How To Write A Winning Scholarship Essay

Written by Michael Nz. on May 26, 2022

5 min read
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Quickly learn how to write an essay to stand out in applications and win college scholarships. Follow these recommendations and start writing.

One of the essential requirements, and that perhaps provides an advantage over other applicants, if it is well done, is the letter of intent, presentation, or essay.

How to write an essay to stand out

Many of the scholarships for university scholarships require the preparation of this letter as a requirement.

This is nothing more than a document in which you must present your interests, and goals and, above all, highlight how the scholarship you are applying for contributes to your training and the achievement of your goals.

This document is the opportunity to present yourself to the selection committee, and to highlight information that cannot be included anywhere else in the application.

In addition, it shows the ability to express oneself, to write, the motivations to continue studying, passion, and leadership capacity, among other aspects.

The students have difficulties writing an essay, among the causes, we can find that:

  • Most youngsters do not read, consequently, they have difficulties writing.
  • Students tend to do things at the last moment, as I often say “we leave everything for the 45th minute and ask for extra time”.
  • Also, most are not familiar with the practice of writing a personal essay to submit with your application.

Here are some tips for writing an extraordinary essay!

Steps to writing an essay properly

Step 1: Think of a really good theme

The essay topic should have personal meaning, it should reveal something about who you are, what your values ​​and interests are, and why you are different from other applicants.

Write something about yourself that is not visible in your notes, the list of courses you took, or in any other application documents.

Selecting the right theme is very important.

To start thinking, here are some questions we can ask ourselves:

What am I like? What have I done? What do I want to do? Where do I want to do it? Why do I want to do it? Why in that place?

Step 2: Write the essay

Writing takes time; we should not rush or expect to finish the essay in an afternoon.

We must carefully read the instructions – topic, number of words, size and type of letters, margins, and others – we must do the essay considering them.

Use simple words to express ideas, you do not need to use a large vocabulary to show how much you master the language in which you are writing.

We must use words to express ourselves and not to show how smart we are. Each statement made should be illustrated with an example.

If the essay is in English, it is better not to use contractions like don’t, can’t, or any other.

You are interested: This is how the letter of recommendation should be to apply for a university scholarship.

They are not well regarded by scholarship selection committees.

Contractions are used to write to people you trust or are close to, they are not used in serious documents like an essay.

Do not write in the first person, do not use the I if possible.

If there are no precise instructions, we suggest:

Essay size: 5 to 10 paragraphs, 5 to 7 lines each paragraph

Font size: Times New Roman 12; This is the most used by international universities for the preparation of essays.

Normal margins

Spacing: Double spaced for ease of reading and space for the reader to comment

In the structure and writing of the essay, it is advisable to consider the following:

  • Do not exceed the maximum number of words and/or characters defined by the program to which you apply. It is recommended to maximize the number of words (at least 90% of the maximum number of words).
  • Do not write in a row, divide the essay into five or seven paragraphs; the introduction, three to five middle paragraphs or body of the essay, and the closing paragraph.
  • Give special attention to the introduction; You should try to capture the interest of the reader, so he will be interested in knowing what he says or what the rest of the essay reveals.
  • Organize the paragraphs in chronological order, past-present-future.
  • Do not leave topics or paragraphs open, close them! DO NOT return to a topic later.
  • To stand out in the competition, you must respond in the best possible way to the requirements and the objectives of the scholarship to show that you are different and better than the competition.
  • Support your sentences: comment, evidence; comment, evidence; for you to convince.
  • Clearly express the career of your interest, it is not good to apply to a scholarship with indecision, since the scholarship programs bet on those who have defined vocations.

If you are going to write about the advantages of studying abroad, you can do so, but without expressing yourself badly about your country or the universities of your country, because it is frowned upon by the selection committees of international scholarship programs.

If you talk about academic aspects, be careful, the person reading your essay may be a specialist on the subject.

If you are going to talk about the university or the academic program, inform yourself before speaking, otherwise, you can make mistakes.

It is recommended that in addition to your goals and aspirations, you also express in your essays how you will contribute in the future to the development of your country or the well-being of your citizens.

Avoid talking about religious or faith and political aspects in your essays, except in those cases that are priority aspects of the program.

Close the essay by requesting the scholarship, do not be afraid to express your reasons and limitations.

Even if you have that goal, do not indicate in your essay that after you graduate you want to stay and live in the country where you will continue your studies.

Most scholarship programs that award scholarships to developing countries, aim to contribute to the development of the countries.

Supporting the academic and professional development of its young people, therefore they are expected to return to their country of origin upon completion of their studies.

There are some programs that even leave this point clearly defined on the bases of their scholarship.

When you write the essay do not exceed the maximum number of words or pages allowed.

Use the minimum number of words required to express your ideas clearly and completely

Selection committees must read dozens of applications; They may not read your entire essay if it’s too long, so we suggest you don’t exceed 600 words

Try to avoid as much as possible the use of “drawer phrases” those that everyone always says and uses, we must be original and stand out from the rest

Make sure you write correctly: It never hurts to say that it is necessary to check the spelling, the syntax, the use of punctuation marks

Don’t rely on your computer’s word processor to check your spelling, take as much time as you need to thoroughly proofread your letter or document to make sure it’s well-written

Remember that it is necessary to express yourself clearly and concisely

There are some programs that ask questions to get to know you, later we will give you some tips on how to answer these questions (see “guided essays”)

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