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Simplify Scholarship Essay Writing

Writing many scholarship essays doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Organization, forethought and a few tricks can simplify your journey from outline to final draft. Read on for tips on how to make scholarship essay writing easier.

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Set Up Files First

It’s likely each scholarship provider has their own preferences for essay formatting. They might want a specific font or require a certain font size. You don’t want to get these requirements mixed up, so before you start writing, set up your document for each essay. Give each a file name like “ScholarshipName_YourName” and save them to a unique Scholarship Essay folder on your computer. Then go into each document and set the size, font and spacing that matches the scholarship criteria. Now you can write without worrying about missing a formatting requirement.

Organize Your Thoughts

It may be adding an extra step, but a proper outline goes a long way when crafting an organized and thoughtful essay. This is especially true for scholarship contests that ask you to write an essay that cites sources like works of literature or historical facts. Outlines give you space to prepare quotes and citations before you need to include them in your essay. Good outlines include your thesis statement, body paragraph statements, and supporting evidence that is written out clearly and with proper citation.

Remember ABT

“And, But, Therefore” – the building blocks of narrative. If you’ve struggled with writing an introduction that captures your central thesis, look no further than the ABT structure. Start with two statements linked with “and.” Then contrast those statements with one following “but.” Once you’ve established a conflict, you can tie it together with a “therefore” statement – aka your thesis. Now you’ve got an introduction that is clear, concise and has hopefully hooked the reader.

For example, imagine a scholarship provider asks you to write an essay about why you want to go to college, and you’re interested in studying pre-med. You can answer their prompt using ABT:

  • It’s my dream to be a doctor AND help improve people’s lives BUT it takes training and hard work to become a doctor, THEREFORE I want to go to college to learn all I can in order to realize my dream of being a doctor.

In just one sentence, you’ve explained your thesis, introduced your reader to a relatable conflict, and begun your essay. With ABT, you can create a compelling start to all your papers in no time.

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Last Reviewed: December 2022