How to Write Winning Scholarship Essays: Aaron Henderson's Tips from StateOfWriting

How to Write Winning Scholarship Essays: Aaron Henderson's Tips from StateOfWriting

Writing a scholarship essay can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. Aaron Henderson, head of quality assurance at StateOfWriting, has compiled tips to help you craft an essay that stands out and wins the scholarship you’re aiming for. Here’s a comprehensive guide to writing a winning scholarship essay.

1. Understand the Prompt

One of the most critical steps in writing a successful scholarship essay is thoroughly understanding the prompt. Scholarship prompts can vary widely, and it's essential to address the specific question or topic provided. Take the time to break down the prompt and identify what is being asked of you. Create a list of main points or themes that need to be addressed in your essay. By doing this, you ensure that your essay remains focused and relevant, which is crucial for making a strong impression on the selection committee.

If you need help explaining the prompt, Aaron points out that you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help. Busy students sometimes think, “Can I pay someone to do my coursework?”. If this is your case, know that professional UK writers from StateOfWriting can do that and more.

2. Create a Strong Outline

Before diving into writing, create a detailed outline. An outline helps organize your thoughts and ensures your essay flows logically from one point to the next. Start with an introduction that hooks the reader and introduces your main points. Follow this with body paragraphs addressing a specific aspect of the prompt, providing evidence and examples. Conclude with a powerful closing paragraph that reinforces your main message and leaves a lasting impression. A well-structured outline serves as a roadmap for your essay, making the writing process smoother and more efficient.

3. Be Personal and Authentic

Scholarship committees seek essays that reflect the applicant's personality and unique experiences. Avoid generic statements and focus on sharing personal stories and insights. Write in a genuine voice that conveys your passion, challenges, and achievements. Authenticity resonates with readers and makes your essay memorable. Discuss how your background, experiences, and goals align with the values and mission of the scholarship organization. By being true to yourself, you connect with the committee and make your essay stand out. 

4. Show Your Achievements

When learning how to write a personal statement, you must understand how to show your skills. While it’s important to be personal, it’s equally important to show your achievements. Scholarship committees want to know why you deserve the award. Discuss your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and relevant experiences. Provide specific examples and quantify your achievements when possible. For instance, instead of saying you volunteered, mention how many hours you dedicated and the impact you made. This demonstrates your commitment and the tangible results of your efforts, making a compelling case for your candidacy.

5. Address Your Challenges

Everyone faces challenges, and discussing yours can add depth to your essay. Reflect on obstacles you’ve encountered and how you overcame them. This not only shows resilience but also highlights your problem-solving skills and determination. Be honest about your struggles, but focus on the positive outcomes and what you learned from these experiences. Explaining how you’ve grown and what you’ve achieved despite difficulties can make a powerful statement about your character and potential.

6. Edit and Proofread Thoroughly

No matter how brilliant your content is, errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation can undermine your essay. Take the time to edit and proofread your work meticulously. Read your essay multiple times, and consider reading it out loud to catch any awkward phrasing or errors you might have missed. Additionally, ask teachers, mentors, or friends to review your essay. Fresh eyes can spot mistakes and offer valuable feedback on improving clarity and coherence. A polished, error-free essay demonstrates attention to detail and professionalism.

7. Stay Within the Word Limit

Adhering to the word limit is crucial. Scholarship essays often come with strict word or character limits, and exceeding these can result in disqualification. Make every word count by being concise and to the point. Avoid unnecessary filler words and repetitive statements. If your essay exceeds the limit, review each paragraph and sentence to see where you can trim without losing essential information. Staying within the word limit shows that you can follow instructions and respect guidelines, a quality scholarship committees appreciate.


A winning scholarship essay requires careful planning, authenticity, and attention to detail. By understanding the prompt, creating a strong outline, being personal and authentic, showcasing your achievements, addressing challenges, editing thoroughly, and staying within the word limit, you can craft an essay that stands out to scholarship committees. Follow Aaron Henderson's tips from StateOfWriting, and you'll be well on your way to securing the scholarship you deserve.