You’ve been writing essays for years! You know all the finer points of a five-paragraph essay. But writing a scholarship essay is a whole different story. The amount of stress alone can make it difficult to focus. But with the right resources and a lot of effort, you can create a winning scholarship essay. Here are some tips and tools to help you get started.
1. Start Reading
The college you’re interested in might have a section of their website dedicated to successful (or unsuccessful essays). What does your writing have in common with these samples? What are you lacking? Do you see any patterns in the winning essays? Just like songwriters are influenced by the things they listen to, your writing is influenced by the things you read. Make them count.
2. Create a Strong Outline
Once you have a topic in mind and a general idea of how you want your essay to flow, it’s time to make an outline. The outline helps you stay focused as you build your argument. It also keeps the writing balanced so the paper isn’t “top heavy” or “bottom heavy.”
3. Set Aside Time To Work
You’re busy. You have applications to fill out, homework, classes, and a home and social life. But don’t think you can just write your essay all at once and have it win you a scholarship. It’s important that you factor in ample time to write several drafts. Allow extra time for revisions and for friends to read your essay to see how it sounds.
Now that you have some ideas to help you get started, you need the tools to get the job finished. These websites will help you structure your essay, stay focused, and polish your writing.
Even unintentional plagiarism can have disastrous consequences. PlagTracker compares your essay to thousands of websites to make sure the content doesn’t get any “hits.” If it is a match, PlagTracker can rewrite the content to make it original.
2. Ask Petersen
Julie Petersen’s website and blog feature great advice to help you write a great essay. The site contains sample essays, resources for writers, and blog topics like, “The Hook: How to Grab Reader Into Your Writing,” and “How to Write a Strong Introduction.” There’s also a writing contest, so you can practice your skills.
There’s no denying that Ernest Hemingway was a terrific writer. Love him or hate him, he had a huge impact on modern literature. One thing Hemingway perfected was the art of writing short, simple sentences. He took long, intelligent, sprawling ideas and broke them down to their simplest form. You can do the same by running your essay through Hemingway Editor. The website will point out run-on sentences and passive voice so you can correct them.
4. Essay Mama
Essay Mama helps students produce excellent papers no matter what the topic. The site offers editing, proofreading, and formatting services. The site has a glossary of writing terms, quarterly writing contests, and a helpful blog with resources for writers.
Read-Able scans your essay and determines the average grade level at which most people could understand it. You want to aim for about an 8th grade reading level. Keep in mind that writing at an 8th grade level does not mean writing to an 8th grade audience. You will still need to write complex thoughts and create intelligent arguments. Just keep your sentence structure simple.
This tool is helpful for students who are having a hard time coming up with a thesis statement. The website asks for your topic, your opinion, and a few supporting arguments to that opinion. You can use the thesis as is or tweak it to fit your essay.
Remember, writing a thoughtful essay takes time and focus. Writing a winning scholarship essay takes even more dedication. Don’t expect to create a masterpiece on your first try. Spend some time practicing. Edit your essay and have a friend or family member read through it to see how it flows. You can write a winning essay; you just need to give it all you have. Good luck!
About the author: Julie Petersen
Julie Petersen is a content marketing specialist and a private English language tutor. She is the author of AskPetersen essay writing blog for students, where she writes helpful articles, guides, essay samples, reviews and shares other valuable information. Check her latest article about grademiners review. Besides, she is a regular contributor to such websites as Teach.com, CollectiveEvolution, FreelanceWrite.about, etc. Contact Julie using any of the below.