How to Write a Scholarship Essay Introduction (With Example)
With the thousands of scholarships out there, you have a chance to win serious money to put towards your college tuition. But, the scholarship application process can be quite stressful, so we are here to help. The most difficult part of the application process for students is usually the essay. How do you write it? What should it include? We are going to focus on how to start a scholarship essay introduction.
Scholarships are super competitive and the reviewers may not even have time to read the entire essay submitted. So, the first sentence of your scholarship application is your first and best chance to convince the reader to continue reading. For this reason, your essay’s introduction is crucial.
That sounds stressful, but rest assured, your introduction can actually be your best tool for success. Luckily, there is no one right way to write a scholarship introduction, but there are some things you must keep in mind.
You need to catch the judges’ eyes from the very beginning of the essay. Imagine that your readers have to read hundreds of applications. You must make your essay stand out.
Your introduction should include the following three things:
- Attention-grabbing first sentence
- A short explanation for what you will talk about in your essay
- The thesis statement in which you address the essay prompt
Your introduction should be short, sweet, and to the point. This is the place to establish for the reader what you will be discussing in the rest of the essay.
Do you have a short story you can open your essay with? Jokes, metaphors, and anecdotes are a great way to capture your reader’s attention. Try to develop a personal connection with the reader from the start of your essay- readers are more likely to remember you if you give them something personal.
Take a look at the following two examples:
- Example #1: It is important to take responsibility for your actions for a few reasons.
- Example #2: December 2, 2015 was the day my life took a major turning point.
Do you notice the difference? Which example makes you feel like you want to know more about the writer? Of course, example #2. This is the effect that your essay introduction should have on the reader.
Be sure to maintain a unique voice in your introduction and throughout your essay. Remember that there are many other accomplished students like yourself who are fighting for the scholarship. Dive into your passions and share with the reader what makes you special.
Here are things you should avoid doing in the introduction paragraph:
- Avoid using big words only to sound intelligent. Your introduction should sound natural.
- Avoid starting your essay with quotes; those are somebody else’s words, not your own. Instead, use your own words and let your personality shine in the essay.
- Avoid obvious statements such as “I am interested in this scholarship.”
- Avoid introducing yourself
Also, remember to keep in mind the values of the organization or the school that you are writing the scholarship for. Express yourself in a way that the readers will appreciate. Yes, it’s important to be yourself. But, it’s also important to share the side of yourself that your reader will appreciate. To find this information out, you must research your audience to know what their values are.
Scholarship Essay Introduction Example:
Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.
“David’s going to be a doctor, going to find a cure for cancer and for the AIDS virus too,” was a household song that we used to sing about none other than myself. While it is cliché to say that since I was a little kid, I have always known what I wanted to do with my life, in my case it happens to be true. I pictured myself from a young age in a white coat with a stethoscope around my neck and I have always been confident that I will get there. And now the time has finally come to make my childhood dreams my reality.