If you read a few scholarship essays that have worked, you will definitely see that there is nothing but a distinctive voice that makes them similar. They are all unique by nature, and there is no special formula that makes them perfect. Therefore, if you are looking for exact answers to your questions in that essays, you will not find any. However, the thing you can do is write, and try to convey your story, your voice, and your thoughts, and make the officers see how significant and interesting those things are. Also, there are a few basic principles you surely need to follow to succeed, and they all are presented in the list you will see next.
- Think of the main themes in the prompt
The prompt is basically your guide to what the admission officers want to hear, so do not be blind to this clue. Look at the words they use, like leadership, or courage, and be sure to include them in your essay. Usually, universities make the scholarship essay prompts more specific and interesting, and you should do whatever is asked of you in this prompt.
- Analyze what the major themes mean
Bravo! You have found the key words in the prompt, and now you should make a real use of them. Think what these words really mean. If you are asked about leadership, do not just tell how you were in the certain position and what you did there. Describe challenges, people, and emotions. Be vivid and specific in what you did and how it impacted your personality.
- Find other words that can describe the key themes
You will not scream leadership throughout the essay just to show that you read the prompt. Make sure to find something else that describes the same word, and use it wisely.
- Engage the admissions
Try to start writing your scholarship essay with something interesting. Do not make the admissions think “Ugh, another one.” Create an interest, a challenge, or simply anything that can make you stand out of the boring essay pile and make a stand.
- Think what they want to see
The essay is surely your place to show yourself and talk about yourself, but you have to know what the admissions are looking for too depending on the prompt.
- What was the experience you have engaged in? What were the easy or challenging sides of it?
- Why were you in the situation in the first place? What were the outcomes?
- How did you overcome the obstacles on your way? This is one of the main questions you can focus on to show your strength, faith in yourself, and the eagerness to keep going, find solutions, and not give up.
- What did you learn from the experience? How did it change the way you think or see the world? What was the moment that influenced you more than other ones?
- How does it affect your future? What will you do with the knowledge?
- How did you help the community? Who did you help and why? How does your positive influence on people’s lives made you feel?
- What was in it all from you? Show that you were not only giving but getting something in return too (non-material preferably).
Finally, just show who you are. Show why you think you are the worthy person and the scholarship should be given to you. Remember that the admission committee is not a bunch of people who are only there to judge you. They want to know you, understand what you did, how it shaped you, what you are planning to do now, and what you are striving for.