Introductions: Giving Your Scholarship Essay a Solid Start


September 11, 2009
by Scholarships.com Staff
Unless you're lucky enough to happen across an extremely obscure and unusual scholarship with only one or two qualified applicants, you are going to have to face some competition to receive a scholarship award. In the case of essay scholarships that are easy to enter or that come with a substantial award, you may be facing quite a lot of competition. In fact, with many scholarship competitions, you may be up against so much competition that there's no guarantee a reviewer will even have time to completely read and digest each scholarship essay submitted. This makes your essay's introduction vitally important.

Unless you're lucky enough to happen across an extremely obscure and unusual scholarship with only one or two qualified applicants, you are going to have to face some competition to receive a scholarship award. In the case of essay scholarships that are easy to enter or that come with a substantial award, you may be facing quite a lot of competition. In fact, with many scholarship competitions, you may be up against so much competition that there's no guarantee a reviewer will even have time to completely read and digest each scholarship essay submitted. This makes your essay's introduction vitally important.

The first sentence of your scholarship application is your first, best and possibly only chance to capture your reader's attention. To have the best chance at winning scholarships, you need to know how to start your essay off right. The following are some tips to help you craft an eye-catching introduction that gets your foot in the door and gets your application the attention it deserves.

Put it in your own words. While starting with a quote is a common technique in speaking and some writing, it may not work best in a scholarship application essay. Leading with a quote shows the reviewer that you know how to read, but it doesn't tell much else about you or your ideas. Use your own words to begin, and if a quote supports or enhances your argument, consider bringing it in later in the essay.

Avoid clichés and tired phrases. One of your essay's goals should be to distinguish you from the competition, and it won't do this if it rehashes the same overused expressions that everyone else employs. Keep in mind that the scholarship reviewer will be reading hundreds or even thousands of applications. What seems clever or cute the first time doesn't seem that way after the 50th or 100th iteration. A good rule to follow is that if a phrase belongs on a bumper sticker or in an e-mail from your mom, it likely does not belong in your scholarship essay.

Establish a personal connection. If your experience gives you a unique perspective on the essay's topic, show your reader this. Most people are suckers for personal anecdotes, provided the stories are interesting and well-told. Make sure the story you tell fits these criteria and actually enriches your essay and contributes to your overall message. Don't get melodramatic and don't bog down your introduction in an overly long, detailed or irrelevant narrative, but if you've got a good story to tell to frame your essay, use it.

Say something new. Are you arguing something that falls well outside the typical series of canned responses? Consider leading with your thesis, or at least some of the information or realizations that guided your essay towards its thesis. There's no better way to stand out from a pile of fairly standard responses than to have something fresh and thought-provoking to contribute with your scholarship application.

With a solid introduction and a thoughtful and well-written response, you'll be well on your way to writing a scholarship-worthy essay.

Just because there are millions of college scholarships out there doesn’t mean you have time to go searching, and many won’t even match your profile. We’ve done the work and Scholarships.com is totally free. We have the search algorithms and scholarships database, saving you time in searching, finding and applying to thousands of dollars in college scholarships. Get instantly matched to scholarships that meet your unique talents, skillset and strengths, only those you qualify for. Access a complete list of college scholarships now by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 

heya l  on  4/17/2017 12:35:47 PM commented:

i love this thing

Aurora G.  on  10/21/2016 3:06:43 PM commented:

I do have a quest to do more with my education I feel their needs to be more options for seniors who still can work but because of a age factor they are haltered of such luxury? I'm going to focus on that while I study and get my new business into action. My dad can be a Spanish interpreter, but he lacks education,my friend was terminated early because of age. It's discrimination. I will find a solution to my idea.

Fasika Shewayeref Abebe  on  6/7/2016 2:31:50 AM commented:

i wanna to join you.

Katlyn J  on  2/18/2016 11:49:26 AM commented:

Need help to start a essay??

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first 
Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon. The ESA Esports scholarship program is intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities who currently account for a very small percentage of Esports scholarship recipients. Therefore, in order to be eligible for the 
ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, you must either be a woman or minority and pursuing a degree leading to a career in computer and video game arts and sciences. Current high school seniors, college freshman, sophomore and juniors who are U.S. citizens may apply for the ESA Esports scholarship. Applicants must also be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program at an accredited four (4) year college or university in the upcoming fall semester in order to be considered. All scholarship applications are due March 2, 2020 at 11:59 PST. Applicants will receive results by mid-June and funds will be issued to scholarship winners by end of August.

Get Paid to Play in College with ESA Esports Scholarships

January 21, 2020 11:52 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced its first Esports scholarship, expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include Esports competitors in college, according to Polygon.

    When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships after investing a decent amount of time and effort into applying for scholarships. Even smaller scholarships worth $500 are enough to cover books and fees, even if they aren't enough to foot an entire semester’s college tuition bill.

Biggest / Largest Dollar Scholarships in 2020

January 16, 2020 9:41 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
When it comes to large dollar scholarships, mo' money means fewer problems in paying your college tuition bill. The average student will land between $1,000 and $5,000 in college scholarships

    High school graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors class of 2020 and - while many students may have already committed to their dream colleges - securing college financial aid is still a top-of-the-list priority in bringing that dream to fruition. Luckily, right now is the scholarship application peak season, with just enough time to apply for and win scholarships for college. Many 2020 scholarship deadlines are within the next several months, giving students like you sufficient time to conduct a free scholarship search and apply for those that best suit and interest you. Here's a sneak peek of the many scholarships for high school seniors class of 2020:

20 Scholarships for High School Seniors Class of 2020

January 8, 2020 3:18 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
High school graduation is right around the corner for high school seniors class of 2020 and - while many students may have already committed to their dream colleges - securing college financial
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering more than 150 college scholarships totaling almost $500,000 for college-bound high school students, current college and continuing education students living in Northern and Central California. The college scholarships being offered by PG&E include the employee resource group (ERG), engineering network group (ENG) and Better Together STEM scholarship programs.

PG&E Offers Over 150 Scholarships Totaling $500k

January 7, 2020 2:57 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is offering more than 150 college scholarships totaling almost $500,000 for college-bound high school students, current college and continuing education

    What better way to start off the New Year than by applying for and winning free college scholarships? Our New Year's Resolution is for you to attend and graduate college debt-free, so we've already compiled a list of top 2020 scholarships to help you achieve your college financial aid goals in the upcoming New Year.:

New Year, New You, New 2020 Scholarships

January 2, 2020 9:03 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
What better way to start off the New Year than by applying for and winning free college scholarships? Our New Year's Resolution is for you to attend and graduate college debt-free, so we've
If there is one thing upon which 2020 Presidential candidates and government officials agree, it is that something must be done to resolve the issue of college student debt, which has now outpaced credit card and auto debt. More than fifty percent of Americans believe that college student debt is a major problem, with the average college student currently graduating with $30,000 in student loan debt. Some of the proposed college debt plans - such as student loan forgiveness plans - would leave students debt-free, while others would offer new repayment and refinancing options. Here are some of the major changes that could take place in the near future:

Plans to Tackle Student Loan Debt in 2020

December 30, 2019 2:44 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
If there is one thing upon which 2020 Presidential candidates and government officials agree, it is that something must be done to resolve the issue of college student debt, which has now outpaced
While many students widely anticipate the moment they are able to go home for winter break and spend time with their family and friends, thousands of students dread the month-long campus shutdown as they have no home to which they can go.

Battling College Homelessness During the Holidays

December 24, 2019 10:45 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
While many students widely anticipate the moment they are able to go home for winter break and spend time with their family and friends, thousands of students dread the month-long campus shutdown as

    We like you a lakte, which is why we put together this list of 8 Hanukkah scholarships. To best coincide with the holiday, these scholarships are exclusive to students of Jewish faith or ethnicity. For more religious scholarships or ethnic scholarships, click here. Good luck in winning scholarships for college and Happy Hannukah!

8 Lit Hanukkah Scholarships 2019

December 23, 2019 12:04 PM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
We like you a lakte, which is why we put together this list of 8 Hanukkah scholarships. To best coincide with the holiday, these scholarships are exclusive to students of Jewish faith or