When writing scholarship essays you have one key objective: to persuade the selection committee that you are extremely worthy of the scholarship available.
Whilst this can be easier said than done, everyone should be able to write an essay that catches a selection committee's attention.
To help you with this process, MBA360.com have teamed up with EssayEdge to provide you with the following tips for success when writing scholarship essays.
Tips for Success when Writing Scholarship Essays
By EssayEdge, The Net's Resource for Writing Scholarship Essays
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 1: Answer the Question
You can follow the next 12 steps, but if you miss the question, you will not be considered for any scholarship.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 2: Be Original
Even seemingly boring topics can be made into exceptional essays with an innovative approach. If writing about a gymnastics competition you trained for, do not start your essay, "I worked long hours for many weeks to train for the competition."
Consider an opening like, "Every morning I awoke at 5:00 to sweat, tears, and blood as I trained on the uneven bars hoping to bring the state gymnastics trophy to my hometown."
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 3: Be Yourself
Selection committees want to learn about you and your writing ability. Write about something meaningful and describe your feelings, not necessarily your actions. If you do this, your scholarship application essay will be unique.
Many people travel to foreign countries or win competitions, but your feelings during these events are unique to you. Unless a philosophy or societal problem has interested you intensely for years, stay away from grand themes that you have little personal experience with.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 4: Don’t “Thesaurize” Your Composition
For some reason, students continue to think big words make good scholarship essays. Big words are fine, but only if they are used in the appropriate contexts with complex styles. Think Hemingway.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 5: Use Imagery and Clear, Vivid Prose
If you are not adept with imagery, you can write an excellent scholarship essay without it, but it's not easy. The scholarship application essay lends itself to imagery since the entire essay requires your experiences as supporting details. Appeal to the five senses of the selection committee members.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 6: Spend the Most Time on Your Introduction
Expect scholarship selection committees to spend 1-2 minutes reading your scholarship essay. You must use your introduction to grab their interest from the beginning. You might even consider completely changing your introduction after writing your body paragraphs.
- Don't Summarize in your Introduction.
Ask yourself why a reader would want to read your entire scholarship essay after reading your introduction. If you summarize, the selection committee need not read the rest of your essay.
- Create Mystery or Intrigue in your Introduction.
It is not necessary or recommended that your first sentence give away the subject matter. Raise questions in the minds of the selection committee to force them to read on. Appeal to their emotions to make them relate to your subject matter.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 7: Body Paragraphs Must Relate to the Introduction
Your introduction can be original, but cannot be silly. The paragraphs that follow must relate to your introduction.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 8: Use Transition
Applicants continue to ignore transition to their own detriment. You must use transition within paragraphs and especially between paragraphs to preserve the logical flow when writing scholarship essays.
Transition is not limited to phrases like "as a result, in addition, while… since… , etc." but includes repeating key words and progressing the idea. Transition provides the intellectual architecture to argument building.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 9: Conclusions are Critical
The conclusion is your last chance to persuade the reader or impress upon them your qualification for the scholarship available. When writing scholarship essays, avoid summary in the conclusion, since scholarship essays are rather short to begin with; the reader should not need to be reminded of what you wrote 300 words before.
Also do not use stock phrases like "in conclusion, in summary, to conclude, etc." You should consider the following conclusions:
- Expand upon the broader implications of your discussion.
- Consider linking your conclusion to your introduction to establish a sense of balance by reiterating introductory phrases.
- Redefine a term used previously in your body paragraphs.
- End with a famous quote that is relevant to your argument. Do not try to do this, as this approach is overdone. This should come naturally.
- Frame your discussion within a larger context or show that your topic has widespread appeal.
- Remember, when writing scholarship essays they need not be so tidy that you can answer why people starve in Africa, but should forge some attempt at closure.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 10: Do Something Else
Spend a week or so away from your draft to decide if you still consider your topic and approach worthwhile.
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 11: Give Your Draft to Others
Ask editors to read your scholarship essay with these questions in mind:
- WHAT is the essay about?
- Have I used active voice verbs wherever possible?
- Is my sentence structure varied or do I use all long or all short sentences?
- Do you detect any clichés?
- Do I use transition appropriately?
- Do I use imagery often and does this make the essay clearer and more vivid?
- What's the best part of this scholarship essay?
- What about the essay is memorable?
- What's the worst part of this scholarship essay?
- What parts of the scholarship essay need elaboration or are unclear?
- What parts of the scholarship essay do not support your main argument or are immaterial to your case?
- Is every single sentence crucial to the essay? This MUST be the case.
- What does the essay reveal about your personality?
- Could anyone else have written this essay?
- How would you fill in the following blank based on the essay: "I want to offer you this scholarship because ________."
Writing Scholarship Essays Tip 12: Revise, Revise, Revise
You only are allowed so many words; use them wisely. If H.D. Thoreau couldn't write a good essay without revision, neither will you. When writing scholarship essays, delete anything that does not relate to your main argument. Do you use transition? Are your introduction and conclusions more than summaries? Did you find every single grammatical error?
Allow for the evolution of your main topic. Do not assume your subject must remain fixed and that you can only tweak sentences.
Editing takes time. Consider reordering your supporting details, delete irrelevant sections, and make clear the broader implications of your experiences. Allow your more important arguments to come to the foreground. Take points that might only be implicit and make them explicit.
To help you make your scholarship essay into a memorable masterpiece, MBA360.com highly recommend the use of EssayEdge who will professionally edit your essay.
EssayEdge's Harvard-educated editors have extensive experience in writing scholarship essays and will work with you to significantly improve your essay's style, transition, voice, grammar, and tone as well as making content suggestions to ensure your scholarship essay is unique and memorable.