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Tips on writing an effective scholarship essay:

A great scholarship essay will present a vivid, personal, and compelling view of you to the selection committee. It will round out the rest of your application and help you stand out from the other applicants. The essay is one of the only parts of your application over which you have complete control, so take the time to do a good job on it. Check out these tips before you begin.


Keep Your Focus Narrow and Personal Your essay must prove a single point or thesis. The reader must be able to find your main idea and follow it from beginning to end. Try having someone read just your introduction to see what he/she thinks your essay is about.

Essays that try to be too comprehensive end up sounding watered-down. Remember, it's not about telling the committee what you've done—they can pick that up from your list of activities—instead, it's about showing them who you are.

Prove It  Develop your main idea with vivid and specific facts, events, quotations, examples, and reasons. There's a big difference between simply stating a point of view and letting an idea unfold in the details:

Be Specific Avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing by using vivid and specific details.


Don't Tell Them What You Think They Want to Hear Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear.

Don't Use 50 Words When Five Will Do Eliminate unnecessary words.

Don't Forget to Proofread Typos and spelling or grammatical errors can be interpreted as carelessness or just bad writing. Don't rely on your computer's spell check. It can miss spelling errors like the ones below.

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