Scholarship Essay Writing Tips

Tips On How To Write A Personal Essay

What does a scholarship committee look for in a personal essay? The committee usually looks for an essay that demonstrates effort (i.e., neatness and presentation); an essay that showcases excellent writing ability and an essay that reveals the applicant’s outstanding achievements and personal qualities. You should view your personal statement the same as an in-person job interview, so before you start writing your essay, consider the suggestions written below.

Conduct an inventory of your accomplishments, personal strengths, and future goals

This process will help you organize your thoughts and structure your essay in a chronological order. It will also help you describe your strengths in such a way that will “grab” the readers’ attention making them want to continue reading.

Review the essay requirements

By understanding what the committee is looking for in a personal statement, you will be able to tailor your essay to meet the scholarship requirements. In other words, you will be able to write an essay that conveys the message that you are the best applicant.

Write in the active voice and keep your essay short and precise

Scholarship committee members usually have to read hundreds of essays. If your essay is too lengthy and poorly presented, you will lose the readers’ interest and they will stop reading. It is recommended that you write in the active rather than the passive voice. Using the active voice makes your writing stronger. For example, instead of writing, “The essay writing competition at Cal Poly Pomona was won by me,” you would want to write, “I won the essay writing competition at Cal Poly Pomona.”

Avoid controversial topics and issues

Since you do not know the readers’ personal beliefs and values, it is best to avoid controversial topics even though you may feel strongly about some of them. This avoids offending and alienating the readers.

Check your essay for grammar, typos and punctuation

Before submitting your essay, make sure that it is flawless. This means that your grammar, punctuation, spelling and sentence construction should be perfect. Ask your brother, sister, friend or English professor to proofread your essay for grammatical errors and typos. Write clearly with concise and well-chosen words.

Be original

Write your essay with originality, sincerity and from your heart.