Essays are a common requirement for students who wish to apply to a college or university. Along with good grades and extracurricular activities, the strength of an essay can help students win a scholarship. A scholarship essay is the means for these students to prove themselves to the admissions committee and to let them see their potential.
Because the students will not be physically there to defend their essay (unless the college or university requires as well an interview), their scholarship essay writing must be comprehensive enough to tell a complete story without the need for the admissions committee to ask clarifications and convince them accordingly to grant the scholarship to them.
The following are the guidelines to remember when writing your scholarship essay:
Follow college or university instructions with regard to essay writing.
If you do not know about the instructions on how to write your admission essay, you will have to call their admissions committee to ask if they provide any. Take note of the format required and the subject of the essay. Make sure to adhere to the instructions to avoid the risk of getting the essay rejected. It will also make your essay easier to read and show them that you are capable of following instructions.
Try to know who the admissions committee are.
When it comes to writing, not just essays but any other form of writing, the writer has to take note of who his readers are. Knowing who they are and what they do will help you select what kind of writing style you will use and strategize accordingly on how you can make a good impression on them. There will be thousands of applications coming in, so it is important to make your essay stand out from the rest and make the admissions committee remember you.
Know what the criteria are for your essay.
The admissions committee are going to have criteria for judging all scholarship essays. Make sure to identify what they are so you know how to go about your essay. Address all these criteria regardless of whether they explicitly asked for it or not. The criteria will depend on the admissions committee but most scholarship essays require themes on leadership and community involvement.
To give you a thorough explanation of these two criteria, let us start with possible things you have to include under leadership. First, include the extent of the leadership experience and degree of accomplishment. Include the reason why you got involved in it. Also, write down the challenges you had to face and the steps you made to overcome them. You can also include the lessons you have learned in the process and how these lessons shaped you into a good leader.
As for community involvement, you can include the length of time you dedicated to the activity, its importance to you and the community, as well as what you have gained through this experience.
Pick a central idea where your essay will revolve in.
The least thing you want is to make your essay incoherent and off-tangent. Choosing a central idea to which your essay will revolve in will help your essay sound logical and easier to read. The admissions committee might impose on a topic, and you would have to follow that. If the topic is something that you are not familiar with, research on the subject and make an outline before you compose a draft.
First impressions last so make sure you start strongly. Engage your readers early on and give them already an idea on how the essay will pan out. Writing a great lead will make the admissions committee want to read on and actually finish it. Remember, your essay is just going to be one in a thousand submissions and at, some point, they will all start to look and sound the same. Make sure yours stand out, and make it stand out at the start.
Make it personal.
We are often afraid to make our essays sound personal and end up sounding detached, which is why you’ll need tips for writing a personal statement. The purpose of the essay is for the admissions committee to know who you are and what your potentials are, so do not be scared to make it your own. Remember, the goal is to make it stand out from the rest, and what better way to do that than to show pieces of you that the rest of the applicants do not possess. Do not be too modest and go talk about you academic and non-academic achievements. Write about your extracurricular activities and whatnot. The school wants to know what you can contribute to the school and consequently what makes you worth the scholarship.
Look for keywords in the instructions provided by the admissions committee and use it.
In cases where the admissions department will provide an essay statement as part of the instructions, make sure to read and understand it before composing your essay. Identify the key themes and make sure you have a full understanding of each theme. Do not just go for its plain meaning, go deeper. That is, aside from just giving examples to prove that you possess that key theme or virtue, make sure you substantiate it with a specific event or a memory.
Write, edit, and proofread.
While you can write a substantively well-written scholarship essay, it will be for nothing if you do not mind the technical aspects. In writing your essay, pick words that are compelling and put you in a positive light. You can also share your draft with family and friends so they can look into it, give their feedbacks, and then you can edit accordingly. Make sure you do not commit any grammatical and structural errors by proofreading it. When you are done writing, editing, and proofreading, read it one more time to verify if it is perfect. Do not submit the essay if you are not confident about it. You have to fully believe in your work for it to work on others.
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