How to Write a Scholarship Essay
It is clear what recruitment committees and college boards are looking for when they read a scholarship essay: they seek students who can express themselves eloquently, effectively, and correctly in flawless language. Writing a scholarship essay is the perfect opportunity to impress the recruitment officers of the college or university of your choice.
A successful scholarship essay is the aim of any student who desires to be viewed by university or college faculty as a superlative student: one who endeavors to be a cut above the rest and who will contribute significantly to an educational institution’s life and studies. There are students, and then there are scholarship students. They are chosen from among thousands of applicants and because they receive valuable benefits, they must be seen as deserving.
A scholarship essay must impress the examiners with the hardworking, diligent qualities of the candidate. It must shine in topic choice, eloquence, relevance, correct references, signs of high intelligence and superb mastery of writing and reasoning skills.
Steps for Writing a Scholarship Essay
- When the topic or question is decided upon, you must carefully devise the main plan. It is key to decide upon the length, number of sources and citations, and the amount of time to be spent on research, drafting, and editing.
- The language to use in the planning stage must be flawless and unequivocal. The terminology and vocabulary must be derived from the research – that is, the sources and other material gathered for the essay.
- List a number of points to help you decide which facts to use in support of your argument – which data can be considered relevant and how to analyze it.
- Decide on the citation style. Never deviate or confuse styles. It is unprofessional.
- Do not forget to write down the goals or aims of the essay. This is a competitive task. You are aiming to write a better essay than anyone else in order to catch the attention of the examiners by being better – not just ordinary, average or mediocre.
Key Points to Consider
- When students decide that they might try to compete for a scholarship at any college or university, they have to know that they are entering a competitive field. There are only a few scholarships given out and there are literally thousands of applicants. One of the ways to ensure that you are considered as one of the outstanding applicants is to write an excellent scholarship essay.
- A solid and relevant topic must be sought. It must be a little different from all the others and must point to a number of easily accessible references. A scholarship essay without exceptional references that are up-to-date, pertinent, and significant cannot hope to impress a board of extremely selective examiners.
- When a topic is found, materials in the form of books, magazines, journals, and other forms of information, such as audio or video files must be assembled in an organized and logical fashion. It is much better to have too much material to refer to than too little. A lot of research is undertaken for an essay. A lot of reading is done, and although it is not all written down or put into a reference or citation, it serves as background knowledge for the applicant.
- More than in any other scholarly work, a scholarship essay is an instrument of exposure and demonstration. One must expose one’s knowledge, and demonstrate evidence of covered ground, and material being understood and interpreted correctly.
- Copious notes must be taken during reading time. The notes must be in clear language, must make sense, and must be organized properly.
- All text must be supported by properly formatted citations and referencing, using APA, MLA or Chicago/Turabian styles. Depending on the topic – whether it is scientific or cultural, for example – requires extremely detailed work for which much preparation must be made to capture facts, opinions, and quotations accurately.
- A proven note-taking system is best, because with it, a student can keep all observations and rationale in sequential order. Ambiguous statements must be avoided at all times. Strict organization is essential, and time management must be adhered to if the scholarship essay is to be successful.
- The salient points of the research based on the topic must be sought, planned, and reported. Each paragraph of the report must deal with one of these points, and elucidate on what can be found in the reference sources.
- Deciding on a writing style is the easiest part: all the writing must be academic in style, and accurate: it is a mistake to use conversational language, as it is unsuitable for a paper as important as a scholarship essay.
Dos and Don’ts
Follow the convenient tips provided for you here, to find success. The possibility of making mistakes is never far away. An ambitious student who wants to win a scholarship must be twice as careful as regular students, and work twice as hard. It is useful to put a checklist of this nature in a prominent place to avoid submitting a scholarship essay that will not defeat the competition.
- Make sure your topic is relevant, up-to-date and interesting and engaging. It has got to be different from the run of the mill.
- The language needs to match the argument style of your selection. Use a philosophical stance for humanities subjects, and an objective observational style for science subjects. Never fall into colloquialisms or slang in an effort to be more persuasive.
- An engaging scholarship essay necessarily appeals to the examiner’s emotion, intellect and memory. It must also present a new way of reasoning or findings.
- It is a mistake to draw points that are mere opinions. All statements must be factual and supported by citation.
- Do not omit direct quotes from relevant texts, as well as suitable paraphrasing. Ensure all your references are current and suitable to the subject and theme. Using ancient sources is the sign of a neglectful student.
- Avoid driving a point home too emphatically. It is enough to support your claims with evidence without repetition, exaggeration or hyperbole.
- Too many negative sentences can turn a successful essay into a destructive argument. A scholarship essay must be as constructive as any other piece of writing: analysis, interpretation and questioning need not be deleterious or critical of a person, piece of work or philosophy.
- Avoid presenting facts and data, but omitting a clear and well-thought out thesis argument. Make a logical outline or plan, and adhere to its principles.
A well-conceived scholarship essay can be a tool of a writer if written well and delivered on time. If it has a clear argument delivered in flawless language, its logic, sound reasoning, and investigative attitude will be regarded by the recruitment panel as the best base for the commencement of a fruitful term of study at any university.
Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic scholarship essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our best scholarship essay samples to link theory with practice.