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How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples)
As an admissions officer, I reviewed thousands of essays for students seeking admission and scholarships. The essay is one of the most important parts of the scholarship application process–a strong essay can go a long way. However, with so much competition, it is important for your scholarship essay to stand out. That’s why it’s important for you to start a scholarship essay off right!
There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your essay is engaging from the very first sentence. In fact, beginning your essay with an exciting opening is one of the most important things you can do, because it will immediately distinguish your essay from the others.
Keep on reading to learn more about how you can nail the very first sentence and start your essay off right!
Engage the reader with the first sentence
No matter what type of essay you are writing, you will want to ensure that the very first line grabs the attention of the reader. One of the biggest mistakes that students make when starting their essay is simply restating the prompt. This is bland and boring.
Now, you might be wondering, “how do I engage the reader with the very first line of my essay?”. The good news is that there are several ways that you can do this that are very simple to do.
Begin with dialogue
First, you could begin your essay with conversation. This can be an interesting and unexpected way to start your scholarship essay. Maybe someone asked you an unexpected question? Perhaps you were having an interesting conversation with a friend or family member? Either way, dialogue can be a powerful tool to start your essay.
Put the reader in your shoes
Alternatively, you can choose to start your essay by placing the reader right in your shoes and show them something from your life. Appeal to the senses and show the reader what you see, hear, smell, or taste. These specific details will help your essay come to life and make it even more memorable.
Also recommended: What’s the best scholarship essay format?
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Scholarship essay introduction example.
Next, we’ll look at a specific example of how you can open up your essay. Let’s say you are applying for the Questbridge scholarship program . One of the essays that you will be asked is:
We are interested in learning more about you and the context in which you have grown up, formed your aspirations, and accomplished your academic successes. Please describe the factors and challenges that have most influenced you. How are they shaping your future aspirations?
You might be tempted to rephrase the question and start your essay with something like:
“I have grown up in a rural context and this has formed my aspirations and allowed me to accomplish academic success…”
This is generic and will not engage your reader at all.
Instead, what if you started off your essay with something like this:
“I look outside my bedroom window and see Henry, my favorite chicken, pecking at something in the dirt.”
Makes a big difference, right? As a reader, you are probably wondering: why does this person have chickens outside their bedroom window? Why did they name this particular chicken Henry?
See also: Here are our top writing & essay scholarships for students!
Keep the ending of your essay in mind as you write the opening
While crafting your opening, be open to ideas about how to close your essay. There is no need to stress about the ending now, but being mindful of effective ways to end an essay is always a good idea. Say you are opening your scholarship essay with Henry the chicken. Is there a way for Henry to make an impactful appearance at the end of the essay to close things out in a way that perfectly wraps everything up? The key is for the essay ending to be meaningful and memorable for the reader.
Don’t miss: Our free scholarship search tool
If you can’t think of a “wow” scholarship essay beginning, keep writing!
Sometimes, we know what we want to say, point by point, but we are not ready to be creative when it comes to opening an essay. In that case, keep writing! There is always the option of going back and crafting an engaging opening after your essay is written. Simply write your main idea where the first paragraph would be to guide you as you write. After, go back when your creative juices are flowing, and craft the amazing opening (and closing) that your scholarship essay deserves!
As shown, there are many questions that we as readers will have after reading an engaging essay opening such as the one just shared; We want to learn more about the student who is writing this essay. After all, as a writer trying to stand out in a pile of essays, that is our main goal.
We hope that you have a better understanding of how to start a scholarship essay so you can maximize your chances of winning scholarships!
Scholarships360 is the go-to for all things college admissions and scholarships! Wondering how to write a 250 word essay and how to write a 500 word essay ? Curious how to write an essay about yourself ? Wow, do we have the resources to help! Additionally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help you finance your college education. Best of luck to you and your future endeavors!
- The first sentence of the essay is what makes the reader want to continue reading
- Engage the reader by appealing to the senses
- Create a sense of wonder in your essay, making the reader want to learn more about you
- Keep the ending of the essay in mind as you craft the beginning
Frequently asked questions about how to start a scholarship essay
What is an essay hook, how long should my scholarship essay be, scholarships360 recommended.
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What’s the right scholarship essay format and structure?
Many scholarships require you to submit at least one essay–and maybe you’ve already got that covered . But now you’re wondering: how should your essay be formatted? Should it be double-spaced or single-spaced? Should you include a title? Should you include the prompt? What does a typical scholarship essay format look like?
Although you don’t have to worry about essay formatting at Going Merry ( we’ll structure and submit your application for you , with our pre-filled forms!), maybe you’re also applying to some other scholarships too. So we’re here to help you understand how to format your scholarship essay.
Where do I start?
Does a scholarship essay need a title , how should a scholarship essay be formatted what font should i use , how should a scholarship essay be structured can i get a template or outline, scholarship essay format at a glance, should scholarship essays be double-spaced , start writing.
You’ll need to dive into a personal experience or tell your story of an accomplishment, a hobby, an interest to the scholarship provider, showing them your experience with a structured and descriptive essay. Create an outline of your essay (this can be old school, with pen and paper!), write it out, and then ensure you’re formatting it professionally and properly. (Need more scholarship essay tips? Try these.)
This depends on the essay submission format.
If there is a text box entry, you can just copy and paste the body of your essay, without a title. This is the case, for example, when applying for scholarships through Going Merry .
If you’re attaching an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can optionally include a title, but this is usually unnecessary unless there are special scholarship essay format instructions to do so. (One popular reason you might need to do this is if the prompt is to write about any topic of your choice, or to choose your own prompt. In this case, to give the reader more context before you begin your essay, a title may be helpful.)
If you are required to create a title, we recommend doing one of two things:
- Think of a title early on. Write down that title, write your essay, and then circle back to the title to tweak it as needed. -OR-
- Write your essay and then come up with a title . Your creativity might be fresher once you’ve answered the prompt and included the meat and potatoes of the scholarship essay, which might help you come up with a suitable title at the end.
Also, don’t stress! While a clever title can improve your essay, it’s hardly a make-or-break. A very descriptive title that summarizes the prompt would work fine, as long as your essay is strong.
Relatedly, you don’t need to include the essay question or prompt at the top of your essay. The scholarship committee will know what the topic or prompt is!
(Want inspiration from winners? Check out these winning scholarship essays .)
If you’re writing your essay in a document to upload to your Going Merry profile , or to submit to a scholarship application on a provider’s website , and the scholarship provider doesn’t have explicit guidelines, it’s best to just follow a standard professional style and format. That means using 1-inch page margins, 12-point font size double-spaced (or 1.5 spaced), and a “standard” font like Times New Roman in classic (default) black. Don’t get creative with fonts or colors here. You want the content of your essay to be what stands out, rather than your unorthodox formatting.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how to best structure a good scholarship essay. In fact, you can see how wide-ranging these winning essays are. In fact, how to best answer and structure your essay depends partially on the essay and partially on your personal writing style.
However, one pretty common way of structuring your scholarship essay is how Going Merry winner John Flowers Jr did it . Here’s the template/outline:
- Introduction (1-2 paragraphs) : Draw the audience in with an attention-grabbing opening sentence related to the prompt. Introduce your main points that you’ll be sharing later in your essay.
- Example of an opening sentence from a Going Merry scholarship winner: “My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school.” This tells us about the student’s parents and how it might have influenced the student’s decision to apply to college, setting the tone for the essay.
- Introductory paragraph: “My parents were never given a shot at having an education beyond high school. They were never given a shot to show their full potential and make a difference in the world. They had to start life at an early age. I want to succeed in college for them and for me. I want them to be proud of me for doing a task that they weren’t able to do.” – This expresses John’s understanding of what his parents had to do, and that they did not get a chance to attend college. John also expresses his determination, and his drive to attend college to do something for his parents.
- Body (1-3 paragraphs) – Expand on your main points. Back up your information with evidence, examples, and facts. This is where you’re encouraged to share details of how you got to where you are today, what inspired your hobbies, interests, or drive to attend college, and how the scholarship will help you achieve your academic and/or personal goals. Remember to use specifics rather than make general statements!
- Conclusion (1 paragraph): Explain how winning this scholarship would help support your goals (and maybe also have wider community impact)
- An excerpt from John’s conclusion: “Winning this scholarship will make a difference to me because it will allow me to cover college financial issues that may hold me back from reaching my career. Being less stressed about worrying about college fees will allow me to focus more of my attention in class to earn the credits, and not worry about how I’m going to pay for the class.” – John explains how valuable this scholarship is for him, not just monetarily, but also how it will help him achieve his goals.
- Read the scholarship essay format guidelines carefully, to check if the scholarship includes instructions
- If you’re submitting your scholarship essay outside of the Going Merry platform, set up your document with a 1-inch margin
- Aim for a 12-point font
- The best font to use is Times New Roman. Other good options include Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, and Verdana
- Always get a second opinion on the scholarship essay format for grammar, punctuation, spelling, structure, etc.
- Online form
- Going Merry scholarship platform (apply to thousands of scholarships and upload your scholarship essay)
You’re probably used to double-spacing your high school papers and essays. Since adding line spacing can make essays more readable, using 1.5-spacing or double-spacing is a good idea if you’re attaching an essay as a Word doc or PDF. But again, unless the scholarship provider has specified this information, it’s not mandatory.
More important is to not leave your essay as one block of text. Instead, we recommend separating paragraphs when you’re starting a new thought or idea.
For scholarship essays on Going Merry, you won’t have to worry about formatting because we will do this for you whenever you submit applications through our platform.
We know you’re going to rock your essay with these scholarship essay format guidelines, so get to it! It’s best to start writing your essay as early as possible to give yourself time to review the essay, ask someone (like a parent, guidance counselor, or friend) to proofread your essay, and then make sure to submit it on time. (On Going Merry , we’ll send you deadline reminders on your favorited scholarships and draft applications, so you won’t miss them!)
When you’re ready to apply for scholarships, sign up for Going Merry ! You’ll create a free student profile, enter your information once, and then we’ll match you with thousands of scholarships that you can apply to with just the click of a button. Don’t worry about entering your information twice – we’ll pre-fill this for you!
If you need additional resources to accompany this scholarship essay format guide, check out these related blog posts for more writing tips:
- How to answer “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”
- How to Write the Best Personal Statement
- 10 Tips for Writing An Essay About Yourself
- How to Write a Career Goals Essay
- 6 Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays About Academic Goals
- College Essay Guy: How to write a scholarship essay
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How to Write a Scholarship Essay (with Examples)
September 27, 2023
While applying to college, many students are faced with an additional, daunting task: how to write a scholarship essay. Financial need, already a sensitive subject, can become a stressful factor in the process alongside other existential unknowns. Luckily, scholarship essays will not require you to go tiptoeing around the taboo topic of money. Furthermore, most scholarship essay prompts more or less resemble standard supplemental essay questions. The trick then is to make your scholarship essay stand out. The following article and scholarship essay example will offer up pointers for anyone striving to win a college scholarship.
Organizing Scholarship Essays by Prompt
You may feel like melting into a lump of despair when facing a browser full of tabbed scholarships. The best way to avoid getting overwhelmed is to organize and analyze a list of prompts. Why? Because your first goal is not simply to figure out how to write a scholarship essay. Rather, you’ll want to know how to save time while writing complex and relevant scholarship essays.
As you look over the various prompts, you’ll notice that some sound fairly open-ended, while others ask for something quite specific. In response, you should annotate each prompt with thematic keywords. This will help you figure out when you can use the same essay for several prompts.
Your annotated list may look something like the following…
Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts
1) “Explain something that made a big impact in your life.”
- Keywords: event , personal development, growth, background
2) “We’re committed to diversifying education abroad by providing funding to students who are typically under-represented in study abroad. Please describe how you and/or your plans for study abroad could be viewed as under-represented.”
- Keywords: minority, diversity, identity, study abroad
3) “Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.”
- Keywords: background, identity, interest, talent
Sample Scholarship Essay Prompts, Continued
4) “Please explain a personal hardship or catastrophic life event that you have experienced. How did you manage to overcome this obstacle? What did you learn and how did you grow from it?”
- Keywords: event, personal development, growth, challenge, background
5) Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way.
- Keywords: world development, challenge, future
6) “Tell us three things that are important to you. How did you arrive at this list? Will these things be important to you in ten years? Why?”
- Keywords: background, values, interest, development, identity, future
Scholarship Essay Prompts ( Continued)
7) “What does it mean to you to be part of a minority community? What challenges has it brought and how have you overcome them? What are the benefits?”
- Keywords: minority, community, challenge, growth
8) “Please explain how your experience volunteering and participating in community service has shaped your perspective on humanity. Elaborate on how these experiences have influenced your future ambitions and career choice.”
- Keywords: community service, humanity, community, background, future, values, career
9) “Discuss in your essay any challenges or obstacles you have dealt with and overcome in life and how this will help you succeed in college and beyond. Describe how volunteer, community service or extra-curricular activities have shaped who you are today and what it has taught you. May also include future educational plans and career goals.”
- Keywords: challenge, future, community service, interests, value, personal growth, career
How to Write a Scholarship Essay through Prompt Analysis
Let’s compare some prompts by keywords. You’ll notice that some prompts have a lot of overlap, such as prompts 1 and 4. Both have event, personal development, growth, and background as keywords . Prompt 4 includes the additional keyword challenge . This prompt explicitly asks you to explain how you have “overcome” a “personal hardship or catastrophic life event.” While prompt 1 is not so specific, it would be easy, even natural, to include this narrative arc in your response. This means depicting how you faced the thing that “made a big impact in your life.” In other words, these two essay prompts, though worded differently, allow you to tell the same story.
Other prompts provide potential overlap. In this case, it’s up to you to find and interpret these moments. You may consider the values, strengths, interests, and experiences you wish to relate. For example, prompts 7, 8, and 9 all mention community through different approaches. While prompt 7 focuses on one’s past involvement in a minority community, prompts 8 and 9 are more future-facing, and don’t mention minorities.
Scholarship Essay Examples (Continued)
Here, your best strategy involves answering prompts 8 and 9 together in a single scholarship essay. To do so, the essay would need to detail “a challenge or obstacle you have dealt with” (9) which has thus “shaped your perspective on humanity” (8). This narrative arc will thus inform your “future” educational and career plans (8 and 9). Note that prompt 9 allows you to mention extra-curriculars. However, I wouldn’t recommend it, since this would make your essay less relevant to prompt 8. After your essay is written, adapt it to align with prompt 7. Consider condensing the part about the future into one final sentence and focusing more on minority aspects of your community.
How to Scholarship Essay Avoid Burnout
The above tactic will allow you to avoid burnout by strategizing your essay approach ahead of time. In turn, you’ll be able to maximize your efforts from the get-go. You’ll also likely find that your essays become more complex and nuanced when you consider several prompts at once.
The next step involves editing. Refer back to the prompt, once you have a draft written. Ask yourself, did I answer the question fully? Do I need to edit this essay further to emphasize a particular point? Do I need to cut the essay down to fit a new word count? Contrarily do I need to bulk it up? If so, are there other essays in my portfolio from which I can borrow material? Strategic editing will allow you to respond to a large number of essays during peak essay-writing season.
Finally, you’ll notice that most essays require a word count between 250 to 600 words. It’s often easier to write a longer essay first. This will allow you to go into greater detail without censoring your ideas. You may find yourself including dialogue, scenery, emotions, and all sorts of other specifics that make an essay personal. As you whittle down this essay to comply with a similar prompt, you’ll want to identify which pieces of the essay do the most work to get your message across. Don’t simply condense everything by eliminating details, for details are often the most memorable aspects of an essay. More on this next.
How to Write a Scholarship Essay Using the Three Fs
The three Fs can be applied to any college essay, though they are particularily useful in scholarship essays. Why? Because the three Fs will enable you to impress readers and beat out other applicants. Ultimately, they’ll help you win financial support. Think of the three Fs as a checklist to go over, once you’ve completed an essay draft. Ask yourself, is my essay fabulous? Flawless? Fearless?
How to Write a Scholarship Essay (Continued)
If your essay is fabulous , it glitters with personality. It is detailed, unique, and does its best to highlight your impressive journey. If your essay lacks a little fab, ask yourself, how can I make this essay more enjoyable and memorable to read? If your essay is flawless , it lacks all spelling, syntactic and grammatical errors. It answers every aspect of the essay prompt, and leaves no room for vagueness or misunderstandings. To avoid flaws, give your essay to several people to proofread. Finally, if your essay is fearless , it is not afraid to get a little vulnerable. This may sound contradictory to the first F. On the contrary, this fearlessness refers to the confidence to tell your own story. A fearless story isn’t afraid to go deep, add complexity, or get emotional. It is unafraid to show why its author deserves a financial boost.
Scholarship Essay Example
Now that we’ve established how to approach the scholarship essay, let’s dive into a scholarship essay example. The scholarship essay below stems from a prompt we saw above: Describe a change you would like to make in the world. Tell us about how you would plan to make that change, and what obstacles you might encounter along the way (500 words).
My generation is growing up in a time of increased global turmoil. We’ve witnessed Brexit, the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, a series of refugee crises, and the invasion of Ukraine. It’s easy to liken this moment to Europe in the 1930s, which saw a spike in fascism and propaganda (their version of fake news). Only now, my generation must also contend with the hottest summers on record, raging forest fires, and the beginning of the 6 th extinction. It’s no wonder we deal with it all through increased skepticism and existential dread.
While I don’t have a simple solution, I believe most problems stem from ignorance. Xenophobia and racism, offshoots of ignorance, can be overcome by exposing isolated groups of people to greater diversity. This begins in the classroom. While dictators are hard to dispose of, education provides critical thinking skills, which allow citizens to make informed decisions when electing officials. Finally, developing a willingness to learn at an early age creates an instinct to continue learning throughout life. We desperately need intellectual flexibility if we are going to adapt to the planet’s needs as a world population and put a stop to industry-led fossil fuel burning.
Scholarship Essay Example (Continued)
The change I’d like to make is free, enhanced education for everyone, at every level, from elementary school to post-doctorate research institutes. To do so, I suggest defunding national militaries and channeling this spending into schools. Imagine if 80% of the 877 billion dollars the U.S. military spends annually went into learning. Combating fascism and climate change would look more feasible. And yet, no leader would agree to making their country more vulnerable by relinquishing arms and armies. Change must come from the people.
As the planet continues to heats up, and conflict over land increases, we must work together. The first step towards increased education is communicating this need for education: through journalism, on social media, in the streets. Next, I suggest lobbying politicians for incremental change. Finally, I believe a global grassroots movement to implement future-focused education, led by activists, educators, and philanthropists, would make this theoretical idea a tangible reality.
Last year, my mother, who never received a college education, decided to offer free gardening courses in our backyard. I quickly joined in. While teaching a handful of neighbors how to provide year-round food for pollinators may seem trivial, I’ve already seen positive repercussions. One conservative neighbor has set up an organization that collects and redistributes leftover produce from the markets to refugees. Another neighbor is now teaching middle schoolers how to cook and compost. These efforts have brought unusual strangers together and given visibility to our movement, #futurefocusededucation. I’ve seen it firsthand. The more we educate, the sooner we can combine our knowledge to create solutions.
Scholarship Essay Example Dissected
This scholarship essay succeeds at answering all parts of the prompt. It includes the change the author wants to make, and inevitable obstacles she’d face at the governmental and international level. These obstacles may sound insurmountable. Yet the essay shows that individuals are not powerless to enact change when they work together towards a common goal. The author provides various thoughtful steps we might take in order to prioritize education and peaceful collaboration.
Finally, the author portrays herself as someone personally invested in the political, humanitarian, and environmental state of the world. She proves that she’s already begun to make the changes she wants to see at the microscopic level. Overall, readers of this scholarship essay can see that this student is invested in bettering the world. This student would make for a proactive participant in her academic environment.
Now that you have some inkling of how to write a scholarship essay and have reviewed of our scholarship essay examples, you may want to delve into more aid-related articles on the College Transitions Dataverse. You can read up on Need-Based Financial Aid Grants , and learn about Selective Colleges with Generous Scholarships . Furthermore, you may want to create your own Scholarship Timeline , in order to stay on top of the various deadlines. Good luck!
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With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.
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The Ultimate Guide To Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
Stand out from the rest.
With the cost of higher education skyrocketing in the last few decades, it’s no surprise that many students seek out scholarships to help cover tuition. As a result, it’s a very competitive endeavor, which is why students need to find ways to stand out. We’ve put together this resource to help write a scholarship essay that will get the application committee’s attention.
How To Find Scholarships
Many students know that they want to apply for scholarships but don’t know where to find them. Honestly, this can be the most difficult and intimidating part of the process for students! Here are some suggestions for where to start.
Ask a Guidance Counselor
One of the best resources for high school students is their guidance counselor. They are prepared to help students make academic and career plans and should be aware of scholarship opportunities to align with your needs and goals.
Talk to the College or University
Already have a college or university picked out? Reach out to the school’s financial aid department. In addition to the many scholarships you can find online, they may offer information about funding offered directly through the school.
Submit a FAFSA Application
Even if a student isn’t planning to accept student loans, they should definitely consider completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Not only will the resulting report inform them of any financial assistance for which they qualify, but many scholarship committees require applicants to submit a FAFSA.
Search Scholarship Websites
There are many scholarship websites where students can find awards and applications. Sites such as Scholarships.com and Scholarship 360 allow you to use filters to narrow down your search results based on your needs and interests.
We’ve also put together the following guides:
- How To Get a Full-Ride Scholarship
- Best Merit-Based Scholarships
- Excellent Scholarships for High School Seniors
- Great Scholarships for Black Students
- Scholarships for Women
- Best Scholarship Opportunities for Future Teachers
Do an Internet Search
Head to a search engine, social media platform, or sites like Reddit to look for scholarships. You can even create posts inviting other users to share suggestions.
Ask an Employer
Some workplaces offer tuition benefits or other financial assistance for higher education. If a student is employed, it’s an option to reach out to someone in the HR department to see if they offer any programs or scholarships.
The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Scholarship Essay
Do: know the rules.
The most important thing anyone can do before writing a scholarship essay is this: Read all of the rules and guidelines and then reread them! Students can even ask someone else to read them too, to make sure they fully understand what they need to do. Failing to follow the rules is one of the main reasons why students are unsuccessful in getting scholarships.
Do: Set Aside Plenty of Time
Start working on scholarship essays right away. Do not wait until a week (or day!) before the deadline. This gives students time to write several drafts of the essay if needed. Also, you never know when a technology-related issue might strike, so having a little extra time can save you from disaster.
Do: Research the Scholarship Provider
Dig deep when applying for a scholarship. Find out who is funding the award and spend some time researching the provider. Do they have a vision or mission statement? Do they support any specific causes or types of students? Is there any way that applicants can make themselves more attractive candidates for the specific audience? Students should use this information to their advantage!
Students should take some time to think about what they’ve learned about the scholarship essay guidelines and the provider. Then, brainstorm about what they want to say and share and why. Here are some questions to ask as they pertain to education and career goals:
- Who are you? Think of yourself but also your background.
- What makes you who you are?
- What have you done?
- What do you want to do?
- How are you going to get there?
- Why do you need a scholarship?
- How will it make a difference?
- Are you a first-generation college student?
- Do you have any unique qualities or needs?
- What makes you proud?
- What lessons have you learned?
These are heavy questions, but finding the answers to at least some of them will help provide the substance needed to write a truly effective scholarship essay.
Do: Find Ways To Stand Out
Many, many students are applying for scholarships. They have to find a way to stand out from the rest. Students should think of the things they learned when they researched the scholarship provider. Are there any ways they can appeal to that audience? If so, focus on those areas.
Do: Be Honest
Do not lie on a scholarship application. Let’s say that again: Do not lie on a scholarship application. Students should remind themselves that they are worthy on their own. If an applicant is discovered to be dishonest, it can really hurt them in the long run.
Do: Stay on Topic
When reading the guidelines for the scholarship and doing brainstorming, be sure to keep the topic of the essay in mind. Everything students share and communicate should be related to the topic.
Do: Be Professional
Students should use their very best skills when writing a scholarship essay. They should not use slang, casual language, unconventional fonts, emojis, or texting abbreviations.
Do: Proofread and Edit Multiple Times
It’s a good idea to prepare to write this essay at least three times. First, there’s a rough draft that should be carefully proofread. Students can ask a teacher or other professional to also look at their paper. Then students should repeat this process once or twice more until they’re happy with the results. They shouldn’t just write it and submit it all at once!
While students want to highlight their strengths and accomplishments, they should not brag. They also don’t want to put down other candidates or people to make themselves look good. Tell a story without embellishments.
Don’t: Reuse a Scholarship Essay
Students put a lot of effort into writing scholarship essays, but please don’t reuse them!
Scholarship Essay Sample Outline
Ready to get started? Having a solid outline provides a road map for the journey. Here are some suggestions for making it easier to write a scholarship essay!
Students should explain who they are and try to make it engaging. Hook readers by sharing a few details that will be elaborated on in the body of the essay.
Educational and Career Goals
Students should share what they want to study and hope to gain by getting an education, as well as how it will prepare them for their future career. They should be passionate!
Who Are You?
Student should briefly explain their background, which can include details about family, personal values, and how they got to where they are today.
Why Are You a Good Candidate for the Scholarship?
This is where students need to really think about what they learned about the scholarship provider. What are they looking for in a candidate? Students should do their best to not only shine as a good student and leader, but also find solid ways to connect with the scholarship provider’s mission. After including some teasers or breadcrumbs in the introduction to hook the reader, this is a good place to share the rest of the story.
To wrap up a scholarship essay, students should reiterate their commitment to their education and career. Restate how the story shared demonstrates a readiness for college and how winning the scholarship can help the applicant follow their dreams. Best of luck!
Do you have tips on how to write a scholarship essay? Share them below! Plus, check out The Ultimate Guide to College Scholarships!
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How To Write A Scholarship Essay With Examples In 2023
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Are you dreaming of studying abroad but worried about the costs? We get it - pursuing higher education can be expensive! Luckily, plenty of scholarships are available to help you achieve your goals! You must submit an essay explaining why you need financial assistance to apply for a scholarship. Don't worry - we've compiled the ultimate guide to help you write a compelling scholarship essay. Let's dive in!
What is a Scholarship Essay?
In a scholarship essay, you explain and persuade the committee members as to why you deserve financial aid. This essay is submitted with the scholarship application, and it is your one opportunity to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for scholarships.
Furthermore, these scholarships are typically provided by individual organisations. They intend to provide financial assistance to support your education. So, it is recommended to write essays that reflect the writer's beliefs and match the organisation's interests.
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How to write a Scholarship Essay?
Looking for tips on how to write a good scholarship essay? Truth be told, you will not find it. Just make sure that your essay provides insight into your vision and experience, which ultimately defines you and your passion for your study subject. Here are a few points to note
1. Have an engaging start.
Have questions about how to start an essay? Try including a quote or phrase related to your planned course that you may later introduce in the essay. Giving an idea about your interest in the subject will persuade the committee. Showing a broader understanding of your subject can assist in persuading the judges to provide you with the financial aid you need.
2. Know your target audience.
Your target audience, in this case, is the scholarship committee; you need to understand their requirements and expectations. Find out their ideal prospect and make sure you fit into that vision. Make a list of key points you want to include in your essay. You don't have to give up your vision; modify your essay to fit their parameters.
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3. Read the scholarship essay prompts thoroughly.
The first step before beginning an essay is to read the essay prompts thoroughly. The candidate must comply with the appropriate essay prompt structure and word count. Also, double-check that you are simply replying to all prompt sections.
4. Research about the scholarship provider
Read about the corporation or organisation in charge of the scholarship programme. You will find their mission and requirements on their website. This can help you customise your essay according to their needs. Learn about their mission and why they are offering this award. Many scholarship sponsors also showcase former scholarship winners on their websites, often with the winning essay. Examine what the scholarship provider says about prior winners to determine which of your qualities to emphasise in your essay.
5. Authenticity is your power
Your life and experiences are essential and significant! You are not required to fabricate or invent details to appear more deserving of the scholarship money. Your authenticity is your power; use it for your gain. It is recommended to show and not tell, as it is evident for the readers to spot such things. Instead of just explaining everything, try constructing a vivid image for the reader. Don't just claim you're stressed out because you're juggling employment and high school; make a mental image and provide clear, credible instances. You can check out our blogs on student scholarships in Australia , Ireland and the US if you are applying for scholarships abroad.
6. Seek out writing advice.
To make your essay stand out, it's important to seek out writing advice and guidance from reliable sources. Your academic advisor can provide valuable insights into the writing process, such as how to structure your essay, how to format it, and how to make your argument compelling. There are plenty of online resources that can help you improve your writing skills, such as grammar and style guides, online writing courses, and writing communities where you can get feedback on your work.
7. Look out for grammatical errors.
Make sure you proofread your essay and look for grammatical errors. You can scan your essay through various grammar-checking websites before submitting your essay.
Scholarship Essay Format
One of the key aspects of your scholarship application is your essay. Writing a compelling scholarship essay is essential to stand out from the competition and convince the selection committee that you are the best candidate for the award. However, it is equally important to pay attention to the essay format. We will discuss the important things to remember and include in a scholarship essay format.
Fonts to use for Scholarship Essay
One tip on how to format an essay is to stick to a consistent professional style. This includes 1-inch page margins, a 12-point font size double-spaced, and a "standard" script like Times New Roman in classic black. Don't experiment with fonts or colours here. You want the content of your essay to stand out, not your unconventional formatting.
Scholarship Essay Title
The essay submission format determines this. You can copy and paste the body of your essay without a title if there is a text box entry. If you attach an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can include a title, although this is usually unnecessary unless there are specific scholarship essay format rules. Also, there is no need to add the essay question or prompt at the top of your essay.
Scholarship Essay Structure
The structure of the essay is a very crucial element. The structure of the essay helps you make a blueprint and guides you in deciding which points have to be included under which section. This is a format that is generally used while writing the essay.
The scholarship essay format first needs to draw the attention of the reader with a catchy beginning line relating to the question. Introduce your significant points, which you will discuss later in your essay. Include a strong point that proves your determination and drive to attend college.
Extend your critical points in the essay format. Support your claims with proof, examples, and facts. This is the section where you can tell the committee how you got to where you are now, what inspired your hobbies, interests, or desire to attend college, and how the scholarship will help you reach your academic and/or personal goals. Remember to utilise specifics instead of broad remarks.
Describe how earning this award might help you achieve your goals and have a broader community impact, if any. Explain how critical this scholarship is to you, not only financially but also in terms of helping you reach your goals.
You can know more through our other blogs on thesis statements and personal statements with examples. We have compiled some of the best scholarship essay examples which you can go through before starting your essay.
Scholarship Essay Examples
However, many overlook that receiving many minor scholarship applications can be life-changing. The essays below can help you move from planning and living your college and achieving professional goals.
1. This essay example is from the New York University College of Arts and Science essay.
"Although I agree that I will never be able to support myself only via ice skating, the education and talents I have obtained have opened endless avenues. Ice skating has given me the work ethic, resilience and inspiration to grow as a teacher and English speaker. It has helped my academic performance by instilling in me the importance of rhythm, health, and routine. "
2. This essay example is an excerpt from the North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship-winning essay.
"My parents pushed me to respect school when I was five years old because they were born in Vietnam and had limited access to education. Because of this disadvantage, I learnt to take everything seriously and to give everything I had to fulfil projects like founding my school's Badminton Club in my fresher year and Red Cross Club this year. The more I got involved, the more I grew as a leader and as a person. As a leader, I acted the same way I did with my younger cousins and siblings. "
3. This essay example is an excerpt from the Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship winning essay.
"My life objective is to make films that transform how society perceives groups of people, often defined by stereotypes and clichés. Through the American Institute of Foreign Studies' year-long programme in Prague, I will obtain the cinematic and philosophical tools to create films that will assist others in better comprehending the LGBTQ community. I've been producing videos since I could wield a camera, but I'd like to take it a step further now.."
Top 5 Scholarships and Scholarship Essays
The scholarship essay is written in order to give a small demonstration to the scholarship committee as to why you deserve the scholarship and what makes you the best among other students. You can highlight some of the challenges and how you coped up and overcame them, which shows your problem-solving ability. Here are the top 5 scholarships:
1. Kang Foundation and Legal Scholarship
2. New York University Scholarship
3. North Coast Section Foundation Scholarship
4. Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship 1
5. Questbridge Scholarship
Scholarship Essay Prompts
Are you struggling to come up with ideas for your scholarship essay? There are plenty of standard essay prompts and topics out there to guide you. These prompts will help you get started on your essay and give it a definite structure. Let's explore some useful prompts that you can use to write an outstanding essay.
1. My family members.
2. My part-time job efforts in high school.
3. The Doors I have opened.
4. My Dreams and Inspiration.
5. Learning for the best - how (person) changed my life.
6. The person who is influenced by views.
7. Goals I will achieve in 10 years.
8. What differentiates you from the hundreds of students who apply for our scholarships?
9. How has the death of a parent or guardian impacted your life financially and emotionally?
10. What makes a good doctor?
Scholarship Essay Tips
It is crucial to make your essay stand out from the hundreds of other applicants while working on it. A well-written and formatted essay can not only grab the attention of the scholarship committee but also make a strong impression, increasing the likelihood of obtaining the scholarship. Here are some tips to follow to make your essay engaging and memorable
- Choose a topic you are passionate about.
- Follow a narrative structure.
- Re-read the essay prompt and identify the key themes.
- Outline your essay before writing.
- Make sure your outline does justice to your essay prompt.
- Add your real-life experiences and highlight your problem-solving abilities.
- Talk about your accomplishments without bragging too much.
- Make sure your essay has a flow.
- Have someone with strong writing skills proofread your essay.
- Be concise and specific, and avoid generalising.
- Empower your sentences with punctuation.
- Do a little research about the university and the scholarship they are providing before starting your essay.
- Be professional, but write the essay in your own voice.
- Avoid including inspirational quotes in your essay.
Do's and Don'ts of Writing a Scholarship Essay
Writing a scholarship essay may seem like a daunting task, but keeping the necessary guidelines in mind will make the process smoother. Here are some do's and don'ts that you should follow.
- Before writing your essay, read and understand the prompt carefully. You need to know the requirements and what the college is looking for, so tailor your essay accordingly.
- Your essay should showcase your achievements and why you deserve the scholarship out of all the other applicants. Mention your personal achievements, skills and experiences that prove your suitability for the scholarship.
- Be authentic and personal in your writing; your essay should be a reflection of who you are as a person. Your goal should be to create a lasting impression on the scholarship committee after reading your essay.
- Do edit and proofread your essay with care before submitting it. Check for grammar mistakes, coherence and flow of content. Your essay should be polished and professional.
- Never plagiarise in your essay, as this will definitely get your application rejected. Use your authentic words and ideas, and cite any sources properly if you need to use them in your essay.
- Avoid drama and emotions in the content of your essay. Even though you wish to add a personal touch to the essay with your qualities and experiences, you don't want to come across as insincere or overly emotional.
- Submit your essay before the deadline, as missing it could potentially disqualify you from consideration.
- Your essay should be relevant to the scholarship you are applying for. Do not write an essay that is unrelated and does not answer the prompt. This may lead to disqualification, too.
We hope this guide helped you find new ways to write your scholarship essay. The amber scholarship is a scholarship provided by amber, we hope you try your luck in it! This is your chance to show the scholarship committee what you have to deserve the scholarship. This is the most crucial part of your scholarship application, so please do not waste it. Good Luck! Also, check out this blog to know everything about GRE exams in 2023. Also, check out this blog to learn how to write a literature review for a college research paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to start a scholarship essay for masters, why is a scholarship essay for masters an important part of the application process, are scholarship essays and college essays the same, can you write scholarship essays in a 2nd and 3rd person perspective, what are some important aspects to keep in mind when writing a scholarship essay for masters, unlock your free flight ticket.
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Frequently asked questions
What should i write in a scholarship essay.
A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.
After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.
Frequently asked questions: College admissions essays
When writing your Common App essay , choose a prompt that sparks your interest and that you can connect to a unique personal story.
No matter which prompt you choose, admissions officers are more interested in your ability to demonstrate personal development , insight, or motivation for a certain area of study.
The Common App essay is your primary writing sample within the Common Application, a college application portal accepted by more than 900 schools. All your prospective schools that accept the Common App will read this essay to understand your character, background, and value as a potential student.
Since this essay is read by many colleges, avoid mentioning any college names or programs; instead, save tailored answers for the supplementary school-specific essays within the Common App.
Most importantly, your essay should be about you , not another person or thing. An insightful college admissions essay requires deep self-reflection, authenticity, and a balance between confidence and vulnerability.
Your essay shouldn’t be a résumé of your experiences but instead should tell a story that demonstrates your most important values and qualities.
When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding your message and content. Then, check for flow, tone, style , and clarity. Finally, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors .
If your college essay goes over the word count limit , cut any sentences with tangents or irrelevant details. Delete unnecessary words that clutter your essay.
If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.
If you’ve got to write your college essay fast , don’t panic. First, set yourself deadlines: you should spend about 10% of your remaining time on brainstorming, 10% on outlining, 40% writing, 30% revising, and 10% taking breaks in between stages.
Second, brainstorm stories and values based on your essay prompt.
Third, outline your essay based on the montage or narrative essay structure .
Fourth, write specific, personal, and unique stories that would be hard for other students to replicate.
Fifth, revise your essay and make sure it’s clearly written.
Last, if possible, get feedback from an essay coach . Scribbr essay editors can help you revise your essay in 12 hours or less.
Avoid swearing in a college essay , since admissions officers’ opinions of profanity will vary. In some cases, it might be okay to use a vulgar word, such as in dialogue or quotes that make an important point in your essay. However, it’s safest to try to make the same point without swearing.
If you have bad grades on your transcript, you may want to use your college admissions essay to explain the challenging circumstances that led to them. Make sure to avoid dwelling on the negative aspects and highlight how you overcame the situation or learned an important lesson.
However, some college applications offer an additional information section where you can explain your bad grades, allowing you to choose another meaningful topic for your college essay.
Here’s a brief list of college essay topics that may be considered cliché:
- Extracurriculars, especially sports
- Role models
- Dealing with a personal tragedy or death in the family
- Struggling with new life situations (immigrant stories, moving homes, parents’ divorce)
- Becoming a better person after community service, traveling, or summer camp
- Overcoming a difficult class
- Using a common object as an extended metaphor
It’s easier to write a standout essay with a unique topic. However, it’s possible to make a common topic compelling with interesting story arcs, uncommon connections, and an advanced writing style.
Yes. The college application essay is less formal than other academic writing —though of course it’s not mandatory to use contractions in your essay.
In a college essay , you can be creative with your language . When writing about the past, you can use the present tense to make the reader feel as if they were there in the moment with you. But make sure to maintain consistency and when in doubt, default to the correct verb tense according to the time you’re writing about.
The college admissions essay gives admissions officers a different perspective on you beyond your academic achievements, test scores, and extracurriculars. It’s your chance to stand out from other applicants with similar academic profiles by telling a unique, personal, and specific story.
Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial to avoid distracting the reader from your college essay’s content.
A college application essay is less formal than most academic writing . Instead of citing sources formally with in-text citations and a reference list, you can cite them informally in your text.
For example, “In her research paper on genetics, Quinn Roberts explores …”
There is no set number of paragraphs in a college admissions essay . College admissions essays can diverge from the traditional five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in English class. Just make sure to stay under the specified word count .
Most topics are acceptable for college essays if you can use them to demonstrate personal growth or a lesson learned. However, there are a few difficult topics for college essays that should be avoided. Avoid topics that are:
- Overly personal (e.g. graphic details of illness or injury, romantic or sexual relationships)
- Not personal enough (e.g. broad solutions to world problems, inspiring people or things)
- Too negative (e.g. an in-depth look at your flaws, put-downs of others, criticizing the need for a college essay)
- Too boring (e.g. a resume of your academic achievements and extracurriculars)
- Inappropriate for a college essay (e.g. illegal activities, offensive humor, false accounts of yourself, bragging about privilege)
To write an effective diversity essay , include vulnerable, authentic stories about your unique identity, background, or perspective. Provide insight into how your lived experience has influenced your outlook, activities, and goals. If relevant, you should also mention how your background has led you to apply for this university and why you’re a good fit.
Many universities believe a student body composed of different perspectives, beliefs, identities, and backgrounds will enhance the campus learning and community experience.
Admissions officers are interested in hearing about how your unique background, identity, beliefs, culture, or characteristics will enrich the campus community, which is why they assign a diversity essay .
In addition to your main college essay , some schools and scholarships may ask for a supplementary essay focused on an aspect of your identity or background. This is sometimes called a diversity essay .
You can use humor in a college essay , but carefully consider its purpose and use it wisely. An effective use of humor involves unexpected, keen observations of the everyday, or speaks to a deeper theme. Humor shouldn’t be the main focus of the essay, but rather a tool to improve your storytelling.
Get a second opinion from a teacher, counselor, or essay coach on whether your essay’s humor is appropriate.
Though admissions officers are interested in hearing your story, they’re also interested in how you tell it. An exceptionally written essay will differentiate you from other applicants, meaning that admissions officers will spend more time reading it.
You can use literary devices to catch your reader’s attention and enrich your storytelling; however, focus on using just a few devices well, rather than trying to use as many as possible.
To decide on a good college essay topic , spend time thoughtfully answering brainstorming questions. If you still have trouble identifying topics, try the following two strategies:
- Identify your qualities → Brainstorm stories that demonstrate these qualities
- Identify memorable stories → Connect your qualities to these stories
You can also ask family, friends, or mentors to help you brainstorm topics, give feedback on your potential essay topics, or recall key stories that showcase your qualities.
Yes—admissions officers don’t expect everyone to have a totally unique college essay topic . But you must differentiate your essay from others by having a surprising story arc, an interesting insight, and/or an advanced writing style .
There are no foolproof college essay topics —whatever your topic, the key is to write about it effectively. However, a good topic
- Is meaningful, specific, and personal to you
- Focuses on you and your experiences
- Reveals something beyond your test scores, grades, and extracurriculars
- Is creative and original
Unlike a five-paragraph essay, your admissions essay should not end by summarizing the points you’ve already made. It’s better to be creative and aim for a strong final impression.
You should also avoid stating the obvious (for example, saying that you hope to be accepted).
There are a few strategies you can use for a memorable ending to your college essay :
- Return to the beginning with a “full circle” structure
- Reveal the main point or insight in your story
- Look to the future
- End on an action
The best technique will depend on your topic choice, essay outline, and writing style. You can write several endings using different techniques to see which works best.
College deadlines vary depending on the schools you’re applying to and your application plan:
- For early action applications and the first round of early decision applications, the deadline is on November 1 or 15. Decisions are released by mid-December.
- For the second round of early decision applications, the deadline is January 1 or 15. Decisions are released in January or February.
- Regular decision deadlines usually fall between late November and mid-March, and decisions are released in March or April.
- Rolling admission deadlines run from July to April, and decisions are released around four to eight weeks after submission.
Depending on your prospective schools’ requirements, you may need to submit scores for the SAT or ACT as part of your college application .
Some schools now no longer require students to submit test scores; however, you should still take the SAT or ACT and aim to get a high score to strengthen your application package.
Aim to take the SAT or ACT in the spring of your junior year to give yourself enough time to retake it in the fall of your senior year if necessary.
Apply early for federal student aid and application fee waivers. You can also look for scholarships from schools, corporations, and charitable foundations.
To maximize your options, you should aim to apply to about eight schools:
- Two reach schools that might be difficult to get into
- Four match schools that you have a good chance of getting into
- Two safety schools that you feel confident you’ll get into
The college admissions essay accounts for roughly 25% of the weight of your application .
At highly selective schools, there are four qualified candidates for every spot. While your academic achievements are important, your college admissions essay can help you stand out from other applicants with similar profiles.
In general, for your college application you will need to submit all of the following:
- Your personal information
- List of extracurriculars and awards
- College application essays
- Standardized test scores
- Recommendation letters.
Different colleges may have specific requirements, so make sure you check exactly what’s expected in the application guidance.
You should start thinking about your college applications the summer before your junior year to give you sufficient time for college visits, taking standardized tests, applying for financial aid , writing essays, and collecting application material.
Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.
If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .
You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.
Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.
You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.
A standout college essay has several key ingredients:
- A unique, personally meaningful topic
- A memorable introduction with vivid imagery or an intriguing hook
- Specific stories and language that show instead of telling
- Vulnerability that’s authentic but not aimed at soliciting sympathy
- Clear writing in an appropriate style and tone
- A conclusion that offers deep insight or a creative ending
While timelines will differ depending on the student, plan on spending at least 1–3 weeks brainstorming and writing the first draft of your college admissions essay , and at least 2–4 weeks revising across multiple drafts. Don’t forget to save enough time for breaks between each writing and editing stage.
You should already begin thinking about your essay the summer before your senior year so that you have plenty of time to try out different topics and get feedback on what works.
Your college essay accounts for about 25% of your application’s weight. It may be the deciding factor in whether you’re accepted, especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurricular track records.
In most cases, quoting other people isn’t a good way to start your college essay . Admissions officers want to hear your thoughts about yourself, and quotes often don’t achieve that. Unless a quote truly adds something important to your essay that it otherwise wouldn’t have, you probably shouldn’t include it.
Cliché openers in a college essay introduction are usually general and applicable to many students and situations. Most successful introductions are specific: they only work for the unique essay that follows.
The key to a strong college essay introduction is not to give too much away. Try to start with a surprising statement or image that raises questions and compels the reader to find out more.
The introduction of your college essay is the first thing admissions officers will read and therefore your most important opportunity to stand out. An excellent introduction will keep admissions officers reading, allowing you to tell them what you want them to know.
You can speed up this process by shortening and smoothing your writing with a paraphrasing tool . After that, you can use the summarizer to shorten it even more.
If you’re struggling to reach the word count for your college essay, add vivid personal stories or share your feelings and insight to give your essay more depth and authenticity.
Most college application portals specify a word count range for your essay, and you should stay within 10% of the upper limit to write a developed and thoughtful essay.
You should aim to stay under the specified word count limit to show you can follow directions and write concisely. However, don’t write too little, as it may seem like you are unwilling or unable to write a detailed and insightful narrative about yourself.
If no word count is specified, we advise keeping your essay between 400 and 600 words.
In your application essay , admissions officers are looking for particular features : they want to see context on your background, positive traits that you could bring to campus, and examples of you demonstrating those qualities.
Colleges want to be able to differentiate students who seem similar on paper. In the college application essay , they’re looking for a way to understand each applicant’s unique personality and experiences.
You don’t need a title for your college admissions essay , but you can include one if you think it adds something important.
Your college essay’s format should be as simple as possible:
- Use a standard, readable font
- Use 1.5 or double spacing
- If attaching a file, save it as a PDF
- Stick to the word count
- Avoid unusual formatting and unnecessary decorative touches
There are no set rules for how to structure a college application essay , but these are two common structures that work:
- A montage structure, a series of vignettes with a common theme.
- A narrative structure, a single story that shows your personal growth or how you overcame a challenge.
Avoid the five-paragraph essay structure that you learned in high school.
Campus visits are always helpful, but if you can’t make it in person, the college website will have plenty of information for you to explore. You should look through the course catalog and even reach out to current faculty with any questions about the school.
Colleges set a “Why this college?” essay because they want to see that you’ve done your research. You must prove that you know what makes the school unique and can connect that to your own personal goals and academic interests.
Depending on your writing, you may go through several rounds of revision . Make sure to put aside your essay for a little while after each editing stage to return with a fresh perspective.
Teachers and guidance counselors can help you check your language, tone, and content . Ask for their help at least one to two months before the submission deadline, as many other students will also want their help.
Friends and family are a good resource to check for authenticity. It’s best to seek help from family members with a strong writing or English educational background, or from older siblings and cousins who have been through the college admissions process.
If possible, get help from an essay coach or editor ; they’ll have specialized knowledge of college admissions essays and be able to give objective expert feedback.
When revising your college essay , first check for big-picture issues regarding message, flow, tone, style , and clarity. Then, focus on eliminating grammar and punctuation errors.
Include specific, personal details and use your authentic voice to shed a new perspective on a common human experience.
Through specific stories, you can weave your achievements and qualities into your essay so that it doesn’t seem like you’re bragging from a resume.
When writing about yourself , including difficult experiences or failures can be a great way to show vulnerability and authenticity, but be careful not to overshare, and focus on showing how you matured from the experience.
First, spend time reflecting on your core values and character . You can start with these questions:
- What are three words your friends or family would use to describe you, and why would they choose them?
- Whom do you admire most and why?
- What are you most proud of? Ashamed of?
However, you should do a comprehensive brainstorming session to fully understand your values. Also consider how your values and goals match your prospective university’s program and culture. Then, brainstorm stories that illustrate the fit between the two.
In a college application essay , you can occasionally bend grammatical rules if doing so adds value to the storytelling process and the essay maintains clarity.
However, use standard language rules if your stylistic choices would otherwise distract the reader from your overall narrative or could be easily interpreted as unintentional errors.
Write concisely and use the active voice to maintain a quick pace throughout your essay and make sure it’s the right length . Avoid adding definitions unless they provide necessary explanation.
Use first-person “I” statements to speak from your perspective . Use appropriate word choices that show off your vocabulary but don’t sound like you used a thesaurus. Avoid using idioms or cliché expressions by rewriting them in a creative, original way.
If you’re an international student applying to a US college and you’re comfortable using American idioms or cultural references , you can. But instead of potentially using them incorrectly, don’t be afraid to write in detail about yourself within your own culture.
Provide context for any words, customs, or places that an American admissions officer might be unfamiliar with.
College application essays are less formal than other kinds of academic writing . Use a conversational yet respectful tone , as if speaking with a teacher or mentor. Be vulnerable about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences to connect with the reader.
Aim to write in your authentic voice , with a style that sounds natural and genuine. You can be creative with your word choice, but don’t use elaborate vocabulary to impress admissions officers.
Admissions officers use college admissions essays to evaluate your character, writing skills , and ability to self-reflect . The essay is your chance to show what you will add to the academic community.
The college essay may be the deciding factor in your application , especially for competitive schools where most applicants have exceptional grades, test scores, and extracurriculars.
Some colleges also require supplemental essays about specific topics, such as why you chose that specific college . Scholarship essays are often required to obtain financial aid .
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How to Write a Scholarship Essay and Win BIG [2022 Edition]
With a new school year here, now’s the perfect time to get serious about searching for and winning scholarships to pay for college!
Since many applications for scholarships require an essay, you’ll want to know how to write one that persuades the scholarship program board that you’re the right person to receive the money available!
If done right, your scholarship essay is a window into your world. Similar to your personal statement for college applications, these essays should give the readers a sense of you as a dimensional person—beyond what your high school GPA and test scores alone can reflect.
At Scholly, we’ve collectively written and read TONS of scholarship essays. And, in this post, we’re sharing our favorite tips and strategies to help you write winning scholarship essays and drastically improve your chances of graduating debt free !
Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover:
- 18 tips for writing a winning essay for scholarship applications
- 10 things to leave out of your scholarship essays
- An outline to help you format your essay
- 3 winning scholarship essay examples
Feel free to jump ahead to the section that interests you most or follow along as we begin with…
18 Tips for Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay
#1 adhere to the principles of writing any strong essay.
Like any other essay you write for school, you’ll want to format your scholarship essays in a way that makes it easy for the reader to consume and digest the content. In other words, a winning essay will have a good “flow.”
Here are some effective essay writing skills that will help you develop an effective scholarship essay format:
- Have a strong opening sentence to the essay, sometimes called a “hook.” This is a great overview of types of essay hooks , but remember, stay true to your own voice and tone (more on this later).
For example, you may want to come out of the gates strong with a snapshot of where you see yourself in 10 years, after getting the education of your dreams: “Diving deep into the mysterious reaches of the ocean daily may not be everyone’s central goal in life, but I can’t wait to search for and protect endangered aquatic life for a living.”
- Stick to the tried-and-true introduction, body, and conclusion structure. Even if the essay prompt seems relatively loose, you’ll want your essay to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Start new paragraphs for new ideas. It’s MUCH better to have more short paragraphs than whopping paragraphs that are hard to read!
- Make sure to wrap up your essay neatly and don’t just dead-end it. You can round it out, for example, with a declaration of why you wish to pursue post secondary education: “Ultimately, I want to be a strong role model for other young women who may have been afraid to use their voices.” You may not have time for a whole conclusion paragraph, but a quick “bow” on the end is nice.
And because sometimes the hardest part is starting when writing a scholarships essay or personal statement, here’s a video that will give you some ideas on how to write an intriguing first line:
#2 Familiarize yourself with the essay prompt… and stick to it!
Read the prompt several times and be totally clear about what it’s asking. Many scholarship programs have similar themes for the essay prompts, such as how you’ve demonstrated leadership qualities or how greater financial freedom will impact your life as a college student.
If the prompt doesn’t seem to have a question in it (e.g. “Reflect on the state of the environment and your role in helping it”) then we highly recommend that you re-frame the essay prompt as a question. So for example, ask yourself: “What is the overall state of the world’s natural environment and how am I directly impacting it?”
And it may sound obvious, but do NOT deviate from the prompt. Your ability to address a highly specific topic is part of what scholarship committees will assess. It can be easy for your thoughts to meander, but stick directly to the prompt.
#3 Choose a topic that you genuinely enjoy
You’ll want to stick to the essay prompt. But in some cases, you may have some freedom to choose the topic, or at least the central focus. Write about a subject, event, or value that means something to you. You’ll produce better work and come across more authentically if you care about what you’re writing. This goes a long way in improving your scholarship essays without creating more hard work for yourself.
Here’s what we mean. Let’s say a prompt asks you to describe a time that you were proud of yourself. Several instances may come to mind. Maybe it was when you dove off the high diving board the first time. Or maybe it was when you returned a wallet you found with $100 inside.
Don’t choose which instance you think the scholarship essay readers want to hear . Choose the one that feels most resonant to you . It may sound cheesy, but when you write earnestly from the heart, your writing will be much stronger.
#4 Do a little research on the scholarship provider
Who is the company or organization running the scholarship program? Read up a bit about them on their website’s home page. Get familiar with their mission and their motivation for giving this scholarship. When you’re better informed about the scholarship committee, you’re better able to tailor your essay to them.
Many scholarship providers also feature previous scholarship winners on their website, sometimes with the essay (or an excerpt from it) that won. Study what the scholarship provider says about those previous winners to get an idea of which of your qualities to highlight in your essay.
#5 Know the word/character limit
Most scholarship essays have a word or character limit for your essay. If you’re not used to being mindful of these parameters, it can be hard to gauge what “250 words” actually looks like. As a rule of thumb, 250 words is equivalent to one typed page, double-spaced. (And therefore 500 words = 2 typed, double-spaced pages, and so on).
We suggest that you take an essay of yours (or any piece of written work, really) and run a word/character count on it so that you can get a feel for various lengths. Microsoft Word and Google Docs have functions for this, but you can also use a letter counter like this one .
Once you know the word or character length, stick to it! If you have to write a 500 word essay , don’t write 501 words. You can be disqualified for going over. And while you don’t necessarily have to write an essay that hits the limit, it’s a good rule of thumb to come as close as possible.
#6 Brainstorm and plan
We can’t stress this one enough. The entire essay writing process will go much more smoothly if you have a road map for where you’re going. The very first step is to get some organic ideas circulating so that you end up choosing an essay focus that makes the most sense for you. Here are some awesome essay brainstorming techniques .
After you have a clear sense of your essay’s focus, you can begin to outline. Some students like to skip the outline. But an outline actually makes the drafting process much faster. That’s why we’ve shared an essay outline you can use later in this post!
Depending on the length and depth of the essay, you can even just lay out the details you’ll want to include in your introduction, body, and conclusion. It can be as simple as that, but you don’t want to skip the planning process.
#7 Appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos
Uh, what-os? If you haven’t learned about ethos, pathos, and logos yet, let’s give you a quick primer. Ethos, pathos, and logos are modes of persuading your reader. In other words, they’re techniques to make your work more powerful and convincing.
Here is a great overview of ethos, pathos, and logos , but in short, here’s what each refers to:
Ethos = how you establish your own credibility, reliability, or authority on the subject matter (hint: you’ll be relying largely on your own life experiences in your scholarship essays).
For example, you might discuss how your experience working a part-time job has influenced your thoughts on minimum wage laws.
Pathos = how you use emotional appeal (including creativity, imagination, etc.) to tell your story or make your case.
For example, you might paint a picture of all of the wildlife lost in massive brush fires.
Logos = how you use logic or ration to convey your point.
For example, you may use statistics to convey how reliant high school students are on their cell phones.
Here’s a graphic that breaks down ethos, pathos, and logos clearly:
Basically, in the ideal essay, you’ll use all three types of support to make your essay as earnest and persuasive as possible.
#8 Be honest
Your life and experiences are interesting and important! You do not need to embellish or make up details to try to seem more deserving of the scholarship money. Nothing is more powerful than your authenticity. And trust us, it’s much easier for readers to spot baloney in an essay than you may think.
Here’s a simple example. If you’re a tutor, you may be inclined to say something a bit dramatic, like, “over the last 4 years, I’ve had the privilege of helping shape thousands of lives.”
Hmmm…have you really tutored thousands of students? Likely not—you’re busy! We get it. It’s easy to embellish.
Instead, you could say something to the effect of: “After 4 years of tutoring nearly 150 individuals in math and science, I feel my own math and material science skills have improved substantially.”
Trust us—your unexaggerated accomplishments are impressive!
#9 Show, don’t tell
This is the cardinal rule for creative writing. Try to paint a vivid picture for your reader instead of just explaining everything. For example, don’t just say that you’re stressed out by juggling work and high school. Illustrate what that stress looks like in your life. (Are you pulling all-nighters and pounding coffee? Doing homework on your breaks between work, school activities, and community service?) Create a picture, and provide specific, believable examples.
Here’s an example of something you might write if you’re asked to discuss a challenge you’ve faced:
Instead of saying “In middle school, I tore my ACL playing ice hockey,” you can be more vivid.
Try something like: “It was like an anvil had smashed down on my knee. In searing pain, I laid on the ice as the crowd fell silent. Something was very wrong.”
Notice how we immediately FEEL the impact of the injury in the latter example!
Here’s a video from Reedsy that shares some more creative writing tips to help you do more showing than telling when you start writing your scholarships essays:
#10 Be specific and concise
While we encourage you to be evocative in your language, we also want to stress that you should get to the point. Typically, the simplest, most direct word choices are the most effective. Avoid generalizations in favor of specific examples. Likewise, avoid flowery language in favor of more succinct sentences.
Let’s demonstrate. The following sentiment feels overly general and wordy:
“I love nature because nature is beautiful. Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing I don’t like to do in nature. Really, it’s been my favorite place to be since a young age and any activity that involves being outside is just good for my soul.”
This rewrite expresses the same idea in a much more succinct way:
“Whether I’m hiking, wading in the ocean, or planting seasonal flowers in the garden, I am rejuvenated by being in nature.”
#11 Use exclamation points sparingly
We all know that exclamation marks indicate excitement! Right?!
Truthfully, we love exclamation points! And while winning financial aid in the form of scholarships IS very exciting, too many exclamation marks can be overkill.
So as a rule of thumb, don’t use more than a couple of exclamation marks throughout your scholarship essay. Also make sure they’re appropriate to the prompt. We’ve seen some pretty creative scholarship essay prompts in our day (like one that asks to share a funny story or joke). In this case, you can use exclamation marks more freely.
Many people falsely believe that an exclamation mark will make a sentence more powerful. But the truth is, empowering statements pack a punch without one.
For example, “I’m looking forward to becoming a lawyer as a means of creating a more just and egalitarian world” is a powerful statement. You don’t need to throw an exclamation point on the end to make it more resonant.
#12 Emphasize your resilience
Scholarship prompts often ask you about a hardship you’ve overcome. We love this type of question because it gives the reader a chance to understand a student’s resilience and ability to problem solve. These characteristics are huge on a scholarship essay.
The mistake many students make on this question is to write 100% about the hardships they’ve faced without acknowledging or discussing how they overcame them. Essay readers are not simply looking for the hardest story when selecting a winner, but rather a complete narrative that includes how the student has worked to overcome the challenge.
In addition, we recommend focusing on a central event or experience — which tends to read as more powerful, especially when faced with a word or character limit. You may have faced several hardships in your life, but your essay will be more focused if you choose one that you’ve overcome.
#13 Be professional… but also be yourself
While you’ll want to avoid swearing and overly colloquial or conversational language, you DO want to be yourself. That means writing in your own voice and tone. So long as you keep it professional, readers want you to sound like YOU. You don’t have to write a stuffy essay for it to be good! Keep it clean and clear, but also keep it real!
Here’s a great piece on the difference between voice and tone , and how you can improve your writing skills to stand out.
#14 Sell yourself… but also be humble
Is this the definition of a humble brag? Maybe. Your scholarship essay is a great place to share your accomplishments. But don’t just list all of your best qualities and accomplishments as a rationale for why you deserve the scholarship award. It’s important to strike a fine balance.
For example, the following sounds a bit like a brag “pile on:”
“As a straight-A student who is always the first to get the answers in my classes, the captain of my debate team, and a proud volunteer at the homeless shelter, I truly believe I deserve this scholarship.”
Instead, you can simply say something like, “The discipline I bring to my academics and volunteer work reflects how hard I intend to work in my college courses, and I would be grateful for the financial assistance to attend.”
#15 Be brief with your “thank you”
Your character, dedication, and integrity should come through naturally in your writing. You don’t need to add a long-winded “Thank you for reading this essay” paragraph at the end of your essay.
Most scholarship essays are fairly short, so avoid bloating your essay with gratitude and praise for the opportunity. Use your character and words allotments to answer the prompt thoroughly instead!
If you have space, a brief thank you is thoughtful and appropriate. But you’ll want to be as succinct as possible. For example, at the very end of your essay, you can simply say something like, “Thank you for this opportunity and for taking the time to read this essay.” Bam. Polite but to the point.
If you can’t fit your thanks in the essay due to the word count, you can also wait to write a thank you letter after you’ve received the scholarship.
#16 Pause, proofread, and revise
The author Robert Graves said, “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting,” and it’s true; nothing comes out perfect the first time. So revise, revise, revise!
In the revision process, we’re HUGE fans of taking breaks. Walk away from your work to clear your mind and then come back to it. You’ll see your essay with fresh eyes which will help you take it to the next level.
If you feel comfortable doing so, it’s also a good idea to hand off your work to someone else for feedback. Choose a trusted teacher, peer, or friend, and be open to their suggestions for improvement.
#17 Give yourself enough time
Like any written assignment, you’ll want to give yourself enough time to think about the prompt, plan, draft, and revise. A well-planned essay has a much higher chance of winning than one you crank out last minute.
We recommend giving yourself at least 2 weeks before the deadline of an essay to brainstorm, draft, and revise your essay. Ideally, you should leave a couple of days between each of these stages of the essay writing process. This break will help you avoid essay writing burnout. It’ll also give you a better chance to edit errors, typos, and places for improvement.
#18 Reuse your scholarships essays
Sometimes you don’t even need to write a new scholarship essay. If the essay prompts and directions are nearly identical between one scholarship application and another, you can reuse the essay. If you’re a high school senior, you might even be able to reuse the personal statement you write for college applications. And this will save you a ton of time!
For example, let’s say one scholarship asks you to write an essay addressing a prompt that says something like “Why should you receive this scholarship?” and another gives you a prompt like “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”. Your answer to both prompts is probably going to be the same, right?
Write the essay for one application. Then, reuse and adapt that same essay to fit the word count, directions, etc. of the second application.
Just make sure of one thing: if you mention the scholarship provider’s name (e.g. Coca Cola Foundation) in your essay, remember to change the name when reusing the essay for another scholarship application!
10 Things to Leave Out of Your Scholarship Essay
Now that you have a sense of how to attack your scholarship essay, let’s take a look at what to leave out of it.
Keep in mind that these rules aren’t written in stone, of course, but they’re guidelines that will help you write the most unique and compelling scholarship essay possible.
Okay, so here’s what you’ll typically want to avoid…
#1 Inspirational quotes
Who doesn’t love an inspirational quote?! We sure do. Whether you find them scrolling Instagram or keep them tacked up above your desk, a great quote can be super empowering. But when it comes to scholarship essays, it’s better to leave them out.
DON’T drop in famous quotes, many of which are overused. For example: “Mahatma Gandhi said to ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ which is why I’m applying for this scholarship award. I want to attend college so I can become a nurse and change the world.”
Here’s the thing: wanting to be a nurse is incredibly admirable in its own right! It doesn’t have to be attached to anyone else’s sweeping statements about life or humanity. This essay is about you , so famous quotes are just a distraction.
DO include meaningful advice or wisdom you’ve received directly from the important people in your life. This is much more personal and will provide a unique account of who you are and what you’re all about.
For example: “My mother, a registered nurse for 20 years, has always encouraged me to help care for others as a means of making the world a better place. This is why I’m planning to follow in her footsteps and go to nursing school.”
#2 Overly general phrases and platitudes
The name of the game for winning scholarships is standing out from the mix. This means you don’t want to say the exact same thing as hundreds of other applicants.
Platitudes are common, overly simplified statements that people use all the time. For example, “Good things come to those who wait.” These are okay phrases to say, but refrain from using them in your scholarship essays to avoid sounding like every other high school student.
DON’T discuss the scholarship opportunity in platitudes like, “It would mean the world to me to win this money” or “Winning this scholarship would be life-changing.” These statements may be true, but they don’t really tell us much about you.
DO illustrate specifically how things will change if you win the scholarship money. For example, “This scholarship award would enable me to have only one part-time job instead of two, providing me more time to focus on my college courses.”
#3 Cliche stories or themes
Many scholarship essay prompts ask you to discuss how winning a scholarship would impact you. And this is often where cliches creep in.
Cliches are phrases, stories, or themes that are overused to the point that they lose their power and meaning. And they’ll definitely weaken your scholarship essay.
The most common example of a cliche theme in scholarship essays is the “Cinderella” or “underdog” storyline (think: Cinderella getting her glass slipper, only the scholarship is the glass slipper). Many cliches involve a person who, with a little help, turns it all around and prevails.
In real life, we LOVE a Cinderella story as much as anyone. But you can imagine why this type of story ends up in scholarship essays a lot!
DON’T simply share a story about yourself that paints you as a down-on-your-luck student who could have it all if ONLY you won this scholarship money. Here’s what this might look like: “I’ve never really won anything in life: no contests, giveaways, or competitions. But if I win this scholarship and save money on college, I’ll be able to focus 100% on my academic performance and become the youngest Supreme Court Justice in American history.”
Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about dreaming BIG! But when it comes to scholarship essays, we want to help you to avoid falling into cliche narratives that dampen the power of your story and hurt your chances of winning.
DO be realistic and specific when talking about yourself, your background, your career goals, your leadership qualities, and your aspirations. Focus on one primary goal that you’ll be better able to attain if you win the scholarship money. For example: “As a Spanish double major, I would love the opportunity to study abroad as an international student in Madrid to immerse myself in the culture and become fluent in Spanish. Winning this scholarship money would help fund my semester overseas.”
Here’s another one that probably seems WAY obvious. You’d never swear in a scholarship essay, right? But you may be surprised at how many people do!
DON’T use any profanity or curse words, even if they’re part of common phrases that we hear all the time on TV and in the real world.
For example, try not to say things like: “I’ve worked my ass off for 18 years and now I am ready to apply myself even further in this rigorous pre-med program.”
Will you actually offend anyone with that kind of conversational tone? Probably not. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, we know you can be more creative than that!
DO stress your excitement, perseverance, and preparedness for this next chapter without the curse words. You can always use a thesaurus to look up new and exciting ways to say things or use imagery to paint a picture of your experiences.
For example: “Being a college student has been a marathon and at times I’ve worried I may not cross the finish line. But now that I’ve graduated, I know what I’m capable of and I’m thrilled to be starting this graduate program.”
#5 “Text speak”
We realize that texting is the way of the world. And we’re all pretty accustomed to abbreviating words and using acronyms daily (smdh and lol-ing about how common this language is now). But keep your “text speak” in your group chats and out of your scholarship essays.
Your scholarship essay is a great place to showcase your eloquence and professionalism, so (unless directed otherwise), write as you would for a teacher or a boss.
DON’T use statements like, “College should be free for everyone IMO, but because it’s not, I need this scholarship 2 help fund my education.” It looks hilarious taken out of context, right? This kind of thing is super common and distracting for the reader.
DO remove any and all “text speak” in favor of your own unique voice and tone. You can still use mild humor and even talk like you , but keep it academic and professional.
#6 Controversial topics
Unless the essay prompt explicitly asks you to address a currently trending, controversial topic and take a stance on it, don’t. These essays are about you.
Based on the prompt and your personal experiences, perhaps you’ll discuss a “hot topic,” but don’t do so just to make your essay stand out. You’ll risk alienating your reader(s).
We definitely encourage you to be yourself, and to be open and honest about your life experiences, but “hot takes” are better left for Twitter than used in scholarship essays.
DON’T treat your scholarship essay like a platform to tackle a trending topic. A thoughtful essay reads 100 times better than your stance on a popular topic of the moment.
DO take firm stances on causes that you believe in and articulate how winning this scholarship will help you advocate for them. For example, you can certainly discuss your commitment to advocating for gender equality or against wage inequality.
To be clear: we’re NOT suggesting that you sanitize your beliefs or your writing, or dampen your beliefs to cater to specific readers. The key is to be mindful of the prompt and to avoid unnecessary detours or tangents that tread into hot take territory unrelated to the prompt.
#7 Emojis, photos, and funky fonts
We love emojis too, but they shouldn’t make their way into your scholarship essay (and, yes, we’ve seen it happen plenty of times). Unless for any reason you’re asked to creatively use an emoji in your response, just resist the urge.
The same goes for photos, fun fonts, or anything that isn’t straightforward typeface. Unless, again, you’re given the green light.
DON’T turn your scholarship essay into an art project. It may seem like a good idea, but keep it professional. More importantly, you want your essay to be as easy to read as possible, without overwhelming the readers.
DO stick to the standard: Times New Roman font, size 12 if you’re attaching your essay as a Google or Word document. If you’re pasting your essay into the text box on a website, this will format your content automatically.
And of course, read the directions carefully so you know how to format your scholarship essay when it comes to things like single vs double spacing, margins, headers/footers, etc.
#8 Extreme declarations
It’s almost always a good idea to avoid extreme, either-or perspectives. And this is definitely true when it comes to scholarship essays. An extreme declaration involves only seeing one side of a situation (often the negative side) and presenting it as fact.
DON’T make fatalistic declarations about the future and take unnecessarily strong stances on topics.
For example: “If I don’t get this scholarship, I won’t have enough financial aid to attend college and I’ll never get a good job to support myself.”
Or, “The education system in the United States is entirely broken and there’s no way to turn it around.”
See how both of these statements can give the reader a feeling that the writer is not seeing the full picture?
DO replace extreme declarations with hopeful and open-minded approaches to the future. This is not to say that you can’t take a firm and realistic stance on a topic. But try to reflect a generally optimistic and proactive mindset.
For example, if the prompt asks you about an issue facing the world today, you may say something like: “While there has undeniably been immense damage done to the planet, I’m excited to pursue a double major in environmental science and computer science as a means of taking action to reverse these toxic effects of climate change.”
Much more dynamic and compelling, right?
#9 Put-downs of other applicants
Speaking ill of anyone or saying why other students are less deserving of scholarship money isn’t a good look. You can absolutely articulate why you’re deserving without putting anyone else down!
DON’T speak unkindly about anyone, especially hypothetical applicants who you see yourself as more deserving than. This may be well-intentioned, but it’s sure to come across as distasteful no matter how well it’s written.
DO “stay in your own lane,” as they say, and don’t let the essay wander to focus on and nitpick others. Feel free to provide compelling reasons for why you’re a great candidate to receive scholarship money without bringing others into it!
#10 Your autobiography
As discussed, most scholarships require a pretty tight word or character limits, so you won’t have a lot of room to tell your whole life story. When talking about yourself, it can be easy to get on a roll and include more details than necessary. But try to stay focused.
DON’T write a complete autobiography of your life. It can be easy to believe that going beyond the word limit will come across as working harder or putting in more of an effort. In reality, scholarship committees actually put a lot of weight into your ability to follow directions. So while your autobiography may be incredible, it’s unlikely you’ll do it justice in 500 words or less (or whatever the requirement is).
DO choose and focus on a central incident, challenge, personality trait, hobby, or aspiration. For example, discuss only your love of animals, your passion for community service, your memory of the day your younger sister was born, etc.
Scholarship Essay Outline Example
We know there’s a lot of information packed in the tips we just shared. And it’d probably be a challenge to remember everything when you start writing. So, here’s an outline you can use to easily format your scholarship essays!
- Hook Introduction : Open the essay with an intriguing excerpt of the story you’ll share to address the writing prompt.
- 1-3 Body Paragraphs : Continue to share relevant details of the story, explaining how it relates to the prompt and makes you a good candidate for the specific scholarship. Be sure to highlight things scholarship committees are looking for, like leadership skills in school activities, your academic and career goals, why you’re specifically applying for this scholarship, etc.
- Conclusion : Wrap up your essay by restating your interest in the scholarship and showing how the story you’ve shared demonstrates your readiness for college.
Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
So far, we’ve shared a lot of tips and strategies to help you write the best scholarship essay possible. But what does all that look like in practice?
Here are 3 videos with scholarship essay examples from now college students who knew to apply many, if not all, of the tips we’ve shared in this blog post!
This student’s scholarship essay helped him win over $100,000 in scholarships to attend the University of Maryland, College Park!
This student’s scholarship essay helped her win a full-tuition scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University!
This student’s scholarship essay helped her win $60,000 in scholarships to attend an Ivy League university!
Want More Scholarship Opportunities?
There are tons of scholarships that you can apply for and win. So, don’t just focus on the scholarship program you’re currently writing an essay for. Apply for as many scholarships as you can!
To easily find them, download Scholly Search , the #1 scholarship app that instantly matches you with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in scholarships based on your interests, accomplishments, and traits!
You can also check out the rest of our blog where we share tips on topics, like how to find jobs with tuition reimbursement programs, understand and apply for FAFSA , and win scholarships like the National Merit Scholarship .
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How To Write a Scholarship Essay
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Paying for college is a top concern for many students in America today. Even just a generation ago, a student’s primary concern was more about getting into the college they preferred, instead of about being able to afford college at all. Now, young students are trying their best to budget and save up in order to afford a college education, and are planning ahead for how they will pay off their student loans.
As important as FAFSA is for most students , there are other options available to help students pay for their college education: mainly scholarships and grants. The best thing about these options? They don’t require repayment plans.
Debt.org notes on scholarships for students: “Each year, an estimated $46 billion in grants and scholarship money is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education and the nation’s colleges and universities. In addition, about $3.3 billion in gift aid is awarded by private sources, including individuals, foundations, corporations, churches, nonprofit groups, civic societies, veterans groups, professional groups, service clubs, unions, chambers of commerce, associations and many other organizations.”
But how can you take advantage of this $49.3 billion dollar (and growing) pool of grants and scholarships? Scholarships require either proof of academic excellence or that students meet a financial threshold, as well as completion of an application and, usually, a scholarship essay. Just as some colleges and universities require an entrance essay to apply, many scholarships also require an essay along with the application.
Writing an essay for school is one thing, but writing an essay to help you pay for college is another. Financial stability is on the line when it comes to scholarship applications, so writing a winning essay is key to impressing those granting the scholarships you’re applying for. Here are some tips to help you better prepare for your scholarship application and essay.
What Is a Scholarship Essay?
Scholarships are a form of student financial aid that do not require repayment, as long as you meet the terms of the award and use it as directed. They are often gifted based on merit, either through academic excellence, financial need (also known as “need-based” aid), or by meeting specific requirements set by the organization awarding the scholarship; such as specific scholarships or grants for women .
Aid may come from federal scholarship funds, state or local scholarship funds, or private organizations, such as churches, nonprofit groups, and more. Additionally, almost every scholarship will require an accompanying essay along with the application.
The scholarship essay varies depending on the requests of the organization granting the essay. It may require a specific word count, or be based on a prompt. Whatever the requirements are, it is essential to follow the guidelines presented in order to qualify for the scholarship. Preparing your essay is like writing a resume for financial aid, and depending on which scholarship you’re applying for, the competition may be anywhere from minimal to fierce. It’s important to write an essay that can stand out amongst the crowd of applicants.
Grant vs Scholarship
Although the terms “grant” and “scholarship” often refer to a similar idea — student financial aid that doesn’t require repayment — they are two fundamentally different awards. The key difference lies in how they are awarded, and where the funds are originating from.
Grants , such as Pell Grants, are typically awarded by the federal government and are generally awarded based on need rather than merit. There may be minimum requirements that recipients are required to live up to, such as family financial status limits, but these are often less specific than scholarship requirements are. Additionally, colleges and state agencies may also award grants based on need.
Scholarships on the other hand are often awarded based on merit. They may require that students meet (and sustain) a specific GPA in school, or that students with athletic excellence join the college’s sports team. Most scholarships will have rules that recipients are required to follow in order to continue to qualify for that scholarship. Many scholarships are funded by colleges, private organizations or donors, and some state or local programs.
Both grants and scholarships may require an accompanying essay with the application, although there are some rare cases of scholarships and grants that don’t require essays and are easier to obtain. Be cautious of fraudulent scholarships or online scams associated with “easy to obtain scholarships”, as they are becoming increasingly common online.
Steps for Writing a Scholarship Essay
Just as when applying to colleges, scholarship applications may require that you to send in your grades, academic achievements, test scores, and ambitions for the future. As such, scholarship essays offer you the chance to speak to these accomplishments and ambitions. Here you can shine and win over the organization granting the scholarship.
Once you’ve found a scholarship that you qualify for or that interests you, it’s important to read over the instructions thoroughly to understand what is expected of you. Then, follow these steps to write the perfect application essay for the scholarship of your choosing:
The prompts can be anywhere from basic — “What was a challenging experience you faced in high school and how did you overcome it?” — to more complex or specific — “How has coffee helped you study for your SAT or ACT test?”
The prompt should help you start to formulate ideas on how you want to construct your essay. Be sure to fully understand what is expected of you by reading the instructions, and do your best to not stray from the topic being covered. Some essays may have a word or page count, while others may only request you answer the prompt.
Brainstorming is an important step to ensure your idea fits with the prompt and properly expresses what you are trying to communicate through your essay. You also want to make sure that you express what is meaningful and relevant about yourself that can help your essay stand out from all the others.
One of the best ways to start constructing and organizing an essay is to create a comprehensive outline. They serve as an essential tool to help you avoid structural mistakes, repetition, and to help you cover all your bases and ideas without rambling.
Your outline should read like a barebones argument for why you deserve this scholarship and how your idea relates to the prompt given. Once you start writing the essay in full, you can fill in more of the details needed to explain your point, or to describe yourself and your situation.
Scholarship Essay Formatting
Additionally, outlines can help you properly format your scholarship essay. Here are some essential tips for your scholarship essay format:
- Introduction that ends with a thesis or idea
- Explanation that supports and proves your thesis
- Conclusion that reiterates your argument and thesis
- 12 point font
- Times New Roman, Arial, Courier, Helvetica, or Georgia font (whatever is standard on your preferred writing system, nothing too stylized)
- Double spaced
- 1 inch to 1 ½ inch margins
- If there is no required word or page count, as a general rule, aim for ¾ to 1 full page in length.
- Be sure to include your name and the name of the scholarship you are applying for near the top of the page (either as a header or simply above the optional title).
Once you’ve brainstormed and outlined your article, you can officially start writing the piece. Be sure to follow your outline and cover all of the key ideas that you came up with while brainstorming. Be concise, avoid rambling, and ensure your point is clearly stated. Also ensure you’ve formatted your essay correctly and stay true to the word or page count, if applicable.
Take a Break
Once you’ve completed your first draft, you should take a break from writing. Go outside and take a walk, or spend some time cleaning — anything to help you get your mind off the essay so that you can return later with fresh eyes. If you find it hard not to think about the essay, wait a day (or even a few days) before coming back to reread it.
In general, spending time away from your work can help you clear your mind. When you do come back, you may be more likely to notice mistakes or see gaps which require elaboration. For any essay you write, this is always a helpful tip.
As you return to your essay, go through and nitpick your work. Use your fresh mind to rewrite sections or include more (or less) context, as needed. Ask yourself if the core idea that you came up with during your brainstorm is still apparent in the article. Are you communicating your ideas clearly?
Additionally, keep an eye out for grammatical mistakes, such as missing or too many commas, misspellings, or other typos. If you notice repetitive words, utilize a thesaurus to find acceptable replacements. Once you’ve gone through your essay, you can submit it as is, or you can follow the optional next step.
For many people, it can be hard for them to revise their own work because they hold biases about their writing or are unaware of personal mistakes. Asking another person to review your work may help you refine your essay even more. Additionally, having another person read over your essay can help you determine the clarity of your point: do they understand the flow of your piece, or are they confused by any information? Does the context you provide make sense to the overall idea, or does the reader still have questions?
If you have a friend, relative, mentor, or peer that has editing experience — or that is simply a voracious reader — ask them if they can take a moment to look over your piece and make comments or suggestions. You may be surprised at what they find that you missed!
Scholarship Essay Tips
Your scholarship essay is going to be your primary (and sometimes sole) form of communication with the organization granting the scholarship. That’s why it’s so important to communicate directly and clearly through your essay in order to attract their attention and garner their support. Here are some additional tips to help you better communicate your intentions through your scholarship essay:
How To Start a Scholarship Essay
First impressions matter, and your introductory paragraph will serve as your first impression to the scholarship organization. Refer back to your brainstorm to help identify your message and consider how to attract the attention of the reader through your introductory paragraph. For some people, it may also help to construct or outline the body of the essay before you construct the introduction, so as to better understand how to concisely get your message across.
Once you’ve properly outlined the entirety of your essay, you can start writing. In your introductory paragraph you’ll want to state in clear and succinct language who you are, why you are interested in college and this scholarship (or your hopeful direction), and what the reader will find in your essay.
Another important point to keep in mind while you’re writing is that this essay isn’t a book report (unless otherwise stated in the prompt); this essay is about you. Don’t write impersonally, but take a personal tone: use “I, me, myself” or other personal pronouns and avoid general statements unless they relate to your situation.
Through your writing you should also be revealing some of your motivations pertaining to why you’re going to school and why you’re seeking out this scholarship. Discuss how you will become an effective student in the coming years, and how you’ll make good use of the money you may be awarded. You may have more freedom to write about yourself in detail for some scholarship prompts, and less of the same freedom for others. Use your discretion.
When you originally brainstormed your essay topic, you should have been able to narrow down your topic to just a few key points that you could communicate and cover in detail. As you fully flesh out your essay, you should ensure that you stay focused on these core ideas. Try not to ramble or get side tracked. Every sentence in your essay should be related in some way to one of your core ideas. If it’s not, delete it or rewrite the sentence so that it does relate.
It’s important to keep in mind that your essay most likely won’t be more than a page, double spaced. Since you don’t have a lot of room for fluff or non-essential information, it’s important to stay focused, to the point, and brief.
Additionally, the organization that is awarding the scholarship is most likely going to be reading hundreds (sometimes thousands) of scholarship applications and essays. Everyone will most likely be working off the same prompt, so you’ll want to ensure that your essay stands out, gets straight to the point, and doesn’t waste any of the reader’s time.
Finally, the most important tip is to simply read and reread the instructions multiple times to ensure you understand the prompt, what is expected of you, and all of the other essential guidelines pertaining to your essay.
While you should be sure to do this before you start writing, you should also do this after you’ve written the piece. Simply double check your work against the requirements set by the scholarship organization, and make sure you’re following the instructions to the letter. Essays that don’t follow instructions will most likely be thrown out first, and you don’t want your hard work to go to waste simply because you forgot something in the instructions.
Scholarship Essays for Online Students
If you’ve decided to pursue your education through an online bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program , it can be even more important to communicate effectively through your scholarship essay. It is entirely possible that you will never meet your collegiate benefactors or professors in person, and will only communicate with them via your writing online.
Luckily, there are some unique scholarships out there that are aimed just for online or “distance learning” students. Keep in mind, even some of the smaller scholarships (such as those for $50-$500) can still help you pay for books, online texts or subscriptions, or other essential learning materials.
Writing an imaginative and thoughtful scholarship essay can help you pay for online schooling for either a bachelors or masters degree program. It can also get you started on the right foot to have a solid financial aid foundation to pursue your college dreams.
Whether you’re writing one scholarship essay or many, these tips will help you make a solid first impression, and hopefully will win over whichever scholarship organization you’re targeting.
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Scholarship Essay Writing
Scholarship Essay Format
Scholarship Essay Format - A Complete Guide
11 min read
Published on: Apr 6, 2023
Last updated on: Jul 20, 2023
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You know that feeling of being overwhelmed by a blank page, trying to find the perfect words to showcase your achievements and ambitions?
Getting a scholarship for a college education is a dream of every bright student. Apart from remarkable grades and admission tests, the financial aid you want to achieve requires an impressive scholarship essay .
A scholarship essay is a form of document drafted for the committee to present your need for financial assistance. This essay persuades the decision-makers to grant you a scholarship to study further.
This essay type is often submitted along with the scholarship application. Like all other formal writings, this essay is written following a proper structure. Depending on the guidelines of the authorities, it is essential to follow a scholarship essay format.
If you have no clue about the format and formation of a scholarship essay, continue reading the blog.
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What is a Scholarship Essay Format?
Every piece of writing needs to be structured to be effective. Similarly, the scholarship essay also requires a writer to present content in a systematized manner.
A scholarship essay format is a set of guidelines that the writer must follow in drafting a structured document. This format organizes the information and makes it understandable for the scholarship committee.
Writing an essay in a proper format can be beneficial for both the applicant and the committee member. Committee members read and review the essays of different students. However, a formatted piece helps them analyze each essay in a better way.
Students often underestimate the importance of correct formatting. Just as essential it is to draft good content for your essay, it is equally important to get the format right.
When writing a scholarship, go through the guidelines provided and understand them thoroughly. It is to make sure that the format used is what is required and preferred by the committee.
The following section will be talking about the elements involved in the formatting of the winning scholarship essay.
How to Format a Scholarship Essay
Wondering what format should I use for a scholarship essay?
Every scholarship application provides a set of instructions that clearly states the formatting details. However, If you are not provided with any specifications, use the proper way to format scholarship essays.
According to the basic design, the following requirements should be fulfilled to make the scholarship essay well written and structured.
- The content should be double spaced
- Use a simple and easy-to-read font style, such as Times New Roman font
- Keep the font size between 10 to 12 pt.
- Align your content leaving a one-inch margin on all sides of the page
- Present your last name and page number on the left side of the paper.
- Titles can also be given. This is something optional and depends on the writerâs preference.
Other requirements, such as the word count and indented paragraphs, are mentioned in the guidelines. The average word count of a scholarship essay is around 300 words. The jury finds more extended essays monotonous that can risk your chances of getting the scholarship.
Moreover, the essay should be outlined appropriately, as well. All the content present in your essay should be divided into three sections; introduction, body, and conclusion. It will allow the committee to understand your document better.
Here's an example table for an overview of the format of a scholarship essay:
Again, this is just an example and your scholarship essay may require different formatting guidelines based on the prompt and the scholarship program.
How long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?
Some scholarships may require a very short essay, such as 250 words or less. Others may allow for a longer essay of 500-1000 words or more.
It is important to carefully read and follow the instructions to ensure that your essay meets their requirements.
If there is no specific word count requirement, it is still important to keep the essay concise and focused on the topic provided.
How to Write a Scholarship Essay
Outlining the essay is one of the most important steps that you should take before starting your writing. A scholarship essay outline helps organize thoughts and ensure that each paragraph presents an idea or point relevant to the essay topic.
How to Start a Scholarship Essay?
The introduction of your scholarship essay should be written in an interesting way. It should also be able to capture the attention of the reader at first glance. The introduction must convince your reader and establish an emotional connection with them.
You can start writing by introducing yourself, or you can start by introducing the topic of the essay. Introducing oneself is a great way to make a scholarship essay memorable, as it allows readers to connect with you on an emotional level.
How to Write Body Paragraphs for a Scholarship Essay?
The body of your essay should include all the arguments and points that support the essay topic. Each point should be discussed in a separate paragraph and presented with relevant examples, quotes, statistics, or facts.
The body must also state how each argument supports your opinion. This will make it easier for readers to understand your point of view.
Make sure to keep each body paragraph under 250 words. Writing longer paragraphs can make them monotonous and might lead the reader to lose interest.
How to Conclude a Scholarship Essay?
In the conclusion, you should restate the main points that you discussed in the essay. You should also emphasize how the scholarship can help you achieve your academic goals.
The conclusion must be written in a powerful way and leave an impact on the readerâs mind. You can also provide some advice, tips, or personal insight that will motivate readers to take action.
Scholarship Essay Format Examples
To understand the scholarship essay formatting better, go through some examples. Written samples will help you evaluate the writing process and the structure in a better way.
Here are some sample essays that might help to get you started
Below are some more scholarship essay samples and how they should be formatted.
Scholarship Essay Format Template
High School Scholarship Essay Example
Scholarship Essay Sample About Why I Deserve the Scholarship?
500 Words Scholarship Essay Examples
Scholarship Essay Format Heading
Tips for Scholarship Essay Format
Whether you are given the instructions to follow or not, it can be challenging to meet all the requirements. Even when formatting your essay, you will have to make choices to come up with the right option correctly.
To help you write the most structured scholarship application essay, the following are some tips from experts for you:
- The first and foremost step is to read and understand the guidelines provided.
- If not given, use the basic formatting where the font size is 10 to 12pt. And the word count is 300 to 350 words.
- Understand the essay prompt carefully and stick to it.
- If the instructions require you to write a one-page essay, avoid using double spacing.
- Either use a blank line or a paragraph indent but never both.
- To make the essay readable, use 1.5 or double spacing between the lines.
- Your scholarship essay does not require you to add an essay question in the beginning so just provide answers.
- Always proofread your essay, as it is extremely important to submit a perfect piece. Check for mistakes and errors and fix them before handing them over to the jury. Essay read again and again until you make it perfect.
Following these tips is essential to draft a high-quality and well-formatted essay. Whether you are a high school or a college student, you must know the basics to format all your essays.
Scholarship Essay Tips
The scholarship is an excellent opportunity to fulfill a dream of studying in a reputable institute. These scholarships require students to achieve their academic goals in the best possible way.
Impressing the committee with your writing skills is both important and challenging. However, if your essay does not portray the best of you, the chance of getting the aid might be a risk.
To avoid this situation, you can always get a professionalâs help in your scholarship essay. CollegeEssay.org is a writing company that assists students in drafting their academic assignments. You can also give our AI writing tool a try to get quality essays!
Whether it is a simple college essay or a complicated essay, expert writers can help you by providing professional essay writing service.
Simply place your order to hire a qualified writer today.
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.
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10 tips on how to write a winning scholarship essay
Studying abroad can be a costly affair for international students, but scholarships can offer some respite . Scholarship applications typically require students to write a scholarship essay to show the admissions committee why they deserve funding.
While competitive, the essay gives you a platform to demonstrate your strengths, goals and accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom.
It requires plenty of thought to produce a winning scholarship essay, but with the cost of tuition rising each year – one academic year’s tuition fees at a US university can range from US$40,000 to US$52,000 while fees at a UK university could start from £9,250 up to £30,000, depending on the course major — the results may be well worth your effort.
If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy, here are 10 tips on writing a scholarship essay:
The scholarship essay gives students a platform to demonstrate their strengths, goals and accomplishments, both in and out of the classroom. Source: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP
Scholarship essay tip 1: Highlight what makes you unique
There is no perfect scholarship essay or writing formula, but the vast majority of winning essays give the scholarship committee a good idea of what drives you, your passions and what you want to do with your education.
In short, write about who you are to the scholarship judges. Make them believe in you and your story.
Scholarship essay tip 2: Read the statement and identify key themes
Your scholarship essay prompt can be either a sentence or a question. From there, identify the theme and what you should expand on. This could be about leadership, your impact or even the community.
You could write about certain experiences and accomplishments, how and why you chose to be involved in these activities, the challenges you faced and how you overcame these, as well as lessons learnt from the experience.
The more you understand these themes, the more examples you can include to showcase your skills and abilities and how you used them.
For example, 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship winner Hayley Capp ‘s essay statement was: “Where I have demonstrated responsible leadership, or innovation, and how it made a difference either in my community or in my work.”
Capp founded a branch of Enactus – “where people either work with social enterprises or to create a social enterprise, using business and entrepreneurial skills to develop solutions to social problems and make a difference to communities” – at her university during her undergraduate studies.
In her scholarship essay, Capp used her experience of collaborating with Enactus members in Uganda to design strategies for addressing high youth unemployment levels.
Scholarship essay tip 3: Be passionate
Some essay prompts will give you free rein to write about any topic, which will give you the advantage of writing about something that you enjoy or that means a lot to you.
For example, your prompt may ask you to describe your proudest accomplishments. You can discuss your volunteer experiences , or perhaps about looking after your sick family member despite having a busy schedule. An understanding of your family circumstances can give the admissions committee a holistic view of you as sports, extracurricular activities or even community service can be a privilege that requires resources an applicant may or may not have access to.
Because Joy Zhou ’s supplemental scholarship essay asked her to describe an experience with an extracurricular activity of her choosing, she wrote about how she managed to found a Science Olympiad club in her high school despite numerous challenges, including objections from the athletic director.
“Try to go with something that you have been doing for a long time and think if there is something quirky or different about your experience in it, or there is some aspect of that experience that you can use to sum up the entirety of your experience doing the extracurricular activity or if there is a passion burning, you can write about that too,” Zhou advises.
Vanderbilt University awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Zhou.
Scholarship essay tip 4: Learn what moves the judges
Why are the judges or universities giving this scholarship? You have to dig deep to understand their motivations behind the scholarship, and what their mission is, be it to increase equity or the university’s competitive advantage.
Take a look at previous scholarship winners and read their essays or excerpts, and you will have a better idea of what appeals most to the scholarship committee.
Having a better understanding of what the scholarship committee is looking for will give you a better shot than writing an essay by shooting in the dark.
Scholarship essay tip 5: Create a strong hook
The beginning of your essay should have a strong hook. A powerful opening sentence will help you draw a reader in and convince him or her to read the rest of your essay.
Ritesh Verma wanted to be a millionaire so he studied stock patterns and professional trades and even made some money over two years. He felt he was ready to go even further so he asked his parents to fund an Ameritrade account but “the stock market took it within a week”.
He began his essay with, “It was ironic that my life shattered into a million pieces, or so I thought. What’s this dream? Well, I had a vision myself as a millionaire, realising that millionaire stock trader lifestyle that’s our ties across the internet.”
His essay helped him win a scholarship worth over US$100,000 to study at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Scholarship essay tip 6: Be aware of the word limit
Many scholarships will have a word limit, so stick to it — it’s there for a reason. If you exceed the word count, your scholarship essay, however great and well-written, may be disqualified.
You can keep track of your word count when using Microsoft Word or Google Docs. There are also apps to help you keep track of your words, including letter counter .
Scholarship essay tip 7: Plan, plan, plan
Your main goal is to make your scholarship essay stand out from the competition. One surefire tip is to plan what goes into your essay.
Create a structure (introduction, body and conclusion) that works for you — a winning scholarship essay may vary in structure, so you need to decide what would work for you that suits your content and writing style.
Scholarship essay tip 8: Persuasive writing
This might be of interest to you if you have not heard of the persuasive “writing triangle” before: ethos, pathos and logos. A great scholarship essay uses this triangle for maximum persuasive effect because these three techniques are excellent for pulling in the reader’s attention.
Ethos uses credibility or reliability to establish your knowledge on the subject matter. Your life experiences – which most scholarship essays ask about (luckily!) – are a form of ethos, so use this to your advantage.
Pathos makes use of emotional appeals like creativity and imagination. For example, you may be asked to talk about an imaginary future and how you will make this a better one with your invention or strengths.
Finally, logos refers to using logic to make your points more factual. Your scholarship essay can include key statistics about a related social issue that you want to discuss.
Scholarship essay tip 9: Be realistic and specific
Why do you deserve a scholarship? This can be a challenging question to answer, particularly for a need-based scholarship, as you may struggle to decide how honest you want to be about your financial or family circumstances that have led you to apply for a scholarship in the first place.
It’s important to note that you should never lie in your essay. If you know what you want to get out from your scholarship is funding for your studies, state it in your essay. Explain how the scholarship can help you to achieve your goals.
Scholarship essay tip 10: Revise
Above all, make an effort to revise your scholarship essay. Take breaks whenever possible and look at your essay with fresh eyes. This way, you will find more ways of revising your essay to ensure the final copy reads and flows well.
Find someone you can trust – your teacher, friend or advisor – to read your draft. Sometimes, they will find mistakes you have missed and can give you feedback on how to improve it.
All in all, we understand writing a scholarship essay is not easy, but with these tips, we hope that you will have an easier time doing this. All the best!
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How to write a compelling scholarship essay
You’ve made the decision that you’re going to business school and found you’re eligible for a scholarship. Next up–how do I actually write a compelling scholarship essay? Transmitting your achievement, inspirations, and not to mention that je nais se quoi –French for a uniquely distinctive and attractive quality–into paper can seem daunting. However, once you know the rules of the game, this can be easily tackled.
Originality will always be the key to what sets you apart from other applicants. But the first thing you’ll need in order to be awarded financial support is to understand the scholarship criteria and themes. Is there a specific topic to talk about? Are there particular traits you can draw from the school’s ethos? Is there an exact number of words to fulfill? And crucially–when are the deadlines?
After you’ve taken some time to absorb the above, you’ll naturally start developing a plan of attack for your scholarship essay. When you’re ready to start writing, a good structure will help you strengthen your case of why you should be awarded the scholarship.
To write a compelling scholarship essay, the structure you should follow is:
1. Stick to a subject that fits your profile:
Depending on the school that you’re applying to, you are usually able to work on either an open subject scholarship essay or nominated profile that fits with the school’s “DNA”.
The following scholarships and awards are available to undergraduate applicants:
Global Generation Scholarship:
For applicants who bring a unique global perspective to our school community through their international experiences or multilingualism.
Entrepreneurial Impact Scholarship:
For budding candidates who have a true entrepreneurial spirit and put ideas into action.
Growth Mindset Scholarship :
For forward-thinking individuals that demonstrate a growth mindset, personal development, and achievement in the face of adversity.
Future Leader Scholarship :
For aspiring business leaders who have the desire and potential to achieve significant success as future leaders in any industry.
Technology & Innovation Scholarship :
For creative applicants who have a strong desire to learn about the technology and innovative ideas that will shape tomorrow’s world.
DECA Scholarship :
For DECA member students from around the world who are emerging as the next generation of entrepreneurial business leaders.
The Social Impact Award :
For socially conscious individuals who have a strong passion for social entrepreneurship and have demonstrated the ability to implement solutions to benefit society.
Visionary Women Award :
For female students who have outstanding drive, talent, and vision.
Academic Excellence Award:
Exceptionally strong candidates will be automatically selected for this award based on their pre-undergraduate results.
The following scholarships are available to graduate applicants:
For applicants who have had and will have a positive impact in making the world a better place.
For candidates that have excelled in their studies, earning an outstanding GPA.
For aspiring business leaders who have worked full time for a minimum of one year in a large global corporation.
For professionals that have had an internship or volunteering experience and have demonstrated involvement, leadership, or had a role in the outcome of an entrepreneurial project.
Women in Business:
For female applicants who have work or internship experience or have led a team in an international environment.
Future Leader (masters only):
For students who have demonstrated enthusiasm and a natural aptitude to lead.
Senior Leader (MBA and Executive MBA only) :
For students who have demonstrated leadership of high-performing teams in an international arena.
2. Organize your examples: Find linkages
Hult’s scholarship essay requires you to point out examples of how you link to the subject or embody the attributes of the profile you chose. It could be referring to work experiences and talking about a particular role, academic achievements, or extra-curricular activities and projects.
Once having the above details, you need to keep in mind that you have a word limit, otherwise the application will be rejected. So be sure to pick the best of!
3. Know your audience: Be human
Before you type a single word, remember that the Admissions Committee takes time to read each one of the applications received in order to make their decision. Be humble and personable, and adding authentic gratitude to the reader, is a good way of acknowledging your audience.
4. Plan an essay structure: Introduce your story, a body of examples, and reinforce
For any essay, a clear structure is vital. It will ensure your thoughts have an organized flow and allows readers to follow your story. Start by engaging the Committee with your story–who you are and your journey–then develop the body with any examples of challenges and obstacles you encountered. Don’t forget to include what you learned from the experience or how you persevered, and most importantly how this shows your eligibility.
5. Are you a Hult fit?
The Admissions Committee is looking for a specific candidate. Again, be sure you know what that is and constantly reinforce throughout your essay how that candidate is you. At Hult, we look for students who are bold, have a global mindset and entrepreneurial spirit, and seek to challenge the status quo. So, what are you bringing to the classroom? What about your challenges and experiences makes you different? What are your ambitions and how will a Hult degree help you get there?
6. Close strongly
The closing is the reinforcement of why this all matters. Bring your story together and emphasize key points in the essay. They’re your final words so talk from the heart and be honest about your needs.
7. Review it and ask someone to proof
Don’t let spelling mistakes get in the way of a strong scholarship essay. Ensure it reads well. Review your essay and read it out loud so you can feel the flow of your words. Finally, do a test run and ask a teacher, colleague, or family member to proofread and give feedback.
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How to Write a Scholarship Essay: A Clear and Confident Guide
Unlocking the next level of your education is usually exciting since you are only a few yards away from achieving your career goals. But to get there, you have to succeed in your scholarships and general college applications. Once you start making these applications, you will understand the necessity of sharpening your writing skills. Applicants are often required to write essays that paint a picture of their individuality to stand a chance of being considered for scholarships.
The sponsorship committee has reviewed many essays from previous applicants, and they are probably tired of reading cliché sentences such as "I'd like to be a lawyer because I want to protect the rights of children." With several available essay examples online , getting some important pointers about writing an impactful scholarship essay is still essential. So, here is a guide for crafting an outstanding scholarship essay without going through so much trouble.
Get Started Immediately
Procrastination can limit the quality of your work since starting your essay late means you may not find enough time to refine it to excellence or even wind up in the best way. Putting together an essay from scratch takes time since you will need to conduct extensive research and find relevant referencing materials. Therefore, to ensure all these are done to perfection, start working on the paper immediately after receiving the prompt.
Choose a Topic You Will Enjoy Writing
If you are not provided with a prompt, then it means you will have to come up with a suitable topic. However, if you are given a question, do not deviate from it. If a prompt is not given, critically analyze the ideas of what you want to write about to pick the most apt one. From reading your piece, the reviewers should be able to tell if you are enthusiastic about the topic it's centered around, thus the need to choose wisely.
One of the reasons some scholarship applicants write vague points is not because they cannot develop robust points but because they don't enjoy doing the work. Thus, it would be best to find topics you are passionate about so that the energy is felt on the paper. Writing about a topic you care about also means that you will have more things to discuss and enjoy the research process.
Understand Your Audience
Knowing your audience doesn't mean writing what they want to read; it means you should understand the tone to use in the paper. Usually, a scholarship essay is official; thus, you should use an official tone. The tone used in an essay gives it a personality, which is what the reader interacts with. Therefore, you shouldn't come off too casual while requesting a scholarship. If the prompt requires you to write a personal statement, the suitable tone would be professional and enthusiastic to show the reader who you are without being too casual.
Consider the Length Required
Examiners usually give the number of words they want the paper to have, which translates to the length. Therefore, before starting your research or writing, find out how many words you are required to write and stay within the limit. Exceeding the limit makes the essay lengthy, and you risk losing your reader's attention. On the other hand, writing fewer words can be an indication of laziness. So, the word count is a crucial instruction you should follow without fail. Scholarship boards receive applications from thousands of candidates, hence the need to stick to the required length to boost your chances of success.
Find Out the Core Values of the Scholarship Provider
Once you understand the sponsor's values and mission, you can align the paper to match their beliefs. Therefore, it is best first to research the mission and vision of the organization and the services it offers to the community. After which, you can identify instances where you have played a similar role in the community and include it in the paper without seeming to be sucking up to them. The idea is to make the essay reflect the company's culture.
Write a Catchy Introduction and Conclusion
The intro and conclusion are often underestimated, yet they carry much weight. The introduction is the first part of the sponsorship essay the reviewers interact with, while the conclusion offers the last opportunity to make your case and make everything clear for the reviewers. Therefore, you need to put an equal amount of time into these sections as you do when writing the main body. The intro can contain a brief, interesting, relevant story, fact, or quote that will make the reviewers want to read the rest of the essay. The conclusion should briefly highlight everything discussed in the paper and why the arguments made were significant. Therefore, start and end the essay on a high note.
Ask Someone to Help You Proofread
Even the best authors get their work reviewed by their peers. So, to eliminate errors in your piece, it is best to use an extra set of eyes. Your buddies or family members are excellent options for this. They'll have an independent approach when reading the essay, thus making it easy for them to point out any mistakes. When proofreading your work, you may fail to identify typing mistakes, sentence construction errors, or use of filler words because you know what the phrases are supposed to say, thus the need to get an independent opinion.
Scholarships can relieve you from the financial burden that comes with being a student, from costly tuition fees to hefty textbook prices and accommodation. Therefore, if you want to cut down on student loans, put more effort into scholarship applications. Scholarship application essays can be difficult to craft since there are several factors to be observed; however, you can write an impactful piece with proper organization and research.
Before writing your essay, you can gain motivation by considering why you would like to land the scholarship. Such introspection will help you work even harder to compose an outstanding paper. Noteworthy, it is essential to follow all the instructions, both major and minor.
5 Ways to Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out
When writing a scholarship essay, follow these tips to win the most money for college.
Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out
Writing a scholarship essay isn't like writing an essay for a high school class, experts warn.
Students hoping to earn scholarships, a form of financial aid that does not need to be repaid, often must compete with hundreds of other applicants and sometimes for a very limited number of awards.
Free financial aid plays a significant role in helping students in the U.S. pay for college. According to the 2019 How America Pays for College report from Sallie Mae, 31% of college costs in 2018-2019 were paid for with money that does not need to be repaid; three-fifths of that were scholarships and two-fifths were grants.
To get the most of this highly desirable aid, students can take advantage of a few expert-recommended strategies to make their application stand out. Below are a few tips for writing scholarship essays that pack a punch.
Get Personal and Be Specific
The key to a successful scholarship essay is making it personal, experts say, and including impactful details. An essay that feels genuine and offers insights into who the applicant is on a deeper level will stand out in a crowd of academic essays that may be boring for readers who review hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications.
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Scholarships awarded by the Pride Foundation, for example, require an application that involves multiple essays in which students are asked to describe themselves, what they plan to study and the kinds of work they hope to do. The social justice-focused philanthropic foundation aims to support the LGBTQ community in the Northwest region and awards more than 60 scholarships for any accredited postsecondary school or program, according to its website.
College scholarships had an average award amount of about $5,000 to $8,000 last year, says Katelen Kellogg, the foundation's communications and outreach manager. She says the scholarships are for LGBTQ or strongly LGBTQ-allied students who are residents of the Pacific Northwest.
Kellogg, who helps read essays from applicants each year, says the scholarship essays that stand out to her include "details that paint the picture of their lives." She says the most successful essays are "less about something you do and more about who you are as a person."
Eden Shore, a volunteer manager at the Pride Foundation who also has experience reading hundreds of scholarship essays, says the writing process should be meaningful for students – and that comes across in the essay.
"Your essay can be an opportunity for you to make sense of something yourself," Shore says. "Illustrate you can thoughtfully reflect."
Tell a Story
A standout essay hooks the reader from the first sentence, says Monica Matthews, author of the scholarship guide, "How to Win College Scholarships."
Think about the structure of the essay, and how the reader can be drawn in by it, experts say. The story should feel real and true to the student's life.
"Students need to begin with a hook and share personal and tangible details about their life," Matthews wrote in an email. "Simply stating that they have helped others, for example, does not let the judges see the kind of person that they really are. Writing about specific experiences with real-life situations using interesting details makes compelling and memorable essays."
Tailor the Scholarship Essay to the Prompt
In some cases, it may be acceptable and even smart to repurpose an essay the student has already written and use it for another application. But experts say students should exercise caution.
"Many times, students try to re-purpose essays from the admissions process for scholarship essays, and the result ends up being so-so," Colleen Paparella Ganjian, an independent educational consultant and founder of DC College Counseling in Virginia, wrote in an email.
Instead, essays should be on topic and specific to the unique question being asked and the organization to which students are applying.
A typical scholarship essay topic will likely ask students about their career goals and their plan to achieve those goals, Matthews says. Other essay prompts might ask students what they've done to make their community a better place or to describe a personal achievement and how they overcame challenges to reach it.
Don't Tailor Yourself to the Reader
Students often feel they need to project a certain image or side of themselves in scholarship applications and essays. This isn't always necessary.
"The only person an applicant has to be is themselves," Shore says of applicants to the Pride Foundation Scholarship.
The trap of tailoring themselves can be particularly tempting for students who are nontraditional or have an international background, says Mandee Heller Adler, founder and president of International College Counselors based in Florida.
"Don't shy away from talking about your culture, traditions, and experiences. If you're an international applicant , a minority, or non-traditional student, don't try to 'Americanize' or 'mainstream' your application," Heller Adler wrote in an email. "Scholarship committees like diversity, and the goal is to stand out and not appear to be like all the other applicants. Don't be afraid to expand on details about your culture that are meaningful to you and essential to understanding who you are."
The greatest frustration in reading scholarship application essays, Shore says, is when students fail to follow directions. This means taking note of any formatting specifications, length restrictions and answering the question posed.
"Make sure you're answering the question that has been asked and stay within the word limit you're given," Shore says. "Longer doesn't necessarily mean better. If students are bored by the essay they write, the reader will be too."
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12 Ways to Win a Scholarship
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How to write a scholarship essay
A step-by-step guide with instructions, outlines, and samples
Great scholarship essays show, not tell, why the applicant is a strong contender through personal stories. Writing a winning scholarship essay involves showcasing your accomplishments, skills, and volunteer work in a intimate, yet professional tone.
A great scholarship essay can increase your chances of receiving financial aid by helping you stand out from a crowd of applicants. In this guide, we’ll cover how to write a winning scholarship essay, so you can feel even more confident in your college application process.
Here’s what we’ll review:
- Why scholarship essays are important
- What makes a great scholarship essay
- What makes scholarship essays different from traditional essays
- How to stand out from the crowd by writing a great scholarship essay
- A sample of a scholarship essay (with explanations)
- Pro-writing tips and advice
Applying for college financial aid is a multi-step process, and an outstanding scholarship essay plays an important role.
Scholarship essays serve an important purpose
If you plan on applying for financial aid, you’ll need to know how to write a stellar scholarship essay. Writing a scholarship essay may be one of the most challenging parts of your application process, but it’s also one of the most important.
A scholarship essay is a tool that shows your college’s scholarship committee why they should support you financially. Through a concise, brief yet detailed and well-written essay , you have the opportunity to show your college how you’ll use the financial aid they give you to reach your goals and become an asset to the community.
You get to tell your college committee, in a professional way, why they would want you as part of their team.
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This requires you to highlight your strengths and accomplishments in a humble way that doesn’t sound like boasting. We’ll review some stylistic writing tips later that will help you do this. But first, let’s review the foundational elements of a scholarship essay and what makes it different from other academic writing.
Scholarship essays are different from traditional academic essays
A primary factor distinguishing scholarship essays from other types of academic essays is the fact that scholarship essays are, simply stated, all about you and your college: the entire focus is persuasive , and as described above, the purpose of the essay is to explain why and how you’ll use the financial aid you receive in the best way possible.
Before we dive into the “how to” of writing, let’s review some basic elements of a great scholarship essay.
What makes a great scholarship essay?
#1 the introduction.
Think of the introduction to your essay not just as an overview of what you’ll be discussing, (though it should give the readers a glimpse of your theme and main points), but more importantly as a chance to capture attention.
The title of your essay functions as a hook, engaging your reader. In the same way, the introduction should be interesting. It functions to make your reader want to continue reading your entire essay.
For example, which of the following headlines are you more likely to read?
- “Scholarship Essay for James Smith,” or,
- “Using a College Degree to Help Make American Schools More Affordable and Fun, by James Smith.”
Most likely, you’d want to read the second one. The first one is pretty dry and boring, and doesn’t really say anything about what the essay is about-- other than it being a scholarship essay.
There’s no incentive to read it.
Still stuck? Consider using essay writing services from Ultius to get 1-on-1 help with your scholarship piece.
The second title, however, queues you as reader to read on. It is a title you can relate to as a student and a school administrator. Most students would like school to be fun, most parents would like it to be affordable, and most teachers would like it to be both. The second title is engaging because it is specific, relatable, and tells the reader about the value contained in the essay that follows.
Make your title and introduction specific and think about how you can say them in an interesting way that shows the reader your essay has value.
#2 Themes and examples
An organized and convincing essay generally has one primary theme that weaves all parts of the essay together. For instance, a scholarship essay may have a central theme like “community service,” or “ nursing and healthcare ,” or “business management,” depending upon the education, interests and life goals of the student writing.
The idea here is that, in writing your scholarship essay, you want to be sure to not only tell your college’s scholarship committee what your goals are, but also to demonstrate how you’ll apply your education to the real world, and what experience you have so far to help you do this.
Anecdotes are short, amusing stories about events or people. Similar to how we talked about using examples above, anecdotes are effective at demonstrating how the ideas you present in a scholarship essay apply to real life. Anecdotes help your ideas come to life.
For example, if you’re writing a scholarship essay about business leadership, you may choose to tell a story about how your work cleaning houses taught you about attention to detail in all areas of life. The example essay we’ll review below uses an anecdote about helping the family business better manage checkbook balancing.
Through stories, you have the chance to catch your readers’ attention by highlighting how you can contribute to the world with your skills and experience
#4 Writing with passion
Writing with passion is important because it shows the scholarship committee you’re applying to that you care, and that you’ll make your best effort to use the financial aid you’re given in a productive, meaningful way.
Passion also helps your reader(s) stay engaged by writing in a way that others can empathetically relate to.
Said simply, writing with passion makes your essay interesting.
The example essay later in this guide demonstrates passion in the concluding paragraph by explaining why the essay writer wants to study business management—in order to improve the lives of employees and community members through providing wholesome food.
In this way, the essay becomes personal, and reveals the writer’s individual values and motives.
#5 Getting the formatting correct
Great scholarship essays are formatted according to the requirements of the school the essay writer is applying to. Following correct formatting requirements demonstrates that you are organized and able to follow instructions. Different schools may have different requirements when it comes to formatting, so be sure to clarify your instructions.
A general rule of thumb, especially if you’re given few instructions, is to double space your essay and use one-inch margins. If you quote or paraphrase any information from another source, be sure to cite it correctly and in the style the college you’re applying to requires. Common citation styles are APA and MLA.
Generally, you probably won’t have many citations in a scholarship essay since it is primarily focused on how you will apply your personal experiences and education to further your career goals.
Last, great scholarship essays have appropriately spaced paragraphs and phrases. They avoid run-on sentences and break up information into digestible bits. Generally, a single paragraph shouldn’t be more than two-thirds of a page if it’s double-spaced, or a third of a page if it’s single-spaced. Separating and organizing different thoughts into different paragraphs makes your writing easier and more enjoyable to read.
#6 End with a strong conclusion
Fantastic scholarship essays don’t neglect the chance to leave a lasting impression with readers. A common mistake inexperienced writers make is putting lots of attention into the introduction but little attention into the conclusion .
Clearly, it makes sense that the conclusion would be an easy area to neglect from a writer’s standpoint, since the writing process is almost complete and a simple re-cap of your main points should suffice, right?
The conclusion is just as important as the introduction. The introduction flags readers’ attention and makes sure your essay is read in the first place, whereas the conclusion makes sure the reader remembers and acts on what he or she has just read.
And in the case of a scholarship essay, acting on what was just read means choosing the essay writer as a financial aid candidate.
Review: the elements of a great scholarship essay:
The diagram below illustrates the components that make up a scholarship essay that is easy to read, interesting, relevant, and organized.
How to stand out and write a winning scholarship essay
Now that we’ve reviewed the basic elements of a great scholarship essay, let’s dive into the steps you’ll need to take to write an essay that will win you the college education you’re aiming for.
#1 Know what your audience wants to hear in your scholarship essay
The first step in being able to choose a theme that is relevant to your goals and experiences and sounds appealing to your scholarship committee, is to know what your audience looking for.
Think about what’s important to the school you’re applying to. This is a balancing act. You don’t want to write an essay that sounds too salesy, or appears to obviously “schmooze” your scholarship committee, but you do want your essay to be relevant to what your committee cares about.
The best way to do this is to understand the scholarship you’re applying for , and why it’s offered.
Likewise, if you’re applying to a scholarship offered based upon GPA, you’ll probably want to talk about your experience with grade achievement, critical thinking capacity and how you plan to apply those skills to your college and professional goals.
Finally, if you’re applying to a nurse educator scholarship, you’ll most likely want to highlight what life experiences contribute to your ability to be a fantastic future nursing leader.
The key, when understanding your audience, is to ask:
“Why are the donors of this scholarship (the people providing the money) offering financial aid?”
In other words, who do the donors want to support? Who would be their ideal candidate?
Next, list some reasons why you match what they’re looking for and some corresponding real-life examples. You can use this list later when you create your writing outline.
#2 Find your scholarship essay theme
This second step is similar to the first, since in understanding your audience you’ll likely find your theme. However, during this second step, you’ll start to elaborate. Instead of just understanding what your audience, or the scholarship committee, is looking for, you’ll identify a theme that unifies your goals and experiences with what’s important to your audience.
Remember the list you created in step #1?
Here’s where it starts to come in handy. What’s the common theme that emerges as you look at the reasons you match what your audience is looking for? Likely, they’ll match the type of scholarship you’re applying to.
Or, if you’re applying for an arts scholarship, you’ve had experience painting murals with school groups and you want to become an art teacher, your theme may be “helping classroom education come to life with visual arts.”
Your theme won’t necessarily be the title of your essay (though it could be). Rather, it will guide your title, and it will also guide the rest of your writing. Your theme is like a compass. Everything you write should point back to your theme, explaining why and how you’re an ideal candidate for the scholarship.
#3 Create an outline for your scholarship essay
This step should be relatively simple. Use the list you made in step one to help you. Your outline should start with an introduction and end with a conclusion (see the earlier section of this blog for how to write an effective intro and conclusion). In the middle should be the main body and point(s) of your essay (you should do this whether you decide to buy an essay or not).
The body and main points will be filled with examples of your experiences that relate to your educational and professional goals.
Start by listing the goals and the examples you want to write about, and then arrange them in an order that logically flows and makes sense.
As you write, use transitional phrases and storytelling so that your writing doesn’t feel like a “list,” but instead, flows seamlessly.
#4 Be creative and original
The word creative is used a lot today, but what does it actually mean? In the case of a scholarship essay, being creative means being original. You’ve got to stand out from a crowd of other applicants.
That means avoiding generic stories and phrases. It also means avoiding generalizations and clichés . When you tell a story or share your experience, get specific. If you get specific, it’s hard not to be original, because chances are, no one else has had experiences quite like yours.
#5 Show, don’t tell in your essay
Imagine trying to learn to play basketball just by being told about the game through a lecture, and then being thrown into your first game. It’d be pretty frightening, to say the least! You’d probably stumble all over the court and drop the ball. However, if a coach took you out onto the court and showed you how to dribble and shoot, you’d learn more quickly, because you’d be able to observe the game actually happening. You’d be shown.
If you’re an adult applying for a scholarship to help financially because you want to go back to school, you can be extremely descriptive in your reasoning for needing that scholarship.
The same concept applies in writing. If you tell your reader about something, you’re likely to have less of an impact. But, if you show him or her, they’ll understand and be able to visualize what you’re saying.
#6 Use stories in your scholarship essay
Stories are effective ways of showing, instead of telling, your reader what you’re trying to say. In a scholarship essay, this couldn’t be more important. For instance, consider the “telling” versus “showing” example we reviewed above. If you’re trying to tell your reader about your business management skills, show him or her how you solved a specific challenge for a business.
#7 Proofread and know when to ask for help!
Another round of editing can mean the difference between a polished essay that wows critical eyes of your scholarship committee, or one that gets set aside just because of a few fixable errors. Submitting a proofread paper shows that you’ve taken the time to correct your work and put your best impression forward. Proofread your work at least twice, and have a friend read it as well to catch any last errors. Finally, if you feel stuck, know where to find help. The Ultius writer help section is a great place to find comprehensive guides on essay writing.
Example scholarship essay:
Pro writing tips (best practices and advice):.
Check out the table below for additional hints and advice on crafting an outstanding scholarship essay. If you still have questions, visit the Ultius writer help section ! Best of luck, and remember, have fun with the writing process!
Plan your essay
Take time to strategize and plan a well-thought outline. It’ll make the writing process much easier and your ideas will likely flow better for your reader.
Watch the tone and voice in your scholarship essay
Don’t try to be too fancy. Remember, you want your essay to be relatable and down-to-earth, while still keeping a tone of professionalism.
Be persuasive, but stay humble
You want to do a little boasting about yourself in your scholarship essay. But, ironically, you don’t want it to sound like boasting. In other words, you want to highlight your strengths and all you have to offer, but in a way that’s humble and appreciative.
Let your individuality shine!
It’s easy to fall into the unconscious trap of sounding “like everyone else.” While other scholarship papers can serve as helpful examples in terms of organization, tone and style, you’ll have the best luck by using those examples as a foundation and then writing your own essay that stands out enough to catch your committee’s attention. In a pool of hundreds or thousands of “similar” essays, how can you give yours a different twist?
Answer hidden questions in your essay
If you’re writing a scholarship essay for nursing education, don’t just answer the obvious prompt such as, “explain why you want to study nursing education.” Instead, think about what the scholarship committee is really asking you. Most likely, they’re asking, “how will you add value to our school and the professional nursing community?”
Re-read your essay intro
Remember, the introduction is arguably the most important part of your essay, aside from your conclusion. Proof read it again, even when you think it’s finished. As you proofread, pretend you’re someone on your scholarship review committee. How would it sound to them? How can you make it better?
Ask for help with your scholarship essay if you need it
Don’t let the pressure of time keep you from asking for a quick proof read from a friend, or from getting professional help from professionals at Ultius. It may not seem critical at the time, but it could make a big difference in your future college education!
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Scholarship Essay Writing
Scholarship Essay Examples
Scholarship Essay Examples That You Can Learn From
Published on: Mar 14, 2019
Last updated on: Dec 28, 2022
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If you need money to pay for your college education, you will write a scholarship essay to scholarship programs.
A great scholarship essay can help you showcase your abilities. It can also help the scholarship committee members to understand the real person behind the application.
Scholarship essays are a great chance for you to convince the scholarship committee members that you indeed deserve financial aid.
Here are some great scholarship essay examples that can guide you through writing a winning scholarship essay.
Winning Scholarship Essay Examples
Scholarships are the best form of financial aid when it comes to paying for college. But winning a scholarship is not an easy task. Completing scholarship applications and essays can feel overwhelming.
The scholarship essay is the hardest part of the whole application process and should be written carefully. It gives the scholarship committee members a sense of who you are and your goals in life.
You have to make sure that you submit a scholarship essay written and formatted according to the guidelines. In this way, you can increase your chances of getting noticed and winning the scholarship.
Below you can find some winning scholarship essay examples pdf to help you understand what scholarship committees are looking for.
Financial Need Scholarship Essay Examples
Going through some financial need scholarship essays will help you craft a scholarship essay to show that you deserve financial aid.
Look at these interesting scholarship essay examples of financial need pdf to know how to describe your financial situations.
Describe the Financial Need for this Scholarship - Example
Financial Need Scholarship Essay - Sample
Scholarship Essay Examples for Engineering
If you are an engineering student looking for helpful scholarship essay examples, start preparing for several application programs. In addition, the internet is full of essay examples written to help you understand how to write a perfect scholarship essay.
Below we have also provided some winning engineering scholarship essay examples to help you win the grant.
Scholarship Essay on Engineering - Example
Engineering Scholarship Essay - Sample
Scholarship Essay Examples Nursing
There are many opportunities to apply for nursing scholarships from nursing institutions. Practically all scholarships require applicants to write an essay and prove themselves to the committee members.
You can also look at our nursing scholarship essay examples to learn how to write one on your own.
Scholarship Essay on the Nursing Program - Example
Personal Essay for Nursing Scholarship - Example
Scholarship Essay Examples About Community Service
If you want to write on how community service has shaped who you are today and what it has taught you.
Here are some excellent community service scholarship essay examples to help you get started.
Community Service College Essay - Example
250-word Scholarship Essay on Community Involvement - Example
High School Scholarship Essay Examples
High school students often need good scholarship essay examples to learn what scholarship committee members are looking for.
High school scholarship essays usually elaborate on your previous experiences, volunteer work, academic career, college plans, future goals, etc.
You can also explore the below-mentioned examples and write an essay that shows why you are eligible for a scholarship.
Leadership Scholarship Essay Examples
Evaluating scholarship essays on the theme of leadership can help in writing an essay on your own.
The best approach is to cover all the areas, whether the essay question explicitly asked for it or not.
Don’t forget to mention what you learned from that experience and what it means to the future.
Here, you can also find some winning scholarship essay examples on leadership to get insight into writing a perfect scholarship essay.
Scholarship Essay on Leadership Experience - Example
500 Word Scholarship Essay on Leadership - Example
College Scholarship Essay Examples
Students often need to apply for scholarship programs to continue their studies. The scholarship essay plays an important role in showcasing their strengths and abilities.
Below you can find some helpful college scholarship essay examples to help you in writing a perfect scholarship essay.
Scholarship Essay Examples About Yourself
If you are writing a scholarship essay, the below-mentioned examples can help you understand the correct scholarship essay format .
500 Word Personal Scholarship Essay - Example
300 Word Scholarship Essay About Yourself - Example
Scholarship Essay Examples About Career Goals
A scholarship essay about career goals is the most common essay prompt on which students are asked to write their essays.
Our team has gathered interesting real-world examples to help you define your goals. Get help from the following examples and understand the key elements for writing a great scholarship essay about career goals.
Scholarship Application Essay About Career Goals - Example
500 Word Career Goals Scholarship Essay - Example
Scholarship Essay Examples for Masters
If you are seeking scholarship support at the master’s level. Keep in mind that very few scholarship programs are solely based on the application form. Now the scholarship essay is the most important part of the whole scholarship application.
Writing a great scholarship essay is not an easy task. First, you need to prepare the scholarship essay format and prompt guidelines to submit a well-organized essay.
Your scholarship essay should directly speak of who you are and what makes you a perfect candidate for the scholarship.
Read on some helpful scholarship essay examples and learn how to show the reader that you are better than the others.
600 Word Scholarship Essay for Masters - Example
Masters Scholarship Essay for Students - Example
250 Word Scholarship Essay Examples
Sometimes the scholarship application specifically mentions the word count for students. However, all the applicants need to complete their essays within the required word count.
For example, if you are asked to write a 300-word scholarship essay, it is appropriate to finish it within 295-305 words.
Refer to the following section, find helpful 250-word scholarship essay examples, know the important essay prompts , and address them.
Why Should You Receive This Scholarship Essay Examples
For writing a ‘why should you receive this scholarship essay,’ here are some expert tips that you should keep in mind.
- Briefly explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your short and long-term goals.
- Focus on the main purpose of the scholarship.
- Promote yourself.
- Write about the obstacles in your life and how you have faced them.
Refer to this 250-word essay example and learn how to write an essay that is unique to your experiences.
Why Should You Receive This Scholarship Essay - Example
Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples
A 250-word scholarship essay on the prompt ‘why I deserve this scholarship’ usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs. It starts with a brief introduction and supports the assertion in the body paragraphs. It ends with the conclusion paragraph to summarize the essay and includes a statement of appreciation as well.
Below we have also provided you with a helpful example that you can go through to understand better.
Now you can start writing your scholarship essay and submit it to several scholarship applications. The above guide will help you maximize your chance of landing a scholarship award.
Tips to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay
There are multiple scholarships open to students. When creating an essay for a scholarship, keep in mind the purpose of the award. The following are some suggestions for writing a successful scholarship essay.
- Choose a topic that's simple to write about.
- Before you start writing, do your homework.
- Know the required word count.
- Consider the essay topic that you wish to discuss.
- Write the scholarship essay professionally.
- Make an outline or a preliminary draft for the essay, which makes the essay writing process less time-consuming.
- Make a strong statement that captures the essence of your ideas.
- Your scholarship essay is an expression of your individuality.
- When completing an essay for a scholarship, be truthful and refrain from including made-up information.
- Keep the committee's instructions in mind.
- Check for any grammatical or spelling errors in the scholarship essay.
- Before submitting, double-check the essay for errors.
Sometimes writing a winning scholarship essay is a challenging task for many students. If you are one of those, better get help from the best college admission essay writing service to write brilliant applications.
All you have to do is fill out the order form at MyPerfectWords.com to buy a custom scholarship essay.
Once you’re done, one of our professional essay writers will write a great scholarship essay for you. The written essay will be submitted for your confirmation. If you are not satisfied with the work, you can ask for a free revision.
This is how simple the process is. So, don’t miss a chance to find a great college admission essay writer today. We guarantee you that the scholarship essay from our essay writers will help you reach your goal.
Our online essay writing service is always here to help you with your scholarship essay!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write an inspirational scholarship essay.
Here are our 13 scholarship essay tips to help you succeed:
- Plan Far in Advance
- Know Your Audience
- Follow the Instructions & Answer the Prompt
- Choose a Topic That You're Interested In and Passionate About
- Consider reusing an existing essay
- Create a Strong Introduction
- Keep a Good Structure
- Show Emotions
- Use Real-Life Examples (Show, don’t tell)
- Keep the Tone Inspirational & Positive
- Stay Away from Dreary & Boring Conclusions
- Proofread and Ask for Help
- Take Advantages of Resources
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Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.
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- Applying For Scholarships
Why I Deserve This Scholarship Essay Examples 2023
Jennifer Finetti Aug 3, 2022
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One of the most popular scholarship essay questions is “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” Answering such a question can be difficult because you don’t want to sound too needy or greedy. Your essay must stand out from the competition while still being humble and appreciative. Check out these essay writing tips, along with a scholarship essay sample about why I deserve the scholarship.
Tips for writing a “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” essay
Your essay will be unique to your experiences, but there are some general guidelines you should follow. Here are tips for writing a “why I’m deserving scholarship” essay:
- Explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your long-term goals. You’re asking the scholarship committee to invest in your future. They want to ensure their investment goes to a worthy cause. Explain how your education will play a role in your career and overall goals after graduation.
- Focus on the purpose of the scholarship. While writing your essay, keep in mind what the scholarship is for and where it comes from. Tailor your response to the scholarship so it resonates with the review committee.
- Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. This may be your only chance to tell the committee about your achievements. Showing your past success will instill confidence about your future success.
- Use a thesis statement, just like you would with any other essay. You should refer back to the thesis throughout the essay and tie it into the conclusion. If you have trouble creating the thesis at the beginning, write the rest of the essay first. Read through, see what stands out the most, and then write an intro with a cohesive thesis.
- When explaining obstacles in your life, focus on how you overcame them. Show that you’re a problem solver, able to persevere through any situation. You can mention difficulties from your past, but turn the attention to what you did as a result of them.
- Avoid generalizations. Generic statements like “I deserve this because I am a hard worker” aren’t enough. Every applicant is a hard worker, has ‘good grades,’ etc. What makes you different, special and memorable? That should be the topic of your scholarship essay.
- Support your statements with examples. Instead of saying, “I’m a hard worker,” say, “I upheld two jobs while I was in high school to support my family, and I still maintained a 3.75 GPA.” This is no longer a generalization. It is an achievement specific to your life and upbringing.
- Use positive language. Phrases like ‘well-prepared,’ ‘qualified candidate’ and ‘specialized training’ showcase achievements in a positive light. Even in a negative situation, show the positive way you got through it.
- Avoid words like ‘very’ and ‘really.’ You can typically find a one-word substitute that sounds more professional. Very hard turns into difficult. Very good becomes exceptional. Here is an excellent guide for modifiers that replace very .
- Take a one-day break before you edit. Once you have a solid draft written, do not jump straight into editing. Wait a day before looking over your essay. This will let you read the essay with fresh eyes so you can catch inconsistencies, grammar mistakes, and more.
Example 1: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (100 words)
With a 100 word scholarship essay, you need to jump into the thesis as quickly as possible. There is not enough space for a lengthy introduction. Use concise language, and showcase your biggest achievements/goals. You should have enough sentences to break into two small paragraphs, though one may only be two to three sentences.
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I believe I deserve this scholarship because I am an innovative problem solver. As the student council president, I helped re-organize my school library to better accommodate students’ needs. I worked with staff to categorize books to better reflect current school subjects. I will use the same leadership mindset to obtain my business degree with a focus on project management. My goal is to work in construction management to increase efficiency in low-income housing development. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I will receive, I can complete my education and continue to solve problems within my community.
Word Count: 98
Example 2: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (250 words)
A 250-word scholarship essay usually consists of 4-5 paragraphs. The introduction can have a short lead-in, but it should arrive at the thesis quickly. The body paragraphs should support the assertion made in the first paragraph (the reason you deserve the scholarship). The conclusion should summarize the essay collectively, and it may include a statement of appreciation.
One of the most debated topics in America is how to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. I believe the answer lies in accessible healthcare providers. Nurse practitioners often go unappreciated and unrecognized for their versatility and value in the medical profession. With this scholarship, I could continue my training to become a nurse practitioner and provide attainable medical services to underserved communities. Growing up in a small Montana farming town, the closest hospital was 45 minutes away. The only local family doctor charged whatever he wanted because he was the sole provider. My parents relied on home remedies to treat any ailment my brother and I developed. This is when my passion for medicine first took form. Minimal medical care was not a concern until my father went to the hospital for severe stomach problems. These were the result of Crohn’s disease, a condition that can be managed with treatment. Because my father had not been to the doctor in years, the flare up was highly aggressive. It took months to get it under control and get him on preventative medication. I decided to go to college to help people like my father. As a nurse practitioner I can practice medicine without charging a fortune for my services. I plan to serve in rural communities where hospitals and doctors are limited or non-existent. I am grateful to be considered for this scholarship opportunity, and should I be selected, I will use it to advance my medical education.
Word Count: 248
Example 3: Why I deserve this scholarship essay (500 words)
With a 500-word scholarship essay, you have room to tell your story and create an experience for the reader. Use several introductory sentences to lead into your thesis and set the tone for the essay. The body paragraph should flow in a logical manner, most often chronologically. Then the conclusion should re-emphasize the thesis and leave the scholarship committee with something to remember.
Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” And while I never define my obstacles as ‘failures,’ I mark my success by my repeated perseverance through adversity. I have faced several challenges over the years, from dyslexia to homelessness; yet I continued to earn exemplary grades and graduate at the top of my class. I deserve this scholarship because I have the strength and determination to achieve my goals, no matter what hurdles I have to overcome. I was not born a gifted student. Testing and assignments were always difficult for me, whether I studied or not. In second grade, my parents had me tested for learning disabilities. The psychologist said that I had a hyperactivity disorder and prescribed medication to suppress my energy. After two years abiding by that treatment, I was re-evaluated and diagnosed with dyslexia. This helped me get the treatment I needed, and I finally made progress in school. Shortly after I learned how to study with dyslexia, my father lost his job. He was the sole breadwinner for the household, and I was soon on the street with my mother and two younger siblings. I got a job in newspaper delivery, one of the few fields that will hire a 12-year-old. My father found odd jobs to bring money to the family, and together we were eventually able to pay for a two-bedroom apartment to live in. I was valedictorian that school year, and I maintained a perfect attendance record. Like my father, I knew I had to do whatever was necessary to succeed and thrive. In high school, I developed an interest for psychology. I noticed patterns in behaviors, both in myself and in the people around me. I asked my child therapist, the one who officially diagnosed me with dyslexia, if I could work at his clinic over the summers. He allowed me to intern at his counseling center my junior and senior year, and I gained valuable insight into the business side of psychology. I am now entering the second year of my psychology degree. I plan to complete my bachelor’s degree and earn a Doctorate of Neuropsychology in the years that follow. My focus is on psychological testing, specifically for children with autism or learning disabilities. I spent years struggling in school because of a preventable misdiagnosis. I want to ensure that other children do not face the same struggles in their future. Why do I deserve this scholarship? Because I have the passion and determination to become a trusted member of the psychological community. With my education, I can help children get the treatment they need at an early age, giving the best chance at finding their own success. You’re not just helping me get through college. You’re improving the quality of life for countless families to come. I appreciate your consideration, and I look forward to building a lasting relationship with your organization.
Word Count: 492
You Should Also Read…
How to Write a Scholarship Motivation Letter
Why Are You Applying to This Scholarship Essay (with Example)
How to Write a Scholarship Essay Introduction (With Example)
How to End a Scholarship Essay
How to Write a Great 250-Word Essay
How to Write a Great 500 Word Essay
5 People Who Should Review Your Scholarship Essays
- Scholarship Essay
As a parent who recently helped her own kids embark on their college journeys, Jennifer approaches the transition from high school to college from a unique perspective. She truly enjoys engaging with students – helping them to build the confidence, knowledge, and insight needed to pursue their educational and career goals, while also empowering them with the strategies and skills needed to access scholarships and financial aid that can help limit college costs. She understands the importance of ensuring access to the edtech tools and resources that can make this process easier and more equitable - this drive to support underserved populations is what drew her to ScholarshipOwl. Jennifer has coached students from around the world, as well as in-person with local students in her own community. Her areas of focus include career exploration, major selection, college search and selection, college application assistance, financial aid and scholarship consultation, essay review and feedback, and more. She works with students who are at the top of their class, as well as those who are struggling. She firmly believes that all students, regardless of their circumstances, can succeed if they stay focused and work hard in school. Jennifer earned her MA in Counseling Psychology from National University, and her BA in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz.
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A Helpful Guide on How to Start an Essay
Writing essays is a common part of many students’ lives, especially if they pursue higher education. Many college courses place hefty emphasis on essays. Their content, length, research, writing, and revision will often form large portions of many college students’ curricular efforts, one semester at a time.
Knowing how to properly write an essay is an invaluable skill. Not only does it ensure the papers are properly written, it also helps establish life skills involving research, critical thinking, and time management. As with most projects, the best place to start with an essay is the beginning.
As obvious as that sounds, a strong start will help ensure a strong finish. Though it will take more than just a good start to complete a strong essay, everyone needs to begin somewhere.
We reached out to the popular essay writing service Write My Essays for advice. After all, who understands how to write an essay better than a professional essay writer?
Review the directions
This may seem obvious, but before starting the essay, it’s important to review the directions provided by the professor. The directions should include all the important points, such as spacing, fonts, and the expected layout of the content.
The contents will depend on the subject. Different fields use different methods of citation for their sources, as one example, and that needs to be taken into account. Understanding the guidelines will help direct focus and energy in the right direction, ensuring time isn’t wasted on improper settings or sources.
The amount of detail within the directions can vary greatly, depending on the level of the course, the subject matter, and the inclination of the professor. Do not be afraid to ask for advice from on-campus resources or the professor themselves to ensure the directions are fully and properly understood.
Make an outline
Before working on the paper itself, it is a good idea to create an outline. This might be a part of the assignment requirements, even, or possibly an assignment all its own. Regardless, outlining the essay’s contents and key points will make writing the essay easier.
Outlines aren’t for everyone, but even if they are not required, they are also a useful tool. Having an idea of the direction of the essay before writing it will help with the writing process and makes for a handy way to start the work before the essay is even written.
Format the document
Before actually writing the essay, formatting the document to the required guidelines first will save a lot of time and effort on fixing issues during the revision process. Revising is arduous enough without having to take typesetting issues into account, especially with how easy document formatting has become.
Standard requirements for an essay are an easy-to-read font at a standard size like 12, with one-inch margins, indented paragraphs, and double spacing for ease of reading. Actually, requirements may vary, which is why it’s so important to review them, especially if working on multiple projects in different classes at the same time.
Set up the first page
Depending on the requirements, the first page may simply be a title page with the assignment, class number, and student’s name. Some of that information may be on a second page, with just the title on the first page. These pages generally do not count towards page lengths and are meant to help prevent padding.
Setting up the title page is part of formatting, but at least it’s finally putting words on a page. This is also a good point to save the document, ideally in a folder created for the various coursework of the related class so that it is easy to find, load, and, eventually, submit.
How to begin the paper
Finally, with the document formatted and necessary first page organized, the actual writing of the essay can begin. Presumably the required research and other pre-writing prep has been completed. So, it’s time to actually put some words to virtual paper and start writing the essay in earnest.
The question is how to start the paper, that is, the actual contents and not just the title or document itself. The guidelines from the professor might have some notes on this matter, and those should be adhered to when required. If the requirements lack such guidelines, the students have some freedom on how to open their essay.
Open with a quote
Oftentimes, a relevant quote, especially from a source cited throughout the essay, can help set the tone and ground the reader with what to expect. A proper quote will help set expectations and bring an idea of the content ahead in a quick and quirky format.
The quote also sets the tone, as previously mentioned. Serious issues will merit a more serious quote, while lighter subjects can get away with pithier wording. Depending on the subject, sources, and topic of the paper, the quote need not be from a serious source. As long as it is cited, a relevant book or movie quote could also be used to set the opening.
Pose a question
Another option to open the essay is with a question. This is a direct way to bring the main topic of the essay to the forefront, by immediately leading with the thesis question, the answer to which is generally the entire point of the essay.
This does not work for all essays, but the question need not be that powerful. A simpler question to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into the topic at hand can work just as well. Just like with an opening quote, the question sets the tone and leads into the introductory paragraph, which is generally a basic summary of the essay as a whole.
Also as with a quote, the question can be as serious or irreverent as possible when writing scholastic works, depending on the subject matter, the class, and, occasionally, the demeanor of the professor. Though it is ill advised to think about it too much, at the end of the day, most essays are read by two people, and only two people: the student who wrote them, and the professor who reads and grades them accordingly.
Start with the Thesis Statement
It will need to be stated in the introductory paragraph anyway, and beginning with it can provide a strong hook to the start of an essay. While the first paragraph is an essential foundation for the essay, the thesis statement is the base for the first paragraph and the assignments as a whole.
The thesis statement states the thesis of the essay, hence the name. The sooner it is mentioned, the better, and, as with many aspects of the paper, it will likely be mentioned in the guidelines for the essay. Either way, starting with the thesis statement sets a strong tone for the rest of the paper.
Such a strong start can be a little daunting to live up to over the course of finishing the essay, but if that turns out to be the case, it can be moved. If nothing else, though, starting with the thesis statement gets it stated quickly and efficiently.
The introductory paragraph
The first paragraph of an essay is usually referred to as the introductory paragraph. This paragraph, as previously noted, is extremely important for the essay. It provides the reader with a basic summary of the essay’s contents. From the original question, hypothesis, thesis statement, antithesis, theory, synthesis, and potentially even cited sources, this paragraph sets the tone for the entire paper.
That is a lot of pressure to put on the beginning of an essay, but it also helps guide the direction of the essay moving forward. Along with tone, it is a handy reference for the rest of the essay. The reader, i.e., the professor, will expect the paper to follow the outline set forth in the first paragraph.
Though the introductory paragraph is the first and most important aspect of an essay in several regards, it is also the easiest to revise. If the sources and data take the paper in a direction different from what was originally intended, then the first paragraph is relatively easy to adjust to fit the new information.
As with other aspects of the essay, the assignment brief may have instructions on how to format the introductory paragraph, as well as potential guidelines regarding its contents. This will help with writing the first paragraph, and thus starting the essay, a little easier.
Depending on the chosen course load, essays will likely be a large part of a student’s work throughout their academic career. Learning how to properly plan, format, write, and revise essays will help ensure an easier time over the semesters and years.
Eventually, writing essays will become second nature thanks to the developed skills. Still, with each essay, turning a blank document into a completed and submitted assignment can be a daunting prospect.
With proper planning, review of the sources and assignment description, and a good handle on the thesis statement, starting an essay can become as second nature as writing the overall essay. With various ways to begin, mixing it up every now and then will also help fight the tedious nature such papers can garner after the tenth time, and beyond.