Scholarship Essay Ideas: You Should Stand Out From the Crowd

A strong scholarship essay is immaculately written, interesting, and unique. If you want to grab the scholarship committee's attention and earn the award, you have to write a paper that really stands out and is memorable. Here are some ways to accomplish exactly that.

Add Personality with Specific Details

Scholarship committees love essays that shine with the writer's personality. You may be accustomed to writing papers that are fairly dry and objective, and therefore writing about yourself may seem unusual or difficult, but don't let that stop you! The point of a scholarship essay is to communicate who you are and why you are appropriate for the award, so let the readers get to know you from reading your essay.

One way to add humanizing details to your paper is to pepper the document with personal anecdotes. Open your essay with a personal story that conveys who you are, or insert details throughout your paper that lets the reader get a sense of who you are, what you're interested in, and what you have accomplished so far in life. Don't be afraid to toot your own horn!

Use Humor

A light touch of humor or wit can make a scholarship essay shine, and is bound to be memorable to the committee. This can be accomplished using funny, alliterative turns of phrase or clever puns, inserting humorous (but relevant) quotations, or providing information that is humorous. Aim for a tone that is light hearted, but wise. Avoid humor that might offend your readers or go over their heads. Imagine telling the joke in front of a large, mixed audience. If you can imagine the joke going over well, it is probably appropriate for your paper.

Use Literary Techniques

You have probably spent several years studying literary flourishes in your English classes, and now it is time to put your knowledge to work. A strong scholarship essay is not merely adequately written; it is also interesting and pleasant to read. Use tricks such as parallelism, alliteration, assonance, and irony to convey your point and insert interest into the paper. Vary the length of your sentences, and write in an active voice that propels the reader forward. Make sure to use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax, of course, but beyond that, don't be afraid to break some of the rules to make your paper more engaging and personalized.

Read Aloud

Before submitting your scholarship essay, read it aloud in front of the mirror or a few friends. A strong essay should sound very much like a witty, well-written speech when it is read aloud. If you make yourself or your audience laugh or pause to think, you've done a good job.


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