how to write a scholarship essay

How To Write a Scholarship Essay that Wins you BIG Benefits [2020 Version]

by Umair Ahmad Khan

Finding a scholarship is the easy part. What matters is that you actually win that scholarship, and most scholarships need you to write an essay highlighting the fact that you deserve that scholarship. So, knowing how to write a scholarship essay that stands out and wins you a scholarship is crucial.

Writing a good and effective scholarship essay is crucial, as it reflects that you are a dimensional person, and if done right it can showcase more of your abilities as compared to what your CGPA can highlight.

Therefore, convincing the board that you deserve a scholarship is important.

With that in mind, we here at Explainopedia have read tons of scholarship essays that have won their writers huge scholarships and grants, and by analyzing then, we have prepared a sort of guidelines or tips for how to write a scholarship essay that is successful.

Tips on How to Write a Scholarship Essay

The following list of tips on writing a winning scholarship essay has been developed by carefully analyzing some famous examples of winning scholarship essays.

Follow these tips and surely your scholarship essay will stand out.

So, let’s begin with tips on how to write a scholarship essay by discussing each of them one by one:

1. Carefully Read the Essay Requirements

Almost all scholarships who require an essay, have some guidelines or instructions for writing a scholarship essay. Read them carefully.

It often happens that the applicants don’t read the instructions carefully and end up writing an essay that is not in the required format or does not fulfill the required words criteria etc. This leads to the student losing the scholarship, even you deserved it.

So, take your time and read the instructions carefully. Make a list of your own what is required in the essay.

Also keep the page that states all the essay requirements by your side when you are writing your essay, and after you have finished check again to see if all of the requirements have been fulfilled.

2. Be Coherent throughout your essay

Just like any other writing material, your scholarship essay needs to be coherent. It needs to stay true to its purpose and what has been asked.

Many scholarship essays have some criteria like need-based or merit-based. So, you need to stick to that narrative for your essay.

If the scholarship you are targeting is need-based then highlight how your financial situation is hindering your academic talent to shine. And if the scholarship is merit-based then highlight how you contributing and intend to contribute to the world and your field, if provided the resources.

Some scholarships require open topic essays and let you decide whatever you want to write about. For these, pick a topic, research it and stick to it.

Whatever narrative or topic is required, stay true to it and stick to it.

3. Have a Strong Opening

A strong opening is very influential, and like any other writing material or even movies and TV shows, your scholarship also needs a strong opening. Something that hooks the reader to your essay with the very first line.

For a strong opening, you should start it with a picture of where you see yourself in 10 or 15 years after getting the education the scholarship is promising to give you.

However, still you should stay true to yourself and don’t over do the opening.

Start by introducing the reader to your dreams, and try to hook the reader with it. For example you can open your essay like this:

“Solving equations and writing lines of code daily may not be everyone’s favorite activity, but i can’t wait to develop softwares and machines to improve people’s lives”

4. Stay true to the word count limit

Writing a scholarship is an art and do you know what is the first rule of making beautiful art? It is DO NOT OVER DO IT.

Stay true to the word count limit. Never go above the word count limit. If you have more to write that you feel like is crucial to the essay, go back and remove something else to make space. But never go above the word limit.

Being concise is what makes essays great, and when you go above the word count limit, it sends a negative signal that you are unable to convey your message with limited words.

5. Plan, Draft, Revise and Repeat

Your first draft should never be your last.

Before writing make a plan for what you are going to write. Make a list of key points that confirm that they fulfill the requirements of the essay and convey your message.

After you have developed a plan, start writing and develop a draft.

Then revise your draft and verify whether your draft is good enough to be submitted or not. If not then go back, plan again and write again.

Repeat this cycle until are satisfied.

6. Have someone else proof read your essay

After you have developed a draft that you feel is perfect to submitted, find someone else who can proof read it.

Find someone who is good at writing essays and have them proof read your essay. It is possible that some mistakes exist in your essay which may have gone under your radar. And your friend, parent, sibling or teacher whoever you choose to have proof read your essay, may highlight those mistakes.

After all, two brains are smarter than one.

7. Never lie, and stay Honest

Honesty is the best policy. And this is one of the most overlooked thing when considering tips on how to write a scholarship essay.

Your life, your dreams, and your experiences are important and interesting and are the key parameters for the board to judge you as a deserving candidate,

But, that never means that you need to start making stuff up, just to grab the attention of your reader, and try to seem more deserving for the scholarship. Your authenticity is super important.

If you write false details about yourself in your scholarship essay, you would not be only lying to the scholarship awarding institution but more importantly, to yourself.

So, be honest in your essay and stay true to yourself.

8. Be Formal (While also be Yourself)

You need to appear professional and formal in your essay.

You should avoid any slang words and overly colloquial language. However, you should write in your own tone and voice.

Your essay should be clean and clear.

You can learn more about voice and tone in writing here in this great article.

9. Market Yourself

Marketing Yourself or Selling Yourself means to convince someone else of your talents. That someone else can be a recruiter for a job or in this case, someone who has the power to accept or reject your scholarship application.

So, you need to convince them that you are good enough and deserve the scholarship.

For this purpose, you should highlight how the benefits of the scholarship will help you achieve your goals in the long run.

Tailor your pitch for yourself according to the nature of the scholarship, and align your statements to that.

Don’t be afraid to promote yourself or showcase your achievements. However, once again, stay truthful and honest.

10. Stick to Standard Formatting

Stand formatting of the scholarship essays is tested format. So, stick to the format. There is no need to experiment.

Stick to stand font like Times New Roman etc. and font size, and following all of the formatting requirements to the last bit.

Your sentence spacing, fonts, headers, footers etc. should all be according to standard format.

Bonus Tips

There are some bonus tips on how to write a scholarship essay that are not essential but can really help making your essay shine even more:

  • Don’t include famous quotes from famous people like Albert Einstein said this. Instead, include some advice or wisdom you have received directly from someone close to you and who is important to you. This seems much more true and authentic. For example: “My uncle who is a practicing doctor for 10 years, has always encouraged me to help the people in the world get better. That is why I am planning to follow his footsteps.”
  • Don’t portray yourself as a student whose true brilliance has always been hindered by hard luck, Portray yourself as a brave person who has the ability to overcome his obstacles.
  • Don’t make it seem like if you don’t end up winning the scholarship, it would be the end of the world for you. Instead, you should highlight your strength to overcome challenges and hardships, and share stories of how you overcame your previous obstacles and challenges.
  • Use Softwares like Grammarly etc. to assist you in your grammar while you write.

Wrapping Up

The main recommendation for you on how to write a scholarship essay is to really show that you know who you are, what are your dreams and most importantly, you have the will and drive to realize your dreams.

You should use carefully planned words to emphasize your passions and ambitions, and showcase what you have achieved in the past and plan to achieve in the future.

You need to show that you believe in yourself.

Well, that was it on how to write a scholarship essay.

Also, Checkout our article on writing an impactfull research proposal by clicking the link below:

How to a Research Proposal, in 12 Easy Steps

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