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Hello members of this forum Emotion: smile,

I have to write a motivationa letter for one of my applications for a master's program (English Philology) at a university in Finland. I worked on this letter for quite some time now but I really cannot say anymore if it is good or not Emotion: smile . All I know is that there will be mistakes in it and that I would like to hear some opinions on the structure of my "letter" and the impression it makes on you.

If you are willing to help me ( and I would really appreciate it Emotion: smile), here is some background information:

- these are the questions:
State in your own words why you want to study at the University of XXX. Give the reasons for your choice of English Philology as a major. Explain how you intend to finance your studies in Finland and how studying at the University of XXX relates to your career objectives.

- the motivation "letter" will be part of an electronic application

and here is my first attempt:

Dear ladies and gentlemen:

I am writing to apply for the Master's in English Philology.

I will graduate in English ("Anglistik/Amerikanistik") and German as a Foreign Language this spring or early summer from the XXX University of XXX. My previous studies in English mainly focused on American and British cultural studies and literature as well as on historical and modern linguistics. During my studies I was able to gain a solid foundation in these fields of English Philology. In addition, I developed a strong interest in more specialized fields of my subject, namely modern linguistics and literature.

In the autumn term of 2008 I already spent five months at the University of XXX as a visiting student. During term I visited different seminars at the English Department and enjoyed both, the wide range of courses that is offered and the working atmosphere in general, a lot. Moreover, I got the impression that the students of English Philology had the possibility to develop their own interests within the different disciplines of English Philology but also to broaden their minds by visiting other seminars related related fields of studies. During my semester at the University of XXX I also took part in lectures on "The Americas 1492-1700" that was offered by the XXX Institute and a guest lecture on demographic issues in Great Britain. Both lectures helped me to deepen my knowledge and to broaden my picture of Great Britain and America.

My great interest for American and British literature and cultural studies once made me apply for the subject English at the XXX University of XXX. Nowadays, I am also very interested in linguistic issues such as bilingualism, code-switching in foreign language classrooms and first language acquisition in young bilinguals. My second major, German as a Foreign Language, and various seminars on modern linguistics raised my interest in these fields.

My passion for languages and foreign cultures are still influenced by my own teaching of German to foreigners. My students made me realize how vital an intercultural approach in my language class is to teach a language in the right way. Moreover, I experienced this myself while studying Finnish in the last two semesters. This view on other cultures and their languages combined with my interest in language acquisition form my ambition to conduct my own research. Studying English Philology at the University of XXX would enable me to specialize in linguistics and to gain the needed knowledge to conduct my own research.

There are two possibilities for me to finance my studies. First of all, I will apply for financial aid that is offered by the German state the ("BAföG", German Federal Law on Support of Education) that would cover a maximum of approx. 600 EUR per months for the duration of my my entire studies. Secondly, in case of rejection I would raise a credit at the "Deutsche Kreditbank AG" (DKB). However, there would be the possibility to combine both solutions in order to get the minimum of 6.000 EUR per year that are required to get a residence permit.

After completing my Bachelor's Degree in English Philology and German as a Foreign Language, I originally planned to teach German at evening schools abroad or in Germany. However, after doing a traineeship as a language assistant at the Department of German Language at the University of XXX and the semester that I spent at the University of XXX, I planned to complete also my Master's Degree. A Master's Degree would enable me to start a career at a university, preferably in the field of linguistic research for all the reasons I mentioned above.

Thanks for your help...Emotion: smile
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  1. Please read thread http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/SampleLetterMotivationApplication-LetterUniversity/xpzpl/po...
  2. Thank you for leaving spaces between your paragraphs. Please continue.
Overall, your letter is good.

Dear ladies and gentlemen:

I am writing to apply for the Master's in English Philology.

I will graduate in English ("Anglistik/Amerikanistik") and German as a Foreign Language this spring or early summer from the XXX University of XXX. My previous studies in English mainly focused on American and British cultural studies and literature as well as on historical and modern linguistics. During my studies I was able to gain a solid foundation in these fields of English Philology. In addition, Moreover, (I tend to avoid "In addition" because it has a mathematical feel, whereas "moreover" seems to be a continuation. Personal preference. "In addition" is fine.) I developed a strong interest in more specialized fields of my subject, namely modern linguistics and literature.

In the autumn term of 2008 I already spent five months at the University of XXX as a visiting student. During term I visited different seminars at the English Department and enjoyed both, (no comma, at least not for me) the wide range of courses that is offered and the working atmosphere in general, a lot. Moreover (Furthermore...if you use Moreover in prior paragraph), I got the impression that the students of English Philology had the possibility opportunity to not only develop their own interests within the different disciplines of English Philology but also to broaden their minds by visiting other seminars related related fields of studies. During my semester at the University of XXX I also took part in lectures on "The Americas 1492-1700" that was offered by the XXX Institute and a guest lecture on demographic issues in Great Britain. Both lectures helped me to deepen my knowledge and to broaden my mental picture of Great Britain and America.

My great interest for American and British literature and cultural studies once made me apply for the subject English at the XXX University of XXX. Nowadays, I am also very interested in linguistic issues such as bilingualism, code-switching in foreign language classrooms and first language acquisition in young bilinguals. My second major, German as a Foreign Language, and various (I dislike "various" for various reasons) complimentary seminars on modern linguistics raised my interest in these fields.

My passion for languages and foreign cultures are still influenced by my own teaching of German to foreigners. My students made me realize how vital an intercultural approach in my language class is to teach a language in the right way. Moreover, I experienced this something myself while studying Finnish in during the last two semesters. This view on other cultures and their languages combined with my interest in language acquisition form my ambition to conduct my own research. By Sstudying English Philology at the University of XXX, would enable me to I would be able to specialize in linguistics and to gain the needed knowledge to conduct my own research. (I like more direct sentences.)

There are two possibilities for me to finance my studies. First of all, I will apply for financial aid that is offered by the German state the ("BAföG", German Federal Law on Support of Education) that would cover a maximum of approx. 600 EUR per months for the duration of my my entire studies. Secondly, iIn case of rejection I would raise a credit at the "Deutsche Kreditbank AG" (DKB). However, there would be the possibility to combine both solutions in order to get the minimum of 6.000 EUR (commas and periods must be reversed in Europe from North America) per year that are required to get a residence permit.

After completing my Bachelor's Degree in English Philology and German as a Foreign Language, I originally planned to teach German at evening schools abroad or in Germany. However, after doing a traineeship as a language assistant at the Department of German Language at the University of XXX and the semester that I spent at the University of XXX, I now plan? planned to complete also my Master's Degree. A Master's degree would enable me to start a career at a university, preferably in the field of linguistic research for all the reasons I mentioned above. As seen from my (discussion and) actions, I have a genuine passion for linguistic reasearch and application of its something.

People like passionate people, especially as they themselves are or were passionate about their subject.

Overall, good letter.

You might not agree with my comments. And that's fine. You are certainly a strong and capable writer. So use those comments you find helpful and ignore the rest.
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Dear MountainHiker,

thank you so much for your help and your comments! My English tends to be quite German from time to time Emotion: smile... especially if I have to write in English and don't know how to express something or where to put the commas.
By the way, I read your posts on Nadine's motivation letter from 2004 and your comments on her posts helped me a lot to write my own letter.
It is good to know that there are people on the internet who are willing to invest their time to help some strangers. So, thanks again for your comments!

Greetings from Germany (and hopefully soon from Finland...)! Emotion: smile
Thank you and good luck.