Starting your scholarship essay with a strong introduction is vital. The strong impact doesn’t stop with the start of your essay, however. You can have a powerful beginning, persuasive content, but completely lose the reader if your conclusion doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Because of this, the end of your scholarship essay is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.
You want the donor to know you deserve their scholarship more than anyone else submitting an essay. Think of your conclusion as the bow that packages the entire essay to sell yourself as the best candidate.
First, let’s talk about what you should avoid in the closing paragraph.
1. Don’t end your essay with “in conclusion.”
University Language Services explains that this is redundant. By the time your reader reaches the end of the essay, it’s obvious that you’re concluding your thoughts. Instead, use the last part of your scholarship essay to make the final sale. Use the beginning of the conclusion to talk about why you should be chosen for the scholarship.
2. Don’t use your conclusion to just summarize your essay.
Of course, you want to tie all your thoughts together with the pretty bow that I mentioned earlier. Make it spectacular, though. Bring all those thoughts together, and finish with your argument of why you deserve the scholarship. University Language Services notes that you should answer the question of “So what?” in your conclusion. Keep that cue in mind when making it count in the end.
3. Don’t dwell on the important details of your essay.
According to PocketSense, you’ve already talked about the key topics of your essay before you even get to your conclusion. You don’t have to waste valuable word count by repeating yourself. However, you can absolutely highlight the important parts that. Doing so will help the reader understand how those highlights make you an excellent candidate for the scholarship.
Now that we’ve talked about what not to do when writing the end of your scholarship essay, let’s touch on what you should do.
1. Talk about the future.
In addition to highlighting the important parts of your past accomplishments in your essay, PocketSense recommends talking about your future plans and goals. The conclusion of your scholarship essay is a great time to let the reader know what your future goals are, and how the scholarship will help you achieve that. This will help tie your past and present together, and show the scholarship judges the value in those thoughts.
2. Tie conclusion back to your introduction.
If you gave a powerful personal story in your introduction, the conclusion is a great time to bring the reader back to that. For example, if you opened your scholarship essay talking about a specific personal story, the conclusion is a great time to tie back to that story and give it a great ending. Essaypro.com explains that this helps gives the reader a more solid connection to you and the story. If your reader has this connection, you’re much more likely to set yourself apart from the other candidates.
3. Use reflection to show personal growth.
Essaypro.com recommends using one of your weaknesses to show your reader how you used a challenge as a stepping stone. Doing so shows personal growth, which is especially appealing for scholarship judges when they are finalizing their decisions on applicants. Most people shy away from discussing their weaknesses and focus only on their strengths. If you’re doing what most people do, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to show even more strengths to your reader!
4. Say thank you to the committee.
The scholarship committee is doing you a great service by potentially awarding you a sum of money towards your education. The conclusion of your scholarship essay is an appropriate time to thank them for considering your application.
5. Edit and revise.
Now that you’ve written your scholarship essay and concluded all your thoughts with the pretty bow on the package, one of the most important parts of the ending is to edit and revise. Be sure to have a parent or teacher (or both!) proofread your entire essay, and offer any advice on edits that need to be made.
You can have a stellar intro, body, and conclusion. You can have a powerful voice through the entire essay, with some great examples of your personal achievements and plans for the future. However, if you fail to have a grammatically sound scholarship essay, you will lose your reader and reduce your influence. All that hard work and valuable thoughts can be diminished.
Take the time to put that final bow on the package, and get ready to hand it off to the scholarship essay committee!