Rice University Admission Essay Writing Guide


A Guide to Writing Motivation Letters for Rice University

A motivation letter also doubles up as a cover letter of a personal statement that allows applicants to sell themselves to a university. For most university courses, applicants for undergraduate degree courses onwards are required to attach motivation letters alongside their resumes and examples of their work. Application letters for competitive courses at Rice University, for instance, can be demanding. For master's degrees applicants may be required to obtain recommendation and statement letters from senior colleagues or academic supervisors from the institution.

What Students Must Understand Before Writing Motivation Letters

For students, a motivation letter provides an in-depth of an applicant's ambitions, past achievements, personality, and interests. Unlike cover letters, Rice application essays are a tad complex to write as they require a combination of intimate and professional balance. The idea is to give an authentic outlook that will make an applicant ideal for university admission.

The ideal motivation letter must follow the right guidelines such as formatting, length, and content as per Rice application essay guidelines. These guidelines include 12-point font and Times New Roman. The letter must use natural and accessible language that can be understood by the readers, and must not include slang. Applicants must avoid jargon and shorthand sentences and instead use short and active sentences that are easy to read and comprehend. Humor can be misinterpreted and it is, therefore, better to use a formal and professional tone while keeping the letter interesting.

Rice University supplemental essays should highlight a candidate's strengths rather than their challenges and limitations. Emphasizing the strengths can help the recipients of the motivation letter understand a candidate's value to the institution. Focusing on strengths can also help to bring out a positive tone for the reader.

Rice University supplement essay example incorporates these three fundamental qualities:

Cover the Basics

Covering the basics seeks to convince the admissions team at the university that a student is worthy of the position. Applicants must therefore sell their skills, achievements, ambitions, and interests to get an invitation to an interview. Covering the basics also includes the caliber of the written language. The cover letter must be free of any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.

Get Personal

Rice application essays require the applicants to get personal, so the admissions board can understand the personality of the applicant. The structure of the letter must also flow and be captivating to read. In this case, an applicant must provide a few personable qualities about them to give a deeper outlook of who they are as a person and if they will be a great fit at the institution.

Be Interesting

Capturing the reader's interest is a key factor for students writing Rice supplemental essays, as it increases their chance of a positive reply from an institution. The interest expressed must be personal and must relate directly to the applicant's motives. By understanding how competitive the vacancies are, applicants must produce enticing, authentic, and unique motivation letters to have an added edge.

Motivation Letter Requirements for University

Just like many other institutions, Rice University essays require applicants to be specific. In this case, the university wants each applicant to explain adequately why they should study at the institution and why they want to study for the course they have applied for.

For example, an applicant may need to answer "Why this subject or course at Rice university?" The university, just like many institutions, provides comprehensive details on its website and samples that applicants can read through to prepare for their motivation letters when applying for their ideal courses.

Motivation letter requirements for master's degree

For master's degree, applicants are required to address the letter to the Head of Department or the academic staff member that is heading the master's study program. Rice writing supplement requires students to work closely with an academic supervisor and students may choose their preferable academic supervisor. Writing motivation letters also help students to sharpen their skills when writing to potential employers after they graduate.

Rice essays that worked in the past were mainly of applicants that wrote stories. People love to read stories as it takes them on a journey towards understanding an individual to a satisfying and fair conclusion. In this case, the university requires applicants to not only include a list of accomplishments or superlatives, but also a comprehensive story of how they achieved these accomplishments and the challenges they faced in the course of their journey. Thus, the storytelling must include an introduction that weaves into the main body coherently, and the conclusion or summary must support why the applicant has chosen to apply to the particular course and the institution.

Rice essays that worked had a clear beginning, a comprehensive middle, and a convincing end. The ideal motivation letters should follow logically on from one another. A flowing letter allows the admissions board to feel convinced that an applicant is worthy of the position they are applying for. A flowing letter also allows the institution to feel convinced that the applicant is suitable for the specific course and is ideal for studying the course at the institution based on their experience, skills, and goals.

It is important to look for a sample of the ideal motivation letter before writing one. Rice University has student stories on its official website. Student ambassadors are also an ideal source of information on the kind of motivation letters that would appeal to the select committee. Often, these stories are posted on the school's blog.

Motivation Letter Structure

The basis of a motivation letter is to target the ideal institution. As such, an applicant must present their motivation in a fascinating and capturing way. Ideally, a motivation letter should not exceed one page, as a long letter may be boring and make the reader lose interest. In one page, an applicant must condense as much relevant information as possible.

Rice supplement essay example


The introduction part of a motivation letter should be short, precise, and engaging. In this case, an applicant must convince the institution why he or she wants to do a particular course in that institution.

Some mandatory bits are:

  • Personal details (Name, Address, Profile, Email, and Work Experience)
  • A brief mention of the course of interest
  • Body of the Motivation Letter

The main body of the letter should break down the applicant's achievements, academic and professional qualifications or journey, and future career aspirations. In this segment, an applicant must elaborate on their skillset in a precise manner. The body of the motivation letter should also detail the interests of the applicant, in line with the chosen course. This segment should be factual, authentic, and concise. An applicant may use metrics to prove the authenticity of their qualifications.


The conclusion of the motivation letter should summarize the main points. It should also emphasize an applicant's long-term goals and finally, pay regard to the recipient or reader of the letter.

Proofreading the Letter

Applicants need to proofread their letters to ensure that they are concise, professional, and free of grammatical errors, awkward phrasing, or spelling mistakes. Proofreading the letter also makes it possible for the applicant to add important and objective details that may have otherwise been left out.

The structure of the motivation letter is pivotal in highlighting the key elements that can make an applicant stand out among the rest. Rice university essays of motivation can be structured using the traditional methodology of a 3-paragraph or the 5-7 paragraph structure. In the case of the former, the letter can be broken down into; introduction, the body of content, and conclusion. In the case of the latter, an applicant can divide the body of the essay using pointers to elucidate 1-3 sentences paragraphs.

The 5-7 paragraphs format has proven to be ideal as it helps applicants to individually emphasize each of the listed achievements and condense it into a single point. The three-paragraph format on the other hand allows for an applicant to write an essay in a storytelling style, without using too many breaks within the application letter.

Final Thoughts

While motivation letters are not as official as academic transcripts, they should not be undermined as they are equally as important. A motivation letter serves the purpose to convey an applicant's story to the selection committee at Rice University. Through a motivation letter, a candidate is in a better position to appeal to the committee's emotional side of subjectivity. As such, applicants need to write these essays to work to their advantage and show the reader their personality and compatibility with the institution.

Most institutions have certain requirements for a motivation letter. However, the ideal one is the one that is capable of highlighting a candidate's strengths wholly and uniquely, while maintaining the fundamental elements that consistently make up a good motivation letter across the board. To outline one's personality while applying, it is important to highlight certain factors that make a candidate personable and likable. These factors include; professional and life goals, cultural background, the reason for choosing the course or program, and the reason for choosing the institution. The motivation essay is a selling point and must therefore be accorded the keenness and articulation it deserves.

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