Scholarship Essays & Help Writing a Scholarship Dissertation

(Updated on September 6, 2017 by Michelle Williams)

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When completing a scholarship essay, your goal is to create a document that's capable of convincing the review panel to award you with a scholarship, usually in the form of free or reduced-cost tuition.  Therefore, you need to complete a scholarship essay that's both well-organized and interesting to the reader.

There is no single format to always follow with scholarship essays because the requirements will vary according to the scholarship committee.  Some scholarships may request that you complete a personal narrative while others might request a research paper.  Similarly, some committees may want a critical essay while others might want you to show off your skills in persuasive work.  Therefore, it's essential to look at the guidelines of the scholarship and write an essay that follows those guidelines that are provided.

In many cases, the writing prompt for a scholarship essay will actually ask that several different questions be addressed.  Whenever this occurs, it's essential that you respond to all aspects of the writing prompt.  Failure to address one question or one bullet point can be enough to drop you out of the scholarship competition.

Scholarship Essays & Help Writing a Scholarship DissertationIn addition to addressing all questions or points requested, your scholarship report should also be written in a manner that makes it stand out above the competition.  Remember, there will be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people competing for the scholarship.  If you hope to draw attention to your document and to improve your chances of being selected for the scholarship, you need to grab the reader's attention immediately.

Since grabbing the reader's attention is of such importance, you must work to create an interesting introduction that encourages the reader to continue reading.  Asking a question or introducing an interesting fact are two excellent ways to grab the reader's attention, just make sure you don't reveal everything in your introductory paragraph.  Pose an interesting question and answer it throughout the report in order to keep the reader interested in what you have to say.

Unless there's a maximum word count for your scholarship essay, a good rule of thumb is to have one introductory paragraph followed by four more paragraphs.  Three of those paragraphs will be the body.  Each of these paragraphs should have a topic sentence that supports that thesis introduced in the introductory paragraph.  The rest of the sentences within each paragraph should serve to further support the topic sentence.

Your final paragraph is the conclusion.  In the conclusion, you should restate your thesis in a new and interesting way.  You should never introduce new information in the conclusion paragraph.  Rather, you should simply summarize what you have written while also leaving the reader with something to remember.  While you want to draw the reader in with your introductory paragraph, you want to leave a lasting impression with the conclusion.

After you have completed your scholarship essay, set it aside for a few days and then read it again.  As you re-read it, look for flaws in logic, flow, grammar, and punctuation.  Be sure to clean up any mistakes before sending the essay off for review.

Scholarship Dissertation

When a student receives an academic scholarship, the scholarship program may require him/her to complete a scholarship dissertation at the conclusion of the scholarship period.  A scholarship dissertation may have different requirements for different programs, but in most cases, a scholarship dissertation simply recaps the student's experiences that were provided by the scholarship and states why he/she is grateful.  

Scholarship dissertations aren't research dissertations, in most cases.  However, in some cases, if the student received a scholarship as part of a special program or to attend a specialized institute, the institution may require that the student complete an in-depth research paper about the knowledge that he/she gained from the program.  The program may use this scholarship dissertation for its own research purposes or to promote the scholarship program to funders.  

Because there are a variety of uses for a scholarship dissertation and scholarship dissertations may have different requirements from different scholarship programs, it's important for students to make sure that they understand the specific dissertation requirements of a scholarship dissertation before they begin writing the document.  It often helps if students are also aware of the different requirements for the document before they actually enroll in the scholarship program.  

For example, if a student is required to keep a journal of his/her experiences in order to create the scholarship dissertation, the student needs to be aware that he/she needs to keep the journal for the entire period of the scholarship program.  It wouldn't be accurate or complete for a learner to try to recap his/her experiences at the end of the program if he/she doesn't complete the journal throughout the scholarship program.  

There are some basic things that may be expected by all scholarship programs in order for students to create their scholarship dissertations.  For example, the report will probably need to include background information about the scholarship program or the reason that the student required the scholarship.  The dissertation will also need to include information about how to scholarship helped the student in his/her career.  Again, specific requirements for the scholarship report should be determined by the scholarship program, as these requirements can vary a great deal.  

A scholarship dissertation is very different from a doctoral reference project.  A dissertation, in any case, is a large body of written work that a student completes after a period of research or study.  The dissertation is often the final academic document that a learner will write.  

The dissertation for a doctoral program often jumpstarts a career and serves as the culmination of the student's entire educational experience.  A scholarship dissertation is usually just for the scholarship program and often allows the student to state why the scholarship was helpful.  In some cases, the scholarship dissertation will also allow the student to share research that he/she was able to perform because of the scholarship.

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