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What are the secrets of writing a winning college scholarship essay?

I have entered several scholarship essay contests recently, and have not won anything. I have been told by teachers that I am a good writer, so I want to know what is going on. I realize that millions of people enter these things and I'm up against a lot of competition, so I want to know how to make my essays stand out. I especially have trouble writing essays with a word limit... how can I get all my ideas into a condensed essay and make it sound effective.I will really appreciate all your feedback. I am a desperate student who needs college money in the worst way possible! Any suggestions/tips/tricks/secrets/methods will help! Thanks, guys!

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2 Responses so far.

  1. retrovision says:

    Okay, Sherrah, I can tell you that it sounds like your big problem might be succinctness. It’s not how much you say but what you have to say and how you say it. If you can replace five words with one – do it!Other than that, make sure that your grammar and spelling are perfect and that you stay on topic. Tangents are bad. That is my best advice. I also found a couple of websites that give you some great step-by-step advice. Good luck to you!

  2. skinning says:

    Use action verbs. After you write your paper, go bach through it 2-3 times and eliminate out all of the filler words and sentences. If you can get the same point across with less words, go for it. It will make your paper easier to read and the meaning more direct.Watch the transitions of your sentences. You want the sentences to flow in a logical fashion. So when you make corrections to the draft see how you can rearrange the sentences to make the flow from sentence to sentence sound better and make more logical sense, not like it was just thrown in there.Finally… FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS! This is probably the best trick and probably the hardest to do. A good college professor instructed me on this point. Instead of picking a broad topic, focus your topic very tightly on a very specific subject and expound on the very specific subject like crazy. If you cover a broad topic there is no way you can possibly cover all there is to cover on that topic. However, if you tightly focus your topic to something very specific. You can cover almost everything and you become the expert on that topic. Focusing your topic very tightly will make researching more difficult because you will have to hunt harder, but it will make your paper much better.