How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
When that point in life arrives where you want to get into a college on scholarship, most of us seem to be panicked because the college committee requires you to write an essay that outmatches the rest and we don’t know how to make the most of our writing skills. In fact, scholarship essay should be perceived as a chance to prove your intellect and distinctive persona in front of the college committee. Writing a scholarship essay is simply like marketing your aptitude, charisma and exclusiveness in an appealing style. This article will outline few key points which are aimed at making your process of scholarship essay writing much simple and smooth. You can read more tips and resources to master the art of Essay writing.
What You Need to Know Before You Start Writing a Scholarship Essay
Forget what you have read in books, magazines and how-to guides about writing a successful scholarship essay. Remember that there is no standard formula to create a scholarship winning essay; it is all about how extraordinarily you collect, organize and present your genuine thoughts on the paper. The college committee members cannot be impressed by your highly refined vocabulary and bookish sentence structure; all they want is a reflection of your true self through this essay.
Winning Characteristics of a Scholarship Essay
A scholarship essay is always:
- Written in a humble tone
- Genuinely convinces the reader why you deserve this scholarship
- Entirely based on your personal experience
- Based on strong content
Listed in this section are some steps that will help you create a well defined and personal scholarship essay.
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a) Read, Re-Read the Essay Statement
It is really important to understand what the scholarship essay is asking for. Many students tend to ignore the underlying meaning of the essay statement and jump into writing keenly. This is obviously not going to get your essay the reader’s attention. Reading and re-reading the essay statement will help you identify the key theme for your essay.
Examples of Essay Statements
The essay statements could ask for your personal experiences, achievements, skills as well as social issues. For instance
- Talk about an event that has influenced your life.
- Explain how and when you exhibited your leadership skills.
- What are the most common social problems our society is facing? Suggest possible solutions.
- Do you have any skill or attribute that distinguishes you from others? How did you develop this skill/attribute?
- Why do you think you deserve this college scholarship?
b) Prepare Factual Information
Once you get a thorough idea of your essay statement, you need to list down all the information that fit well with the statement. Brainstorming is recommended. Note down your personal strengths, weaknesses, things/people/events you find influential, your major achievements, your future goals, social issues and their solutions, your favorite books/movies/sports etc. Think of strong examples to support your argument. This process will set an essay outline for your convenience.
c) Give Your Essay a Captivating Beginning
Begin your essay with powerful quotations or references. This will give the reader and idea of your intellectual insight but do not force a reference in the starting if it does not go with the theme of your essay topic. Make sure the first few sentences link up with each other smoothly so as to catch reader’s attention. Sometimes the college committee members judge the intellectual caliber of the candidate from the first few lines of the essay.
d) Select Your Language Carefully
It is very important to choose the right kind of vocabulary, language and tone for your scholarship essay and make sure you maintain consistency. Sometimes students fail to impress the committee members because either their tone is very formal or informal. Keep your tone concise and relevant. I recommend that you deal the essay with honesty and wisdom and sync your tone with the demand of your essay topic.
e) What to Include/Not Include in a Scholarship Essay
As discussed, make the introduction of your essay magnetic. Keep your tone very personal so that the examiner gets an overview of you as a complete person. Sound energetic and motivated. Remember that your essay is like an interview where you cannot make use of your voice or gestures but only your words to convince the reader of your charismatic personality and aptitude. Back up your facts with strong and real life examples. Avoid mentioning negative facts that can likely ruin your entire image; present the negative things or your weakness in a positive tone. It is imperative to ensure that the grammatical structure and spellings are impeccable. As for the ending, summarize all the points you have mentioned in your scholarship essay so that the essay looks attained. Read how to write an effective concluding paragraph?
f) Review Your Essay
When you have finished writing your scholarship essay, proofread it and eliminate any errors. Make your close friends and family review your essay and ask for constructive feedback so that you can get an idea of the quality of your essay. If you are interested in creative writing, you can find complete course description and syllabus for creative writing courses.
That one thing you religiously need to keep in mind while writing your essay is that you have to be yourself. The college committee does not want your essay to look wordy and scholarly; they only wish to see your genuine thoughts, ideas and intellect on the paper. Emphasize on your true and strong personality traits. Let your persona shine through your words. Do not bore the readers with the traditional and stuffy essays- if you are creative, let your creativity reflect through your essay. Just be yourself!
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Hope this article will help you write a winning scholarship essay. Good luck!