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5/30/13

Academics | Scholarships, Awards & Other Opportunities - Writing the Scholarship Essay

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Writing the Scholarship Essay

Writing the Scholarship Essay/Personal Statement
The scholarship essay or personal statement is a very common requirement on scholarship applications. For many people it is also the most dreaded part of the application process. And for some, it is the reason why they will not even bother to apply. We know that many people struggle with the writing process. However, with the following tips and resources, we hope to demystify the scholarship essay and make the process manageable.

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Getting Started
Starting an essay is the most difficult part of the process. This is true even for professional writers, so do not be discouraged if you have trouble with this – you are not alone. However, there are a few things you should do before you even start putting pen to paper (or typing): Analyze and break the question down into manageable pieces – Are there multiple parts to the question? If so, does it suggest that you should follow a sequence in answering the question? Example: (1)Describe a piece, or pieces, of art, literature, music, or film which you have created or in which you have participated. (2)Why is it meaningful to you? (3)What did you learn?

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In the above example, we have a question with three parts. By breaking it down from 1-3, you now have your sequence in which you should begin 1/5

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5/30/13

Academics | Scholarships, Awards & Other Opportunities - Writing the Scholarship Essay

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answering the question in your essay. Make sure you address each part, giving it the attention that it deserves. Analyze the Organization – Take some time to do a little research on the organization that is awarding the scholarship. You should first find out what the scholarship is about and who founded it. Also, look at the mission of the organization: what do they try to accomplish? Why are they awarding these scholarships, and who do they wish to help with these awards? This insight will prove useful in writing your essay, as it will help you convey to the organization that you are worthy of receiving a scholarship. Start setting goals for your essay – There are usually specific points or ideas that you should try to get across in your essay, so it would be best to list those items so that you can start creating an outline. Example: (a) To demonstrate personal traits in you that are similar to the personal traits of the person for whom the scholarship is named. (b) Show how my strong family support contributes to my success. Develop a Theme – Now that you know more about the organization and have a set of goals that you want to accomplish within your essay, it’s time to start developing your theme. In some cases, the theme should be obvious from the essay question. In other cases, you may have to come up with your own theme. Many times, your theme may originate from those goals you set prior. Example: Using the goals listed above, one possible theme would be how family appreciation and support can be the foundation for individual...
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