Writing essays is something you have been doing since high school and you should have paid attention to it. If you did, then there is no real problem. You have all the tools you need to write good essays. Still, even if you know what you are doing, it can be intimidating to write an essay for a scholarship application, much less for a college. Regardless, you need some good pointers to get it right.
You will be given an essay topic. The good news about this is you have a range to write in. You don’t have to make it all up. If it is a non-fiction topic, take some time to read about it and take notes. If it is a fiction topic or a personal one, take time to make some notes and jot down ideas to write about. Once you have some ideas, congeal it into a single idea.
When you have the general idea of what you want to write about and you have collected the appropriate notes and information, you will need a compelling introduction. This will describe the idea(s) you will be writing about. Essays are generally brief compared to research papers, so you should keep the introduction paragraph brief as well.
One important note to remember is that the introductory paragraph is the hook and the lead-in for the reader. It is what makes them start and continue reading. For this reason, you will want to keep it compelling and well-worded. You are trying to catch the attention of a scholarship committee. Keep that in mind and write the best you can, checking often for good grammar and spelling.
Using the Outline
First of all, you need an outline. You can actually write an introduction without an outline but you may also want to do it after the outline, it is up to you. The introductory paragraph simply outlines the outline, so it is a matter of choice which you really start with. However, your outline is vital. Whether you were given the topic or you chose it, it needs to be described in detail.
Create an outline that carries your topic and then follow that outline closely. Piece by piece, put it all together, being conscious of the word limit. Stay within that word limit and never go over. If you see that you have too much information or too much written, that should actually be good news. It is easier to edit than it is to add. Be concise and clear and continue to a conclusion.
Wrap Up and Conclusion
At the end of the body of the essay, you need to create a resolution. Ideally, the introduction poses a problem or an idea and the body solves the problem or describes the idea. Then the conclusion describes the solution or the culmination of the idea. That may seem a bit vague but it is easy. Begin, build, conclude should be the rhythm you follow. Have someone check your essay and be open to criticism.