Writing a good scholarship essay is the difference between your application being rejected, and you being awarded the scholarship that will make financing your studies that much easier. So, it’s that important to get it right.
12 Tips For Writing Essays For Scholarships And Win The Contest
Unless you are applying for scholarships without essay, otherwise you need to learn how to write a great content to win the scholarship. Here are some tips to help you learn how to write scholarship essays:
Tip #1. Carefully research the scholarship to begin with, to ensure that you’re eligible to apply and are not going to waste your own or the selection panel’s time applying for something unsuitable. Ensure you’re totally interested in this area, because your passion and enthusiasm will come across. Likewise, if you’re not truly interested this will show too.
Tip #2. Read the essay question several times, and pick out the most pertinent parts of the question they’re asking you to focus on (you could use a highlighter to make these stand out).
Tip #3. Read the application instruction thoroughly before starting your essay, to ensure you do exactly what they’re asking in terms of content, and that you’re setting it out correctly with the right size font, spacing, margins and style, and sticking to word-counts etc. If the appearance of the essay is shoddy, the person reading it will assume the content is too. Don’t give the panel any opportunity to reject your application.
Tip #4. Always give specific examples to support the points that you make, ie. rather than just saying for example, you have good leadership skills, support this with evidence of all the activities you’ve been involved in leading. Don’t be modest; instead sell your strengths. If you’re unaware of your strengths ask your friends and family their opinion.
Tip #5. Use simple language that flows, rather than using unnaturally long/complex words that you wouldn’t normally use – because whilst you may be trying to impress with vocab; chances are, that you making your point in easy to read language will be much better thought of.
Tip #6. Do ensure you’ve carefully proof-read your work to check for errors before you hand it in. Ideally, get a friend or family member to check your work for you, as it can be hard to spot your own errors. This also feeds into leaving yourself enough time to think about, prepare, research and write the essay. If you leave it until the last minute, you won’t have time to do it justice, or to carefully check it prior to submission. Get feedback and act upon it, to improve it.
Tip #7. Often scholarship essays are a way for the panel to learn if they’re awarding the scholarship to someone worthy and deserving of it (and this is the underlying question you need to address, in any essay question that they set). Your essay is a much better way to understand who you are, than simply reading standard information on a form, or a transcript of grades. The panel only have your essay to base their choice on. So, it needs to be good, and stand out from all the others. In this one essay, you need to ensure you’ve answered the question, but also that you portray your own individuality, your passion for the subject, how dedicated you are, and how your extra-curricular activities that you’re involved in demonstrate how committed you are to working in that area. When you’re writing the essay carefully think about what made you decide to apply for the scholarship initially. This is an opportunity for you to convince the panel, that you’re the one who should get the scholarship above all other applicants.
Tip #8. Ensure that your scholarship essays are original and tailored to each specific scholarship; don’t just have one essay that you copy and paste, because this will stand out as being just that, and not fit the specific question or criteria they’ve asked for.
Tip #9. Often when you’re creating a scholarship essay, to demonstrate that you’re a balanced well-rounded individual, it can be good to show you’ve reflected on your past, your current situation, and have contemplated your future too. This will give a considered, measured essay that will demonstrate your maturity and readiness to commence the next stage of your education, in preparation for a future career. In the word limit, you can’t possibly cover everything, so just touch upon the highlights – ensure you select exciting ones that stand out and are memorable.
Tip #10. You may decide to select a brief but pertinent and relevant well-chosen quotation to use within your essay. Try to ensure that the person who you’ve quoted, is well-respected in your academic field.
Tip #11. In your response to the essay question, always try to ensure you show that you’re aware of the lessons-learned in your examples.
Tip #12. Try to bring some originality into your essay. Think about what your instant answer would be to the scholarship essay question, then assume that 95% of all other candidates will have chosen that instantaneous answer too. Now, try and come up with something more original that will stand out.
Follow the steps above, and you could be one-step close to winning a scholarship. Do also remember, that the more scholarships you apply for, the greater the chance you stand of being successful.