Your letter of intent (also known as a letter of interest) is one of the only ways you can show off your personality to a graduate school program. But how do you go about putting one together? Using help of Essay.coach or doing it yourself? If second, then here are a few tips on what to include in your letter of intent, and how to format it.
1. Introduce Yourself
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to start with, “My name is...” – rather than taking such a formal approach, start with who you are. What is a day in the life like for you? If you’re pursuing a degree in writing, for example, it would be unique and intriguing to start out by showing each school how your life revolves around that particular craft. Do you already work in the field? Do you start every day by writing? Let schools know that you are already deeply involved in your study area of interest!
2. Where Are You Headed and Why?
From here, it’s a good idea to start exploring why you want to go to this particular graduate school, and what aspects of your personality and talent will make you an ideal candidate. Make sure you discuss why you want to move to this particular city, what it is about the program that appeals most to you, and why you would fit into it. Are there certain classes that you feel are ideal for your future goals? Make sure you explain why attending the specific program is perfect for you.
3. What Experience and Knowledge Are You Bringing With You?
Now you can briefly explain what your background in the field is. Touch on work experience, previous educational experience, and any notable achievements, such as awards, publications, productions, etc. You don’t need to go into too much detail, since your CV will provide the school with exact dates and descriptions of awards, but it will be to your benefit to point out that you have already accomplished a lot with your current level of experience.
4. What Comes Next?
You should close out your letter of intent with a concise description of where you see yourself heading after you have completed the degree you are applying for. Will you move on to a PhD? Will you stay in the exact same field, or will you move on to something different – going from a Master’s in Creative Writing, for example, to a PhD in Playwriting? Explain what you hope to take from this experience, and where it will take you in the future.
Notes on Formatting
Make certain that your name and contact information (including full mailing address) is on your letter of intent. This not only looks professional, but is also helpful if your letter is somehow misplaced or moved in the shuffle of paperwork at a school. And also be sure to avoid plagiarizing.
When putting your letter together, try to keep it as brief as you can. If you can keep it down to a page in length, then do so, and do not exceed two pages maximum. Anything longer will run the risk of seeming too self-interested and boastful, or may become too much of a summary of the program and what it has to offer.
Lastly, but most importantly, read your letter over again and again, and then get someone else to go over it at least once more! One thing you definitely want to avoid is a typo of any kind!