Hello all wonderful members!

I am lucky because I found this community by chance, it seems to be a great place!

I am writing a motivation letter for an organization offering a full-year scholarship at an U.S. top unversity. (The application also includes a resume a study plan and two letters of recomendation.) I would really appreciate if a native speaking person could read though my letter. I especially find it tricky with the prepositions and where to put the commas!

My outline for the letter is this:
1) Essential background, and short argumentaion
2) Why I am applying; my motivation, my study plan, how it connects to my studies
3) Why I, as a person, am the perfect represent for organization
4) Conclusion

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Sirs and Madams;

Here I am; an open-minded Swedish-speaking young Finnish woman. I am studying for a master’s degree in Mathematics with a specialization in teacher’s training at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences at the University XX. I always wanted to incorporate an international experience into my degree; however, the moment has not been right until now. Receiving one of the scholarship offered by the YY Organization would make it possible for me to participate in the degree program called the “Joint Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Education” at the University ZZ. Courses in this program would definitely provide my degree with an individual profundity and to have been studying at one of the top U.S. universities is a notable experience for the future.

I am now studying for the fifth year, I have a strong academic background and my plan is to have completed all courses in the main and minor subjects by the end of this academic year. During the academic year 2006-2007 my intention is to take some additional advanced courses and write my master’s thesis. I am contented with my choice of study field. I have worked full time as a teacher’s substitute for one semester and it was a very positive experience. Topics on mathematics education and how a young person develops his or her mathematical thinking are engaging me. In five years I picture myself working professionally with these issues, it is very likely that I am doing research. At the University ZZ I intend to participate in courses from the “Joint Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Education” program. There are special courses focusing exactly on this special area of mine and simultaneously this program will give me the chance to interact with other like-minded students in intercontinental environment. Since I also would participate in the program representing the good Finnish reputation in mathematics, I am convinced that I could contribute to broaden their international point of view as well.

I describe myself as a social, positive and ambitious person. Furthermore my personality shows a big sense of responsibility and consideration. I easy adapt myself to new situations and I only regard it as multi-faceted experience to study and live at a big campus. I have been volunteering one year as a tutor for exchange students coming to Finland so I am quite familiar with what one might come across abroad. I enjoy meeting new people and get acquainted with other cultures. I particularly hope to befriend native speaking people in order to improve my English skills in a natural way. As link in the chain, this would also facilitate the work on my master’s thesis, since I opt to write it in English. I am an active person with a lot of energy and a big passion for nature and outdoor sports so the region of Madison with its magnificent nature is an ideal place.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.

Sincerely yours,

Emilia
Hello Emilia,

It seems you did a quite good job! I have highlighted several phrases that caught my eye. I hope they will be useful in your quest for a scholarship!

Remember that you should use "Yours faithfully" instead of "Yours sincerely" if you do not know the name of the recipient. By the way, it is often beneficial to add a succinct summary of your letter in the last paragraph. People tend to remember the contents of your last paragraph, so try to make it clear why you should get the scholarship in that paragraph. A convincing conclusion is very important when writing letters to people who read umpteen letters a day Emotion: smile

If you should have any further questions, please feel free to ask! I am by no means reprobating your letter, so don't be discouraged Emotion: smile

Good luck! Emotion: smile
EmiliaDear Sirs and Madams, (comma)

Here I am; an open-minded Swedish-speaking young Finnish woman. I am studying for a master’s degree in Mathematics with a specialization in teacher’s training at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences at the University XX. I have always wanted to incorporate an international experience into my degree; however, the moment has not been right until now. Receiving one of the scholarship offered by the YY Organization would make it possible for (Consider "enable") me to participate in the degree program called the (Unnecessary) “Joint Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Education” at the University ZZ. Courses in this program would definitely provide my degree with an individual profundity. (Full stop) Of course, having studied at one of the top U.S. universities is a notable experience for the future.

Presently, I am in the fifth year of my degree program (Full stop). I have a strong academic background and my plan is to have completed all courses in the main and minor subjects (Are there other subjects? If not, this part is unnecessary as you already refer to "all courses") by the end of this academic year. My intention is to take some additional advanced courses and write my master’s thesis in the academic year of 2006-2007. I am contented with my choice of study field. I have worked full time as a teacher’s substitute for one semester and it was a very positive experience. Topics on mathematics education and how a young person develops his or her mathematical thinking interest me. In five years I picture myself working professionally with these issues. Full stop It is very likely that I am doing research. At the University ZZ I intend to participate in courses from the “Joint Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Education” program. There are special courses focusing exactly on this special area of mine (unnecessary) and simultaneously this program will give me the chance to interact with other like-minded students in an intercontinental environment. Since I also would participate in the program representing the good Finnish reputation in mathematics, I am convinced that I could contribute to broadening their international point of view as well.

I describe myself as a social, positive and ambitious person. Furthermore, comma my personality shows a big (not very formal, consider large) sense of responsibility and consideration. I easily adapt myself (remove) to new situations and I only regard it as a multi-faceted experience to study and live at a big campus. I have been volunteering one year as a tutor for exchange students coming to Finland so I am quite familiar with what one might come across abroad. I enjoy meeting new people and getting acquainted with other cultures. I particularly hope to befriend native speaking people in order to improve my English skills in a natural way. As link in the chain, this would also facilitate the work on my master’s thesis, since I opt to write it in English. I am an active person with a lot of energy and a big passion for nature and outdoor sports, comma so the region of Madison with its magnificent nature is an ideal place.
See what you think about the following revised version, Emilia. And good luck with your plan.
(P.S.-- When typing, put two blank spaces after a period, before starting a new sentence.)

Dear Sirs and Madams,

Here I am, an open-minded, Swedish-speaking young Finnish woman. I am studying for a master’s degree in Mathematics with a specialization in teacher’s training at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences at the University ***. I've always wanted to incorporate international experience into my degree; however, the moment has not been right until now. Receiving one of the scholarships offered by the YY Organization would make it possible for me to participate in the degree program called the “Joint Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Education” at the University ZZ. Courses in such a program at one of the top U.S. universities will be a noteworthy enhancement of my degree as well as a profound experience for me in defingin my future.

I am now in my fifth year of study. I worked full-time as a substitute teacher for one semester and it was a very positive experience. I have a strong academic background and my plan is to complete all courses in the main and minor subjects by the end of this academic year. During the academic year 2006-07, my intention is to take additional advanced courses and write my master’s thesis. I am content with my choice of a field of study. What is so engaging to me is how a young person develops into a mathematical thinker. Five years from now, I picture myself working professionally with the issues of mathematical education, and it is very likely that I will be doing research. At the University ZZ, I intend to take courses in the “Joint Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Education” program that focus exactly on this special interest of mine. This program will give me the chance to interact with other like-minded students from around the world. I will be eager to participate in such a program as a representative of the excellent Finnish tradition in mathematics education, and I'm convinced that I can contribute to broadening the inernational point-of-view.

I describe myself as a social, positive and ambitious person. Furthermore, I am responsible and considerate. I easily adapt to new situations and I look forward to the multi-faceted experience of living and studying at a large-campus university. I have been volunteering for one year as a tutor for exchange students who have come to Finland, so I am quite familiar with what one might encounter when studying abroad. I enjoy meeting new people and getting acquainted with other cultures. I particularly hope to befriend native-speaking people in order to improve my English skills. Such international exposure will also facilitate the work on my master’s thesis, since I have chosen the option of writing it in English. I am an active person with a lot of energy and a big passion for nature and outdoor sports, so the Madison region, with its magnificent natural environment, is an ideal place.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.

Sincerely yours,


Emilia


Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Hello!

Thank you Philologist and davkettfor your constructive criticisms! I have been tidying up my letter with your great help. It is funny, or maybe a curious coincidence, that you helped me whit exactly the sentences that I wasn`t satisfied with! Davkett, I especially liked your suggestion about mathematical thinker Emotion: wink

I followed the advice of philologist and added a summery to the conclusion. What do you think, is it to much cliché??

Bellow is a copy of the letter, there is still one sentence doesen´t please me (the underlined words):
I look forward to the multifaceted experience of living and studying at a large campus - university. What do you call it over there?
________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Sir or Madam,

Here I am, an open-minded, Swedish-speaking young Finnish woman. I am studying for a master's degree in Mathematics with a specialization in teacher's training at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences at the University X. I have always wanted to incorporate an international experience into my degree; however, the moment has not been right until now. Receiving one of the scholarships offered by the Y Organization would enable me to participate in the degree program called the "Joint Master's Degree in Mathematics and Education" at the University Z. Courses in such a program would be a noteworthy enrichment of my degree. Of course, having studied at one of the top U.S. universities is an irreplaceable experience for the future.

I am now in my fifth year of study. I have worked full time as a teacher's substitute for one semester and it was a very positive experience. I have a strong academic background. Presently I am finishing my minor studies in pedagogy. During the academic year 2006-2007, my intention is to take additional advanced courses and write my master's thesis. I am contented with my choice of study field. What is so engaging to me is the process of how a young person develops into a mathematical thinker. Five years from now, I picture myself working professionally with the issues of mathematical education, and it is very likely that I will be doing research. At the University Z I intend to take courses from the "Joint Master's Degree in Mathematics and Education" program that focus on this special interest of mine. Simultaneously, this program will give me the chance to interact with other like-minded students in an international atmosphere. I will be eager and proud to participate in such a program as a representative of the supreme Finnish repute in mathematical knowledge, and I am convinced that I could contribute to broadening the international point-of-view.

I describe myself as a social, positive and ambitious person. Furthermore, I am responsible and considerate. I easily adapt to new situations and I look forward to the multifaceted experience of living and studying at a large campus university. I have been volunteering one year as a tutor for exchange students coming to Finland so I am quite familiar with what one might come across when studying abroad. I enjoy meeting new people and getting acquainted with other cultures. I particularly hope to befriend native-speaking people in order to improve my English skills. Such a contact would also facilitate the work on my master's thesis since I decided on to write it in English. I am an active person with a lot of energy and a big passion for nature and outdoor sports, so the region of Z, with its magnificent nature is an ideal place.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I feel that spending one year at the University Z would provide my degree with an individual profundity, and give me an unforgettable social and cultural experience. I look forward to your positive response.

Sincerely yours,

Emilia
Hi Emilia,

I am glad to hear that my suggestions have been useful! Emotion: smile

Good luck Emotion: smile
Emilia...broadening the international point-of-view. Should be "point of view" without hyphenation

... the multifaceted experience of living and studying at a large campus university. Should be "university campus".

...since I have decided on to write it in English. You should remove the "on" Emotion: smile

I am an active person with a lot of energy and a big passion for nature and outdoor sports, so the region of Z, with its magnificent nature, comma is an ideal place.

Sincerely yours, I still favour using "Yours faithfully," as you do not know the full name of the recipient, but in American English this might be acceptable, too.
Almost perfect now, Emilia--

Dear Sir or Madam,

Here I am, an open-minded, Swedish-speaking young Finnish woman. I am studying for a master's degree in Mathematics with a specialization in teacher's training at the Faculty of Mathematics & Natural Sciences at the University X. I have always wanted to incorporate an international experience into my degree; however, the moment has not been right until now. Receiving one of the scholarships offered by the Y Organization would enable me to participate in the degree program called the "Joint Master's Degree in Mathematics and Education" at the University Z. Courses in such a program would be a noteworthy enrichment of my degree. Of course, having studied at one of the top U.S. universities is an irreplaceable experience for the future.

I am now in my fifth year of study. I have worked full time as a teacher's substitute for one semester and it was a very positive experience. I have a strong academic background. Presently I am finishing my minor studies in pedagogy. During the academic year 2006-2007, my intention is to take additional advanced courses and write my master's thesis. I am very content with the field of study I've chosen. What is so engaging to me is the process of how a young person develops into a mathematical thinker. Five years from now, I picture myself working professionally with the issues of mathematical education, and it is very likely that I will be doing research. At the University Z (comma) I intend to take courses from the "Joint Master's Degree in Mathematics and Education" program that focus on this special interest of mine. Simultaneously, this program will give me the chance to interact with other like-minded students in an international atmosphere. I will be eager and proud to participate in such a program as a representative of Finland's superior reputation in mathematical knowledge, and I am convinced that I could contribute to broadening the international point-of-view.

I describe myself as a social, positive and ambitious person. Furthermore, I am responsible and considerate. I easily adapt to new situations and I look forward to the multifaceted experience of living and studying at a large campus university [or-- 'at a university with a large campus']. I have been volunteering this year as a tutor for exchange students coming to Finland (comma) so I am quite familiar with what one might come across when studying abroad. I enjoy meeting new people and getting acquainted with other cultures. I particularly hope to befriend native-speaking people in order to improve my English skills. Such a cultural connection would also facilitate the work on my master's thesis since I have already decided on to write it in English. I am an active person with a lot of energy and a big passion for nature and outdoor sports, so the region of Z, with its magnificent natural surroundings, is an ideal place.

Thank you very much for considering my request. I feel that spending one year at the University Z would provide my degree with an individual profundity [still an odd phrase], and give me an unforgettable social and cultural experience. I look forward to your positive response.

Sincerely yours,

Emilia
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Thank you for the last replays!

If I change some of the words you have suggested, the language will flow more naturally. I guess this is just what the letter needed, and I’m pretty sure that I will be satisfied with it! Thanks a lot to you both, for your great help!!!

Take care, and see you around - Emilia Emotion: smile
Hi Emilia,
Have you been awarded the scholarship?

Thank you