Creating a winning scholarship essay in 5 steps

Imagine kicking off your college career with a winning scholarship. Writing an essay that’s good enough to make a college or university want you there, is an accomplishment bar none. But these types of essays are far from being a dime a dozen.

Here’s a five step strategy on how to get you started. Remember that you have a lot of competition when it comes to writing one of these, so make it the best essay you’ve written so far.

Consider the reader

Try to remember that the person reading your essay has to go through countless others too. Knowing this should prompt you to restrain yourself from writing an essay that’s long and drawn out. It should also remind you that making your essay interesting is imperative if you want the person to continue reading it once he or she has started. Make sure you draw in the reader with something that will compel them to read further.

Mirror yourself on paper

Application essay readers want to know you, not what you’ve done. Try to reflect as much of your personality into your essay as possible. Treat it as an interview that you’re able to redo over and over, correcting errors, adding relevant information and putting words in the right order. If your paper doesn’t represent you, it may as well have been written by someone else.

Be selective

Pick topics that are worth mentioning. Every little detail that interests you about yourself isn’t necessarily going to impress everyone else. Events that have been life altering landmarks will serve you well in an essay like this.

Get a second opinion

Take your essay, once it’s done, to a good friend or family member who knows you the best. Let them dissect the essay and revise it where they think it needs to be changed. Allow them free run of your whole essay and collaborate with them to find out if they think the essay represents who you truly are.

Rewrite and revise

Rewrite and revise your essay after about a day of putting it out of your mind. Force yourself to relax, and go back to look at your essay with fresh eyes. Be brutal when revising, and cut out any information that’s lengthening your essay past what it should be.