Scholarship Essay Writing Tips

To submit a successful scholarship essay, students must fully read the instructions and revise their work. However, learning how to write a scholarship essay involves more preparation than students may initially think.

Depending on students’ writing backgrounds, the writing process may take time and a significant amount of focus. Regardless of students’ writing abilities, tips and advice exist that may help students write effective and well-constructed essays.

The following sections help students find sample scholarship essays and outline their essay in a productive manner. The sections below can help students construct the best scholarship essay format possible by following the provided tips and procedures. Knowing how to write a scholarship essay can increase students’ chances of receiving scholarship funds and give them greater education opportunities. Therefore, students are advised to prepare for their scholarship application essays with the following information.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

Because a scholarship essay may be submitted electronically to reviewers, students should ensure their essays are written in an adaptable format such as Microsoft Word. The following steps indicate how to start a scholarship essay using Word or an equivalent writing program:

  1. Copy and paste the essay instructions to a new document for easy referencing.
  2. Sign and date the document and save it as the scholarship title with your initials.
  3. Begin constructing an outline using a mixture of bullet points and numbered lists.
  4. Start writing your essay draft by grabbing the reader with a personal, specific and intriguing anecdote that pertains to the essay’s topic.
  5. Follow the essay’s instructions and make a thesis that fits.
  6. Conclude your essay with a concise paragraph.

If students have written scholarship essays previously, then they can use those essays as a template for their new essay. Students may reuse paragraphs and sentences from their old essays to save some time. Since most scholarship essays are similar, students should recycle old drafts whenever possible.

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Note: Some scholarships may have requirements dictating how students may save and submit their essays. For instance, some essays may need to be written on an application form or printed. Students must follow specific guidelines regarding the construction and submission of their essays.

Scholarship Essay Format

Writing a scholarship essay requires students to follow a specific format. Although each scholarship application essay is original, they should have similar features including paragraph length, format style and tone. Scholarship essay examples are available to students online via scholarship websites and writing blogs for essays of varying lengths to help students determine how their essays should look. The following formatting guidelines make essays uniform and presentable:

  • Always write in 12-point font.
  • Double-space the pages.
  • Use one- or one and-a-half-inch margins.
  • Include your name, scholarship title and essay title on top of page.
  • Sign your essay at the bottom.

According to national standards, scholarship essays should be formal in tone and consistent in perspective. Typically, first person is used in these types of essays, but third and second person may be used in some circumstances. Colleges may have a prompt, while others may allow you to determine the topic of your essay. It is crucial to take the essay seriously, as financial aid such as grants and scholarships, is competitive.

Scholarship Essay Tips

Tips for writing scholarship essays are useful for all students who may struggle with the writing process. Scholarship essay tips such as the following can assist students in writing effective essays:

  • Read all essay instructions completely. Reading the instructions is the most important step in writing a successful essay. A college scholarship essay may require you to meet word, page or character limits and address specific ideas such as your interest in community service.
  • Organize your thoughts before you write. Before you begin writing, you should consider potential topics that satisfy the essay’s requirements. These topics can be broad and do not need to be written down at this stage.
  • Construct an outline. When writing a scholarship essay, using an outline is a smart choice that can facilitate the writing process. Your outline can be as detailed or general as you need it to be, but you should write it down and reference it while writing the first draft of your essay.
  • Use clear and concise language. While meeting word limits may be challenging, you should avoid adding unnecessary words to your essay that distract from your main points. Try to write in an active voice and maintain a consistent tone throughout the piece.
  • Elaborate on your accomplishments. Without being arrogant, you should explain the reasons why you qualify for the scholarship. Whether it is your academic or athletic skills that make you an exceptional candidate, you should accentuate them.
  • Reread the instructions. After an initial draft of your scholarship essay is completed, you should reread the essay instructions to ensure you have addressed all questions and suggested topics. You may need to skim through your draft to better determine this.
  • Edit and proofread your essay. The editing process may differ for everyone, but students should take their time when reviewing and editing their essay drafts and expect to write multiple drafts. A simple grammar check may not be sufficient, so you should not solely rely on online editing software for your essay.
  • Ask for someone else to edit your essay. Once you have reviewed your essay and compared it to sample scholarship essays, you are encouraged to give it to a trusted peer, adult or professional with strong editing skills. You may want to deliver your essay to multiple editors if you are unsure of its quality.

Other scholarship tips and tricks tell students to avoid writing clichés or expected narratives that may bore readers and writing concluding paragraphs that merely rephrase the thesis statement. Instead, explain why the essay is important. Students should assume that their readers are unfamiliar with any clubs, organizations or institutions of which they are a part and define any acronyms. To help students identify problem areas within their essays, they should read them aloud to themselves. If the scholarship essay is easy to read with few breaks and decent sentence variation, then it may be ready to submit.

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