An essay is a time-consuming and often dreaded part of the scholarship application process for many students. But, it’s a crucial part that can make or break a college scholarship application. There are a lot of applicants with similar grades, test scores, activities, goals, and aspirations. An effective personal essay is a great way to show a scholarships committee what makes you unique and persuade them that you deserve a scholarship award.

Here are a few simple writing tips from professional writers of that can help you create a winning scholarship essay and be successful in your scholarship quest.

1. Answer the question and focus on the given topic

Many applicants fail because they made a big mistake and actually did not answer the question or prompt that was set for them fully. Read the question you are to respond to carefully and thoroughly and identify the key themes and their meanings. Create an outline and address each element identified in the essay guidelines. Make sure that you’ve covered each part of the question in your essay.

2. Plan in advance

You can’t write a great essay on the night it is due. Start planning your essay a week before you think you should. Then you will have plenty of time for creating an outline to make your essay concise and stay focused on the topic, writing a rough draft, and editing.

3. Be personal and passionate

Your scholarship essay is all about you so you should make every effort to draw a picture of you as a person and to show your true self. Your goal is to persuade a committee that you are the student they are looking for. Speak about your relevant past and present experiences that demonstrate your abilities, ambitions, and enthusiasm. Don’t try to write fake essays exaggerating your personal story or telling lies. Be honest and let your passion shine through your words. Answer the question and illustrate each point with specific details that prove you care about the subject. Put your unique interests on the page to create a really memorable and impressive scholarship essay that shows you off in the best possible light.

4. Check errors

Even a passionately written and engaging essay can be derailed by typos, spelling and grammar mistakes, and awkward sentences. Double check your essay and have someone review what you have written. Ask your family members, your grammar-nerd peers or a professional editor to proofread your essays to pick up anything you have missed. They can give you fresh insight on the strong and weak points of your essay and make suggestions on how you can improve it. A good idea is to read your scholarship essay aloud to yourself to understand how it flows.

Follow these easy tips to write an excellent scholarship essay that will set you apart from other applicants, help you surpass the competition, and get more money for college.