Tips for Writing a Strong Essay

Your scholarship essay should discuss yourself and your educational goals and should include personal information that you want to be considered by the scholarship selection committee when they evaluate your application.  A strong essay will greatly improve your chances of receiving a scholarship. Most students feel some anxiety about writing essays, but the following tips can help you improve your score:

  1. Put your heart—and some work—into it.
    The essay should be a direct reflection of you.  Write about who you are—your background, your struggles and past successes, your hopes, your educational and career goals and how a scholarship would help you to achieve them.
  2. Do not write as if you are writing on Facebook or Twitter!
    It is perfectly fine to talk about yourself and use pronouns like “I” and “my.” However, this is still an essay, so treat it like something you might submit in an English class. Do not begin the essay with “Hi, my name is . . . .” This is not an appropriate beginning for an essay.
  3. Be specific.
    If you want to “help people” someday, say how. What specific actions do you see yourself doing someday? If your family has had financial problems, provide some details. If you have participated in different volunteer or school organizations, write about what you specifically did in those organizations. Help the reader to see and feel your experiences and your goals.
  4. Structure your essay.
    Start with a good introduction and end with a strong conclusion.
  5. Re-read, revise, and proof your essay.
    In addition, run a spell check and have somebody else review it before you submit it.


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