Basic Tips for Writing a Scholarship Application Essay

If you are one of the many students who are applying for scholarships to help offset the costs of a college education then you may already know how competitive the field of applicants can be. A top-notch scholarship application essay can be your chance to set yourself apart from the crowd by highlighting your individual talents and aptitudes. The tips in this article will help you to fulfill the submission requirements in a way that showcases who you are and why you are a great candidate to receive the scholarship.

Formatting for Success

First and foremost, your essay must be presentable and professional. When someone first looks at your submission, you want the impression to be clean and uniform. To accomplish this, submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Double spaced
  • 12pt Times New Roman font
  • One inch margins on all sides

Of course, if your application submission instructions state specific formatting guidelines then those should be followed to a T.

Getting Your Ideas in Order

To begin, start by reading the instructions. Make sure that you read every step of the instructions and follow them exactly. Then, read the question posed in the application. Take some time to roll the question over in your mind for a while so that you can open yourself up to new ideas that you might miss at first.

Begin jotting down your ideas. Keep in mind that you want to showcase who you are while demonstrating those areas in which you excel. Once you think you have a good grasp of your ideas begin to organize them into an outline. Try to outline in a way that categorizes ideas into a structure that flows from one to the next. Perhaps you organize your academic achievements in one category, your extra-curricular activities into another, and your arts or sports aptitude in another. Whichever way you choose, make it easy to follow.

The Writing Process

Once you are satisfied with your outline, you are ready to begin the writing phase. Spend some time thinking about your audience. Do your research on the organization and think about who they are and why they are offering the scholarship to begin with.

Begin writing by fleshing out each idea in your outline by elaborating on the unique aspects of each point. Use clear and concise language and don’t be afraid to highlight your talents and aptitudes. These are the very things that make you unique and you should write as someone who is proud of their achievements while being careful to not brag.

Once you have finished writing, read the original question again and then re-read your work. Have you answered the question thoroughly? Once you are satisfied, find someone who is highly-skilled with writing and editing to look over your essay for grammatical errors, typos, and even suggestions.

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