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Writing the Best Scholarship Essay

Here’s some good advice on how to write the best scholarship essay


We’ve told you to take your scholarship essays seriously. So where and how do you begin? Here are some helpful questions to get you started:

What attributes do you wish to convey?

- In order to answer this question, you should at the very least read a description of the award. Is the award intended to honor a certain person, and how is he or she described? This will give you an idea of the criteria on which your character will be judged.

- What are the main interests or goals of the organization offering the scholarship? How might you be expected to help achieve these goals? Present yourself as someone compatible with the organization’s mission.

- Create a list of attributes you wish to emphasize in your scholarship essay. Remember: in addition to self-confidence, humility is a very attractive trait!

- If you have questions regarding the scholarship, you can always call the organization. Committees want to help students create strong applications.

Do you need to do some research, or is the question more personal?

- Outside research can enrich your writing and strengthen its impact. You may be required to do research in order to answer the question – if, for example, you need to evaluate a policy and take a stance for or against it. If the question is personal, outside research may still be helpful for placing your circumstances in context. Maybe you want to explain just how crucial the lab research you’re conducting is to our understanding of the habits of howler monkeys.

Do you come across as human?

- If so, good! It’s alright – even beneficial – to reveal shortcomings, as long as you have some insight into them and can demonstrate that you’ll give a challenge everything you’ve got. Have a friend read your essay, and see what kind of picture of you it paints.

- Use specific details and examples to convey desired attributes. Don’t just say you work hard. Describe the steps you take to succeed, and how you manage to balance work with other demands.

  • Examine your examples. How can you make them even more specific, and therefore more compelling? Remember that your readers have never met you or anyone in your life (probably). In order for your character to stand out, people need specifics, just as they do when reading a novel or a biography.

Lastly, get feedback.

Top Test Prep offers admissions counseling that can help you hone your scholarship essays and grab an organization’s attention.

This article is on how to write scholarship essays. For more information on scholarship essays for applications, go to TopTestPrep.com.