it also keeps the tone of your letter upbeat.

Tip 5: Never repeat your CV.

Many students make the common error of repeating information from their curriculum vitae (CV) in their motivation letters (⇒ learn how to write an effective CV). That should not be done. If you do this, the recipient of your letter could get the impression that you are unable to justify or illustrate your points using real-world instances and arguments due to the fact that you have no ability to do so.

Motivation letter sample templates

The following are some samples of motivation letters that could be included with applications for university or jobs at volunteer organisations. You can use a motivation letter sample as a guide for writing your own letters by just replacing the contents with information that is relevant to you.

    • College application motivation letter sample
    • Scholarship application motivation letter sample
    • Volunteer motivation letter sample

College application motivation letter sample

Dear Mr. Daniel,

My name is Georgina Rodriguez, and I am a high school student at Seattle City High School with a passion for computer studies and visual art. I am writing to apply to Seattle University’s degree programme in multimedia design and communication.

I intend to become a web designer, so I am interested in learning more about multimedia design. I believe your course would assist me in comprehending the digital design process and how websites and their visual imagery may assist businesses in presenting images to consumers.

I absolutely love how various colours and imagery can evoke emotions in viewers. I enjoy experimenting with the power of colour and images, and I believe I possess a natural talent for creativity. I am certain that I will be able to apply this passion to new projects and enhance my design skills at your institution.

I hold Seattle University’s reputation for academic and athletic dexterity in high regard. I truly appreciate that your institution pushes students to realise their full potential in and out of the classroom. As a sociable individual who has participated in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the school band and softball team, I believe that my varied interests would make me an excellent fit for your school.

I would be able to enhance my knack for design while studying and equally having fun at your institution, whether on the athletic field or in another arena.   I am open to whatever experiences life at Seattle University may bring, and I hope that your degree in multimedia design and communication will help me achieve them. Thank you very much for considering my request . Please contact me at with any questions regarding my application.


Georgina Rodriguez

Scholarship application motivation letter sample

Dear Mr. Smith

My name is Tyler Cole, and I’m writing to express my desire to be considered for a scholarship in your Bachelor of Science in Nursing programme. I have a strong desire to help people, and I hope that my financial constraints will not prevent me from pursuing this goal in my profession.

I was raised in a low-income family with a single mother who worked three jobs to provide for my two brothers and me. My mother instilled in me the value of hard work and the importance of looking after people who are unable to look for themselves. She also emphasised the value of education in our lives, reminding us that it would enable us to live a better life. Her support, combined with my own effort, enabled me to achieve some of the highest grades in my high school class.

I spent a lot of time caring for my youngest brother, who has cerebral palsy, because my mother worked long hours. I believe that caring for him piqued my interest in nursing. His smiles rewarded me for learning to be empathetic and tolerant. In the future, I aspire to make my own patients smile in the face of their own health challenges.

My inherent work ethic and desire to succeed make me believe I would be a valuable contributor to Los Angeles University. I know your school offers a great nursing programme, and I believe it would be the ideal setting for me to earn the degree I need to land my dream profession while also giving back to the community. Rest certain that I would take advantage of the scholarship opportunity and make you and my mother very proud.

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I appreciate you taking the time to consider my application, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. If you have any questions concerning my application, please do not hesitate to contact me at

Warm regards,

Tyler Cole

Volunteer motivation letter sample

Dear Ms. Jennifer,

My name is Robert Liam, and I am a veterinary science student at the prestigious Washington University. I’m responding to the request for volunteers posted on the All Paws Animal Shelter website. This opportunity piqued my interest because I have a natural interest in animal welfare, which I am pursuing via my studies.

I grew up on a farm in rural Wyoming, surrounded by animals. I was active in many facets of animal care during this time, including dog training, horse grooming, and cow milking. I enjoyed spending time with our animals and realized how rewarding their company can be. I also learnt the importance of the less glamorous aspects of animal care, such as cleaning trash and pens to keep our animals comfortable.

I’ve learned even more about animal care as a result of my veterinary science studies, such as how to diagnose and treat animal diseases and how to assist animals in giving birth. I believe these abilities, combined with my agricultural expertise, would be extremely beneficial to you at All Paws Animal Shelter. I also believe I could learn a lot more at your organisation to supplement my education.

I’m particularly interested in working at All Paws Animal Shelter because you take in such a wide variety of animals. I absolutely admire your shelter’s no-kill policy and dedication to providing long-term care for senior animals. These policies reflect my personal view that all animals deserve the opportunity to live a long life and find a forever home, regardless of how long it takes.

Finally, I believe I would be a valuable asset to All Paws Animal Shelter, and I hope you will accept my volunteer application. If you have any queries concerning my application, please contact me at

Sincerely yours,

Robert Liam

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