You will likely need to write a letter of intent to apply for graduate or doctoral studies. This is the most important and difficult writing you will do during your studies. Usually your application will be accepted or rejected depending on the two or three page letter of intent you send.
Part 1 of 3: Make a plan
Step 1. Know yourself
A well-crafted letter of intent will help you persuade a jury to accept your application, but you need to be convinced yourself first. Make sure you know what you want, the reasons for your choice, and why the study program can help you.
- Why should the school accept you instead of accepting someone else? You must answer this question first before continuing. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
- Think before you start writing. Examine your intellectual and personal journey during your previous studies. When you can clearly see the reasons that prompted you to send your registration request, then you can move on to writing your letter.
Step 2. Consider the introduction and thesis statement
Before writing an essay like this, you need to formulate a thesis statement. It is a sentence that presents the central idea of your text. This statement, which must be precise, sums up the main idea and allows the reader to gain insight into the content of your letter.
- The first sentence is very important to hold the reader's attention. It's about writing a hard-hitting introduction of no more than five sentences. Briefly explain who you are, where you are from and the reasons for choosing the university and the particular field to which you are applying.
- Go ahead, frankly. The first paragraph is very important. It serves as an introduction and as such should hold the reader's attention. Remember that your goal is to encourage him to read your letter.
Step 3. Imagine the subject's body
Each paragraph should deal with only one main idea. This idea should be announced by an introductory sentence, which serves to inform the reader about the content of the paragraph.
- Several ideas in a single paragraph will confuse the reader's mind. If the main idea is based on several sub-ideas, choose to present it in several paragraphs, rather than writing a very long one.
- Support your ideas. Do not just express them without justifying them, otherwise they will have the effect of a bad check. By substantiating your ideas, you will convince readers of their veracity and accuracy. If you are successful in proving your statements, the reader should accept your conclusion.
- Carefully organize the logical flow of your ideas. Remember that you are following a path to guide the reader through the points that support your thesis. You don't want to confuse him or drag him down a complicated path. Go smoothly from one paragraph to the next and order your paragraphs logically. Use transition sentences to get the text flowing.
Step 4. Think about the conclusion
Recall your thesis and the main points that support it. In the conclusion, add some new ideas or information to encourage the reader to think further.
Part 2 of 3: Write the Letter of Intent
Step 1. This is the easy part of the job
If you've come up with a detailed plan, all you have to do is rework it and go over the different ideas before you go into detail.
Step 2. The introduction
State your goals. The first sentence is the most important. You want to grab the reader's attention and keep them reading your entire text.
Step 3. Write the subject's body
Specify your identification details and indicate your achievements.
Step 4. Explain your background
Show that you are academically prepared for the studies you have chosen. Include the following:
- the nature and location of your previous studies,
- your previous research and projects,
- a demonstration to establish the applicability of your current skills to the studies you are applying for, if those studies are in a field different from yours.
Step 5. Describe your professional goals
- Why do you find this field of study particularly interesting? Why did you choose this area?
- What experiences or related research have you been involved in so far?
- What are your future plans after you graduate? Are you going to continue your studies or work in your field?
Step 6. Explain your reasoning
Describe the reasons that prompted you to continue your higher education.
- What special interests do you have in the chosen field?
- Why do you attach so much importance to these studies and how can they contribute to your professional development?
- What is the reason that led you to choose these studies, this research project, these facilities?
Step 7. Write your conclusion
Summarize the main points and describe the contribution you will be able to make to the program.
Step 8. List all the attachments you will include in your application and give a very brief description of your registration package
Step 9. Thank the jury
There is a good chance that this jury will be called upon to consider hundreds of applications besides yours.
Step 10. Fill in your contact details
Part 3 of 3: Revise your letter
Step 1. Go back, proofread, edit and rewrite
Remember to include the essential points, without exceeding a maximum of 2 or 3 pages. It is very important to be concise and to the point.
- If possible, put the letter aside for a few days after you finish writing. Then take it back with a fresh look and start the review.
- You can also ask someone to check your letter for you. Ask for constructive, honest criticism and be prepared to accept it graciously.
- Eliminate unnecessary expressions. Are there any expressions that are not absolutely necessary or that do not go with the content of the letter? If so, remove them if you cannot make the necessary changes. Remember that the jury will have a lot of applications to consider. Therefore, only mention important information.
Step 2. Print your letter, sign it and add it as the first piece of your registration package
Be aware that some schools may require you to submit your letter electronically. If so, convert your letter to a "PDF" document before sending it.
- Remember, your first paragraph shouldn't be longer than four or five sentences. It should also reflect the content of your entire LOI. Usually, the jury will read this paragraph to decide whether to continue examining your application.
- The presentation is very important. Use a readable font, such as "Times New Roman" and follow layout standards, usually 2.5 to 3 cm margins and 11 or 12 point font sizes. If you cite sources, follow relevant standards, such as that of the American Psychological Association (APA). Do not post a letter of intent, if it is wrinkled or stained, otherwise it will end up in the trash.
- If possible, don't be overly specific about your research goals. If there is no university in your area that accepts students in your specialty, your application may be rejected even if you are considered to be above the rest. In addition, there is no point in expanding the range of topics that interest you.
- Avoid sending the same letter of intent to all the universities you apply to. The jury will easily be able to spot a passepartout text and will probably reject your request. This jury will also notice if you have included specific references to people, laboratories or teams working in the departments of the school.
- Don't tell the jury that you are extraordinary. Avoid phrases like "I am talented", "I am very intelligent", "I am a great writer, a great engineer, a great artist" or "I had the highest grade point average in my promotion". Present your letter of intent and registration package directly to the jury and let them decide if you are extraordinary enough to be admitted.
- If you're trying to explain your extraordinary side, be sure to present some evidence. However, you must remain humble. For example: “I believe I have enough self-confidence to put in the effort and achieve my goal. "
- Do not be too technical and do not use expressions taken from the jargon in use in the chosen specialty and with which you are not yet familiar. Also avoid words that you learned during your previous studies. If you clearly use an incorrect term, your application will most likely be rejected.
- Avoid overly poetic expressions when applying for graduate studies in creative writing. Address the issues without calling on outsiders. Your literary references will be more than enough to show your talent.
- Emphasize your past experiences and your plans. Many students make the mistake of summarizing their resumes. The people who will bother to read your application already know that you are a good student. Most importantly, they want to make sure that you are able to make the transition to a less structured graduate study that you will lead yourself. They look for evidence by examining the description of your past research and your plans for the future. The key does not particularly lie in the topic you are proposing. The jury expects you to evolve as your work progresses. In reality, the jury members will want to know if you are well informed about the work that a student has to do at a higher or doctoral level.
- Be clear, concise, and to the point when it comes to the university and possible areas of research.
- Apply to as many establishments as you can, depending on your financial resources, as you will have to pay a registration fee. At a minimum, send four separate letters of intent to four different universities.
- Use short stories to highlight your strengths. When the jury members have read a few dozen letters that look alike, they will be able to notice a candidate with specific points and interesting details. Of course, it is best if your anecdotes relate to the general objectives that you present in your letter.
- Remember that a Letter of Intent is only one piece, albeit extremely important, of your registration package. Before submitting an application for enrollment, check the website of the university in question and carefully review all the conditions for enrollment.
- Don't use unnecessary descriptions or poetic phrases. The best letter of intent is one that is well organized and concise. Get straight to the point as if you were writing a cover letter to an employer.