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Lesson five: letter structure in 3 pages and 100 words
Keep in mind that there is no such a thing as a perfectly suitable for everyone letter sample.

There is no general formula in letter for grant or university because there is always one component that remains unknown. That is you, your unique story, your unique personality.

You can write about yourself using the perfect expressions that would perfectly suit the program/grant's goals, objectives, and requirements of the program/grant, but your experience and writing style will still be unique.

Let's talk about one more important thing– the structure and visual side.
Classic structure of the letter

If you need to write the letter yourself, sign it, scan it, and upload it to the system, then most likely we are talking about a limit of 300-1000 words.

1. If you can fit a story in 300 words, then make sure to add a short header and caption. For example:
Classic structure of the letter

2. If you have enough space, for example the letter that starts from 500 words, you can slightly expand the header. Adding an address always makes the email more professional, but there are some scholarships that ask you not to provide personal information, so pay attention to this requirement.
Classic structure of the letter

3. Font is not that important but there are some standarts:

• 12-point Times New Roman font (or any other easy to read font);
• 1-inch margins on the sides;
• 1.5 line spacing.

Do not forget to divide your letter into logical paragraphs!
Essays/answers to questions/short letters

Some scholarships and programs ask you to fill out a form online or answer questions in a document. In this case, the letter is usually no more than 100-500 words.

These are the most complex formats because they require you to choose each word carefully.

In these formats, we recommend not to use any general phrases but go straight to the point and answer the question with EXAMPLES. As a rule, such forms require proficiency in English.

There are some great examples in the second lesson that lead our student to a full scholarship in Sweden.
In one of our lessons, we discussed the chronology of the events: you may start from the past moving to your plans, or you may start talking about plans right from the first paragraph.

Regardless of the structure you choose, keep in mind the purpose of your writing. Here is a checklist from a specialist from the admissions Committee:

Things that must be included in the SOP are (Saxena, What to include in your Statement of Purpose (SOP): 5 Points that add value, 2020):

o Personal and Financial Background
You are not required to be humble about your background here, if you come from a poor family and despite that you made things happen, talk about that. Do not shy away from highlighting things that could make you stand out of the crowd.

o Extra-curricular activities you were involved in
You are not expected to have won awards at national level, however, what is important to highlight is that you were actively participating. These activities are an ideal way to represent your personality traits such as leadership, working in a team or public speaking skills which might not be visible otherwise. Here you could elaborate how extra-curricular activities such as sports, debates, speech competitions helped you inculcate some extra ordinary skills and helped you enhance your overall personality.

oYour failures
Yes, you got it right! Your failure must be included as it plays a very important role in making you a mature and successful individual. Also, the idea is to convey to the admissions officer, how you tackle such circumstances and most importantly rebound from such instances. Moreover, it also emphasises on how positive you are as a person and how confidently can you handle unfavourable situations.

o Education Background
This is an important part of the motivation letter, so flaunt all your academic achievements and if you changed careers explain, what made you do so. Talk about all your interests, and link these with the program that you are applying for.
Remember - Do not lose focus from the main goal of writing this letter and remember you need to link all the above-mentioned aspects to the program and your goal after completing this program.

o Work Experience (of any kind – paid, unpaid, full-time, part-time)
At university, not all the programs require you to have prior work experience, however, if you have one, mention that as it will only add weightage to your profile and convey to the admission officer that you have exposure to the professional world.

o Publications or papers submitted
This is an important aspect for masters or doctorate programs, if you have submitted any research paper, mention that. Having involved in research explains that you think scientifically, logically and critically.
What should not be included in the SOP (Saxena, What to include in your Statement of Purpose (SOP): 5 Points that add value, 2020):

o All your accomplishments
Yes, we want you to brag about your achievements, however, brag about meaningful achievements with substance. You need to pick and choose the accomplishments that are more relevant to your candidature.

o Your family history
Include the aspects that are relevant and avoid making it a story about your family background, no point mentioning how royal your forefathers were.
Keep it simple and to the point.

o Your financial details
You might feel like including financial details for scholarship purposes, however, most of the universities request a separate letter for that. Talk about the financial aspects, only if it really played an important role in changing your personality or was a factor in shifting careers.

o Irrelevant details about academic or work experience
It is important to include special projects from your academic and professional background, however, refrain from going too much in detail.
Talk about the project and explain what you learnt from it, avoid listing unnecessary details.
Are you ready to create the final draft?