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Your College Scholarship Essay: 6 Simple Steps to a Great Essay

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Ten steps to writing a winning essay for a scholarship.

Follow these tips to create your own winning scholarship essay!
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Meet your college match with the guidebook that simplifies your search for the perfect school. Find out what schools are out there — and which are right for you! As you know, applying for college is a lot of work. You must complete university applications , financial aid applications, college admissions essays and even an essay for a scholarship. Never underestimate the power of a strong introduction.

Look at these two examples of introductory lines. Can you can spot the difference? Example 1 is vague, impersonal and boring. But example 2 is personal, specific and intriguing. It leaves the reader interested and wanting more. Hit the ground running in your first paragraph. This will help your scholarship essay stand out from the pack. There are many scholarships out there, and essay topics tend to overlap. With a bit of tweaking, one scholarship essay can fit the needs of several different contests.

Recycle as much as you can! You should gather your other application materials such as transcripts and resumes so you can review your qualifications as well as make note of what is missing in these materials that needs to be included in the essay. For example, if you're applying for a general academic scholarship, you might want to talk about a specific class you took that really piqued your interest or inspired your current academic and career goals. The committee will see the list of the classes that you took on your transcript but they won't know how a particular class inspired you unless you tell them.

The essay is the best place to do this. Your list of important points to make might also include:. The challenge now is to integrate those points that you want the committee to know with an essay that answers the prompt. You can see our example scholarship essays to get a better idea of how to do this.

Not everyone likes to make an outline before they begin writing, but in this case it can be very helpful. You can start with your list of important points to begin writing the outline. For many, telling a story is the easiest and most effective way to write a scholarship essay.

You can tell the story of how you found your favorite book, and how it has changed and inspired you. Start with large headings in your outline that describes the basic storyline. You will want to include one strong thesis statement that summarizes all the major points you will make in your essay. It is often easy to start writing with this simple statement.

Your essay doesn't have to begin or end with the thesis statement, but it should appear somewhere in order to tie all the individual sections together.

For example, your thesis statement might be, "You will find that various experiences from both my academic career and my personal life align very well with your organization's mission: When you've finished your essay, be sure to reflect back on your thesis statement and ask yourself, "Does this essay further explain and support my thesis statement?

Now that you have a thesis statement, an outline, and a list of important points to include, you can begin to fill in the missing parts of your story. The first sentence is particularly important: We recommend starting your story by painting a vivid picture of an experience about which you will be talking in the essay.

My classmates are all sleeping in and the sun has yet to awaken, but I'm ready to seize the day, as I couldn't imagine spending my summer any other way but interning at a local law firm that specializes in representing the poor.

I work a typical day during my summer vacation and nothing has made me happier. But I wouldn't be here if it weren't for one particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class. A good writer rewrites and revises his or her work many, many times.

After getting a first draft on paper, take a day or two away from the essay and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Make appropriate edits for content, and pay attention to proper spelling and grammar. If need be, you might want to write an entirely new draft and then integrate the best of both into a final draft. Writing a new draft can inspire you to think of new ideas or a better way to tell your story.

Some other tips to think about as you rewrite and revise:. Ideally, you could give your essay to a teacher or college admissions counselor who is familiar with scholarship essays and the college admission process.

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Sample Scholarship Essays If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript.

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Scholarship Essay Example 1 The scholarship essay example 2 question (Who has been the most influential person in your life?) is a common scholarship prompt. The example posted here is a winning scholarship submission that deals effectively and affectionately with the question.

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The scholarship application process for essay scholarships is much the same as for other scholarship opportunities—you need to fill out the scholarship application, gather all your materials, double-check that you've met all requirements, and then submit your completed application packet before the deadline. With essay scholarships, especially, you should start this process early and leave yourself plenty of time to . This is a sample essay to help guide you when you are writing essays for scholarships. Keep in mind that all scholarship applications are different, so you may have to design your essay to meet those specific requirements. Paragraph I (State an overview of what you are going to talk about in the essay.

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Essay Scholarships Scholarships with essays often have interesting topics which allow you to express your opinion through the written word. Elizabeth Hoyt. July 11, If you’re a skilled writer, a few hundred (or even a thousand) words is no biggie. Using a previous scholarship essay contest we hosted, where our judges received more than 4, essays, we noticed some frequent mistakes students make that can instantly disqualify you from an essay contest. We thought to ourselves, Hello, learning opportunity! Here, an example of what NOT to do in.