Applying for university is a lot of work: university applications, financial aid applications, and a scholarship essay are all part of it. How to write a scholarship essay is one of the most discussed arguments between students who are about to enter the world of college. Believe it or not, if you analyze all the entries you won’t find a specific scholarship essay format that will help you with this task. You’ll notice that all candidates used different styles and techniques to make their application unique that’s why if you search how to write a winning scholarship essay about why you deserve it or how to write a good scholarship essay about financial need won’t really help you, as a matter of fact, it will only make things harder.
Using a scholarship essay template won’t help you achieve your goal because the key to your success is uniqueness. Personalize your application and make it exclusive. Originality will make you a winner.
Although we are talking about originality and uniqueness and how searching for particular essays won’t help there are still some important steps that will make this experience easier for you.
Helpful Tips on How to Write a Scholarship Essay
- Get an Early Start and plan in advance. Create an outline
Begin your researches way before you think you should. It’ll give you time to craft your scholarship essay outline. It will make the writing go faster. Think of a few ideas to argue about in your essay and write some examples. Write down a few sentences for your introduction and conclusion, it will simplify your work in future.
So, you have the structure and thesis for your essay.
- Follow the Instructions. Format matters
If they include the guidelines you must follow them. You can have an amazing essay with only 500 words or write an awesome paper that includes 5000 words - it won’t matter what your length is if you’re over or under the limit. You should give them exactly what they want.
And if it’s not specified, play it safe and by safe I mean double-space, Times New Roman, 12 pt font, one-inch margins all around, 2 to 3 pages… nothing new.
- Read and analyze your essay statement. Identify keywords and topics
Figure out what are the main topics in your essay statement. Analyze every word and look for hid meanings. This will help you find a perfect argument for your thesis.
Read between the lines of the topics. Don’t state the obvious
Everything has a meaning and it’s important to figure out what those topics really mean. Highlight or underline whatever seems important to you. The more you scrutinize each idea the more you’ll understand what exactly they mean to you. This way you’ll show the committee why you deserve this scholarship and you’ll find something to help you emphasize your skills without being boring and repetitive.
- Answer the question. Make use of given keywords and use its synonyms and stay focused on the topic
It seems easy but it’s not. You can’t just say something superficial and expect to win this selection. Your essay has to be one of a kind.
Go deeper, research and choose specific terms and examples. Locate your question marks that could also be represented by declarative phrases like “discuss” or “compare”; rephrase it and make it simple.
Also, you should always remember to include the keywords in your essay, it will display your commitment to the statement you’ve been asked to write about and show that you have stayed focused on the question. Make sure your scholarship personal statement has a point.
- Appealing start is your weapon
Once you’ve done examining your question you should spend a good amount of time on you first lines. Scholarship essay introduction is what I would call a “first impression” of yourself, never underestimate it. It should always be powerful, interesting, and entertaining.
Your audience should enjoy the reading and “I’m writing to express my interest in qualifications for the College Excellence Scholarship” is one way to destroy your chances of winning they’ve probably read that exact sentence a hundred times before they got to yours. You don’t want to bore the committee the first minute they start reading your application. In a great essay about yourself you should focus why they should give the scholarship to you and not on why you want it – they already know you want it!
One line can make you stand out of the crowd. Make your readers think that you’ve come to save them from those boring papers that they’ve been reading and they’ll think that they found the right candidate.
If you find it difficult to start you can always use some scholarship quotes relatable to your course. By showing that you have knowledge and passion for your chosen subject you’ll demonstrate that you deserve that scholarship. It’s an effective way to show your skills and convince the readers that what’s coming is going to be an interesting experience.
- Understand how applications are evaluated. Know your audience
Don’t be fooled: your professors are not your audience! Scholarship providers are looking for a specific individual with unique criteria. Make your researches and see who’s on the committee, evaluate their background and goals.
Everything is in your essay statement. Once you developed each topic, the scholarship committee will be satisfied. My advice, just as I said before, read between the lines.
And finally, in scholarship application essay always show who you are. Highlight your enthusiasm and ambition. Believe in yourself and stay positive.
This step is important. You want someone to read and review your essay before you submit it. It’s easy to miss some basic mistakes if you’re the one editing. An editor will be useful at this point. Have another person look over your paper once you’ve finished. When you’re thinking about catching grammar mistakes and typos, an editor is what comes in mind but it doesn’t have to be an editing service that includes a cost. Get a trusted teacher, friend or family member to read over and edit it, ask them to check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Remember to compare your question with the answer you gave and make sure you did everything and replied to everything your scholarship application asked. Also, don’t forget to read your essay out loud and see how it flows.
Yes, it is different from editing. At this point you feel like you finished your work but in reality you’re only one step away from it. Keep in mind that you are not the only one applying for that scholarship and that there are thousands of perfectly qualified essays for that position. So what does make the committee choose your application out of the thousands? Besides the uniqueness you should pay attention to proofreading and make sure your essay doesn’t have any typos.
A proper way to proofreading is to trick your brain.
Your brain hates wasting time that’s why it does a lot of autocorrecting for you. Even if there are missing or incorrect letters in a sentence, your eyes and brain don’t want to waste time picking, because even with those mistakes they still understand.
To avoid this, try reading it over and over at a different location (like a coffee shop, your friend’s house, or a park), it will allow your brain to think that it’s reading something different. Another smart method to trick your brain is to print it out, maybe even in a different front, it will make you see your essay with fresh eyes.
After a hundred times of re-reading your own paper your eyes can’t be trusted anymore. Here’s why: by now your eyes have probably gotten numb to the words or letters on the page and your essay will definitely look perfect for you that’s why you’ll need a second set of eyes.
- Avoid superfluous Conclusions.
Your scholarship essay conclusion should be just as interesting as it was your introduction. Don’t rephrase or restate your original thesis. The conclusion should say that your entire essay was important and explain why. The question you should answer with you conclusion is, “so what?”
Last but not least, if you’re not sure how to write a scholarship application letter or a scholarship application essay ,and you are still lost and confused after everything you’ve just read than the final advice for you is to be YOU! The committee will judge your skills that’s true but it doesn’t mean you should be all, keep it real. Believe in yourself and stay positive.