Dos and don’ts of writing scholarship essays

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A standout college essay can help set you apart from other scholarship applicants, so take your time and prepare an essay that will impress the scholarship committee. It’s easier than you think. Here are some dos & don’ts to keep in mind:

•    Do read the instructions carefully. You don’t want to be disqualified because you missed a step.

•    Don’t exaggerate. The scholarship committee wants to know who you really are.

•    Do organize your thoughts. Jot down the key points you want to cover before you begin writing.

•    Don’t brag. You can highlight your accomplishments but do it in a humble way.

•    Do make it personal. Scholarship committees ask applicants to write essays so they can get a better sense of who they are beyond their list of accomplishments.

•    Don’t use flowery language. The best essays tell a story in a clear and concise way.

•    Do give yourself plenty of time to write your essay. After you write your, sleep on it and look at it again the next day with fresh eyes. This will help you to improve upon your work.

•    Do get outside opinions. Ask your parent, teacher, or counselor to read it for you and share their honest feedback about how well the essay represents you and if there are areas for improvement.

•    Don’t rely on spell check. Online spell check tools may not pick up every error, so be sure to proofread your work carefully. Also, ask someone else to take a second look at your essay to make sure it reads clearly and that everything is grammatically correct.

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