Everyone respects a college graduate, but college can be expensive. Luckily, you have ample opportunities to earn scholarships with top-notch essays. Here are five unique tips to help you submit a winning entry.
Read past entries
Before you begin, investigate previous winning entries to uncover characteristics that commonly appear. Ask yourself:
- Do they discuss certain topics? Specific issues might interest the evaluators more than others.
- Do they promote certain values? Submit an entry that confirms their biases. Your goal is to win the contest, not to change minds.
- How are they structured? Writing can vary in the number of paragraphs, vocabulary level, use of the first person, etc.
Plan and organize
Next, take notes about literally anything you want to say. You can decide later not to include something. The word count of your notes should equal 1/4 the word count requirement. After this, create an outline, but do not include an introduction or summary. Plan the main body first. Write the introduction and summary after completing, proofreading and editing the main body.
Give it feeling
Tap the emotions with reference to an authentic personal experience. This will benefit you in two ways:
- Some remember emotions more easily than facts. Excluding expositions, a little feeling will help make the judges daydream about your entry whilst reading other contestants’ entries.
- The evaluators are probably older and have children. Win their respect by demonstrating qualities they admire in young people. Show empathy.
Vary sentence length
Some sentences are short. Few words might be best. It’s good to be simple. Yet, if too many sentences have the same number of words, then the reader will be bored.
Pay attention to the number of clauses. Perhaps that compound sentence can be two simple sentences, or a super long compound-complex sentence can spice things up, keeping evaluators interested with future contestants examining your essay.
Ask at least one older, educated person to proofread. Older people love being asked by a young person for help with education. Tell them you want it to make sense. Clarity is the most important quality of your essay. If they cannot comprehend it, then assume the evaluators will not either.
Pretty easy, huh? Reading past entries is mental preparation, planning and organizing is training, putting feeling into it makes it fun, varying sentence length…well, that’s the hardest part, and proofreading fine tunes it. Good luck, and you are welcome.