Scholarship Anatomy

We all know how important it is to write great essays that captures the attention of judges. Students serious about winning scholarships will find themselves faced with writing lots of essays. The sad part is that they don’t realize until the end of their long hours writing essays that they could have done it in half the time!

Our Analysis

We have analyzed thousands of scholarship essay requirements and discovered that the majority of the time they asked two of three common questions. Who are you? Why do you need the scholarship? What are you studying? More often than not the response to these questions accounted for at least half of the essay.

The remainder of the essay usually requires you to discuss a specific topic or explain your experience in a particular area. This will always be unique and need to be written from scratch for each scholarship application.

The Method

The Rapid Essay Method consists of writing three Power Paragraphs that answer the three most common questions. Here is the simple step by step process to write the three power paragraphs.

Writing Power Paragraphs

As you write don’t let your paragraphs exceed 5 sentences or 90 words. This will force you to be direct and concise. Don’t worry If your first draft is longer. You will go over it again and again, until it fits the 5 sentence, 90 word rules. It will be worth every minute of your time to do so.

Avoid using long or pretentious words. They can strip your essay of its sincerity. Utilize strong and descriptive wording without sounding too overly-confident, but avoid false modesty at the same time.

Write with measurable outcomes in mind. Use numbers, percentages, amounts, etc. in describing your accomplishments and work experience. You could mention specific hours of practice spent, number of children taught, amount of money raised, etc. These numbers can be especially impressive to those reviewing your scholarship application.

Paragraph 1: Who are you?

They want to know who you are! Share details about yourself. Give personal details that the scholarship specifically asks for. This information will give the reader a general idea of who you are and what you stand for.

This paragraph should include the answers to questions such as:
  • What is your name?
  • Where do you come from?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What are some interesting facts about yourself?
  • Who are your major influences?

Paragraph 2: Why do you need the scholarship?

Sometimes this is referred to as financial need. Explain why you should get the scholarship. Be sincere and sure of yourself. Show your passion while avoiding being. Demonstrate your financial need.

This paragraph may include answering question like:
  • How will winning affect your education?
  • Do you have special family circumstances that affect your ability to pay for tuition?
  • Who will help pay for your schooling?
  • Do you have a part-time job?
  • What kind of student are you?

Paragraph 3: What are you studying?

Make yourself relevant. Talk about your choice of major or specialization and the factors that contributed to your decision. Show that you are a person of depth and that you plan to do something important with your life.

This paragraph may include answering question like:
  • What influenced you to choose your major?
  • How does your field of study affect your future goals?
  • How can your future position/career make an impact on others?
  • What related experiences do you have?
  • What do you intend to do with your education?

Additional Power Paragraphs

Although the first three power paragraphs are the most common, there are two additional paragraphs you should consider writing. What are your achievements? What are your goals for the future?

Paragraph 4: What are your achievements?

Winning a scholarship is all about persuading judges why you should win. Prove you deserve the scholarship through your achievements inside and outside of school. Include your community and organizational involvements and talents and awards. Be confident, not prideful.

This paragraph may include answering question like:
  • What special trait or achievement sets you apart from other candidates?
  • How have you exhibited leadership ability both in and out of school?
  • What is/are your most significant achievement/s and how do they relate to your field of study and your objectives?
  • What one accomplishment are you most proud of? Why?
  • Why should you win the scholarship over other candidates?

Paragraph 5: What are your goals for the future?

Scholarships encourage educational and life achievement so write about what you plan to accomplish in your life. Judges look for students with a clear vision, motivation and aspiration in life.

This paragraph may include answering question like:
  • When you were younger, what did you dream of becoming?
  • Do you keep the same dream or has it changed? If yes, what triggered this shift in perspective?
  • What are your short-term/long-term goals?
  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  • Why is it important for you to take up college education?

Review and Improve

Even best selling authors don’t just accept their first draft. Make your power paragraphs the very best they can be. Read them out loud! This will help you catch mistakes you would otherwise miss. Seek advice from others. Share your essay with your parents, your teacher, your best friend or a trusted mentor. Ask for constructive feedback and be open making changes.

Write Rapid Essays

Now that your power paragraphs have been polished you are ready to put them to work!

You never have to start with a blank slate again. Use these paragraphs in every essay you write. We suggest storing them on a word document saved in multiple locations. After reading the essay requirements for a scholarship, begin writing your essay by copying the applicable power paragraphs and pasting them in your essay.

Contact us with any comments or questions about this article.

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