An essay for a scholarship is something you may only write once in your life, but it’s a much more important piece of work than any of the essays you’ve written before. Find out how to create a winning scholarship essay with our step by step guide!
How to write a successful scholarship essay
One of the most important tip for writing a scholarship essay we can ever give you is to carefully read the prompt issued by the admission board, preferably more than once. The prompt will contain every detail that matters for your essay, from the structure to the word count, as well as specific things you need to mention in your writing. Plus, every writing instruction contains a grading rubric, which will give you a clear understanding about the number of points you can get for each section of the essay.
If you’ve written your fair share of essays in your life as a student, you may be thinking that a striking quote is the most effective way to start an essay, and it’s 100% true, except for writing a scholarship essay. A scholarship essay should only contain your own thoughts, so that the people reading your essay get a full picture of what your personality is like.
Writing a scholarship essay outline
Like any quality essay, your scholarship essay should be based on a specific outline. You may be given the outline by your instructor – in that case, the wisest thing is to keep to it. Here is what your scholarship essay outline should consist of.
- The introduction is where the readers can get acquainted with you: talk about your roots, family, life values, and anything you want the readers to know immediately.
- Mention the obstacles on your way to education and how you managed to overcome them to finally get accepted to your dream college.
- Write about your goals. First list your current goals that you plan to achieve while studying at the chosen college, and then move on to long-term goals. Connect everything to your education and specify how the knowledge and skills obtained during your studies will benefit your community in the future.
- In conclusion, once again mention all the factors that make you a worthy candidate for a scholarship, tying everything you’ve written before together.
Tips for writing a great scholarship essay introduction
The introduction of your scholarship essay is often the thing that makes or breaks the success of your work, that is why you need to pay special attention to this part. Old tricks for writing the introduction may not work here, but we have some special tips on how to create the greatest introduction for a scholarship essay.
- Start with a bang – or, specifically, a catchy phrase to persuade the reader to continue reading. Good ideas for an introductory sentence include an anecdote, a piece of statistics, a fact, a joke – just not a quote.
- Tie your introduction to the hottest topics in society. For example, if you’re applying for an ecology scholarship, mention how the world is turning into a big ecological disaster.
- Be very specific about the things you want the reader to know. The more concrete facts and dates you include into your scholarship essay, the more persuasive it will look to the reader.
- If you’re applying for several scholarships, avoid the temptation of writing a separate essay for each applications. To save the valuable time, write just one essay that will work for all cases.
- Before you begin writing, make sure you fully understand the instructions and follow them to the smallest detail.
- Know what your readers are expecting to see in your essay, but also find ways to surprise them.
- Include a thesis statement into your introduction and refer to it in the rest of your essay to show that you are a consistent writer.
- Use your better judgement and never plagiarize even a tiny fragment of your essay: the truth will always come out and hurt your chances of success.
- There is nothing worse for a well-written scholarship essay than spelling, punctuation, and language mistakes, so make sure to proofread your work as many times as needed to get a flawless text.
Tips for writing a great scholarship essay conclusion
A conclusion of your scholarship essay is your final chance to impress the admission board, so it’s important to do this part thoroughly. In this part you need to state once again why you’re the best candidate for tuition money, but instead of simply copying the thesis statement from the introduction and pasting it into your conclusion, try to rewrite it in a new way.
In this part you can tell a story from your life, include a dialogue that took place recently and is related to your education, or use your chance to address the board directly.
Scholarship essay topic ideas
One of the hardest parts of the scholarship essay writing process is choosing the subject that is closely personal to you and demonstrates your value as a scholarship applicant. Here are 5 ideas that never fail to generate a winning scholarship essay.
- Talk about the obstacles you faced on your way to get where you are now and how you managed to overcome them.
- Mention your financial needs and how you hope to use the funds given to you by the admission board.
- Write about the influences that shaped you as a person: it can be your family, teachers, friends, or even someone you knew for a short period of time but who made a lasting impression on your personality.
- Include the information about your hobbies and interests: even though this information doesn’t relate directly to your education, it helps you paint a more complete portrait of your character.
- Talk about how your personality was shaped by the current events, both from your childhood or from the modern times.