Given the rising cost of tuition expenses, here in Nigeria and abroad, and the fact that foreign certificates are given more weight in the country, a lot of people prefer to school abroad. This is why people who want to further their education consider scholarships as being one of the best sources for getting that education. After all, scholarships are paid for either fully or partially by persons or organizations offering them. However, thinking about securing a scholarship award is easy; winning it is a different thing altogether.
A part of the application process requires you write an essay. What that essay is about is dependent on the funders. So to get that scholarship, you need to stir away from these 3 common errors:
1. Writing amiss due to not knowing your audience
You have a googled up a lot of scholarships and are ready to apply. Look through them carefully, take some time to get to know the organizations that are sponsoring the scholarships. Check out their websites and pay attention to their vision, history, and programs. Then you can write to suit them Then think about ways you can make your essay appeal to their missions, or at least avoid offending them. And make sure you follow the instructions. Don’t write a 1000-word single-spaced essay if it calls for 600 words, double spaced. Writing amiss can hurt your chances of landing that scholarship BIG time.
When you apply for a scholarship, try to gauge what the organization giving the scholarship is looking for. Some organizations could prioritize aspects like community service over academic grades. So, research the organization. Meet any past recipients, if possible. Then, list the most important points you want to highlight.
2. Uncreative and Uninspiring Writing
Don’t write dry and boring essays. The essays you wrote in secondary/high school had to be interesting enough to earn you a good mark, what would you say about an essay which would earn you a scholarship.
Use imagery to draw your reader in. Kick off with a compelling statement, and ensure you use lively text throughout. Be creative. Keep paragraphs short and well-connected, and make it memorable through the inclusion of relevant details, quotes and/ or examples.
3. Not proofreading your essay
Yes, you are pressed for time to submit all them applications and are tempted to submit after all you are a good or fair enough writer. But, Hold up! Not proofreading it will do more harm than good to you and your essay.
Before you run spell-check or start looking for proper punctuation, make sure your essay shines. Are your phrases eloquent and intelligent, without sounding like you chose all your words from a thesaurus? Does your essay paint a picture for the reader? Will the reader care about—but not pity—you? Read your essay aloud and ensure it makes sense. To catch spelling errors or misplaced commas, read your essay backward. E-mail your essay to your parents and/or trusted advisers, or better still email it to us at www.tweakmycontent.com. A fresh set of eyes can prevent a big mistake.
Are there any other errors you know would help an applicant out there? Do share in the comments section.
Featured image via.