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How to Write a Scholarship Essay

The goal of a scholarship essay is to get the opportunity and stand above your contemporaries. However, how can you write an essay for a scholarship that reflects your personality and fits what your audience desires? We have compiled a few tips to help you plan, structure, and write a persuasive scholarship essay about why you deserve it. 

Things to Do Before, During and After Writing a Scholarship Essay

Planning Stage  

This is the first phase of writing an excellent essay. Here, you will seek to understand the requirements of the piece, your audience, choose the right topic and create an outline and timelines. 

1.    Understand the Prompt Instructions

You need to allow yourself ample time at this stage. Read and reread the essay instructions. Understanding the prompt and answering it accordingly is the first step to winning the scholarship. It may help to write down all the things needed and check against that when you are through. 

2.    Know Your Audience

When you are sure you have understood the questions, you may go ahead to research your audience. What does the institution demand? What appeals to them? What made previous applicants win? 

All these questions will help you customize your essay into something that captivates your audience. However, you should strike a balance and maintain your voice even as you seek to wow the reviewers. 

3.    Choose Your Topic

When the choice of topic is at your discretion, choose a topic that interests you. If you are passionate about something, it is easy to put your ideas together and create a masterpiece. However, if your topic bores you, it’s likely your readers won’t love it. Besides enjoying the subject, there should be sufficient content online to write about it. 

4.    Read Scholarship Essay Examples

Another critical aspect of the planning phase is ensuring that you read widely. Knowing how to write a good study abroad scholarship requires you to understand what other applicants have written. It would help to read widely and know how top-notch essays are structured, written, and ideas presented. Read as many examples as you can and learn what to pick. 

5.    Create an Outline

Finally, at the planning phase, create an outline. List the main parts of your essay and the word count. This plan ensures that you remain organized and don’t leave out essential details. 

Writing Stage 

1.    Start with a Hook 

Your introduction should be catchy – something that leaves the reader with a desire to read more and know what happened. 

Check these two examples: 

It was at 11.30 pm that I heard a loud bang at the door and I was shocked….

At 11.30 pm, and enjoying a quiet night, not knowing that my life was about to change drastically…..

The second statement provides some suspense. Readers want to know what happened at night to change the author’s life drastically. 

Ensure your intro gives a captivating summary of what to expect in the main body. Don’t keep the readers waiting for too long; they would love to know soonest. 

2.    Create Coherent and Fluent Body Paragraphs 

The body is the gist of the matter. Start each paragraph with a new idea/statement. Support the claim with evidence and provide explanations and examples. 

Use emotions throughout your article. Don’t shy away from showing your vulnerabilities and shortcomings. No one is perfect, and the scholarship committee would love to relate with you as a fellow human being.

Describe situations that made you feel incapable, nervous, or even scared. When you try to portray yourself as a perfect candidate, you’ll reduce the chances of winning as it shows some level of dishonesty. Strive to show self-awareness as you discuss your strengths and weaknesses. 

3.    Use Real-Life Examples 

Your experiences are unique to you. Don’t just tell your readers, show them what happened. Showing people is more engaging as it helps create mental images, and the story comes alive. This increases your chances of getting the scholarship. 

When you provide examples, you are allowing your readers to know you better, your environment, and aspirations from a young age. 

4.    Craft a Strong Conclusion 

As you started with a compelling introduction, end your essay with the same enthusiasm. Don’t just restate the main points. Explain why the rest of the essay was crucial and what makes you stand out to deserve the scholarship.

Post Writing Stage 

Though you might have written your essay in the best way possible, there are still a few things to do before you can submit. 

1.    Read the Prompt Requirements Again

Reread your essay to ensure you’ve covered all the prompt areas and ensure you have followed the instructions. If you have omitted something, write about it before going to the next step.

2.    Proofread for Grammar Errors 

Simple grammar and spelling mistakes can disqualify you from the scholarship you desire. Go through your essay slowly and edit. It also helps to rewrite some sentences to convey the desired message. 

There should be no ambiguity or redundancy in your essay. Where you can use fewer words, do that. It helps to delete some sentences entirely. Check out for punctuation errors as well. 

3.    Format your Essay Well 

Structure plays an integral role in your essay. Ensure you have used the right font size, font type, and also spacing. 

Your sentences should be short and flow smoothly. It helps to make your essay easily skimmable. Allowing your readers to have an easy time is a plus on your part. 

Concluding Remarks 

While your scholarship application informs, your scholarship essay should persuade your readers. Knowing how to write a scholarship essay about why you deserve it is difficult, especially for first-timers.

However, this process can be fulfilling and easy by adequately planning, writing to persuade, and thoroughly proofreading and editing your work.

You should know your audience, read numerous scholarship essay examples, and then write an outstanding scholarship that will evoke the right emotions on the scholarship committee.

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