While researching scholarships and scholarship application tips, you may have come across the phrase “tailor your essays” or “personalize your application.” But what exactly does that mean, and how do you do it?
What are Tailored / Personalized Essays?
When something is “tailor-made” it means it was specially made for a specific person or reason. The same concept applies here. A tailor-made scholarship essay is one specifically designed to appeal to that scholarship’s sponsor.
Sometimes the phrase “personalized” is used instead, but it means the same thing. Your essay is personalized towards that specific sponsor. It’s not generic, it’s specialized.
Why You Should Tailor Your Essays
It sounds tedious to ensure that every application or essay you make fits each place you submit to. A one-size-fits all method sounds a lot easier, right? However the benefit of tailoring your essays are well worth the extra effort.
By personalizing your essays, you not only show the scholarship’s sponsor that you’re willing to go the extra mile, but that you’ve done your research and truly embody whatever they’re trying to promote.
How to Tailor Your Essays
If a local company sponsors a scholarship about community service, you’ll want your essay to reflect the importance of community service and teamwork. If you just copy + paste an essay about hard work, without tweaking it to make it specific to them, they’ll be able to tell. You may not lose points, per se, but you won’t gain extra ones.
Do your research into these sponsors. Visit their websites to see what values they emphasize. It might be right there in the name of the scholarship, or under their “mission statement.” Find an element that they value and make sure it appears in your essay.
Does That Mean I Have to Write a Brand New Essay for Every Single Scholarship?
No. If you already have an essay that fits a certain prompt, you can reuse it. You can tailor your pre-existing essays by adding a few new details, or rewriting a paragraph or two to fit the new sponsor’s goals. (Just make sure everything still flows well and that the essay fits their prompt).
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That demand has never been higher. But why?
A key factor is the rise in international students. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, there were 436,585 international students in the UK in 2014/15, up from 318,000 in 2004/5 and 164,000 in 94/95.
Between 60 and 70pc of all of Essay Writer’s customers are students who have come from abroad, Burton says.
“You get a lot of students coming over and I would say they are substandard compared to the local students,” he says. “Often they are coming to a university and have not got a clue about the style or how the lectures work, and they can’t follow it because English is their second language.
“When they go off to write their essays, they do not quite understand.”
Dennehy agrees, saying international students “are very highly academic but trying to portray something in a different language can at times be very difficult.”
He adds: “They might not understand what is being requested of them, so they come to us and get an expert to produce an example answer which is exactly how it should be, so they can read it, understand the theory and the models that are being used.”
Of course, these businesses have been accused of facilitating cheating, but both All Answers and Essay Writer stress that the essays they provide to customers are for guidance and should in no circumstances be passed off as the student’s own work.