If you are going to college and aren’t planning to pay the tuition out of your own pocket, you will need to look for external financial assistance. Among your first options should be to look for a scholarship. And there are thousands of scholarships out there to be won. However, the application process can be pretty daunting. In most cases, you will need to include a scholarship essay in your application for the review board to consider your application.
But don’t worry - this guide will teach you how to write a scholarship essay that gives your application the best chances. And after that, go on and check out free scholarship essay examples in our databases.
If you want to make the best case for yourself, do some preparations before you write your college scholarship essay. Don’t wait until the deadline is almost up to begin writing. Otherwise, you will not create a good quality piece. Instead, plan yourself early. If you are applying for more than one scholarship, you must customize the essay for each. Mark their deadlines on a calendar, making sure to leave adequate time to brainstorm, write, and proofread.
The next step is to figure out what the scholarship review committee is looking for in the perfect candidate. By knowing what they expect from you, you can structure your strengths to fit this persona. Now, you can go through the essay prompt plus the writing and submission requirements. You can highlight the keywords in these instructions to make sure that you stay on track when you begin writing. Next, brainstorm a topic you would like to write about. You can generate brilliant ideas by looking at your interests and passions. Lastly, create an outline for your scholarship document. An outline is the skeleton of an essay. It breaks down the main ideas you wish to explore and helps to keep you on track once you begin writing.
A winning write-up captures the reader’s attention right from the introduction. It should, therefore, be the most powerful part of your entire essay. So, what should you know about how to start a scholarship essay? A strong introduction will positively influence how the board that will review your application perceives you. Start the essay with an excellent sentence that is both personal and specific. It should make the reader want to read more. Here’s a good example:
“On 13th September of this year, I decided to turn my life around and have never looked back.”
Here are the three vital things that make up a good essay intro:
Don’t beat around the bush in your introduction. Make it short and sweet. It should ideally be a paragraph long. Give the reader a brief idea of what you will be talking about in the main part of your piece. However, don’t disclose everything in the first paragraph. Give out just the perfect amount of information to elicit the reader’s curiosity. After all, you want to keep them hooked.
The body paragraphs are the meat of your write-up. Here, you are expected to expound on the prompt. Apart from answering your question, this section gives you have a chance to showcase your unique personality and why you are the best person to award the money. Go back to your scholarship essay outline and revisit your main points. Remember, there’s always a word limit, and you should select your words wisely. Remove any ideas that are not relevant or important to the story you want to tell. Next, organize them so that they flow logically.
Talk about your interests, goals, and motivations- the things that inspire or push you to. Strive to elicit emotions in your scholarship write-up to make the reader relate with you on a personal level. You can also talk about the hurdles you have overcome to show your growth. Illustrate your points with real-life examples. These will make your writing look authentic and will help the reader understand your story. As you write, remember to maintain a positive tone, even if you are writing about a tough time in your life. The awarding committee won’t want to read a pitiful narrative.
Here are additional pieces of advice on how to write a good scholarship essay body:
You are close to the end of your scholarship write-up. The toughest parts are done. However, your work is not complete without a proper conclusion. When you are writing a scholarship essay ending paragraph, your aim should be to instill a lasting impression on the reviewer’s mind. Start this section by highlighting the major ideas you have talked about in the body part. Then restate your essay thesis in different words. Finish by explaining why all you have talked about in the essay matters. Use the concluding paragraph to tell the board how getting the scholarship will ensure that you attain your dreams. Most importantly, thank the recipient for taking the time to review your scholarship application.
Now that you’ve discovered how to create this scholarship document like a pro, the next step is knowing how to format it. Sometimes, the scholarship essay format instructions will be given. If they are not, stick to the general guidelines of formatting such an essay. These are:
In some instances, you can put a title and signature at the end of the essay to verify that the work is your own. Scholarship boards receive dozens, if not thousands, of essays within the application period. Therefore, they have a short time to go through each application. Unless it is otherwise stated, limit your writing to one page.
After writing and formatting your scholarship paper, proofread your work. Even if you are diligent, there are those mistakes you may make without knowing. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation using a grammar checker and then, by reading the essay yourself. Apart from the obvious mistakes, look out for redundancies, unclear sentences, complex word structures, passive voice, among other writing issues. After you’ve done your own editing, you can also get someone else to go through it (a friend or professional) and tell you what they think.