Scholarship Essay (Part 1)
Writing a scholarship essay is a daunting challenge for all students, especially if they want to succeed. You will have to impress the reader with your essay. Besides, you will need to address the major organizational goals and the main objectives of getting the award. Another thing you need to consider is that you will hardly ever be able to submit this essay to numerous organizations as this task is really individual and specific. If you want to apply for some scholarship from another organization, you will have to completely alter the essay or modify it really much to deserve attention and stand out of the crowd of other applicants. So, check out the following steps you need to take to deliver a high-quality scholarship essay:
Step 1: Carefully Read the Essay Prompt
Many organizations and educational establishments that offer scholarships for students usually provide certain essay prompts on their websites. Usually, the main aim of such prompts is to guide a student and let him/her know what information is expected of him/her to be provided. When carefully following such prompts, students will be less likely to provide irrelevant information that serves no meaning. Besides, some questions included in the prompt will require you to learn how to read between the lines. For example, you might get a question, “Describe an event that had a strong impression on your personality?” Here you may ask yourself, “Is the admission committee really interested in my narration of what happened to me and when or is there something else they are eager to know?” Most probably, such questions are aimed at deriving information about who you are as well as what interests, values, and qualities you have. Besides, your answers may indicate whether you are a promising student or not.
NOTE: Please take into consideration that, regardless of the topic, any scholarship essay question is aimed at getting information about your interests, experiences, and background, as well as how well you can achieve goals and objectives of the award-giving organization. Besides, instead of being given some prompt questions, you might be given an assignment to write an essay of your own choice. However challenging, this is an amazing opportunity to demonstrate your creative thinking. Moreover, in case something is hard to understand for you, do not hesitate to ask for clarifications in an email.
Step 2: Make a List of Necessary Keywords and Points Needed in the Essay
Whether you get the essay prompt or not, you must ensure that you cover all the relevant information that is needed in a scholarship essay. You should make a plan which information will help you stand out of the crowd of other competitors. Your essay should be a manifestation of all your qualities and features that will make you the best candidate for a certain scholarship. Therefore, to be sure which information is necessary and which is not, the first thing you need to do is carefully read all the information provided on the organization’s website. You should find out what the organization specializes in, what its goals and objectives as well as mission and vision statements are. Pick out a few keywords from their mission statement and make sure you include them in your essay.
If you are a straight A-student, do not think that it is enough to be chosen for the scholarship. As a rule, the main priority of organizations giving scholarship is not only to find a good and hard-working student but rather a person who best fits their mission and organizational goals. Therefore, gather some other documents such as your resume or a statement of purpose and see what your strengths and weaknesses are. Pick up those features that are worth including into the essay.
If you are applying for an academic scholarship, you might want to write about a certain subject that really evoked your interest or inspired for something. If you just provide the transcript to the committee, they will not know why you have chosen certain subjects over the others unless you tell them. Focus on what exactly helped you to decide on your career goals or expectations. You might also want to include some of the following points:
- Honors or academic awards that you were given during your studies;
- Any college-level courses you took while being in high school;
- Internships, online courses, etc. you took that have benefited your current education;
- How exactly your experience and academic achievements match the mission of the organization;
- What major you are going to choose when in college and why;
- Special knowledge or training you have (or extracurricular activities you were involved into);
- An example of the major challenge you had and how you dealt with it;
- Your financial situation (why you need this scholarship money).
Now that you have created a list of must-include points, you have to carefully integrate them into the essay to make it logical and coherent. To get a better idea of how to do it, you can browse for examples of scholarship essays on the Internet.
Step 3: Prepare an Outline and Write a Rough Draft
Making an outline before writing an academic paper is far from being a favorite activity of many students. However, it is really helpful. If you do not have any plan, it may be hard to focus on a particular idea or direct your mind towards specific points. Therefore, when you have a developed outline, you already see what you need to include in the paper. It is accepted that telling a story is the most effective as well as the easiest way to deliver the message when writing your scholarship essay. For example, you can tell a story of what your favorite book is and why. Start creating the outline with the main headings that form the backbone of your storyline. For example:
1. My teacher of Literature class recommended the book to me;
2. I read it during holidays;
3. The events depicted in the book changed my worldview;
4. This event inspired me to pursue career in medical field.
After creating the backbone, elaborate on each of the subtitles:
1.My teacher of Literature class recommended the book to me
a. The teacher knew I was interested in medicine and the profession of a doctor;
b. Our discussion in class made me realize the importance of medical career;
c. The teacher saw my interest and recommended me a book for individual reading.
2. I read it during holidays
a. Despite the fact it was summer and all my friends were having rest, I was totally immersed by the book;
b. I came to understand that my personal qualities would be suitable for medical field.
3. The events depicted in the book changed my worldview
a. I started to look for employment opportunities in the medical field;
b. Volunteered at one of the medical centers and helped nurses care for the patients;
c. Realized all the challenges of this job;
d. Became even more passionate about helping others and eradicating all the existing challenges on my way.
4. This event inspired me to pursue career in medical field
a. The book became an endless source of inspiration and motivation for me;
b. This book will always be a reminder for me how even little help matters regardless of what others say.