Scholarship essays are very important when it comes to helping secure financial aid money. The good news is there are tried and true scholarship essays tips that improve your chances.
These 8 scholarship essays tips will help you avoid the most common mistakes and improve your chances of winning money to pay for school.
Here are the key differences between college and scholarship essays.
8 Scholarship Essays Tips
Don’t Skip The Instructions!
Don’t be tempted to skip out on what’s actually being asked of you.
Many students often starting writing out essay drafts without reading the actual directions. Don’t make that mistake. Read them carefully, because often they’ll include specific formatting requirements.
Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to submit your essay in a specific font and character size. If you don’t, it’ll automatically show the reader that you didn’t pay attention from start.
Brainstorm And Organize
Don’t start writing freestyle.
Sit down and go over the directions and prompt first. Write out your notes to collect ideas and then start editing them together. Make sure that when you actually start drafting the essay, it’s more about translating your notes over than figuring out what to say.
Make Sure You Address The Prompt
Re-read what you’ve written to guarantee it answers the prompt.
If the essay prompt has specific questions you must answer, then make sure your writing addresses them appropriately. Not following this simple direction will get you disqualified. Unfortunately, it is as simple as that.
Outline Everything First
Your outline should be the essay before the essay.
When brainstorming, start pulling things together into an outline. The outline should include the following kinds of things (where appropriate):
- Thesis statement
- Supporting statements
- Quotes or citations (where necessary)
The outline will keep your thoughts organized within a logical framework. That way, you don’t have to second guess if what you’re saying makes sense or not.
Use Clear And Simple Language
Don’t be fancy for its own sake.
The best way to impress officials is using words and phrasing that’s clear and gets to the point simply. Using unfamiliar words because they sound impressive won’t work.
Also, don’t be afraid to vary your sentence length. If everything is the same size, it gets monotonous fast. Monotony breeds apathy. Apathy gets your essay ignored.
Be Proud But Don’t Brag
The key here is confidence, not arrogance.
Don’t be afraid to list out your accomplishments, but they awards or things more personal as appropriate. They want to see your self-confidence and personal growth come through.
However, don’t write in a bragging or belittling matter towards others. You’ll come off as arrogant, which hurts your chances a lot.
Watch Your Word Count
If the essay directions state a specific length, then hit it.
You aren’t going to impress anyone by going over it. Moreover, you won’t win any favors by going severely under it either.
Remember that essay judges look over everything to help them weed out applicants. If your essay is twice the requested size, they aren’t going to applaud you for it.
Write In Typical Essay Format
Don’t use this essay to experiment with form.
Show the judges that you know how to correctly write an essay in the first place. Make sure to include the standard parts:
- 1-3 Body Paragraphs
No need to get fancier than that structure. Anything more or less won’t help you secure the scholarship.
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