Tips On How To Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out

Tips On How To Make Your Scholarship Essay Stand Out
After years at school, you think you know everything on how to write a good scholarship essay. It’s no different from any persuasive paper. You just have to use logic and emotion to win the jury over, right? Wrong!

The outcome of your scholarship application relies on a board of people who know nothing about you. While your professor is responsible only for grading your paper, the scholarship jury awards funding. Therefore, their requirements are much stricter, and their criteria differ from those of your teachers. To improve your chances of winning, we’ve created this mini-guide on writing a scholarship essay.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay

Many factors make the difference between a winning scholarship application and a mediocre one. We’ll go over seven parameters that make an essay stand out among thousands. To get noticed, your paper should be:

Personalized

Don’t list your achievements and awards as you would in a resume. Instead, tell a story that allows the reader a glimpse into what makes you the person you are today. It might be a family anecdote, a travel report, or the scariest experience in your life. Sprinkle the story with a few facts, and it will have a more powerful impact than a dull list of victories. Here are some questions your essay should answer:
  1. What makes you the best suited applicant for the contender?
  2. What are the most outstanding people or experiences you’ve encountered?
  3. How are you different from other challengers?

Targeted

Write a new essay for every scholarship you apply for. Generic applications never win. Invest your time and effort if you wish to get the funding. Study the program’s background, its mission, vision, and values. Use some keywords in your essay to demonstrate you know and share the scholarship’s ideals. Your application should reflect the answers to:
  1. Why did you choose this scholarship program?
  2. Are there specific people or organizations in the program that made you apply?
  3. What do you expect to achieve using the funds?

Substantiated

There is a difference between bragging and acknowledging your strengths. The distinction lies with facts and numbers. If you write “I am a born leader”, your essay will not differ from hundreds of others and will go straight into the “reject” pile. If you have to tell about your strength directly, you most likely don’t possess them. Instead, provide an example of your leadership, such as “I coordinated a dozen of my classmates to organize a fundraiser for better science lab equipment. We raised $1500 in a single day”. To better understand the concept, consider these questions:
  1. Do you have prior experience relevant to the scholarship?
  2. What leadership (volunteer, charity, social) experience do you possess?
  3. How do you overcome difficulties?

Unique

While cliches work, leave them out of your motivational writing. Everyone will use the trite phrases like “leadership experience” or “great at teamwork”, so it’s your chance to be original and stand out. Let your muse roam free and use creative writing techniques to produce unique ideas. Brainstorming, brain dump, free writing are just a few of the most popular methods. Whatever you do, never plagiarize others’ essays. A simple TurnItIn test will uncover your cheating, and you might get in trouble. Inspiration may come in many forms. These questions might help you find it:
  1. What music gets you into the winner mindset?
  2. What would your personal hero write about you in the essay?
  3. What would you say to your past self after you’ve received the scholarship?

Precise

The scholarship board expects you to spend the money on education, formal or otherwise. There is no need to point it out. Instead, explain your exact plans and be precise. Demonstrate your interest in a particular class, college, topic, or professor. List your prior experiences parallel to this field of study, the articles you’ve recently read, or the seminars you’ve attended. The more relevant details you provide, the more convincing your writing will be. Here are the questions to explore:
  1. What are your academic and professional goals?
  2. Which works, scientists, speakers, or personas inspired you to study this field?
  3. How are you going to use the scholarship?

Honest

If you can’t think of a significant achievement to focus your paper around, do not go inventing victories. A quick online search or email to your professors will expose your deceit and automatically disqualify you from the competition. Instead, be yourself, let your voice and tone shine throughout the essay. Think of it as a one-sided interview and your only chance to make a lasting impression without lying. To bring the truth to light, answer these honestly:
  1. Which bad qualities balance out your strengths?
  2. What mistakes did you make in the past?
  3. What are the persistent weaknesses you can’t get rid of?

Cohesive

You have many qualities that make you a perfect candidate for the scholarship, but you can’t cram them all into a single essay. It should read like a seamless description of a well-rounded person. To ensure your paper is cohesive and if flowing smoothly, edit it before submission. If you can’t find a willing beta-reader among your friends and family, seek professional help online. Experienced editors might share more actionable scholarship essay tips and provide helpful feedback. The list of question you should ask yourself while editing includes:
  1. Does the paper seem logical and well-rounded?
  2. Are there any phrases, facts, or achievements that redirect the attention from the main idea?
  3. Which words or sentences do not hold significant meaning and just take up space?

Scholarship Essay Tips

Knowing how to write a scholarship essay to make it stand out is one thing, but omitting common mistakes and winning requires extra effort. We’ve scoured the Internet for scholarship success stories and collected a few useful gems.
  1. The first sentence is your secret weapon. You are not writing a novel, so you can’t afford to leave the juiciest lines for last. Instead, put them in the first paragraph, better yet - the first sentence. Don’t be afraid to shock, surprise or amuse the scholarship jury. You have only one minute to grab their attention and carve your paper into their memory. Write the essay as you usually do, but leave the first sentence for last if you don’t know how to start a scholarship essay. Come back to the task once the application is done. Polish and perfect it until you’re 100% sure you’ve done your best.
  2. Write less, not more. Scholarship juries receive thousands of applications and have no time or patience for your twenty-page narration. Even without a word limit, do not let your essay exceed one or two pages. This should be enough for a standard 5-paragraph structure or any unique style to employ. Your ability to write a concise and logical application should be clear.
  3. Go easy on the negative. An essay for scholarship implies you need the funding to support your studies or research. However, don’t go overboard with self-pity and complaints. Instead of making the jury pity you, concentrate on the opportunity the scholarship presents to you, the contributions you will make if you win. No one likes the downer, but everyone respects the person willing to overcome difficulties to achieve ambitious goals.
  4. Write the essay backward. Coaches often recommend this technique for goal-setting and planning exercises. Instead of planning the paper from the introduction to the conclusion, move backward. Think about the final thought you want the readers to remember and consider the ways you could lead up to it. Explore the examples you would like to make and which arguments should precede them. This way, outlining and writing will go much smoother, as you don’t have to worry about the outcome, as it is your starting point.
If you are out of time, energy, or inspiration, our advice won’t do you any good. Instead of missing the chance and kicking yourself for wasting an opportunity, get us to help. Our professional writers know and apply the secrets we’ve shared today so your scholarship application will be unique and compelling. With Homeworkfor.me, your chances of winning will skyrocket. Get your scholarship essay now!

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