If you’re a high school senior or current college student, you’re probably wading through a ton of scholarship applications. Do a lot of them have essays? Whether it’s a personal statement, discussing a time you displayed leadership, arguing for or against a topic, there are certain strategies and tips you can utilize to make sure all your essays are the best they can be. Read on to discover 5 tips to help you write your best scholarship essay yet!
Read Past Winning Essays
This is a great starting point to help you get an understanding of scholarship essays. Take some time to search for winning scholarship essays, or see if the scholarships you’re applying for have published past winners. This will give you an idea on what the scholarship committee is looking for.
Make a List
Need to write a personal statement or essay focusing on yourself? Start off by making a list of any interesting hobbies, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, big life accomplishments and interests, skills and activities that set you apart. Making a list will help you get everything written down, then you can start to pick and choose what you should include.
Take Your Time
Whatever you do, don’t rush through writing your essay! You don’t need to spend months crafting the perfect sentences, but writing your essay in a few hours probably won’t help you win. If it’s still a while until deadlines hit, make yourself a schedule and stick with it. Give yourself about a week to work on ideas, an outline and the actual writing, another week to have someone proof read and edit, and a few days to make your final changes and submit.
Redstone is awarding 14 scholarships this year. Have you applied yet? Each scholarship is $4,650 and open to members who are high school seniors or current college students.
Skim Through a Dictionary
Feeling like you use the same words over and over? Take a moment to skim through a dictionary to pick up a few new words to sprinkle throughout your essay. You can also find great word replacements by using theseaurus.com to look up synonyms. This will help you expand your word usage and keep your essay fresh and diverse.
Walk Away for a Few Days
Sometimes you just get stuck. If you’re feeling uninspired or just can’t find the right words, walk away from your essay for a few days. Give your brain a break to let it refresh and get the creative juices flowing again. This can also help you between the writing and editing phase; you might see edits or changes you wouldn’t without a fresh mindset.
Ready to crush your scholarship essays now? Don’t forget to add Redstone’s scholarship to your list! Find out all the details on our Scholarship page. Now go forth and conquer!
Write about something you find interesting. Chances are, if you are passionate about a topic, you'll be able to write a more interesting essay about the topic.
If you find it difficult to write essays, try talking about the essay topic while recording the conversation. After you're done, transcribe the recording and edit it into essay form. This will give you a good start on your essay. The key to writing a good essay is to make it interesting, and the key to that is to write about something you are passionate about. Since the act of writing often interferes with the flow of ideas (most people can think and speak ten times faster than they can write or type), speaking into a tape recorder can help you capture your ideas and emotions better than staring at a blank piece of paper.
Try to find a unifying theme that binds together the threads of your background into a tapestry that shows not only where you have been and where you are now, but where you will go in the future. This will provide a sense of direction and cohesiveness.
This can have a big impact on whether you win the award. If your application is filled with vague and abstract answers, the selection committee doesn't have any way of evaluating your qualifications. Selection committees never accept an applicant's self-evaluation at face value. If you give them concrete examples, they can form their own opinion and cite those experiences and accomplishments as evidence in support of their opinion.
The only situation in which self-evaluation is appropriate is when you are writing about how an experience affected you. In such a situation you are the only source of information about your personal reaction. But do not limit the essay to how you felt about the experience. Instead, also talk about how it affected your future actions. By linking your feelings to concrete examples and actions, you allow the committee to judge how the experience affected you through a tangible result.