Cranking out a great scholarship essay is one of the most important factors in determining whether or not you wind up landing that crucial scholarship to study in the U.S. But writing a scholarship essay is difficult if you don’t know the basics. Here are 5 tips when writing a scholarship essay that will help you along the way:
1. Address the prompt
While some scholarship essay prompts will be very open, others will ask you to write about a pretty specific issue or prompt. Make sure you look closely at exactly what the prompt is asking for and write your essay accordingly! If you’re supposed to describe a time you learned from a mistake, for example, writing a scholarship essay about your life-changing trip to India won’t get you anywhere.
2. Be yourself
Though it is quite possibly the single most cliché bit of advice on writing a great scholarship essay, it is VERY true that you should write honestly rather than trying to say what you think the reader will want to hear. The readers are professionals; they can smell dishonest kowtowing and they respect reading an applicant’s true voice.
3. Tell a unique story
Whatever the prompt is, try writing a scholarship essay that avoids commonality. For example, if the prompt asks you to recount a difficult time in your life, try to avoid common topics like parents’ divorce, deaths of loved ones, and so on. Of course, in keeping with Tip #2 above, if you are very passionate about writing on one of these topics you should listen to your instinct and go for it.
4. Show growth
Especially if you’re asked to discuss a negative experience, you’ll want to put emphasis on how you learned and grew from the issue. This will show maturity, perseverance, and insight.
It’s awful to have a great scholarship essay derailed by poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Have friends, teachers, and family members look over your essay exclusively for these specific problems. The more eyes you get on it, the better.
If you enjoyed reading our article on the 5 tips when writing a scholarship essay, then check out our partner InternationalStudent.com’s Scholarship Essay Center.