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Writing Resources

How to Win Scholarships: Writing a Winning Essay

The scholarship essay is often the key to being selected as a scholarship recipient.

Therefore, the more thought and effort you put into writing a strong, competitive essay the more likely you are to win. Don’t let a lack of confidence in your writing skills keep you from applying. Use the advice below to find the help you need.

Winning essays are written with the intent of the donor and selection committee in mind.
Before you start writing, ask yourself what type of person would be an ideal candidate, and what would the selection committee value in an applicant?

Winning essays address the essay topic.
Make sure that you have carefully read and understand the essay topic. Review your essay and see if you have addressed it. If not, revise or rewrite it. Do not include irrelevant information.

Winning essays interest and engage the reader.

  • Hook the reader with your introductory sentence or paragraph.
  • Use a personal story or experience to illustrate what you are trying to say.
  • Avoid filling the essay with impersonal, abstract statements or concepts.
  • Make your writing clearer by eliminating un-necessary phrases or sentences that can distract or confuse the reader.
  • Your last paragraph should effectively summarizes and powerfully close the essay.
  • See Writing Samples 

Winning essays have impeccable grammar, punctuation and spelling.

  • Run a grammar and spelling check on your computer.
  • Refer to dictionaries and other writing resources.
  • Use an on-line grammar and composition resource such as William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style, at
  • Have several people proofread your essay.

Writing Resources: Help with Writing

Editing Your Essay

  •  â€œGive your essay to others." Ask friends and other students to read your essay for free, or visit Essay Edge for professional assistance.