Writing a scholarship essay is, perhaps, the most important—and often, most daunting—step for any student looking to win a scholarship. Judges must assess applicants quickly and will already know your basic information/details from the rest of the scholarship application. That being said, the essay is your chance to stand out as an applicant and tell the judge(s) exactly why you’re the ideal recipient for their award.
And, as any experienced essay writer will tell you, an outstanding essay begins with a well-formulated outline.
There aren’t specialized scholarship essay outlines per se, rather, scholarship essays are organized much like any other essay. However, there are a number of key features the scholarship essay must convey to the judge, and these features are important to keep in mind when planning.
Scholarship Essay Important Features to Remember
As there aren’t specialized formats for scholarship-specific essays, any traditional outline format will do (Interchanging numerals and letters for major points and supporting details, for example).
The only particular thing to remember is you are planning more than a mere response to the provided prompt—you are planning a way to sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the scholarship while responding to the prompt.
An Example of a Better Response
When planning, it is important to remember that there are better and worse ways to respond to a scholarship provider’s prompt while simultaneously selling yourself as the ideal candidate to receive the award.
Outlining and planning your scholarship essay is the most valuable asset in crafting a formidable response—a response that needs to both answer the provider’s question while setting you apart from a group of similarly qualified applicants.
BAD: “I am a very hard worker.”
BETTER: “At my current job, there are often extended lulls in the workload. During those lulls I stay busy by finding things in the office that still need to be done and taking care of them. Rather than sitting around or waiting to be told what to do, I refill paper trays, tidy up areas that have become cluttered throughout the day, and otherwise take initiative to improve the workplace and assist my co-workers.”
Scholarship Essay Outline Recap: