Scholarships are an ideal way to help you pay for college, but you’re probably going to have to write an essay to earn your reward money. In our guide below, we will be going through our step-by-step process for writing your scholarship essay.
Read the Essay Prompt
Most scholarships require applications to write and submit an essay based on a given prompt. So naturally the very first thing you should do is read over the prompt. Make sure you read it over carefully so you can answer it to the best of your ability..
If the question asks you to describe a book that you enjoy the most, consider whether the college is testing your literary preferences. Often enough, they’ll use this type of question to get to know you better, not just what kind of literature you like, but what kind of themes motivate or inspire you.
They may also be trying to figure out what kind of student you are, based on the prompt they give. Instead of being handed a question of their own, you may be asked to write about a topic or theme of your choice. Sure, this might be challenging, but it’s meant to be — limitations often increase creativity.
Create an Outline
Although not everyone benefits the same way from writing an outline, it’s a smart tool to help build your scholarship essay. You should start by writing down important points of your essay on your outline and start adding details to each one from there.
Tie in Your Topic to Your Schoolwork
It’s never a bad idea to talk about how the topic you’re writing about relates to your major or field of study you’re learning about in school. This helps provide a little more background about yourself and shows the essay evaluator how serious you are about school. For example, if you want to go back to school to become a nurse, tie the essay prompt in to something about human physiology or an experience you had while volunteering at a local clinic.
Before you start writing anything down, consider how you can make this article unique from others. Take your time and brainstorm how you want to answer the question. Some schools will ask very impactful questions, such as a significant moment in your life. It’s crucial that you take your essay to heart and make it as original as possible. Don’t try to guess what the person reviewing it will want to read, write about what you want the reader to experience reading your scholarship essay.
Take Your Time
It’s vital that you don’t try to rush through your scholarship essay the night before it’s due. Be sure to create deadlines and make plenty of drafts before your final copy. You should also make sure it’s appropriately peer-reviewed before you hand it over to your school, or whoever’s giving you the scholarship. Naturally, mistakes do appear, so make sure you have a few weeks to read it over and catch any that may be hiding in your essay.
Have Your Peers Read it Over
Before writing your final copy of the scholarship essay, make sure that you have your peers, such as your friends, boss, parents, and teachers read it over to give constructive feedback. Have them inform you whether the essay makes sense, if it’s clear to read, and if it captures who you are as a person. Proofreading applications like Grammarly and Hemingway App are also very useful (and free!).
Read the Essay Out Loud
Believe it or not, there may still be mistakes lurking in your writing, even after peer reviews and a couple of rough drafts. This is why it’s so important to read your essay out loud to catch any before writing your final draft. Additionally, this is a great time to see if there are any sloppy parts of your writing or grammatical mistakes that you missed before. Make sure that this is the impression you want to offer people handing you scholarship money.