Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay
Writing a scholarship essay can be very difficult – especially if you want to do it well. Your essay will need to wow the reader, and speak directly to the goals of that organization, as well as the objectives of that award. If done properly, you will very rarely be able to submit the same application to multiple awards – it is not a one-size-fits-all; most essays will need to be tweaked or completely altered to show the reader that you are deserving of the award above and beyond any of the other participant who also applied.
Read on to find eight steps to help you write a better scholarship essay so that you can get the money you need to fund your international education.
Step 1: Read the Essay Prompt Thoroughly
Many schools and other organizations that give out scholarships will give you a "prompt" or a question which the essay is supposed to address. Read the question or prompt carefully and try to "read between the lines." For example, the prompt you are to answer might be, "Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why?" Ask yourself, "Are they really interested in my literary preferences or is there something more to this question?" More than likely, they want to get a better idea of who you are—not only what types of books you like but also what motivates you and what sorts of stories or topics interest you. They may also be interested in getting a sense for how promising a student you are based on the type of book you choose and what you have to say about it.
Tip: Always keep in mind that any scholarship essay question, no matter the topic, should demonstrate your interests, your background, and most importantly, highlight the experiences you've had that fit with the goals and mission of the funding organization.
Instead of being given a prompt, you might be asked to write an essay on the topic of your choosing. Although challenging, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate your creativity. Finally, if anything about the directions aren't clear, don't be afraid to contact someone at the funding organization and ask for clarification.
Step 2: Make a List of Important Points and Keywords to Include
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Regardless of the essay prompt, you will want to make sure to include the important and relevant information about your experiences and background that makes you an ideal candidate for the scholarship award. To complete this step, it can be helpful to first research the organization to which you're applying and try to find their mission statement on their website. Circle a few key words from the mission statement and make sure to include those buzzwords in your essay.
Scholarship committees are not only looking for good students, they are often looking for a person that fits their organizational goals. You should gather your other application materials such as transcripts and resumes so you can review your qualifications as well as make note of what is missing in these materials that needs to be included in the essay.
For example, if you're applying for a general academic scholarship, you might want to talk about a specific class you took that really piqued your interest or inspired your current academic and career goals. The committee will see the list of the classes that you took on your transcript but they won't know how a particular class inspired you unless you tell them. The essay is the best place to do this. Your list of important points to make might also include:
- Any academic awards or other honors you've won.
- Any AP or college-level courses you took in high school.
- Any outside courses, internships, or other academic experiences that won't necessarily appear on your transcript.
- Why your experience and the mission of the funding organization match.
- What you plan to major in during college and how you think that major will be useful to your future career goals.
- Any special training or knowledge you have, or a project you completed in school or as an extracurricular activity.
- An example of how you overcame a challenge.
- Your financial circumstances that makes it necessary for you to finance your studies through scholarship money.
The challenge now is to integrate those points that you want the committee to know with an essay that answers the prompt. You can see our example scholarship essays to get a better idea of how to do this.
Step 3: Write an Outline or a Rough Draft
Not everyone likes to make an outline before they begin writing, but in this case it can be very helpful. You can start with your list of important points to begin writing the outline. For many, telling a story is the easiest and most effective way to write a scholarship essay. You can tell the story of how you found your favorite book, and how it has changed and inspired you. Start with large headings in your outline that describes the basic storyline. For example:
- High school composition teacher recommended book
- Read it over one weekend
- Made me see the world around me differently
- Inspired me to pursue a career in social justice
Now you can start filling in the subheadings with points from your previous list:
- High school composition teacher recommended book
- Favorite class in high school
- Class opened my eyes to new ways of thinking
- Teacher noticed my enthusiasm—recommended outside reading
- Read it over one weekend
- Was the first time I was so drawn in by a book, I read it very quickly
- I realized my academic potential beyond getting good grades
- Made me see the world around me differently
- Started to look for jobs in social justice
- Interned for a summer at a law firm doing pro bono work for the poor
- This was a big challenge because I realized you can't help everyone and resources are limited
- Overcame this challenge by knowing that small change can be big, and working hard in a field you are passionate about will inspire you everyday
- Inspired me to pursue a career in social justice
- The book is a constant source of inspiration and will keep me motivated as I pursue my career
- The book will always remind me how people with limited financial resources can still make a huge difference in others' lives
Step 4: Write a Strong Statement that Summarizes Your Points
You will want to include one strong thesis statement that summarizes all the major points you will make in your essay. It is often easy to start writing with this simple statement. Your essay doesn't have to begin or end with the thesis statement, but it should appear somewhere in order to tie all the individual sections together.
For example, your thesis statement might be, "You will find that various experiences from both my academic career and my personal life align very well with your organization's mission: shaping community leaders who are working towards a more just and sustainable world." Starting with this sentence can help you organize your thoughts and main points, and provide you with a direction for your essay. When you've finished your essay, be sure to reflect back on your thesis statement and ask yourself, "Does this essay further explain and support my thesis statement?"
Step 5: Fill in the Missing Parts
Now that you have a thesis statement, an outline, and a list of important points to include, you can begin to fill in the missing parts of your story. The first sentence is particularly important: it should capture the attention of the reader, and motivate him or her to continue reading. We recommend starting your story by painting a vivid picture of an experience about which you will be talking in the essay.
For example: "It is 6 am on a hot day in July, I've already showered and I'm eating breakfast. My classmates are all sleeping in and the sun has yet to awaken, but I'm ready to seize the day, as I couldn't imagine spending my summer any other way but interning at a local law firm that specializes in representing the poor. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and nothing has made me happier. But I wouldn't be here if it weren't for one particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class."
Step 6: Rewrite, Revise, Rewrite
A good writer rewrites and revises his or her work many, many times. After getting a first draft on paper, take a day or two away from the essay and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Make appropriate edits for content, and pay attention to proper spelling and grammar. If need be, you might want to write an entirely new draft and then integrate the best of both into a final draft. Writing a new draft can inspire you to think of new ideas or a better way to tell your story. Some other tips to think about as you rewrite and revise:
- Make sure it sounds like your voice. You want the scholarship committee to feel like they are getting to know you. If you don't sound authentic, the committee will know. It is better to be yourself than to say what you think the committee wants to hear.
- Strike a balance between modesty and arrogance. You should be proud of your accomplishments, but you don't want to sound arrogant. Don't exaggerate a story; instead be clear about what you did and the impact it had and let that speak for itself.
- Check to make sure you are answering the prompt and fulfilling all other requirements of the essay as directed by the committee, such as font preference and word count limits.
- Don't just list your accomplishments; describe them in detail and also tell the reader how you felt during these experiences.
- A scholarship essay is not a dissertation. You don't need to impress the committee with big words, especially if you're not completely clear if you're using them correctly. Simplicity and clarity should be the goals.
- Make sure your essay will be read from the beginning to the end. Committee members won't dedicate much time to reading the essay, so you need to make sure they are given motivation to read the entire thing. If you are telling a story, don't reveal the end of the story until the end.
- Check to make sure the buzzwords from the mission statement appear. It is easy to forget the scholarship committee's goals as you write. Return to their mission statement and look for spots to place keywords from the statement. Be sure, however, that you're not copying the mission statement word-for-word.
Step 7: Have someone else read your essay
Ideally, you could give your essay to a teacher or college admissions counselor who is familiar with scholarship essays and the college admission process. If such a person is not available, virtually anyone with good reading and writing skills can help make your essay better. When your editor is done reading and you've looked over his or her notes, be sure to ask the following questions:
- Was the story interesting and did it hold your attention?
- Were there any parts that were confusing?
- Did you find any spelling or grammar errors?
- Does the essay sound like my voice?
- Does the essay respond appropriately to the prompt?
- Is there anything you would have done differently or something you thought was missing?
After having an editor (or two or three) look over your draft, it is time again to revise and rewrite.
Step 8: Refine the Final Draft
Once you feel satisfied with the draft, review it one more time and pay particular attention to structure, spelling, grammar, and whether you fulfilled all the required points dictated by the committee. If you are over the required word count, you will need to make edits so that you are within the limit. If you are significantly under the word count, consider adding a supporting paragraph.
Essay Writing Center
Misconception: No one actually reads your scholarship essay! – Wrong!
Fact: Your essay is the key to your scholarship application. It is an opportunity to demonstrate to the selection committee that you are a well-rounded individual, that you are more than your GPA, that you are a strong writer, and it gives you a chance to talk about your experiences and qualifications in greater detail than what appears on your resume or transcripts.
Unity in diversity is unity among people without uniformity. People living in India are from various religions, casts and beliefs; however, they are living with unity and proving the fact that ‘unity in diversity’.
Essay on Unity in Diversity
Unity in diversity is a famous concept which best fits on India. Essay on Unity in Diversity is the most common topic which students may be assigned to debate during discussion and write an essay during exams or essay writing competition in their school. Variety of Unity in Diversity essay under various words limit are given below especially for the students.
Unity in Diversity Essay 1 (100 words)
Unity in diversity means oneness in the varieties. India is a best country proving this concept for many years. India is a country where it is very clear to see unity in diversity because people of many religion, race, culture and tradition live together without affecting each others feelings and believes to their religion. Unity in diversity focuses on the existence of unity even after lots of differences of cultural, social, physical, linguistic, religious, political, ideological, psychological, etc. More number of diversities makes more complex unity. People in India are united in spite of the much diversity of races, religions, castes, sub-castes, communities, languages and dialects. People in India are highly spiritual and God fearing in nature so they give respect to everyone’s religion.
Unity in Diversity Essay 2 (150 words)
The meaning of unity in diversity is the existence of oneness even after various differences. India is a best example for this concept of unity in diversity. We can see very clearly here that people of different religions, creeds, castes, languages, cultures, lifestyle, dressing sense, faith in God, rituals of worship, etc live together with harmony under one roof means on one land of India. People living in India are the children of one mother whom we call Mother India. India is a vast and most populated country of the world where people of different religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity and Parsees live together but everyone believes in one theory of Dharma and Karma. People here are god fearing in nature and believe in purification of soul, rebirth, salvation, luxury of heaven and punishments of hell. People here celebrate their festivals (Holi, Diwali, Id, Christmas, Good Friday, Mahavir Jayanti, Buddha Jayanti, etc) very peacefully without harming other religious people.
Unity in Diversity Essay 3 (200 words)
India is a well known country of oldest civilization in the world where people of many ethnic groups live together for years. India is a country of diverse civilization where people used of using almost 1650 spoken languages and dialects according to their religion and choice. In spite of being related from different cultures, traditions, religions and languages; people here respect each other and live together with lots of love and feeling of brotherhood. People living here and there all over the Indian land are joined together by one faith of brotherhood. Unity in Diversity has been one of the great characteristic of our nation which has bind people of all religions together in one bond of humanity.
We can never forget the freedom movements run by the people of all religions of India to make India an independent country. The struggle for freedom is the great example of unity in diversity in India.
Unity in diversity concept in India gives everyone a strong message that nothing is without unity. Living together with love and harmony provides the real essence of life. Unity in diversity in India shows us that we all are born, cared and nourished by one Supreme God.
Unity in Diversity Essay 4 (250 words)
Unity in diversity is the oneness in differences. India is a country which proves better the concept of unity in diversity. India is a highly populated country and famous all over the world because of the characteristic of unity in diversity. Unity in diversity is the strength and power of India which has now been the most important feature identifying India.
Unity in diversity has given rise to the great national integration characteristic to the country which has become the foundation of strong and prosperous India even after lots of corruption, extremism and terrorism. People living in various states are generally differ in their speaking language, culture, traditions, clothes, festivals, look, etc (known to be like Bengalis, Maharastrians, Punjabis, Tamilians, etc); however they tell themselves Indian which shows their unity.
Humanity and likelihood of people help them to maintain unity in diversity here. People in India give high importance to the spirituality, Karma and Sanskar instead of their material wealth which bring them more closer. People here have religion tolerance power as their unique feature which helps them to feel no difficulty on the occurrence of different religions. Majority of people in India are related to the Hinduism who has more capacity to welcome and absorb all other good cultures in their land. All such features in the Indian people help making India famous for concept unity in diversity.
Unity in Diversity Essay 5 (300 words)
India is a country proving the fact of unity in diversity. People of various religions and castes have managed to live together for many years without any problem. India is decorated by the high mountains, valleys, oceans, famous rivers, streams, forests, deserts, ancient culture and tradition, and most importantly unity in diversity. People here belong to their own race, religion and language however they all have similar characteristic of humanity which makes them able to live together. Following are the importance of unity in diversity:
Importance of Unity in Diversity:
- Unity in diversity boosts morale of people at workplace, organization, and community.
- It helps in enhancing esprit de corps, relationships, teamwork among people thus improve performance, quality of work, productivity and lifestyle.
- It makes communication effective even in bad situation.
- Keeps people away from social problems and help to manage conflicts easily.
- Improves healthy human relations and protects equal human rights for all.
- Unity in diversity in India provides source of tourism. People of diverse cultures, traditions, cuisines, religions and clothing attract more visitors and tourists from all across the world.
- It gives rise the habit of national integration among people of the country even after being diverse in various ways.
- It gives value to the rich heritages of country as well as strengthens and enriches the cultural heritage of India.
- It helps to be rich in agricultural area through different crops and thus economy growth.
- Source of skilled and advance professionals in various areas to the country.
There may be some disadvantages too which are mentioned below:
- It may give rise to the various social tensions among people of different states and linguistic origin.
- It gives rise to the growth of corruption and illiteracy in many areas of the country.
- It may be the reason of poor lifestyle in various rural regions because of underdeveloped infrastructures, lack of electricity, roads, etc.
Unity in Diversity Essay 6 (400 words)
India is a country of various cultures, races, languages and religions. It is a land of unity in diversity where people of different lifestyles and manners live together. They belong to different religions, beliefs and faiths in God. In spite of all these diversity, they live together with the bond of humanity and brotherhood. Unity in diversity is the distinct feature of India which makes it famous all around the world. Generally, people in India are following the great old Indian culture of being tolerant and absorbing which make them assimilating in nature. Unity in diversity in almost all aspects of the society has become source of strength and wealth all through the country. People of all religions do worship in different ways by following their own rituals and beliefs which represents the existence of underlying uniformity. Unity in diversity promotes spirit of harmony and brotherhood among people beyond their considerations of various diversities.
India is famous for its rich cultural heritages which are because of people of various religions. People belong to various cultures give rise to the various lifestyles on the basis of their interest and belief. It again give rise to the growth in various professional areas like music, fine arts, drama, dance (classical, folk, etc), theater sculpture, etc. Spiritual tradition of the people makes them more piety to each other. All the religious Indian scriptures are the great source of spiritual wisdom to the people. There are rishis, maharishis, yogis, priests, father, etc in almost all the religions following their own spiritual traditions according to their religious scriptures.
Hindi is a mother language in India however many other dialects and languages are spoken by the people of different religions and regions (such as English, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bhojpuri, Bihari, Punjabi, Marathi, Bengali, Udiya, Gujarati, Kashmiri, etc); however everyone feels proud to be the citizen of great India.
Unity in diversity of India is especially for which it is well known all over the world. It attracts tourism in India to a great level. As being an Indian, we all should understand our responsibility and try to retain its unique feature at any cost. Unity in diversity here is the real prosperity and the way to progress in the present and future.
Unity in Diversity is common proverb for which our country is a best suited example. Students generally get this topic to prove how there is a Unity in Diversity in India. We have provided above various essay on Unity in Diversity to help students in completing their difficult tasks related to this topic. You can select any Unity in Diversity essay according to your need and requirement and class standard. Apart from this, you can also get other related essays and related information such as:
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