Essay Writing Tips – Write an Effective Essay

When applying for a scholarship, you can almost always expect to write an essay in addition to filling out a standard application. Scholarships are in high demand and competitive so you have to put your best foot forward in order to rise above your competition. Your essay gives you the opportunity to do just that.

The topics required for the essays can vary considerably depending upon the sponsor of the scholarship. Regardless of the topic, there are several things to keep in mind when writing an essay. Here are some helpful tips to write an effective essay.

  1. Plan. You want to make sure that your essay supports the answer to the question asked or is relevant to the topic that you are addressing. It is important to organize your thoughts before you start writing. Take the time to brainstorm. It could pay off in the end!
    • Know your audience. When writing an essay, it is easy to forget that a person will actually read it. Never forget for whom you're writing. It will help you organize your ideas better. Ask yourself these questions before you begin:
    • Who is my audience?
      • An individual or a review board/panel comprised of members from the organization sponsoring the scholarship, such as an athletic, academic, minority, community service or other special interest group.
    • What does my audience need, want and value?
      • Each review board will have its own set of requirements for your essay, but likely the reviewers want to understand your connection to the their group's purpose through your own viewpoint, growth and experiences.
      • They may also want to know that you have a vast range of academic interests and accomplishments.
    • What do I want my audience to learn about me? Some suggestions:
      • Your level of self-confidence
      • Your level of self-awareness
      • The extent of your reasoning and writing skills
      • Insights that indicate you can make a positive contribution to a campus, organization, community or society
      • The extent of your love for learning and how you envision using your education for society and others
  2. Stay focused on the message. If your essay references a personal experience, stay away from simply describing the experience to your audience. You want to focus on what your reaction to that experience says about you and how it has helped to shape the person that you are today. Your words should highlight specific characteristics that make you worthy of the scholarship for which you are applying.
  3. Ask for feedback from friends and family. It is always helpful to get someone else’s opinion.
  4. Polish your essay. It is not just about spell check. You want to make sure that you are getting your main points across to your audience without overloading them with unnecessary fillers. Proper editing takes time. But be careful about over-editing. Trust your instincts.
  5. Stick to the rules. You don’t want to miss out on being awarded a scholarship because you failed to follow directions. Make sure you are paying attention to things like the deadline for submission and word count.

If you are feeling intimidated about writing an essay, just remember that you are writing on a subject that you know a lot about — you! If you take the time to prepare your essay and stay true to yourself, you stand a greater chance of realizing the dream you have for your future.

Contact Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, today.