Friday, October 2, 2015

4 Tips for Writing a Great Scholarship Essay

By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services

Scholarship essays can be difficult to write, and this is especially true for international students who aren’t fluent in the English language. You need to impress your readers (i.e., the admissions committee), make your objectives and goals clear, and then edit your essay until it’s as close to perfect as possible.

Here are some tips to help guide you through the process:
  • Write for your specific audience: It’s likely that you will need to tweak your essay to cater to a particular audience, and this is something you should take into consideration before you get started. Don’t simply submit a “one-size-fits-all” essay; Make each essay unique so it will stand out, especially among those applicants who simply copy and paste the same essay that they sent in other scholarship applications. Remember that scholarship providers are looking for students who meet specific criteria, so tailoring your essay to those particular providers will help improve your chances.
  • Start early, and create an outline: Plan ahead! Don’t wait until the last minute to start working on your scholarship essay. Starting well in advance will enable you to write essays that are addressing a specific audience as opposed to reusing a general essay (as aforementioned). It will also give you ample time to outline your thoughts and highlight your main points or anecdotes. Remember: Your goal is to produce an essay that will show the admissions committee who you are beyond your résumé and transcripts. Your outline should also ensure that all parts of the essay question(s) are thoroughly and accurately addressed; don’t leave anything out. Take your time, and think things through.

  • Write about something that makes you stand out: Even though you may be answering a specific question or adhering to a prompt, there’s still plenty of room for creativity. Try opening your essay with something compelling that will grab the reader’s attention. As an international student, you can definitely allow yourself to stand out in the introductory lines of your essay given your unique experiences. So, don’t be afraid to add some color to your essay – just be sure you are answering the question when doing so.

  • Edit, edit, and edit again: Especially if English is not your native language, make sure you proofread, revise, and revise again. You should also get feedback from a fresh pair of eyes – somebody who has not seen the essay before, and who is fluent in English and can help you with grammar and flow.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Jordan! Great tips on writing a winning essay! The last point is quite essential. Some little mistakes could pass through, but big and dirty one is a huge barrier to getting a good result. Usage of proofreading programs is highly recommended.

    While writing an essay, a student should choose a strong strategy which includes the fact that she or he should show a creative and unique way of thinking. It could contain a minimum number of words required, but it should express their own individual point of view on the particular topic. To fulfill such goal, the student should make a well-balanced plan and be sticky to it. A successful essay is hard work and requires patience for sure.


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