The first step is the hardest whether you start a new job, plan to climb Mount Everest or apply for a scholarship. To win you need to grab the committee’s attention, stand out among thousands of applicants, and convince the jury you are a worthy candidate. When your future depends on your writing talent, a small writing block can turn into an insurmountable obstacle. It becomes more than a simple answer of how to start a scholarship essay introduction.
So today we’ll share a few tips and tricks to get over the overwhelming fear that is the root of your procrastination and get your scholarship application essay started.
Explore The Scholarship Background
Most applicants make the mistake of reading the essay prompt and ignoring important information about the organization rewarding the scholarship. However, without understanding the vision and mission of the institution, it’s almost impossible to meet their criteria even if you fully understand the prompt.
Review the organization’s website, press releases, get your hands on the essays by the previous winners. Create a separate list of the keywords you find. Some institutions value independence, others prefer leadership or compassion. This set of keywords will help you understand who the scholarship is intended for, and you can use this information to tweak your essay and win.
Use the same strategy with the scholarship essay prompt. Read between the lines and identify the main idea and theme you should cover in the paper. Remember that your personality and experiences should be the focus of the essay, even if you are asked to discuss your favorite movie, song, or your role model. Discuss the topic through the prism of your life and insert the keywords you have collected. These strategies will give you a head start in the competition.
Establish A Scholarship Essay Format
If you want to know how to start a scholarship essay, pay close attention to the prompt requirements concerning word count and other technical aspects. They are as important as what you write. Keep the prompt at hand and check it regularly to ensure you haven’t forgotten any important details.
To establish a scholarship essay format, look for word count limitations. If you have only 1000 words or less, a standard five-paragraph essay structure might work best for you. However, if the prompt call for 2000 words or more you can experiment with different formats and transform your essay into a short story, a case study or use another appropriate structure. Experimenting with the essay format is one way you can distinguish yourself from other candidates.
Develop A Scholarship Essay Outline
Once you decide on the format, make a list of ideas, associations and random thoughts that occur to you when you consider the prompt. Try free writing if you have enough time. These exercises will help you view the full scope of the topic and its multiple aspects. Select three or more points you will cover in your essay, depending on the word count.
These points will help you structure the body paragraphs. Write one sentence about each of the aspects you want to discuss. Turn these phrases into subheadings and add supporting evidence or examples to illustrate the argument in a bullet list. At this point, you will have a crude but usable scholarship essay outline for the body.
Now you can sum up the points in the scholarship essay conclusion. It should include a summary of all claims and finalize the paper with the last thought-provoking or convincing idea. You can leave the first paragraph for last since most students don’t know how to start a scholarship essay introduction. But once you have a full outline in front of you, devising a couple of significant points to include in the opening should be easy.
How To Start A Scholarship Essay
After all the preliminary work is done, sitting down to write becomes the toughest chore. Fear of failure and procrastination make you turn to busywork to find suitable excuses for your inaction. If you find yourself cleaning out the closet, dusting the bookshelves or binge-watching The Big Bang Theory in the hopes to gain a couple of IQ points, try one of these strategies:
- Read the essays by previous scholarship winners instead of swiping through your Instagram feed. This will provide necessary inspiration and clue you in about the style and format the awarding organization is looking for. To prevent yourself from getting stuck on the endless examples, set a limit of 5 or 7 essays. Pay close attention to scholarship essay conclusion and introduction as these are the parts that are most challenging for many candidates. It should be enough to inspire you and kick-start your brain.
- Apply a 2-minute rule. According to productivity gurus, you should immediately complete any task that can be done in under 2 minutes. You can’t write the whole paper in such a short time, but you can string together a couple of sentences or even a short passage. The trick is to set your writing in motion. Once you begin, you won’t be able to stop after only two minutes, and will, in fact, write more.
- Try text-to-speech software. If it’s writing you can’t handle, use a text-to-speech feature on your smartphone or a Google Docs. You can record all ideas for the paper and clean them up later. The first draft of your scholarship essay will be finished in a few sessions. If you choose this strategy, enunciate to reduce the editing and proofreading time.
With all these sneaky tricks up your sleeve, you should never have another question on how to start a scholarship essay. We didn’t cover the practical side of the writing process, but with all the preliminary work done, it should be no more difficult than crafting another paper for your high school or college classes. On the other hand, we know of a major stumbling block that is choosing the topic for prompts that do not specify the exact subject. We’ll share our ideas and insights of choosing scholarship essay topics in the second installment of this series. Stay tuned!
However, if writing a scholarship essay on your own is not an option, contact our professional writers. They will assist you with understanding the prompt, choosing the topic, developing an outline, crafting the paper, editing and proofreading it to perfection. Don’t hesitate, your professional writing help is just a couple of mouse clicks away!