How to Write an Essay for a Scholarship: Focusing on the Most Important Things

Searching for and finding a great scholarship opportunity is hard enough. Now you have to worry about writing the essay in a way that you impress the scholarship committee and set yourself apart from the hundreds of other applicants. But it’s actually not that difficult to do. If you have a list of the scholarship awards that are perfect for you, following these simple tips will help you focus on the most important things of the essay and help improve your chances of winning the money:

  • Make sure your essay fits the theme. Let’s assume you are applying for a scholarship that is based on community service. The essay is not a place for you to vent about your unhappiness with homeless people and how they are a detriment to society. It’s clear the essay wants to know about what good you can do. Stick to the theme and don’t create a conflicting message by getting off topic.

  • Answer the underlying question. In most cases, the scholarship essay prompt is just a springboard for you to answer the real question that your readers want to see you address. Remember that you will likely be competing with several students who have the same background and qualifications as you. Use the scholarship essay question a s a way to prove to the committee that you’re the worthiest student deserving of the award.

  • Share a slice of life. Be sure to reveal something personal about yourself. It might seem difficult to do so within the word count, which is why you have to get straight to the point and write about just one topic that is important. Focus on just one aspect of an experience so that you can use up most of the essay getting into the details and making a connection with your readers.

  • Show passion in your writing. If you are completely honest with yourself you would likely agree that most topics you’ve written on didn’t mean a whole lot to you. Don’t take this same approach with your scholarship essay. All great scholarship essays share the trait that shows their authors were truly passionate and enthusiastic about their topic. Don’t try to fake your way through this; your committee will be able see right through.

  • Be specific in your writing. One of the most common mistakes in scholarship writing is using statements that are general instead of concise and specific ones. Don’t write something like “Hard work is the key to success.” Give the committee a bit of your personal experience by showing how hard work has led to success. Focusing on specific examples from your life will help the committee members relate to you and make your essay that much more memorable.

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