How to Write a Scholarship Essay
June 18, 2018
The process of applying for an educational institution is a long and complicated one. Each student needs to fill in a number of applications, as well as writing assignments. In case they want to win a scholarship, they need to write a scholarship essay explaining why they deserve to get it.
A scholarship essay needs to have an individual style of the author, and it needs to provide a specific insight into their life. Giving your individual style to a scholarship essay is the most important component for the application success. Writing your essay, you need to make it personal and unique, so that it stands out among others and shows your passion.
1. How to Start Writing
First of all, you are going to learn how to start a scholarship essay. On this stage, you need to pay specific attention to the essay prompt. Read it several times to make sure that you understand it and can find the main point of your writing. You might want to talk about:
- Your opinion on what it takes to be a leader and own a business
- Your career expectations
- Your personal leadership qualities
- The way you can bring a change to the world
To put it simply, you write your scholarship essay to persuade someone that they should give you money and sponsor your studies. You need to show that you deserve to be chosen out of everyone else who is applying. To succeed, keep the following tips in mind.
2. Grab the Attention of Your Reader
You have to address your reader in a way that captures their attention and makes them interested in reading on. Your scholarship essay format should be perfect, and it should include a solid introduction. Pay special attention to the first line of your essay, because it often plays the key role. Formulate it in such a way, so that your reader becomes curious about your story. Therefore, make sure that your first line is unique, catchy, and intriguing.
3. Re-use and Re-adapt Your Essay
If you apply for several different colleges that require you to write a scholarship essay, it is a good idea to write only one and then adapt it to all others. Most often, colleges require similar essays to be written, so it will be fine. Just make sure that you do not send identical essays to all colleges. Take one as a basis and reuse it for all purposes highlighting the points that can be more interesting for this particular college. It is going to be much easier than writing the entire essay from scratch every single time.
4. Be Unique
For example, if you have to answer a question about who impacted you the most in your life, most likely, the first thought that comes to mind is your parents’ influence. Even though they significantly affected your life, keep in mind that most people have a similar opinion, and the college commission must be tired of reading essays about applicants’ parents. Therefore, think about a less traditional approach to this question. What if Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi was the person who affected your personality? Better write about them.
5. Comply with the Rules
Make sure that you keep to the word limit, as well as all other rules. And, of course, see that your essay conveys a clear message.
6. Proofread and Edit
There is no need to elaborate on this one. It is logical that your essay needs to be written with perfect grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
7. Make an Outline
The instruction on how to write a scholarship essay cannot do without the tips on how to write an outline. Here is an example of how it should look like:
- Introduction. Here, you need to write your name, as well as state what scholarship you are applying for.
- Obstacle. Write about the way you overcame a large obstacle in your life.
- Your goals. Speak about your current goals in terms of education and state the reasons why you have chosen this college. You should also describe your future career aspirations and explain how the education you can receive in this college will help you attain your goals.
- Conclusion. Briefly summarize your story and state once again how this scholarship is important to you.
A good scholarship essay needs to demonstrate your self-confidence. In case you fail to write it confidently, it is unlikely that the committee will want to sponsor your studies. Therefore, make sure that you show your reader that you know what you are doing and how you are going to use the education you will get in this college. It is also important to show that you can make a positive impact on others while attaining your goals.
8. Prove That You Are Worthy
No one will give you a scholarship unless you deserve it. In your essay, show that you are worthy to get it.
9. Do’s and Dont’s
- DO stick to a narrative structure when you speak about your experience
- DO make an outline of your work before you begin writing
- DO ensure that you have all the necessary qualifications to apply
- DO talk about your weaknesses and problems and explain how they helped you grow
- DO check grammar and spelling by yourself and ask others to do it for you
- DO support your arguments with real-life examples whenever possible
- DO stick to the rules and the essay prompt
- DO use simple words and phrases to convey your message
- DO make sure that you have good transitions between phrases and paragraphs
- DON’T use perplexing words you find in a thesaurus, if you are not sure you know what they mean
- DON’T write too broad statements
- DON’T use a quote to start your essay, but better use your own words
- DON’T use too generic phrases everyone else will be using in their essays
- DON’T repeat yourself yet be unique
- DON’T explain why you need the money, but demonstrate that you truly deserve to get it
10. How to Finish the Essay
And, of course, you need to know how to end a scholarship essay, because this part is also very important. It is going to be the last part of your essay, and for this reason, your reader will remember it the best. You should not only restate your ideas in your conclusion but also apply one of the following powerful strategies:
- Make a cycle from your introduction to conclusion, so that your essay has a satisfying effect
- Use the future tense, if you think that in your conclusion it is better to talk about your future shaped by your experiences in the past and present
- Reflect on your personal growth and tell how your weaknesses have made you a better person.
11. Remember the Format
Your essay needs to comply with the format rules as well. Make sure that it looks great and stick to the following recommendations:
- Place your name in the top left corner
- Use Times New Roman, 12 point
- Double-space your essay
- Use 1” margins on all sides
- Start each paragraph with an indent
12. Get Advice from Professionals
It is not a simple task to make your scholarship essay stand out from the crowd of almost the same essays. You need to know exactly what you are going to write about and how you will do it, to make sure that your essay is personal and unique. If you are still not sure how to write a scholarship essay, read the following last tips and consult with a professional editor, who will help you turn your scholarship essay into a masterpiece!
- See what is emphasized in the essay prompt and stick to those points
- Write a template essay to make things easier for you
- Start writing early
- While you are brainstorming for ideas, remember to make them personal
- Avoid over-editing your essay, because this way you can deprive it of its original voice
Are you ready to write a great scholarship essay now?
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