Writing an application essay that is memorable, and engages the reader, may have a big impact on whether, or not, you win a scholarship. It is one of the selection criteria, which is completely under your control.
Follow the Directions
Read and follow the directions. Sometimes, the directions can clarify the intent of the question. If you don’t follow the directions, you’ll convey a negative impression to the scholarship committee, telling them that you can’t, or won’t, follow instructions.
Don’t Skip Questions
If some question doesn’t apply to you, write “Not Applicable.” Don’t leave blank spaces. An incomplete application will be rejected.
Most students write boring essays. They haven’t lived long enough to develop a life story that is not trite, tiresome, or superficial. A truly interesting essay should attract the reader’s attention.
Write about something you find interesting. If you are passionate about a topic, you’ll write a more interesting essay. If it is difficult for you to write an essay, talk about the essay topic while recording the conversation. After you’ve done, transcribe the recording and edit it into essay form. You’ll have a good start on your essay. Remember that the key to writing a good essay is to make it interesting. Speaking into a tape recorder, can help you capture your ideas and emotions better, than staring at a blank piece of paper.
Try to choose a unifying theme that binds together the threads of your background into a tapestry, which shows not only where you have been and where you are now, but where you will go in the future. This will give a sense of direction and cohesiveness.
Write an Outline
An outline helps to provide structure and focus to your essay. Many application essays are written with a stream of ideas, without connecting one to the other. An outline will help you to present your arguments in a manner that supports your conclusion.
Present Concrete Examples
When writing an application essay, support your statements with concrete examples. For instance, if you write that one of your best qualities is leadership, give an example how you demonstrated this.
This can have a great impact on whether, or not, you win the award. If your application is filled with abstract answers, the selection committee doesn’t have any way of evaluating your qualifications. If you give concrete examples, they can form their own opinion and cite those experiences as evidence, in support of their opinion.
Stretching the truth can hurt your application. For instance, if you list photography as a hobby on an application for a science scholarship, don’t be surprised if you are asked to explain the chemical reactions that make photography possible, during the interview. Committees can easily detect when you exaggerate, and the dishonesty will cause you to lose a scholarship.
Proofread Your Application
Check your application essay for correct grammar and spelling usage. You may also ask your teacher, or parent, to review your essay. It sometimes helps to have a second pair of eyes read over your application. Discuss the essay with them, but don’t let them rewrite it.
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