A scholarship essay is usually required for admission to some postgraduate programs (magistracy, doctoral studies), is included in the set of documents for obtaining a grant or other academic benefits. The author's task is to persuade the selection committee to choose him among other candidates. In the requirements of different educational institutions, such paper is often called a motivation letter, personal statement or statement of purpose.
If you do not know how to start a scholarship essay, examples of works written by other authors will help you to understand the peculiarities of this genre.
What information should be present in a scholarship essay?
Good scholarship essay examples contain answers to the questions listed below. You can also use them to describe your own personality and goals.
- Why did you choose a certain educational course?
- Why are you interested in this area?
- What influenced your choice?
- Are there people who influenced your choice?
- What did you do to learn more about this course?
- How does your education relate to the chosen field?
- Do you have any useful knowledge obtained during previous training, preparation of scientific works or projects?
- What was your biggest academic achievement in this field?
- Have you received any scholarships before?
- Do you have the skills that will be useful in the course of training at the chosen program?
- What non-academic experience corresponding to the chosen specialty do you have?
- Do you have any professional or volunteering experience or in this field?
- Do you have a personal interest in this subject, and how did it emerge?
- Do you have any hobbies or attend extracurricular activities related to the chosen specialty? (For example, work in a student newspaper is an advantage for those who enter a faculty of journalism.)
- Why did you choose this university?
- Are there any specific teachers you would like to work with?
- Do they specialize in areas that interest you?
- What makes this institution different from others according to your point of view? You may write about outstanding research, quality of teaching, internships in international companies, etc. Important tip: do not mention information you have read on the website of the university.
- What are your career goals? You will barely find a scholarship essay example with a step-by-step plan. But it's important to show that you have an idea about your future career, and you understand how learning on the course will advance you in achieving your goals.
- What personal qualities would you like to emphasize?
The list of qualities that need to be mentioned depends on the chosen area. Good college scholarship essay examples contain not only the list of qualities but also their proof. Authors confirm such statements with facts: participation in research projects, publications of the scientific literature, victories in professional competitions, start-ups, volunteer activity.
There are universal qualities which may adorn any example of a scholarship essay: an ability to work independently, communication skills (oral and written), punctuality, ability to manage own time, resoluteness and perseverance.
Tips for writing a scholarship essay
You should have a unique college scholarship essay example for each individual situation. It is impossible to write one motivational letter for several educational institutions. Accents in it should vary depending on a college and a program you enter.
- Find out the requirements of a particular institution. There is no standard form of a scholarship essay. The maximum volume is usually limited to 500-1000 words. Common structure: introduction, main part, conclusion. But specific requirements can be prescribed in the assignment.
- Be non-standard. Do not use the template phrases. You can consider the scholarship application essay examples, but only in order to understand the logic of the compilation of the text. A motivation letter to a university should reflect your educational and professional experience, your beliefs and achievements.
- Do not forget about consistency. Despite the fact that you need to fit a lot of information into a relatively small text, the result should not seem to be a list of facts about you. You should obtain a consistent presentation.
- The last paragraph should clearly describe the benefits that you will get owing to achievement of the desired goal. List the specific skills you will gain, if they will help you improve the situation in the university / company / organization / country in the future. The finale should contain "strong" phrases and expressions, because they leave memories about what has been read (for example, "I look forward with enthusiasm to an opportunity for an interview").
- You do not need to write all essay parts in strict accordance with a classical plan. Many authors first compose the main part and conclusion. This is done in order to write the first paragraph with a full awareness of what will be described further. The beginning should be especially attractive to a reader, contain carefully thought out phrases evoking interest. So consider scholarship essay introduction examples especially deeply.
- Ask someone to read your scholarship essay so that he can check if there are any errors in the text. No matter how well you know grammar, you can skip them, because the author usually reads his own text relying on memory and just does not see the mistakes. Ideally, it is better to show your scholarship essay to a professional consultant. He will tell you how to improve the text structure, where to add details, to change the description, etc. And, in addition, a specialist who has seen hundreds of motivational letters, can easily find standard, template and, therefore, meaningless phrases in the text.
The main problems of motivation letters
The following errors should be avoided:
- Melodramatic or arrogant statements.
- Blurred, abstract phrases.
- Achievements gathered in the list.
- Use of jargon.
- Spelling and grammatical errors.
- Complex long sentences.
So, all you need is to read the works of experienced authors and make your own creative attempts. Soon you will be able to write such convincing papers that professors of any university will wish to teach you. Irreproachable argumentation will convince them that you are true professional deserving academic bonuses. Good luck!