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What to include in scholarship essays about investment in your future.

So if you plan to
leadership: continue being involved in your particular
leadership activity in the future, tell the
 The extent of the leadership experience judges.
and degree of accomplishment. What were
the results? Did you manage to grow a What to include in scholarship essays about
society from 10 to 100 members through community impact:
your tenure?
 Why you got involved in the leadership  How much time did you dedicate to the

experience. What was your initial activity? The scholarship committee is likely

inspiration and how did the experience to be looking for applicants who made a

make you feel? This is a very important fairly long commitment to a community

aspect as it allows you to show your activity.

sincerity and demonstrates your passion.  Why was it important to you? Joy from

 What obstacles did you face and how did helping others? Excitement of trying

you overcome them? Inspirational stories something new? Opportunity to form

of perseverance despite adversity make relationships with others? Having a genuine

readers (especially judges) want to help you reason helps build a convincing essay.

succeed. It also shows that you have great  Why was it important to the

leadership qualities: the ability to adapt to community? Ask the question: What would

new situations and the determination to be different for your community if

not give up. you didn’t do what you do? It is most

 What did you learn? How did these lessons important to show that you recognize the

shape you as a leader? Every experience real needs in your communities, and act to

brings new lessons and personal growth address these.

opportunities and the best leaders are  What did you gain yourself through giving

humble and realize this. Speaking about to the community? It is important to show

these lessons indicates that you have truly that you understand how through giving,

reflected on your experiences and that you you end up receiving more in the end.

understand what leadership is. (In other Sharing what community service has taught

words, you know that leadership isn’t just you and how it helped you develop

about getting a title like “President” or demonstrates that you have truly gained

“Executive Director”.) from your participation and suggests you

 What does this mean for the future? A will continue doing so in the future.

scholarship isn’t just an award; it’s an


My final point of advice when writing your paragraphs. A good test to see if
scholarship application essay or cover letter is to information should go in a body or
really show that you know who you are. What are introductory paragraph is to ask yourself a
the relevant past and present experiences that few questions. Is this providing context or
demonstrate your abilities and where are you evidence? Does this introduce my
headed? Use carefully selected language to argument, or try to prove it? True evidence
emphasize your passion, ambition and enthusiasm or proof deserves a body paragraph.
and remember to adopt a positive mindset, in which Context and background most likely belong
you believe in all the great things you have done and in your introduction.
plan to continue achieving in the future. If you don’t 3. Provide a thesis. The majority of the time,
believe in yourself, why would the judges? your thesis, or main argument, should occur
somewhere towards the end of your
1. Start your introduction broad, but not too introduction. It is a typical convention to
broad. When I first started writing formal put your thesis as the last sentence of your
essays, I didn’t really know how broad to go first paragraph. My personal opinion is that
with my intros. A brief paragraph on Hamlet it can sometimes be awkward to shove your
would suddenly include irrelevant details thesis in one specific place if it doesn’t
about Shakespeare’s childhood, then grow necessarily fit, but if your thesis works in
out to be a history of Western literature, that position, that is the best place for it.
and then a history of the universe itself. Do That being said, if you absolutely can’t
not write an introduction like this; this kind include your thesis in that location, go
of intro is confusing and makes the reader ahead and stick it somewhere else.
wonder where exactly you’re going with 4. Provide only helpful, relevant information.
your essay. Your introduction should Anecdotes can be an interesting opener to
provide the reader with a sense of what your essay, but only if the anecdote in
they should expect out of your essay, not to question is truly relevant to your topic. Are
expound upon every piece of knowledge you writing an essay about Maya Angelou?
ever developed by man. Go ahead and start An anecdote about her childhood might be
relatively broad, then narrow to your thesis, relevant, and even charming. Are you
but make sure you’re still on topic. writing an essay about safety regulations in
2. Provide relevant background, but don’t roller coasters? Go ahead and add an
begin your true argument. It’s fine to give a anecdote about a person who was injured
bit of context to your essay in the while riding a roller coaster. Are you writing
introduction, but the real meat of your an essay about Moby Dick? Perhaps an
argument should be located in your body anecdote about that time your friend read
Moby Dick and hated it is not the best way worthwhile is to provide information that
to go. The same is true for statistics, quotes, the reader might question or disagree with.
and other types of information about your Once they are thinking about the topic, and
topic. wondering why you hold your position, they
5. Try to avoid clichés. Some types of are more likely to be engaged in the rest of
introductions may have once been the essay.
successful, but have been used so often
that they have become tired and clichéd. Basically, a good introduction provides the reader

Starting your essay with a definition is a with a brief overview of your topic and an

good example of one of these conventions. explanation of your thesis. A good introduction is

At this point, starting with a definition is a fresh, engaging, and interesting. Successful

bit boring, and will cause your reader to introductions don’t rely on clichés or irrelevant

tune out. information to demonstrate their point. Be brief, be

6. Don’t feel pressured to write your intro concise, be engaging. Good luck.

first. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure


out exactly what information is relevant to
your introduction until you’ve written the
piece itself. Personally, I find that my
writer’s block is always strongest when
writing the introduction. If you are having
trouble with your intro, feel free to write
some, or all, of your body paragraphs, and
then come back to it. You might find it a bit
easier to write your introduction once
you’re more comfortable with the essay as
a whole.
7. Convince the reader that your essay is
worth reading. Your reader should finish
the introduction thinking that the essay is
interesting or has some sort of relevance to
their lives. A good introduction is engaging;
it gets the audience thinking about the topic
at hand and wondering how you will be
proving your argument. Good ways to
convince your reader that your essay is