How to write scholarship essays

Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays — 8 Valuable Tips

Scholarship applications would be a walk in the park if we didn’t need to write essays. Scholarship essays will force you to reflect on your life and examine what your core values are. You will then need to communicate those values in such a way that they convincingly match the themes of the essay. 

Now, we know how uninteresting writing scholarship essays can be. But they form an important aspect of your application process. So, if all or part of your hopes of studying abroad rests on winning a scholarship, then you need to write the essay. 

In this article, we share 8 important tips for writing scholarship essays. Read all 8 tips to know how to deliver the kind of essay that will take you many steps closer to winning the scholarship award.

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8 Tips for Writing Scholarship Essays

A scholarship essay gives you the opportunity to prove to the scholarship board that you deserve the award.  Here are 10 tips you can follow to ensure that you achieve this goal.

1. Start Early

You know what they say about poor planning leading to poor performance? Well, the same is true with scholarship essays. One of the mistakes many people make during their scholarship application process is to start their essays at the last minute. 

Starting your scholarship essay late will force you to rush the writing and editing process. And because you are trying to submit your application on time, your essay may not be as good as it should have been.

So, ensure that you start writing your essay at least six weeks before your planned submission date. You can dedicate the first 3 weeks to brainstorming and writing the essay and the last 3 weeks to proofreading.

2. Read, Understand, And Follow the Instructions

It seems obvious that anyone would read and understand the instructions first, right? Well, not all the time. Some people get carried away and leave out important details.

The word count of an essay is one detail that some people don’t pay attention to. Missing this detail often means writing fewer or more words than instructed.

For instance, for each of the four essays in the Chevening scholarship application, a candidate is expected to write a maximum of 500 words. So, should you choose to write more than the required 500 words, your application may be discarded. 

READ: How to Write a Killer College Essay in 10 Easy Steps

3. Answer the Prompt

Apart from following the essay instructions, it is important to answer every question properly. So, before you attempt the prompts, ensure that you read through each question first. Also, identify the keywords in the question and include them in your answer.

Answer every aspect of the prompt and stick to the format of the essay. It also helps to imagine the ideal candidate for the scholarship award and craft your essay in that light.

4. Use a Good Structure

A good essay structure is necessary for your reader to follow your thoughts. Arrange your thoughts into an outline and decide on the major points to discuss. 

To create a good structure, write out a simple outline for your essay. Ensure that your essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion. Decide on what points you will be discussing in each section. More importantly, ensure that the logic of your essay flows well.

5. Start With a Strong Introduction

Your introduction can make a significant impact on how your application is received. Remember that your reader most likely has thousands of applications to field.  discard an essay with a boring and disjointed essay. 

A good introduction will hook the reader and keep them wanting more. So, ensure that you start on the right foot, using a positive and engaging tone.

6. Keep Your Essay Original

Writer’s block can happen to the best of writers. And just a little inspiration can go a long way to stimulating one’s writing prowess. But one mistake that applicants make with getting inspiration is copying another applicant’s essay word for word. 

Plagiarizing someone else’s essay can hurt your chances of winning a scholarship. Now that there are many good plagiarism checkers, we advise you not to take chances on duplicate content. 

While you may draw inspiration from another essay, ensure that you keep your essay original. Write your essay in your own words.

READ: How to Write a Personal Statement with Little to No Experience

7. Conclude Well

You had a good start and a good flow in the body of your essay. Now, it’s time to end your essay. 

How you conclude your essay is as important as how you start it. So, ensure that you wrap up well. Use this section of your essay to highlight the major points you discussed in the body of the essay and tie it back to the objectives of the scholarship.

8. Proofread and Ask For Help

Once you are done writing your essay, take some time off the essay. Then go back to it with a fresh and well-rested pair of eyes to proofread it. 

Read the article from top to bottom and check for anything you may have missed during the writing process. Ensure that the essay reads well and is error free. Check the grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure and make adjustments where necessary. 

Even the best writers need an extra pair of eyes to create outstanding essays. So, after proofreading your essay to the best of your ability, send it to two to three people who will be willing to offer an honest review. Incorporate their feedback as best as you can and do a final run-through before you submit the essay.

READ: How to Get Outstanding Recommendation Letters for Graduate School


Scholarship essays form an essential aspect of scholarship applications. Many times, scholarship bodies use essays during their decision process. 

In this article, we shared 8 important tips for writing an outstanding scholarship essay. We explained that using a good introduction, structure and conclusion will help the quality of your essay. 

We also discussed the importance of following the application instructions and answering all questions. Finally, proofreading and getting other people’s feedback on your essay will help you keep errors out of your essay. 

But none of these tips will be as valuable as they should be if you don’t start writing your essay early enough. Starting early will prevent you from delivering a rushed job. So, ensure that you allow at least 6 weeks to write and proofread your essay before you submit it.

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