I don’t like the “My name is XXX” doesn’t imply that it must be a bad idea.
(Because I assumed that the panel must have known that my name is Tianlin He from reading my application) Indeed, there is no definite model, so make it the least boring in your own way. But the same time I have to admit that “I want to become a biologist since I was eight…” “I want to study medicine in your program because my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer when I was eight…” sound extremely cliche.
Writing a motivation letter is a presentation of yourself: you pack your academic excellence, related experience, qualifications and ideas in one essay, to convince the the admission panel that you are the best candidate they should choose.
Normally, a motivation letter should include the following aspects: I still remembered that when I began to write my essay on the 28th December, I started like this: After one and a half hour, it looked like this: True, writing a motivation is extremely difficult for everyone of us: you and me, him and her.
The single biggest mistake that graduates make when applying for an engineering Ph D, is focussing entirely on their academic achievements and neglecting any practical or "in-the-field" experience. So interesting in fact, that I spent my summer working for a soil remediation company.”It's ok to add a bit of character to the letter.
Make a list of any relevant work experience, field trips, projects, etc. Avoid jokes and sarcasm, but you can phrase things in a way that adds some sparkle.
Anything that had an engineering element to it can be included. Include some "insider" references that only a fellow engineer would understand, for example.
A great way to get your letter to stand out from the crowd is to highlight how your personality has helped you to overcome difficulties or achieve things related to engineering.
It can be a challenge, especially for us engineers who may not enjoy the written word as much as other academics do.
Typically, American universities expect to hear more about your general life, whereas European ones prefer to keep things mainly focused on your academic and work achievements.