When it comes to college scholarships, many students get a bit anxious when it comes to thinking about writing the essay. Good news is that it’s not as difficult as you might think, and if you prepare yourself ahead of time, things should go quite smoothly. It’s a given that most scholarships require an essay to be written. Some students are not well versed with the proper techniques on excellent essay writing. They ignore scholarships that require essay writing and opt for the other scholarships. Most international scholarships have the essay writing part as a requirement. The essay enables the scholarship panel to get to know a little bit more about who you are, and gives a sense of what your goals and objectives are.
You want to do your absolute best at the essay. The scholarship panel has to review thousands of essays, so keep in mind that yours must stand out. Articulate yourself well and organize your ideas accordingly so that they flow naturally. Here are some of the tips that can guide you:
The dos in a winning scholarship essay
Follow the instructions and answer the question
Before you write, read the instructions keenly and be sure that you comprehend them. If you don’t understand, get clarification. If it is a question, ensure you answer the question directly. Reflect on what you are going to write and arrange your ideas in an outline to guide you when writing.
Explain each point and avoid vagueness
After you have organized your thoughts in an outline, try to elaborate each point. Avoid unnecessary fluff and filler words. Use examples to personalize your essay and let your personality shine, as this will enable the judges to get a better sense of who you are.
Stick to the format
When given a specific word limit, stick to it. Do not write additional words thinking that it will give you an advantage. Instead, it will be a sure way to disqualify you. Also, use the correct format given for font and size.
Proper grammar, punctuation and spelling
Check for punctuation, spelling mistakes, and grammar mistakes. Construct your sentences carefully and ensure they make sense. Check for proper capitalization, avoid long paragraphs, and avoid run-on sentences. Use simple English and avoid complex words. Do not underline anything or use all caps, as these are usually red flags. It’s a good idea to have a trusted friend or a teacher double check your essay for any errors.
Do your research and use a professional tone
If you are not well versed in the topic, research online and get familiar. Keep your tone professional and polished.
Know your audience
Remember every scholarship provider has a particular student they are looking for. Research the organizations and know their values, goals, and the purpose of the scholarship. Then, tailor your essay to meet their needs. This gives you an advantage over the other applicants. Make them believe you are the perfect candidate that they have been looking for.
A last minute rush may result in a poorly written essay. Starting early enables you to organize your thoughts and ideas and build the structure of your essay. Procrastination never gets great results.
Proofread, Proofread and Proofread
Always check your work over and over again. You may miss small mistakes, so each time you review, you may locate a new error. Have a parent, older sibling, or your English teacher review your essay. They can locate errors that you may have missed out.
The Don’ts in Winning a College Scholarship
Don’t submit unoriginal work
There are thousands of samples online, so don’t be tempted to submit them. Show the judges your originality. Let them see your strengths through your unique essay. There are many automatic plagiarism checkers out there and you better believe that the people who award the scholarship will use them.
Never lie in your essay. Write experiences and facts that are true. Even if the judges aren’t sure if what you say is true, they will be able to tell when something comes from the heart.
Don’t introduce yourself
Unless stated otherwise, never introduce yourself and begin listing things about you. Begin with something exciting or a memorable experience. The other parts of your application will tell the judges about your achievement and awards – use the essay to showcase your writing abilities and to tell a story that can’t be shown in a typical application.
The scholarship essay can make or break your scholarship chances. If you’re still not sure about this, do some research and read through sample essays to get a feel for how it should be done. Never be afraid to blow your trumpet a little, but do not exaggerate so much that it comes out as boasting. Use concise and compelling words that bring out the best in your personality and, above all, deliver your best.