Oh no, you spelled that word wrong! It happens all the time but mistakes like these and others can cost you free money aka scholarships. You wouldn’t want to miss out on $2,500 because you typed an “L” instead of a “Z” right? Well here are some common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
Fulfill the Criteria
Make sure you read the scholarship application description and follow the guidelines. If the scholarship asks you to write about a time where you overcame a struggle, don’t write about how your aunt’s cat is the most adorable cat. Be careful with copying and pasting other scholarship essays that you wrote - this could be a huge blunder if you replace it with the wrong topic. If the scholarship application says there is a maximum of 500 words, keep it to 500 words. Unfortunately, you won’t get any extra credit here for going over the word count.
We mentioned it briefly in the introduction but this is a very easy way to mess up your scholarship essay. One or multiple misspelled words show the scholarship reviewers that you didn’t take the time to proofread. If you’re competing against others for scholarship money, taking the time to proofread shows that you actually care about getting the scholarship. We suggest getting a second pair of eyes on your scholarship essays to check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, run-on sentences, and more.
Although scholarship essays ask you to talk about yourself, they are no place to brag and boast. In acknowledging your accomplishments you should always carry a strong sense of humility. Scholarship reviewers are here to help support you and it helps if you have stories that reflect on how others in your community have helped you to achieve your goals. We’re all in this together and it’s hard to want to stamp ‘won’ on essays where people think they’ve got it all figured out themselves.
If you’ve experienced hardship in your life and your scholarship essays ask you to write about that, make sure that you write in stride. Try to tell your story in a frame that doesn’t sound like you’re complaining about your situation. How people write about their experiences can be very telling about how they deal with those experiences and reviewers of scholarships want to ensure that the individuals they’re supporting will use their resources to continue growing to advance themselves out of their situation.
An essay is often the best thing to help the examiner understand the thought process of the applicant. Thus it is essential to know what are the things that can make the essay a more exciting read. Writing a scholarship essay could be a challenging job if there is the need to do it well. You would need to make the reader feel caught up in writing and also speak directly to the goals of the organization. The same application would rarely apply to the multiple awards. These essays would need to be tweaked or altered entirely to make the reader feel that you are deserving of the reward.
1. Interpret the essay prompt and write accordingly
The organizations and the schools which offer scholarships would give prompts, which the essay would address. It is essential to read the prompt carefully and even ‘read between the lines.’ You would need to understand that whether the prompt asks you to be honest about what you think or there is some tweaking that is required. You will need to figure if the motive is to address the issue in the prompt or to understand what the things you like are, what motivates you and what the topics that interest you are. These things would let them decide if you were a good candidate for the program they are offering.
2. Make a list of the essential points to include
Inducing some relevant information about yourself is necessary regardless of the essay prompt. You would need to prove yourself as an ideal candidate, and that would require some insights about the organization and what they would expect. A few of the keywords need to be found out from the mission, and these words should be the buzzwords in the essay. Scholarship committees are not just on the lookout for excellent candidates but would also need to find out the person who would fit their organizational goals. Transcripts and resumes should gather, and the qualifications should be reviewed to ensure that what is missing in these are included in the essay.
3. Grabbing the attention of the reader
Getting the attention of the reader would be pretty important as the power of a strong induction can never be underestimated. It is never a good idea to make the essay vague. It should also not be dull and impersonal. The article should be personal, specific and intriguing, making the reader want more. It would make the piece stand out from the rest. It would be a good idea to start hitting the ground from the very first paragraph.
4. You would always need to make the essays more surprising
The prompts would mostly be asking you some questions to understand how you think and analyze. There would be questions about how your life had influenced and how you have coped and worked accordingly. It would not be a good idea to write about parents as there are chances that many others would do that as well. Someone like Superman could be your hero, and it would be a good idea to mention them. The plan would not be traditional, but as long as it is personalized, it would surely be an exciting read.
5. The essay instructions would need to follow
You would need to make sure the essay reader does not get turned off that would almost apply to the guidelines. The essay should not be somewhere around the limits. You should not write under the deadline or over the limit. As significant money is at stake, you should ensure that you offer just the thing that asks of you.
6. Focusing on the topic and having a point is pretty important
You would need to understand the fact that examiners are probably going through hundreds or even thousands of scholarship essays. You should not roam astray as it would be difficult for you in such circumstances to ensure your survival in the game. You need not mention something out of the topic unless it would help to illustrate the main point. It is essential to make sure that the scholarship has a consolidated statement behind it. The thesis should be a one-sentence answer to the essay question. The answer could just be a one-sentence answer to the essay prompt, and the essay should be elaborating this statement.
7. Crating a Draft before writing the essay
You would need to make sure that the article has been drafted to ensure that nothing miss when you are giving form to the materials. The critical points must be there before you begin to start writing. Telling a story could be the most natural and most effective ways to tell a story for most of the scholarship essays. There should be significant headings that would be describing the primary storyline. The next step would involve filling in the storylines by including subheads. There are lots of things that one could mention in this case, and the draft would do just that.
8. Filling in the missing parts and leaving no holes
Filling in the missing pieces is one of the most important parts before you are anywhere near concluding the essay. Drafting the article before you write it would help you ensure that you can get through this process with ease. The first sentence has a lot of importance as it would attract the attention of the reader and motivate him further. You should be ready to start painting a vivid picture which you would be mentioned in the essay and create the first sentence accordingly. Also, you should ensure that there is no gap in the storyline leaving the reader in disgust.
9. Avoid the spelling errors and rewrite and revise
The rewriting and revision could be just the difference between a good writer and a poor one. You would need to look at the essay with fresh eyes a day or two after it has written. Also, make sure that there are no spelling errors in the article. It would show that you are reckless and would put you up for elimination.
Before submitting the final draft, you should read them yet again or could get them checked by a new pair of eyes. Some insights on the essay could help a lot.
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