Writing Center

  • Academic Essays
  • Approaching Writing
  • Sentence-level Writing
  • Write for Student-Run Media
  • Writing in the Core
  • Access Smartthinking
  • TutorTrac Appointments
  • SMART Space

“What Is an Academic Essay?”

Twitter Icon

Overview (a.k.a. TLDR)

  • Different professors define the academic essay differently.
  • Thesis (main point)
  • Supporting evidence (properly cited)
  • Counterarguments
  • Your academic essay is knowledge that you create for the learning community of which you’re a member (a.k.a. the academy).

As a student in Core classes, especially in COR 102, you can expect that at least some of the major work in the course will entail writing academic essays. That term, academic essay , might sound as if it’s referring to a specific writing genre. That’s because it is. An academic essay is not a short story, an electronic game design document, a lesson plan, or a scientific lab report. It’s something else. What exactly is it, though? That depends, to some extent, on how the professor who has asked you to write an academic essay has chosen to define it. As Kathy Duffin posits in an essay written for the Writing Center at Harvard University, while an academic essay may “vary in expression from discipline to discipline,” it “should show us a mind developing a thesis, supporting that thesis with evidence, deftly anticipating objections or counterarguments, and maintaining the momentum of discovery.”

Even though Duffin’s essay is more than 20 years old, I still find her description interesting for a few reasons, one of which being the way that she has sandwiched, so to speak, some established content requirements of academic essays in between two broad intellectual functions of the academic essay. Here’s what I see:

When Duffin writes that an academic essay “should show us a mind,” she is identifying an important quality in many essay forms, not just academic essays: a sense of a mind at work. This is an important consideration, as it frames an academic essay as an attempt to understand something and to share that understanding. Essay is, in fact, also a verb; to essay is to try or attempt.

The established content requirements are as follows:

  • a thesis (which Duffin describes also as a “purpose” and “motive”)
  • evidence in support of the thesis, and
  • an anticipation of objections or counterarguments

Duffin caps this all off with something about “maintaining the momentum of discovery.” Honestly, I’m not positive that I know what this means, but my guess is that it means an academic essay will construct and advance a new way of knowing the essay topic, a way that makes this process seem worth the writer’s and the reader’s time.

Again, your professor may or may not define academic essays as Duffin does. The only thing I would add to the above is a reminder that the academic essays you write in COR 102 and other courses represent knowledge that you’re creating within and for the academy —another word for Champlain College, an academic institution. You’re creating knowledge for a community of learners, a community of which you, your professor, and your peers are members. Keeping this conceptualization of your academic essay in mind may help you appreciate such other common elements of academic essays as voice , citations , and essay format.

Duffin, Kathy. “Overview of the Academic Essay.” Harvard College Writing Center, Harvard U., 1998, https://writingcenter.fas.harvard.edu/pages/overview-academic-essay Accessed 29 July 2020.

Quick tip about citing sources in MLA style

What’s a thesis, sample mla essays.

  • Student Life
  • Career Success
  • Champlain College Online
  • About Champlain College
  • Centers of Experience
  • Media Inquiries
  • Contact Champlain
  • Maps & Directions
  • Consumer Information

Расширенный поиск

Сохранено в вашей библиотеке.

scholarly essay meaning

  • Free Training

What Is Scholarly Writing?

scholarly essay meaning

In this article

Did you have to write essays and book reports back in your school years? If so, you’re acquainted with the concept of scholarly writing and academic writing.

Many students and researchers struggle with achieving the right tone and balance when writing their papers. However, that’s not as likely if you know the structure and purpose of scholarly writing.

Our  content marketing agency  produces over 300+ articles/month, and so we tailor our writing based on our client’s needs.

Disclosure: These reviews are reader-supported. We might earn a small commission if you purchase something through our site. Learn more

Make Writing Fun Again

Set and forget your writing conventions by running  Grammarly  in the background.  Save 20% with our exclusive link .

Grammarly Premium Walkthrough Video

scholarly essay meaning

Grammarly Best All-Around

  • Only supports English
  • Expensive without our link

What is Scholarly Writing?

Scholarly writing is also known as academic writing. Both terms imply that it’s a type of writing used in academic institutions. It doesn’t make it better than other types of writing, as it’s just a style that academics use for knowledge sharing.

It can be intimidating at first for the presence of all the rules. But understanding the guiding principles will make it easier to express your thoughts and research. This form of writing also takes time to master, requiring perhaps years of development.

Even the experts and professionals teaching lessons on MasterClass took years to master their craft to be in a position to share what they know.

Why is Scholarly Writing Important?

To put it simply, writing implies thinking. And academic writing requires you to arrange your thoughts in a specific manner. Knowing how to write an academic paper means that you understand how to structure complex ideas.

The good news is that you don’t have to fly blind here, either. Any of the following tools can help you improve scholarly writing (or tone it down to come across as more formal and readable):

  • ProWritingAid

Examples of Scholarly Writing

There are many types of scholarly writing, and they are best represented in examples. Let’s further explore the purpose of academic writing.

Book reports

Book reports are an excellent example of scholarly writing. And the reason is that that’s something children are taught in school from an early age. Even in elementary schools, kids are required to write a short report on a book assigned or read on their own.

And that is when they start to learn the vocabulary and structure of this type of writing. In high school and especially college, these book reports evolve further, and the use of academic language becomes more important.

book report example

An essay is another short-form writing that requires the use of academic language and structure. Before getting into higher education, essays are more a matter of personal expressions.

But college-level essays usually must maintain an outline and incorporate a lot of evidence and citations. The purpose of an essay is to provide a relatively short answer to a subject posed by the teacher or professor.

Thesis and dissertation

College students are usually required to write a lot of papers, especially graduate students. Those pursuing a master’s degree or Ph.D. would have to write a thesis or dissertation, respectively.

Those could take up to years of research and weeks, if not months, to write in a scholarly fashion. However, the mentoring professor is there to guide the student through.

Scholarly Writing Use Cases

There are many uses of scholarly writing, and most of them have to do with continuing your education. But what are some other uses and purposes of academic writing?

Whenever you have a much longer document, most commonly a scientific study paper, you need to add an abstract. It’s a sort of summary of what the paper is about.

While it’s essential to use academic language and principle for the paper itself, the abstract in particular must be carefully written. It should contain all the necessary information without losing clarity due to the shortness of the text.

Academic journal

Academic journals are publications related to a specific topic or discipline. They don’t usually have a broad audience as the readers are usually experts in a given field. It’s how they keep up with news and new research in the branch.

The writing in academic journals is quite formal, which one could perhaps describe as “dry.” But the idea is to convey facts clearly and without personal biases. Also, knowing how to use references is a crucial aspect.


Another more-obscure use of scholarly writing is translation. Many academic texts are often translated into different languages. But academic translations are much different than literary. The key point is to preserve the tone and the formality of the text.

That’s not always an easy thing to do because it can be easy to give yourself too much freedom in translation. A translator can get caught up in merely trying to preserve the meaning and not the writing style.

How to Properly Structure Your Scholarly Writing

Academic writing takes practice to learn all the details. However, there are three important pillars of scholarly writing.

Define your purpose

Even before that, you should always know who your audience is. In most cases, that will be your peers, teachers, and professors.

And before you start writing, make sure that you’ve spent time researching your assignment. Even if you’re writing it for yourself, you’ve got to have a clear purpose of what you’re trying to say.

Introduce evidence

Most formal scholarly writing is about finding evidence that supports your claim and introducing them to others.

You should always keep in mind that academic papers must include sources for verification purposes. In-text citations and extensive reference lists are a part of academic writing.

Be clear and concise

Apart from always using clear language when writing in a scholarly style, you need to maintain a firm focus.

Every sentence and paragraph of your work should tie back to the primary topic. The one thing to avoid is vague and confusing language and the use of words like “perhaps” that might indicate diffidence.

Something that you also need to avoid doing in academic writing is using the passive voice . It’s all about the active voice.

Pro Tip: Use Affordable Writing Tools for Real-Time Feedback

Writing apps , like Scrivener can help you monitor conciseness as you type each word.

Scholarly Writing FAQs

Are grammar and spelling important in scholarly writing.

As you might expect, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are incredibly important in academic writing.

Conforming to writing conventions is vital to achieving the most clarity and precision. The most important rule of scholarly writing is being clear about what you’re saying.

Being able to properly formulate an idea, translate it into words, actually making it sound good is a cornerstone of scholarly writing.

Do You Have to Use Citations?

Yea, citations and references are a must. Every claim made in a research paper or thesis needs to be supported by evidence. It’s also imperative to know how to organize citations.

The bottom line is that every piece of writing like this, whether it’s scholarly legal writing, a scholarly paper, or a literature review, it needs to have citations to back up your claims.

We’d recommend getting familiar with the APA style of citations, a popular style which is often used by student writers in social sciences.

How to Edit Academic Writing?

Editing and proofreading are one of the most important parts of writing. When you’re done writing your paper, always look back and see if there are places that need disambiguation or more references. If necessary, you can restructure your sentences and paragraphs.

What are Other Things to Avoid?

As mentioned, vagueness is the enemy number one of scholarly writing, or any writing for that matter. But you should also avoid things like long-winded sentences or overly emotional and grandiose statements. In a nutshell, less personal is better.

Cultivating an Original Thought with Scholarly Writing

The purpose of scholarly writing isn’t to limit your critical thinking but rather to arrange it more constructively. Of course, it’s very different from creative writing, but it also has an entirely different purpose.

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what is necessary to become better at writing academic papers. For example, if you are a graduate student, you can’t just reiterate someone else’s thoughts. You need to take those thoughts, do a bit of research and critical thinking, and then put your spin on them.

Even if you’re not enrolled in college, or you finished school a long time ago, it’s a skill that you never know when you might need — at least be able to tell good writing from bad.

Get long-term ROI.

  • More from M-W
  • To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In

Definition of scholarly

  • knowledgeable

Example Sentences

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scholarly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1583, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near scholarly



Cite this Entry

“Scholarly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scholarly. Accessed 30 Aug. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on scholarly

Nglish: Translation of scholarly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scholarly for Arabic Speakers

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Play Quordle: Guess all four words in a limited number of tries.  Each of your guesses must be a real 5-letter word.

Can you solve 4 words at once?

Word of the day.

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

vector image of a face with thought expression

Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Meaning of scholarly in English

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio

  • abstinence education
  • abstinence programme
  • abstinence-only
  • academically
  • adaptive learning
  • homeschooler
  • homeschooling
  • intersession
  • special educational needs
  • virtual learning environment
  • vocationally

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

scholarly | American Dictionary

Examples of scholarly, translations of scholarly.

Get a quick, free translation!


Word of the Day

relating to coats of arms (= special shields or shield-shaped patterns that are the sign of a family, university, or city) and the history of the families, universities, etc. that they belong to

A flash in the pan (Newspaper idioms)

A flash in the pan (Newspaper idioms)

scholarly essay meaning

Learn more with +Plus

  • Recent and Recommended {{#preferredDictionaries}} {{name}} {{/preferredDictionaries}}
  • Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English English Learner’s Dictionary Essential British English Essential American English
  • Grammar and thesaurus Usage explanations of natural written and spoken English Grammar Thesaurus
  • Pronunciation British and American pronunciations with audio English Pronunciation
  • English–Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified)–English
  • English–Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional)–English
  • English–Dutch Dutch–English
  • English–French French–English
  • English–German German–English
  • English–Indonesian Indonesian–English
  • English–Italian Italian–English
  • English–Japanese Japanese–English
  • English–Norwegian Norwegian–English
  • English–Polish Polish–English
  • English–Portuguese Portuguese–English
  • English–Spanish Spanish–English
  • Dictionary +Plus Word Lists
  • English    Adjective
  • American    Adjective
  • Translations
  • All translations

Add scholarly to one of your lists below, or create a new one.


Something went wrong.

There was a problem sending your report.

What is an academic essay?

scholarly essay meaning

This is the first of three chapters about Essays . To complete this reader, read each chapter carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Introduce the course topic

– Define the concept of an academic essay

– Outline the features of an academic essay

Chapter 1: What is an academic essay?

Chapter 2: What are the six different essay lengths?

Chapter 3: What are the seven different types of academic essay?

Before you begin reading...

  • video and audio texts
  • knowledge checks and quizzes
  • skills practices, tasks and assignments

Although the definition of what an essay is can be broad and include both formal and informal styles of writing, in academia an essay is most commonly considered to be a relatively short piece of non-fiction writing explaining the writer’s perspective on a topic or argument. In academic writing, this perspective will almost always be based on research, which may be collected through either primary or secondary methods, or be a mixture of both. The style of essay (or ‘paper’, as it’s often called in American English ) that’s necessary at the university-level is usually required to be quite formal in both language and presentation. In fact, such a formal style should usually be maintained in all tertiary-level exams and assignments.

A defining feature of an academic essay is that the writer will most likely make some sort of claim in that piece of work, perhaps to inform the reader of a concept or situation or to persuade them of a particular viewpoint or stance . Importantly, the writer will almost always use evidence, often called supporting details , to show the reader that what is being argued or claimed in both the main ideas and supporting ideas   is indeed accurate, reliable, and backed up by academic sources . It’s important for new university students to begin by following a prescribed structure as this will allow those who are new to academic writing to practice developing their arguments in a cohesive , concise  and logical way.

While an essay may not be limited to any particular word count , there are six different essay lengths that you’re most likely to encounter as a university student. Now that you’ve been introduced to the basic essay concepts, it’s important to next recognise these varying lengths so that you can better prepare yourself   in the future.

To reference this reader:

Academic Marker (2022) Essays . Available at: https://academicmarker.com/academic-guidance/assignments/essays/ (Accessed: Date Month Year).

  • Harvard Writing Center
  • Leeds University Library
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab


Once you’ve completed all three chapters about essays , you might also wish to download our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets to test your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks .

Our essays academic reader (including all four chapters about this topic) can be accessed here at the click of a button.

Gain unlimited access to our essays  beginner worksheet, with activities and answer keys designed to check a basic understanding of this reader’s chapters.

To check a confident understanding of this reader’s chapters, click on the button below to download our  essays   intermediate worksheet with activities and answer keys.

Our essays  advanced worksheet with activities and answer keys has been created to check a sophisticated understanding of this reader’s chapters. 

To save yourself 5 Marks , click on the button below to gain unlimited access to all of our essays chapters and worksheets. The All-in-1 Pack includes every chapter in this reader, as well as our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets in one handy PDF.

Click on the button below to gain unlimited access to our essays   teacher’s PowerPoint, which should include everything you’d need to successfully introduce this topic.

Collect Academic Marks

  • 15 Marks for joining
  • 3 Marks for daily e-learning
  • 10-20 for feedback and testimonials
  • 10-50 for referring others

Research Method

Home » Scholarly Paper – Format, Example and Writing Guide

Scholarly Paper – Format, Example and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Scholarly Paper

Scholarly Paper


Scholarly paper is a piece of academic writing that presents original research or analysis on a particular topic. It is usually written by scholars or experts in a particular field of study and is intended for an audience of other scholars or researchers. Scholarly papers typically follow a specific format and include a literature review , research methods , findings , and conclusions .

Scholarly papers are often published in academic journals or conference proceedings and are subjected to a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality and validity of the research presented. These papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field and help advance understanding and knowledge in that area.

How to Write Scholarly Paper

Writing a scholarly paper involves several important steps that need to be followed to ensure that your work meets the high standards of academic writing. Here are some general guidelines to help you write a scholarly paper:

  • Choose your topic: Your topic should be narrow enough to be manageable but broad enough to provide sufficient scope for research.
  • Conduct research: Research your topic thoroughly using a range of sources, including books, academic journals, and online databases. Keep track of your sources and take detailed notes.
  • Create an outline: Develop a clear and logical structure for your paper. Your outline should include an introduction, a literature review, a methodology section, results, discussion, and conclusion.
  • Write your introduction : Introduce your topic and provide some background information. Clearly state your research question or hypothesis and explain why your research is important.
  • Write your literature review: Summarize the existing research on your topic, highlighting key findings, debates, and gaps in the literature. Use the literature review to provide context for your research question.
  • Write your methodology section : Explain how you conducted your research and what methods you used. Be clear about your sample, data collection procedures, and data analysis techniques.
  • Present your results: Report your findings in a clear and organized way. Use tables, graphs, and charts to help visualize your data.
  • Discuss your findings : Interpret your results and explain their significance. Relate your findings back to your research question and literature review. Discuss any limitations of your study.
  • Write your conclusion: Summarize your main findings and their implications. Discuss the contributions of your research and its potential impact. Identify areas for further research.
  • Edit and proofread: Review your paper carefully for errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Ensure that your paper is well-organized and that your arguments are clear and concise.

Scholarly Paper Format

The format of a scholarly paper can vary slightly depending on the specific requirements of the academic institution or journal. However, most scholarly papers follow a similar structure, which typically includes the following sections:

  • Title page : This includes the title of the paper, the author’s name, the name of the institution, and the date of submission.
  • Abstract: This is a brief summary of the paper, typically no more than 250 words, that describes the purpose, methods, and findings of the study.
  • Introduction : This section provides background information on the topic and outlines the research questions or hypotheses that the study aims to address.
  • Literature review : This section provides a summary of existing research on the topic and discusses how the current study fits within the broader context of the field.
  • Methods : This section describes the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques used in the study.
  • Results : This section presents the findings of the study in a clear and concise manner, using tables, graphs, or other visual aids as necessary.
  • Discussion : This section interprets the findings of the study and discusses their implications for the broader field. It may also address limitations of the study and suggest directions for future research.
  • Conclusion : This section summarizes the key findings of the study and highlights their importance.
  • References : This section lists all sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style (such as APA or MLA).

Example of Scholarly Paper

Example of Scholarly Paper structure is as follows::

I. Introduction

A. Background and context

B. Research question or thesis statement

C. Importance of the research

D. Objectives or goals of the study

II. Literature Review

A. Overview of the relevant literature

B. Key concepts or theories

C. Methodologies used in previous research

D. Gaps or limitations in previous research

E. How the current study addresses those gaps

III. Methodology

A. Research design

B. Participants or subjects

C. Data collection methods

D. Data analysis procedures

E. Ethical considerations

IV. Results

A. Description of the data

B. Statistical analyses

C. Findings related to research question

D. Supporting evidence

V. Discussion

A. Interpretation of results

B. Implications of findings

C. Limitations of the study

D. Suggestions for future research

VI. Conclusion

A. Summary of main points

B. Implications for practice

C. Contributions to the field

D. Concluding thoughts

VII. References

A. List of sources cited in the paper

VIII. Appendices (if necessary)

A. Supplementary materials such as graphs, tables, or figures

B. Informed consent forms C. Other supporting documentation.

Purpose of Scholarly Paper

Scholarly papers serve various purposes depending on the field of study and the intended audience. Here are some purposes of scholarly papers:

  • To advance knowledge : One of the main purposes of scholarly papers is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in a particular field. Scholars conduct research, analyze data, and present their findings in a scholarly paper to build upon existing knowledge or introduce new ideas.
  • To communicate research: Scholarly papers are a means of communicating research findings to other scholars, practitioners, and the general public. Through scholarly papers, researchers can share their insights, data, and interpretations with others, leading to a better understanding of the topic under study.
  • To review literature : Scholarly papers may also serve as literature reviews, which summarize and synthesize existing research on a particular topic. Literature reviews help to identify gaps in knowledge, highlight areas for further research, and inform research questions.
  • To support academic evaluation : Scholarly papers can be used to evaluate academic progress and achievement, such as in the form of thesis and dissertation papers. These papers are expected to demonstrate a student’s mastery of the subject matter and their ability to conduct independent research.
  • To inform policy and practice: Finally, scholarly papers can inform policy and practice by providing evidence-based recommendations for decision-making. Scholars may conduct research on social, economic, or environmental issues and present their findings in a scholarly paper, which can then be used by policymakers, practitioners, and other stakeholders to inform their decisions and actions.

When to Write Scholarly Paper

Here are some situations where you might need to write a scholarly paper:

  • Academic Requirements: If you are a student pursuing an academic degree, you may be required to write scholarly papers as part of your coursework or to fulfill the requirements for your degree program.
  • Publishing Research: If you are a researcher, scholar, or academic, you may need to write scholarly papers to publish your research findings or analysis in academic journals, conference proceedings, or other scholarly publications.
  • Grants and Funding : If you are applying for grants or funding to support your research or academic work, you may be required to submit scholarly papers as part of your application.
  • Professional Development : Writing scholarly papers can help you develop your writing and research skills, and can also help you build your reputation as an expert in your field.

Advantages of Scholarly Paper

Some Advantages of Scholarly Paper are as follows:

  • Credibility : Scholarly papers are usually written by experts in their respective fields, and the information presented in these papers is rigorously researched, verified, and reviewed by peers. This gives them a high level of credibility and makes them reliable sources of information.
  • Access to new information: Scholarly papers often report on new findings and discoveries in a specific field, making them an important source of new information. Reading these papers can help researchers and professionals stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.
  • In-depth analysis: Scholarly papers typically include a detailed analysis of the research question, methodology, and results. This level of detail helps readers understand the research and its implications more thoroughly.
  • Peer review: Scholarly papers undergo a rigorous peer-review process in which experts in the field review the paper before it is published. This process ensures that the paper meets high standards of quality and accuracy.
  • Citation: Scholarly papers are often cited by other researchers and professionals in the field, which helps to build a body of knowledge and establish the author’s expertise.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like


Physicist – Definition, Types and Work Area


Researcher – How to become a Researcher

What is Chemistry

What is Chemistry – Definition, Types, Methods


Economist – Definition, Types, Work Area

What is Political Science

What is Political Science -Definition and Types


Idea – Definition, Types and Examples

scholarly essay meaning

How to Write an Academic Essay: Guide and Tips

scholarly essay meaning

A large portion of university and high school education is based on writing academic essays. They are most effective at demonstrating students’ knowledge of a subject and showcasing their abilities to gather and present information and data. In this guide from our essay writing service , we are going to explain to you how to write an excellent academic essay and show you the different types you can choose from.

What Is an Academic Essay?

In a nutshell, an academic essay is a structured form of writing students face in school, college, and university as a part of their curricula. The most common purposes of such writing are to either present some new pieces of information or to use existing facts and knowledge to deliver specific ideas. This type of assignment allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and creativity and encourages them to develop their ideas to communicate a message.

Get Your Academic Essay Written!

Simply send us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll get it done.

Compared to other types of academic writing, essays are usually shorter in length and present the authors’ opinions to support their arguments. Here are some key features of an academic essay for you to keep in mind:

  • Conciseness — as a rule, essays are short; the length of such papers range from 200 to 500 words.
  • Topic — due to their short lengths, a perfect topic for an essay should be narrowed-down and not too broad.
  • Well-structured text — although essays can be considered as one of the least formal types of writing, they still need to have a solid structure and follow the proper academic paper format.
  • Clear central idea — every academic essay should deliver a specific point that should be clear and powerful (i.e. thesis statement).
  • Personal motivation — unlike other types of writing, essays often imply that their authors are personally interested in the subjects they are discussing.
  • Supporting facts, evidence, and examples — although essays may present an author’s personal beliefs and ideas, they should also provide arguments that support those ideas.

It helps to develop your academic writing skills early—as they are skills you will carry forward throughout your studies and lifetime. People who are good at writing academic essays also tend to be able to articulate themselves more clearly, and tend to have more confidence when speaking.

To fully understand how and when to use an academic essay, our custom writing service will describe the main types of them for you.

Academic Essay Example

Here is a perfect academic essay example from our research paper writer .

Types of Academic Essays

Academic writing can be categorized into four main types of essays that serve unique purposes—though some share similar structures. With that being said, the four types of academic papers are narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive.

Expository and persuasive types are most commonly seen in university curriculums as they are more scientific and objective. Narrative and descriptive essays are more subjective and engage your creativity. Now, let’s break down each type and look at each academic essay definition.

Narrative Essay

This type of writing requires the author to create a compelling story of practically anything imaginable. In other words, it is a super-condensed version of a novel. This type of essay requires students to demonstrate their creative abilities. Therefore, it implies the constant use of strong adjectives. Their use will help the author of an essay to create a strong, graphic picture for their story and enhance the audience's perception of the topic. Although telling a compelling story is basically the main purpose of this type of essay, there is much more to it than there seems. A well-written narration should also have a point that is “written between the lines”. Simply put, there should be a clear message delivered through the text. By putting a hidden message between the lines, you motivate the reader to read the paper in its entirety as it sparks their curiosity.

Read more about how to write a narrative essay .

Descriptive Essay

In short, in this type of essay, the author chooses a specific thing, experience, emotion, or idea and describes it for the reader. Just like with narrative writing, this style requires the author to be subjective and creative. And, just like a narrative essay, the author is meant to draw a picture in the audience’s eyes. Another key to success in writing a descriptive essay is carefully selecting words. Such a paper should evoke certain emotions in the reader and connect them to the object of discussion. Finally, the paper should describe the subject in simple terms. When the reader understands the subject well after reading an essay - that’s when you know you have written a stellar descriptive paper.

Expository Essay

Another type of academic writing — an expository essay is used to help readers understand subject matter by providing grounded information and facts. This type of writing requires its author to support all of the information included in the paper with valid evidence. An expository paper is no place for opinions or personal views on a subject. A quality paper should use analysis that consists of factual information on its subject. The author's key goal is to inform and educate the audience through clear logic and facts. Just to give you an example, this “How to Write an Academic Essay” article can be considered as expository writing.

Persuasive Essay

Writing a persuasive paper requires one to embrace the role of a salesman (or saleswoman). You can state an opinion, project, or idea which you then have to sell to your reader(s). The logic behind how you supply the reader(s) with information should be impenetrable, leaving them with no doubt that what you are expressing is the only truth they need to know. Cater your points carefully to avoid being pushy, and hide your sales tactic behind well-thought-out sentences. When it comes to defending an argument, you can use logical tactics, emotional tactics, or a mix of both; this depends on what you are attempting to argue.

Good Academic Essay Topics

Logically, topics will vary based on the style of writing you are creating. Sometimes you can find the same topic within separate academic essay categories, but the main content will always vary depending on the category of paper you write about. That being said, here are some good academic essay topics for high school and college students:

Narrative Essay Topics

  • Describe how you and your family survived the quarantine. Explain how it affected you.
  • Talk about your experience of being engaged in remote learning. How did it affect your grades and overall performance? Do you think that remote education is better or worse than the traditional alternative?
  • Write a story that explains the importance of technology in the modern person’s life.
  • Write a story that explains the value of every person’s contribution to the process of solving the global problem of climate change.

Descriptive Essay Topics

  • Describe a person who has had the biggest impact on your life.
  • What is the most significant recent event in global history?
  • Describe the experience of falling in love. How does it affect one’s personality?
  • Describe the most impactful piece of art or music you have ever seen. What traits do you think define powerful art?

Expository Essay Topics

  • Why does the rate of teen suicides keep increasing? What forces youth to commit suicide?
  • What can each individual do to contribute to the prevention of climate change and reduce the threats it brings with it?
  • What strategies can our society adopt to recover after the global pandemic as quickly and painlessly as possible?
  • George Floyd’s death and the police’s abuse of authority: What can we do to prevent future cases?

Persuasive/Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Should the government make relevant amendments to the constitution to restrict the actions permitted by police officers during arrests?
  • Should we keep on following self-distancing rules even now since the danger has diminished?
  • Gun control: Provide arguments for stricter gun control in the US.
  • Should technology (apart from those devices used for educational purposes) be banned in colleges?

Don't have time to finish reading all of this?

Count on the support of our professional writers. We process all requests fast.

Proper Format for Your Academic Writing

Usually, an academic essay follows the standard 5-paragraph structure: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Moreover, each section will have its own unique internal structure. The introduction’s main goal is to introduce the topic and to reveal the essay’s main message (a.k.a. the thesis statement). The body paragraphs’ primary tasks are to defend the thesis with 3 sub arguments—1 per paragraph. Lastly, the conclusion is there to wrap up the entire argument and to leave a lasting impression in the form of an overall concluding statement. Down below we have presented a graphic organizer that illustrates the breakdown.

academic essay

Need an Essay WRITTEN FAST?

No worries, we've got you covered. Send us your paper requirements and we'll write you an original essay in no time.

Start Off the Writing Process by Creating an Outline

Before commencing any academic writing, you need to create four essential components that need to be answered beforehand. They are the thesis statement, subpoints, a connection, and the summary.

academic essay

  • Thesis Statement: This is the focal point of your writing and one of your introductory paragraphs' key elements.  It is the main message the author is trying to deliver. ‍
  • Body Points (Subpoints): These are the key points or statements that you will use to support your thesis. ‍
  • Connection: When writing an academic essay, it is important to tie it directly or indirectly to the real world. Provide a reason why it is important to you or why it is relevant to society. This will fill your paper with new meaning and showcase your unique way of thinking. ‍
  • Summary: This is a short and strong statement that briefly explains your given points.

You might also be interested in getting more info about HOW TO WRITE AN OUTLINE in MLA and APA styles.

To help you get a better idea of how to shape a perfect outline for your essay, here is a sample outline for a paper written about “Police Brutality and Its Impact on the Society”:

  • Introduction
  • ~ Hook: Statistics show that in 2019 alone, almost two thousand people were killed due to police brutality.
  • ~ Background information and explanation of key terms: The term "police brutality" refers to the excessive, unwarranted, and often illegal use of force by the policemen. Throughout the US, and throughout global history, there have been plenty of cases of fatal force that range from assault to torture, and even murder. Moreover, statistical data indicates that the levels of violent crime in the United State do not determine the rates of police violence. That is why, recently, police brutality has become a real and prevalent issue that is being widely discussed and spotlighted in the media.
  • ~ Thesis statement: The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant impact on how people view their society, and it has to be addressed appropriately to prevent further growth of discontent and violence.
  • ~ Point 1 + example/evidence
  • ~ Point 2 + example/evidence
  • ~ Point 3 + example/evidence
  • ~ Summary of the key points discussed in the main body.
  • ~ Restatement of the thesis statement.
  • ~ A final sentence that leaves readers with more to consider.

Once you have created a proper outline, listed your main points, and collected evidence to support your ideas, it is time to start writing your paper. A lot of people choose to come up with a title before the writing process as it helps them set the mood for their work. Others prefer writing first and then creating a title based on their written information. The second option is more suitable for writing a narrative or descriptive essays, as the title’s meaning could be abstract. However, when it comes to expository and persuasive papers, it is important to set a specific essay title and to follow its general theme.

Introduction: How to Start an Academic Essay

The academic essay format we are talking about in this article is pretty basic. It has been widely used to create high-quality essay examples for university for years. The main reason students still use it is that it is considered to be the most effective in terms of delivering information to the reader.

Where to start: When writing any academic writing assignment, a student should begin by shaping a solid introduction.

Quick tip: If you are not too experienced in writing academic papers, don’t hesitate to find a good academic paper example to give you an idea about how to make a good introduction. Looking at good samples can help to get you going.

A reader’s attention span is at its peak at the very beginning of a paper, when they just start reading, so your introductory paragraph will basically set the tone for the entire academic paper. Luckily, EssayPro can share a few handy and highly effective techniques to help you build a compelling introduction!

First of all, you should begin with a powerful hook. The term “hook” is used to refer to the first sentence of the introduction paragraph—the main purpose of which is to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to read on. To help you get on the right track, here are some of the best tactics for creating a hook that works:

  • Quote: Starting an introduction with a creative and meaningful quote is one of the most popular techniques for introducing a paper. When the quote is chosen right, it can make a powerful impact on a reader and set the right tone for the entire essay. Therefore, quotes often serve as good openers. However, it is vital to pick the right quote that will directly relate to your topic and does not distract your reader from your topic’s main point.
  • Fact: Another common opening technique is to begin an essay with a factual statement or statistic. This is most helpful when writing an expository or persuasive essay, as, in this case, such an opener will add credibility to your paper. Also, starting with a fact will demonstrate that you have researched your topic well.
  • Rhetorical Question: Finally, another way to begin your essay is to start with a rhetorical question. This technique will help you to connect more with your reader(s). A good rhetorical question will stick in your reader's mind as they go through the rest of the paper. However, it is important that you answer the rhetorical question from the introduction in your essay’s body or, at least, guide your audience towards a relevant observation.
Bad Hook Example: “Police brutality must stop.” – This is not intriguing and does not grab the reader’s attention, though it gives the reader an idea of what the essay will be about.
Good Hook Example: “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” – This hook will have a stronger impact on a reader because it is a famous quote from a police-brutality victim. Consequently, it hints on the topic of the essay, but keeps the intrigue.

When you have a powerful hook, it is time to give your readers an insight into the essay's main topic. Since the main theme of the paper may not yet be evidently clear at this point, you need to narrow down your paper’s focus by introducing some valuable contextual background information. Outlining the background data will help readers understand how the topic will unfold throughout the paper. Finally, after you provide the background, it is time to shape your golden sentence (a.k.a. thesis statement).

In a nutshell, the thesis statement is the key theme, idea, or argument of your essay. In other words, it summarizes the entire message you are going to deliver in a single sentence.

Bonus tip: When shaping your thesis statement, do not overload it with unnecessary information. Keep it straight to the point and concise. Remember that the main purposes of this sentence are to lay out the focus of the paper and to introduce the readers to the main ideas you will cover within the body paragraphs.

Bad Thesis Statement Example: “Police violence is bad for society.” – This is too short and does not indicate a solid opinion from the author.
Good Thesis Statement Example: “The unwarranted use of force is a real problem that has a significant influence on society and has to be addressed appropriately to prevent the growth of discontent and violence further.” – This is concise, but detailed enough to let the readers understand the purpose of the writing. It is logical and states the clear position the author supports.

The Main Body

The body paragraphs of your essay will be the source of information for your audience. The main body is always the biggest part of a 5 paragraph assignment and requires the most attention. When writing your body paragraphs, your main points should be stated according to the order of your outline and should support your thesis statement with valid arguments and facts. If you deviate from that, it’s going to confuse the audience, especially those who are very attentive to your essay’s flow.

Here are the main requirements for writing a strong body section:

  • Accuracy : Be cautious with information and do not contradict yourself. Include the relevant subpoints (based on the body paragraphs) you presented in your thesis.
Bad Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) However, according to some sources, Antarctica is now gaining back ice, which indicates that the problem is being resolved. (Point 2)
Good Example: Due to the rapid growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, we can assume that climate change is a real issue. (Point 1) Also, according to scientists and the reports from statistics taken from satellites, Antarctica keeps losing its land ice rapidly, which also indicates continued global warming. (Point 2)
  • Evidence: Every topic or idea you present should be defended with sufficient evidence to accredit your words. Provide details such as facts, statistics, and references.
Bad Example: Global warming is a real threat because of the increase in the carbon footprint left by people.
Good Example: According to the official Nasa report, the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have now almost reached the point of 420 parts per million. This indicator is considerably larger compared to the level of the atmospheric carbon dioxide reported in 1950, which barely reached 320 parts per million. These facts let us conclude that the issue of climate change is now indisputable.
  • Word Choice: Mind your vocabulary, especially when it comes to persuasive or descriptive papers. The words you use should accurately represent your information. Use vivid adjectives and strong adverbs. Some things you want to avoid in terms of word choice are misused words, jargon or technical terms that confuse readers, slang or inappropriate language, cliches, wordiness, etc.
Bad Example: Last but not least, police brutality cases cause society discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence.
Good Example: Lastly, police brutality causes discontent that leads to mass riots and generates even more violence. 
  • Keep It Consistent: A body paragraph should be between 5-7 sentences. Logically, they should all follow a similar structure, with the main difference revolving around the presentation of the subpoint. We always recommend students check out a quality academic writing sample to get a good idea of how the whole piece should look like.

The main body's goal is to answer any questions that have appeared in the reader’s mind after the introduction. Every new point should get the audience closer to understanding the complete concept you deliver throughout your essay. Ideally, your goal is to bring them to the same level of knowledge on the subject as you have in your capacity. After doing so successfully, it is time to transition to the conclusion.

Academic Essay Conclusion

In any assignment you write, you have to start strong and finish even stronger. As you move towards the end of your paper, your reader might not even remember what the first paragraph you wrote was about. Therefore, you have to remind them. Overall, a good essay conclusion is going to include:

  • Summary: A condensed paraphrasing of the information stated in the thesis and the subpoints. (Only if you are writing an expository, descriptive, or persuasive paper)
  • Personal or Social Connection: In other words, why this information is relevant to society. Stating such a connection showcases the general importance of the subject and its modern-day relevance.
  • Overall Concluding Statement: This will normally be the last sentence that serves the purpose of tying a knot around your work. If you have initially started with a rhetorical question, a nice touch would be to give the audience an answer to it here. If you have written a quote, rephrase it in your own words. It is important to leave the audience with a strong statement that will stay in their minds.

Writing Process

The drafting process takes you from a compilation of information to the structured delivery of your idea within your essay. No excellent-quality paper has ever been written in a single draft. The process begins with a rough draft – a stage where you use all of the information you have acquired from your relative outline. From there, you narrow down this information to the most relevant parts that add actual value to your academic essay topic. Every new draft must also rid itself of content problems, structural flaws, or simple typos. The final draft of an essay might end up being drastically smaller than its original draft.

scholarly essay meaning

Word Choice ‍

Word choice is one of the factors that define the quality of an academic essay. It is also often overseeded or neglected. It is no secret that some words are better at communicating ideas than others. It is also no secret that vocabulary plays a big role in the writing process. Focusing on word choice is especially significant in descriptive essay writing when your goal is to paint a picture in a reader’s mind. If you are writing a paper on a specific area of study, it is crucial to use words related to that field and avoid simple neutral words that offer no contribution to the text.

Finalizing the Submission ‍

At this stage of writing, your content should be well polished. After taking your essay through a peer review and/or red pen edits, make sure to:

  • Fix all grammatical mistakes and punctuational errors
  • Finalize your title
  • Add a bibliography if needed (basically, a “references” or “works cited” page that also includes the sources you have used, but weren’t referenced within the text)
  • Make sure your paper meets its specified academic paper formatting requirements.

scholarly essay meaning

If you need dissertation writing help , leave us a message ' rewrite my essay ' or ' buy essay cheap ', and we'll help asap.

We hope we’ve given you a good head start at becoming an expert academic essay writer. Remember, the purpose of an academic essay is to develop your ideas to deliver a message. As a result of getting better at academic essay writing, you will be able to articulate yourselves clearly and be able to write and speak more confidently. Good luck with your assignment!

Want Us to Write Your Academic Paper?

Still aren’t sure if you can handle writing an academic paper all by yourself? No worries, we’ve got you covered! EssayPro has a large pool of professional writers with MA and Ph.D. degrees, and many years of experience in delivering top-quality academic help.

Related Articles

term paper

Writing an A+ Scholarly Paper Step by Step: Tips and Samples

19 October, 2021

13 minutes read

Author:  Josh Carlyle

Writing is an exhausting process that requires immense uninterrupted mental effort. A research paper multiplies this struggle, especially when you have to work against the clock while the deadlines come after you. This time, you will discover how to write a scholarly paper step by step without bashing your head against your desk, hoping to break writer’s block.

Scholarly Paper

What is a Scholarly Paper?

A scholarly paper, aka scientific paper/research or scholarly article, is a piece of academic writing that studies a specific topic and is published in academic journals. As the name suggests, it’s the type of writing researchers, scholars, and all those people from laboratories wearing white coats do.

It sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it? But don’t worry because writing a scholarly paper won’t be as intimidating as it sounds once you read our guide. Now, check what components this paper contains and how to start writing it.

Scholarly Paper Outline

What is a scholarly paper outline? It’s a skeleton of your research that consists of three elements – introduction, body, and conclusion. At the same time, a scholarly paper format contains more sections. It breaks down these three elements into the following subsections:

  • Introduction.
  • Materials and methods – applicable to scientific experiments.
  • Tables and figures.
  • Discussion.
  • Conclusions.
  • References.

Now, which one of these paragraphs is the introduction, body, and conclusion?  Abstract  and  Introduction  should be your introductory paragraphs.

Methods  and  Results  will comprise the body of your scholarly paper. The rest of the sections will summarize and conclude your scientific findings.

You may come up with whatever titles you are comfortable with for these eight sections or add more subsections for better readability. Just make sure the structure of your paper comes in line with these sections.

How to Choose a Topic for a Scholarly Paper?

You may sit tight and spend an hour just thinking about what topic you want to pick for your scholarly paper. If it’s your case, consult your tutor. It doesn’t hurt to ask them.

By doing so, you will show that you want to craft an A+ paper genuinely because you care about the topic. It will also help your tutor feel valued because they’ve made their students interested.

If it doesn’t help, we have a few more topic selection tips that do the trick! Keep reading to check them out.

Aim for Feasible Research

Feasible research means you can fit it into the word count of your scholarly paper. Don’t opt for broad, generalized topics that require decades of research.

For instance, you don’t want to write a research paper about cats. Even at this point, you have probably thought: “What cats?” Yet, it is an excellent question you can use to scale down your topic to something manageable. In this case, a good subject will be something like “measuring the frequency range of sounds cats make.”

Make Sure You’re Not Reinventing the Wheel

Selecting the topic for your paper requires initial research because you would want to conduct an original experiment. So, once you come up with the topic, make sure you’re not going to repeat someone’s experiment step by step or analyze the same thing.

Select Topics Available for Research

Students often overlook the fact that their topics may not be covered well enough. Eventually, they get stuck somewhere amid their paper’s body, unable to go further because nothing is left to write about. Think “magnitude of tectonic activity on Kepler 452-B.” You will hardly find sufficient research on this topic. Consequently, avoid subjects that scientists haven’t researched enough.

Get Inspiration from Google

Lastly, you can search for several scholarly paper topics on the Internet and then dig deeper into one you like. It will help you break the writer’s block as you can always stumble upon a worthy idea on the topic listings.

How to Write a Scholarly Paper Step by Step?

While structurally your paper starts with the abstract, you should begin from a different angle. So check how to start and finish your scholarly essay like a pro below.

How to Start a Scholarly Paper?

You want to start your scholarly article with research. Find as many related studies as possible. Make sure you can easily access them while writing your paper. For instance, save links to the studies in Excel or Google Spreadsheets.

By reading studies, web articles, forums, etc., you will figure out the points to uncover within your research paper. Once you get a clearer picture of your topic, you should define the main idea of your essay using a thesis statement.

How to Come Up with the Thesis Statement for Your Scholarly Paper

Let’s assume you will write about the vocal range of cats. Your thesis statement should be clear, concise, and refer to the point of your research.

It should read like this: “This paper classifies the vocal range of 40 feline species by frequency.” As you see, this thesis statement is super-clear, and it explains what kind of research you conducted.

By the way, scholars published  similar research  in the Journal of Veterinary Science, which is an international, peer-reviewed publication. So feel free to check their thesis statement:

How to End a Scholarly Paper?

While both the discussion and conclusion parts of the research paper are concluding paragraphs, researchers may use them differently.

They break the concluding parts of their studies into Discussion and Conclusion . It’s because summarizing the findings of voluminous studies takes a lot of space, and separating the summaries helps achieve higher readability.

In the discussion part, you can condense your findings and answer the primary questions of your research. Let’s recall cat purrs once again. You will have to write the discussion section following this direction:

“The paper discovered that cat species produce X number of vocal signals – meows, howls, gurgles, hisses, growls, purrs, etc. Domestic cats’ howls are 600-700 Hz, while larger cats produce the same signals at lower frequencies.”

The conclusion part summarizes discussions, provides context for further research, and wraps up the whole paper. Sounds a bit unclear? Don’t worry, since now you will learn the anatomy of each section of the scholarly paper.

How to Structure a Scholarly Paper?

Scholarly paper abstract.

An abstract is a summary of your paper as a whole. It’s not merely an introduction, although it counts as an introductory part of your paper.

To write a standardized abstract, you should treat it as a standalone mini version of your paper. Given that, this piece should include these mini sections:

  • Introduction. A couple of sentences that provide background for the discussed topic.
  • Body. A summary of the main findings.
  • Conclusion. One or two wrapping sentences to show the significance of the research and its implications.

Scholarly Paper Introduction

The introduction of the scholarly research paper should consist of the following elements:

Background Information

Start your introduction with the background information that introduces the topic of your research. Let’s assume your topic is a novel treatment of cancer. To deliver context to your topic, show its significance and relevance by adding credible cancer statistics.

Previous Research

The introduction of your scholarly essay or paper should also mention previous research conducted on the described topic. It will also add weight and value to your work, as it tells the reader that the subject receives plenty of scholarly attention.

Thesis Statement

Once you explain the background of your topic to your readers, it’s high time to write about procedures and experiments you did within your research paper. That is where your thesis statement comes into place.

Scholarly Paper Body

Scholars use the TEECL approach when writing content for their studies. Here is what TEECL stands for:

  • Topic sentence. It’s the main idea of your paragraph. For example: “ insects are small .”
  • Explanation. It’s time to explain why your topic sentence is relevant. “ Insects are small because they utilize diffusion to supply oxygen to their cells.”
  • Evidence. “ Instead of lungs, insects have small tubes inside their bellies meant to suck oxygen through diffusion.”
  • Comment. In this part, you explain why your explanations and arguments are valid. “ Diffusion doesn’t work well on a bigger scale. If we make an insect two times bigger, the tubes will be too long to provide enough oxygen to the larger body.”
  • Link. It’s a small conclusion that also refers your reader to further body paragraphs . “Insects are small because their breathing systems don’t allow them to grow any larger. But ancient insects are a whole different story.”

Scholarly Paper Conclusion

The research paper conclusion also has several elements:

  • The restated and reevaluated thesis statement. It means you should not only rephrase the thesis statement but also look at the problem from a new angle, considering all the research you have done.
  • Summary of the main findings.
  • The final word. You have to explain why your research matters, why it’s helpful for the subject you’re studying, and how other researchers can benefit from your study.

Scholarly Papers Examples

Check these scholarly papers examples to see how their sections look like together:

  • A study on CRISPR-Cas.
  • A research paper about genes.
  • An article about fibromyalgia.

Scholarly Papers Writing Tips

Check these three pro tips for writing top-notch scholarly essays and papers to make sure your work brings you the top grade:

Keep in Mind the Academic Language Rules

Here is general advice for getting your writing to the academic standard:

  • Don’t use contractions – don’t, isn’t, won’t, etc.
  • Exclude colloquial language – slang, phrasal verbs, and proverbs.
  • Exclude unsupported claims – always provide evidence for your arguments.
  • Avoid personal pronouns.

Don’t Complicate Your Academic Language

The academic language implies that you use unbiased and concise phrasing. But students and experienced researchers alike sometimes try to sound smarter by complicating their writing pieces with:

Excessive nominalizations

“The unnecessary complication of the language is achieved through the frequent usage of nominalizations.” This statement sounds scientific, but it’s barely readable. So use more active verbs instead of derivative nouns. For instance: “Nominalizations make the language unnecessarily complicated.”

Too Much Passive Voice

“The scholarly paper on cat vocalization is meant to demonstrate that the range of feline vocal signals is produced at the frequency of 600-700 Hz.” You can rephrase this sentence with this one to simplify it: “The scholarly paper on cat vocalization demonstrates that cats vocalize at frequencies between 600 Hz and 700 Hz.”

Filler words

“The intention to write a scholarly paper led me to the engagement in this helpful article.” You can easily replace this passage with a much simpler and shorter alternative: “I read this article because I wanted to get an A for my scholarly paper.”

Writing Tools Are a Must

Grammar checkers, readability enhancers, and citation machines are an absolute necessity for academics, students, and independent researchers.

These tools will help you save two or even four hours of editing on average since they quickly spot and even autocorrect most typos and grammatical errors. So, you can use these three tools to submit professional scholarly papers:

  • Grammarly.  It’s the number one grammar checker used by 30 million people.
  • Hemingway App . It’s a helpful tool for improving readability.
  • Citation Machine . This tool will help you create bibliography pages in a few clicks.

Writing Help by Handmadewriting

Now, you can write a high-class scholarly paper. You will do it much faster now that you’ve learned what scholarly paper outline to use, how to select the topic, and how to start writing this piece. Yet, it might still be a struggle though. Thus, if you have no time for this task or English is your second language, you can always ask professional academic essay writers at Handmadewriting for help.

Best Essay Writing Services

Best Essay Writing Services 2023

Student life can often be quite challenging because students have to deal with challenging college essay writing assignments. To facilitate the learning process, many services help you complete written work and get high scores. Now we will tell you about the best services that you can turn to and get high-quality papers. Essay Writing Service […]

A life lesson in Romeo and Juliet taught by death

A life lesson in Romeo and Juliet taught by death

Due to human nature, we draw conclusions only when life gives us a lesson since the experience of others is not so effective and powerful. Therefore, when analyzing and sorting out common problems we face, we may trace a parallel with well-known book characters or real historical figures. Moreover, we often compare our situations with […]

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Writing a research paper on ethics is not an easy task, especially if you do not possess excellent writing skills and do not like to contemplate controversial questions. But an ethics course is obligatory in all higher education institutions, and students have to look for a way out and be creative. When you find an […]

Detail of a painting depicting the landscape of New Mexico with mountains in the distance

Explore millions of high-quality primary sources and images from around the world, including artworks, maps, photographs, and more.

Explore migration issues through a variety of media types

  • Part of The Streets are Talking: Public Forms of Creative Expression from Around the World
  • Part of The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 34, No. 1 (Winter 2020)
  • Part of Cato Institute (Aug. 3, 2021)
  • Part of University of California Press
  • Part of Open: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
  • Part of Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1 (Winter 2012)
  • Part of R Street Institute (Nov. 1, 2020)
  • Part of Leuven University Press
  • Part of UN Secretary-General Papers: Ban Ki-moon (2007-2016)
  • Part of Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 12, No. 4 (August 2018)
  • Part of Leveraging Lives: Serbia and Illegal Tunisian Migration to Europe, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Mar. 1, 2023)
  • Part of UCL Press

Harness the power of visual materials—explore more than 3 million images now on JSTOR.

Enhance your scholarly research with underground newspapers, magazines, and journals.

Explore collections in the arts, sciences, and literature from the world’s leading museums, archives, and scholars.

  • Utility Menu

University Logo

GA4 tracking code

scholarly essay meaning

  • Questions about Expos?
  • Writing Support for Instructors

Summary is indispensable in preparing for and writing an argumentative essay. When you summarize a text (or describe visual material), you distill the ideas of another source for use in your own essay. Summarizing primary sources allows you to keep track of your observations. It helps make your analysis of these sources convincing, because it is based on careful observation of fact rather than on hazy or inaccurate recollection. Summarizing critical sources is particularly useful during the research and note-taking stages of writing. It gives you a record of what you've read and helps you distinguish your ideas from those of your sources.

Summaries you write to prepare for an essay will generally be longer and more detailed than those you include in the essay itself. (Only when you've established your thesis will you know the elements most important to retain.) It is crucial to remember, though, that the purpose of an analytical essay is only partly to demonstrate that you know and can summarize the work of others. The greater task is to showcase your ideas, your analysis of the source material. Thus all forms of summary (there are several) should be tools in your essay rather than its entirety.

True Summary

 True summary always concisely recaps the main point and key supporting points of an analytical source, the overall arc and most important turns of a narrative, or the main subject and key features of a visual source. True summary neither quotes nor judges the source, concentrating instead on giving a fair picture of it. True summary may also outline past work done in a field; it sums up the history of that work as a narrative. Consider including true summary—often just a few sentences, rarely more than a paragraph—in your essay when you introduce a new source. That way, you inform your readers of an author's argument before you analyze it.

 Immediately after his introduction to an essay on Whittaker Chambers, a key player in the start of the Cold War, Bradley Nash included four sentences summarizing the foreword to his main source, Chambers's autobiography. Nash characterizes the genre and tone of the foreword in the first two sentences before swiftly describing, in the next two, the movement of its ideas:

The foreword to Chambers's autobiography is written in the form of "A Letter to My Children." In this introduction, Chambers establishes the spiritual tone that dominates the body of his book. He initially characterizes the Cold War in a more or less standard fashion, invoking the language of politics and describing the conflict as one between "Communism and Freedom." But as the foreword progresses, Chambers introduces a religious element that serves to cast the struggle between communism and capitalism as a kind of holy war.

 Every essay also requires snippets of true summary along the way to "orient" readers—to introduce them to characters or critics they haven't yet met, to remind them of items they need to recall to understand your point. (The underlined phrase in the paragraph introducing Nash's summary is an example of orienting information.) True summary is also necessary to establish a context for your claims, the frame of reference you create in your introduction. An essay examining the "usable past" created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, for example, might begin by briefly summarizing the history of the idea of a usable past, or by summarizing the view of a leading theorist on the topic. 

Interpretive Summary

 Sometimes your essays will call for interpretive summary—summary or description that simultaneously informs your reader of the content of your source and makes a point about it.  Interpretive summary differs from true summary by putting a "spin" on the materials, giving the reader hints about your assessment of the source. It is thus best suited to descriptions of primary sources that you plan to analyze. (If you put an interpretive spin on a critical source when you initially address it, you risk distorting it in the eyes of your reader: a form of academic dishonesty.) 

 The interpretive summary below comes from an essay examining a Civil War photograph in light of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The essayist, Dara Horn, knew she needed to describe the photo but that simply "walking through" its details would bewilder and bore her readers. So she revealed the point of her description in a pair of topic sentences (solid underline), summarized the details of the photo (double underline), and gave the description some interpretive "spin" (throughout).

 As skeptical moderns, we often have trouble accepting drawings or paintings as historical records, but we tend to believe in photographs the way that we believe in mirrors; we simply accept them as the truth. Alexander Gardner's photograph  Trossel's House, Battle-Field of Gettysburg, July, 1863   might therefore be viewed as evidence rather than commentary. Unlike some of Gardner's other "sketches," this picture includes no perfectly positioned rifles, no artistically angled river, no well-posed men in uniform—indeed, no people at all. The photograph's composition could barely be more prosaic; the horizon slashes the picture in half, and the subject, a white colonial-style house, sits smack in the center. Yet this straightforward, almost innocent perspective sets the viewer up for the photograph's stealthy horror. At first glance, the photograph appears to be a portrait of a house, perhaps even a poor portrait of a house; in a Òsketch bookÓ of war, one might flip right by it to the gory pictures before and after. But the terror in this photograph lies in its delayed shock, the gut-wrenching surprise when the light on the house leads the eye to the light on the fence and the viewer notices that the backyard fence is broken, and then thatthe backyard is a mess, littered with—what are those?—horses, dead horses, twelve dead horses. What must have happened to topple twelve nine-hundred-pound horses, and where are the people who rode them? Crushed underneath? The viewer doesn't know, because Gardner's picture doesn't tell us. All we see is a house, a broken fence, twelve dead horses, and an empty sky.  

Some Cautions

 Remember that an essay that argues (rather than simply describes) uses summary only sparingly, to remind readers periodically of crucial points. Summary should always help build your argument. When teachers write "too much summary—more analysis needed" in the margin, generally they mean that the essay reports what you've studied rather than argues something about it. Two linked problems give rise to this situation. The first is a thesis that isn't really a thesis but rather a statement of something obvious about your subject—a description. (The obvious cannot be argued.) A statement of the obvious tends to force further description, which leads to the second problem, a structure that either follows the chronology of the source text from beginning to end or simply lists examples from the source. Neither approach builds an argument.

  Copyright 2000, Elizabeth Abrams, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

  • Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
  • Asking Analytical Questions
  • Introductions
  • What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
  • Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
  • Transitions
  • Tips for Organizing Your Essay
  • Counterargument
  • Conclusions
  • Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
  • Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

Quick Links

  • Schedule an Appointment
  • English Grammar and Language Tutor
  • Harvard Guide to Using Sources
  • Departmental Writing Fellows
  • Writing Advice: The Harvard Writing Tutor Blog

Have a language expert improve your writing

Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes, generate your apa citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • College essay
  • How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example

How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example

Published on October 11, 2021 by Kirsten Courault . Revised on May 31, 2023.

A good scholarship essay demonstrates the scholarship organization’s values while directly addressing the prompt. If you plan ahead , you can save time by writing one essay for multiple prompts with similar questions.

Table of contents

Apply for a wide variety of scholarships, make a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, tailor your essay to the organization and the prompt, write a focused and relevant personal story, scholarship essay example, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about college application essays.

Scholarships are a type of student financial aid that don’t require repayment. They are awarded based on various factors, including academic merit, financial need, intended major, personal background, or activities and interests.

Like college applications, scholarship applications often require students to submit their grades, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and an essay.

A scholarship essay shares your values and qualities in the context of a specific question, such as “How does technology affect your daily life?” or “Who has had the greatest impact on your life?”

Be wary of scholarship scams

While some applications may not require an essay, be wary of scholarship scams that do the following:

  • Guarantee you scholarship money for a fee
  • Claim scholarship information is exclusive to their company
  • Ask for your bank or credit card information to hold the scholarship

Some legitimate companies do charge for releasing comprehensive scholarship lists or creating a tailored list of scholarship opportunities based on your profile.

However, you can always discover scholarship opportunities for free through your school counselor, community network, or an online search.

Many students focus on well-known, large scholarship opportunities, which are usually very competitive. To maximize your chance of success, invest time in applying for a wide variety of scholarships: national and local, as well as big and small award amounts. There are also scholarships for international students .

In addition to charitable foundation and corporate scholarships, you should consider applying for institutional scholarships at your prospective universities, which can award money based on your application’s strength, your financial situation, and your demonstrated interest in the school.

Check with your guidance counselor, local organizations, community network, or prospective schools’ financial aid offices for scholarship opportunities. It’s a good idea to start applying as early as your junior year and continue throughout your senior year.

Choose the right scholarships for you

Choose scholarships with missions and essay topics that match your background, experiences, and interests. If the scholarship topic is meaningful to you, it will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay.

Don’t shy away from applying for local scholarships with small dollar amounts. Even a few hundred dollars can help you pay for books.

Local scholarships may be more tailored to your community, background, and activities, so they’re likely more relevant to you. Fewer students apply for these scholarships, so you have less competition and a higher chance of success.

Some places to look for local scholarships include

  • Civic organizations, such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc.
  • Your church, mosque, synagogue, or place of worship
  • Community groups, such as the YMCA
  • Ethnicity-based organizations
  • Your local library or local small businesses
  • Organizations related to your intended major
  • Your city or town
  • Your school district
  • Unions, such as SEIU, the Teamsters, CWA, etc.
  • Your employer or your parents’ employers
  • Banks, credit unions, and local financial institutions

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

While researching scholarship opportunities, create a scholarship tracker spreadsheet to keep track of the following:

  • Scholarship amounts
  • Required application materials

You can use our free Google Sheets template to track your scholarship applications.

Scholarship application tracker template

You can also include scholarship essay prompts in your college essay tracker sheet . By grouping or color-code overlapping essay prompts, you can plan to write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can also reuse or adapt your main college essay .

Even if you’re adapting another essay, it’s important to make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, stays within the word count limit , and demonstrates the organization’s values. The scholarship committee will be able to tell if you reuse an essay that doesn’t quite respond to the prompt, so be sure to tailor it to the questions asked.

Research each organization

Before writing, research the scholarship organization’s mission and reason for awarding the scholarship. Learning more about the organization can help you select an appropriate topic and relevant story.

While you should tailor your essay to the organization’s values, maintain your authentic voice. Never use false or exaggerated stories. If the organization’s values don’t align with yours or you can’t brainstorm a relevant story for the scholarship, continue searching for other scholarship opportunities to find a more appropriate one for you.

After researching the organization, identify a specific personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies why you will be a successful student.

Choose a story with the following criteria:

  • Responds to the prompt
  • Demonstrates the organization’s values
  • Includes an authentic story
  • Focuses on you and your experience, not someone else’s

A good scholarship essay is not

  • A resume of your achievements
  • A lengthy opinion piece about the essay topic
  • An essay featuring a negative tone that puts down others

If appropriate, you can briefly address how the scholarship money will help you achieve your educational goals. You should also end with a brief thank-you.

Take a look at the full essay example below. Hover over the underlined parts to read explanations of why they work.

Prompt: Describe how working for Chelsea’s Chicken restaurant has developed leadership skills that will help you succeed in college. Give specific examples of leadership characteristics that you have exhibited during your employment with us.

As a nervous 16-year-old, I walked into Chelsea’s Chicken for my first day of work determined to make enough money to put gas in my car and buy pizza on the weekends. My only previous job was mowing my neighbors’ lawns when they were on vacation, so I had no idea what to expect. I was a bit intimidated by my new responsibilities, especially handling money and helping disgruntled customers.

However, it didn’t take me long to learn my way around the cash register and successfully address customer complaints. One day, Roger, the store manager, asked me if I wanted to join Chelsea’s Chicken Leadership Training Initiative. He said he saw leadership potential in me because of my attitude with the customers and my enthusiasm for learning new job responsibilities. It surprised me because I had never thought of myself as a leader, but I quickly agreed, and Roger handed me a three-ring binder that was thicker than my math and science textbooks put together! He told me to take it home and read over it during the following week.

In that binder, I discovered that being a leader means taking the initiative, especially when the job is undesirable. One week later, I got to practice that idea when a little kid threw up in the bathroom and missed the toilet. It smelled terrible, but I stepped forward and told Roger that I would clean it up. My coworkers thought I was crazy, but I started to believe in my leadership potential.

That night as we closed the store, Roger pulled me aside in the parking lot and told me that he could tell that I had been studying the manual. He wanted to give me more responsibility, along with a dollar-per-hour pay raise. I was surprised because I had been working there for only a couple of months, but his encouragement helped me make a connection: good leadership helps other people, and it often is rewarded. I was determined to experience more of both.

Within a month, I was ready to take the Team Leader exam, which mattered because I would receive a promotion and a much bigger raise if I passed. But, when I got to work, two of the scheduled team members had called in sick. We were noticeably short-handed, and our customers weren’t happy about it.

I walked back to the lockers, put on my vest and hat, and took my place behind an open register. Customers immediately moved into my line to place their orders. Roger looked at me with surprise and asked, “Did you forget that you’re testing tonight?” I responded, “No, sir—but what’s the use of taking a leadership test if you aren’t going to lead in real life?” Roger smiled at me and nodded.

He stayed late that night after we closed so that I could leave early and still take the test. I noticed that Roger was always staying late, helping employees learn new skills. His example taught me that leaders take the initiative to develop other leaders. He gave me a clear picture of what shared leadership looks like, making room for others to grow and excel. When I asked him where he learned to do that, he said, “From the same leadership manual I gave you!”

Chelsea’s Chicken has offered me so much more than a paycheck. Because of Roger’s example, I have learned to take the initiative to care for my family and friends, such as being the first to do the dishes without my mom asking or volunteering to pick up my friend for our SAT prep course. Now, as I prepare to enter college, I have confidence in my leadership ability. I know I’m signing up for a challenging major—Biology, Pre-Med—yet I also know that Chelsea’s Chicken has helped me to develop the perseverance required to complete my studies successfully.

If you want to know more about academic writing , effective communication , or parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

Academic writing

  • Writing process
  • Transition words
  • Passive voice
  • Paraphrasing


  • How to end an email
  • Ms, mrs, miss
  • How to start an email
  • I hope this email finds you well
  • Hope you are doing well

 Parts of speech

  • Personal pronouns
  • Conjunctions

A scholarship essay requires you to demonstrate your values and qualities while answering the prompt’s specific question.

After researching the scholarship organization, identify a personal experience that embodies its values and exemplifies how you will be a successful student.

Invest time in applying for various scholarships , especially local ones with small dollar amounts, which are likely easier to win and more reflective of your background and interests. It will be easier for you to write an authentic and compelling essay if the scholarship topic is meaningful to you.

You can find scholarships through your school counselor, community network, or an internet search.

You can start applying for scholarships as early as your junior year. Continue applying throughout your senior year.

Yes, but make sure your essay directly addresses the prompt, respects the word count , and demonstrates the organization’s values.

If you plan ahead, you can save time by writing one scholarship essay for multiple prompts with similar questions. In a scholarship tracker spreadsheet, you can group or color-code overlapping essay prompts; then, write a single essay for multiple scholarships. Sometimes, you can even reuse or adapt your main college essay .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Courault, K. (2023, May 31). How to Write a Scholarship Essay | Template & Example. Scribbr. Retrieved August 30, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/college-essay/scholarship-essay/

Is this article helpful?

Kirsten Courault

Kirsten Courault

Other students also liked, how to apply for college | timeline, templates & checklist, how to research and write a "why this college" essay, us college essay tips for international students.

  • Pop culture
  • Writing tips
  • Daily Crossword
  • Word Puzzle
  • Word Finder
  • Word of the Day
  • Synonym of the Day
  • Word of the Year
  • Language stories
  • All featured
  • Gender and sexuality
  • All pop culture
  • Grammar Coach TM
  • Writing hub
  • Grammar essentials
  • Commonly confused
  • All writing tips

of, like, or befitting a scholar : scholarly habits.

having the qualities of a scholar : a scholarly person.

concerned with academic learning and research.

like a scholar .

Origin of scholarly

Other words from scholarly.

  • schol·ar·li·ness, noun
  • pseu·do·schol·ar·ly, adjective
  • qua·si-schol·ar·ly, adjective
  • su·per·schol·ar·ly, adjective
  • un·schol·ar·ly, adjective

Words Nearby scholarly

  • Schofield Barracks
  • schola cantorum
  • scholarship
  • scholar's mate
  • Scholastic Aptitude Test
  • scholasticate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scholarly in a sentence

Her work is dedicated to encouraging the application of scholarly knowledge to important societal problems.

The group also began a crowdsourced “syllabus” covering scholarly and creative writings addressing all things pandemic.

A year ago, my daily reading was largely determined by what curators considered to be important and relevant, catalogue essays and scholarly articles related to upcoming exhibitions.

Her mother completed high school and encouraged Ginsburg to be independent and scholarly .

Calabi and Yau would have had more right than anyone to interject and suggest something else, but as Yau tells it, they were both proud and happy to watch their names spread together through scholarly publications and through popular culture.

In the meantime, much of the book is already available online, and scholarly criticism has already started to trickle in.

Most notably written about by Dr. Gillian Frank in this scholarly retrospective.

For thousands of years, people have had scholarly debates about what constitutes beauty.

The released photos of Kim Jong-un as a scholarly , military-minded youth reinforce this ideology.

Yet, once again, the broader scholarly community has been less enthusiastic about the discovery.

His scholarly and linguistic attainments and his varied travels, fitted him well for the task.

He had scholarly tastes and business ability in pretty equal parts.

Poetry was scarce but many scholarly articles, often historically inclined, were written.

Men of refinement and high culture adopted it rather as an article of scholarly adornment.

This is the best account of the treasures of the buried city that has appeared in English, at once interesting and scholarly .

Scholarship Essay Writing

Cathy A.

A Complete Guide to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay

11 min read

Published on: Mar 6, 2019

Last updated on: Dec 28, 2022

scholarship essay writing

On This Page On This Page

What is a Scholarship Essay?

A scholarship essay that you write to the committee members describing why you deserve the financial aid. It is written to persuade the admission officers committee. Moreover, such an essay gets submitted along with the scholarship application.

A good scholarship essay reveals your personality and ability on which the committee grants you the scholarship. Similarly,  writing an essay about career goals  will also state the objectives you want to achieve.

Thus, this essay is your only chance to prove yourself as the right candidate to receive local scholarships.

Moreover, these scholarships are usually offered by individual organizations. They aim to provide financial help for supporting education. Therefore, such essays should include the writer’s beliefs that align with the interest of the organization.

On the other hand, they are also referred to as scholarship application essays. Also, having perfect writing skills is very important to make your essay stand out.

It is important to know that the personal statement and scholarship essay are two different things. It contains some similarities while writing. However, you cannot call your statement a scholarship essay.

A  personal statement  is written while applying to a college or any other institute. It may or may not be a scholarship essay.

Difference Between Scholarship Essays and College Application Essays

Both the scholarship and  college application essay  describes the student’s personality, opinions, and beliefs. However, they are also different in the following ways.

  • The purpose of the college application essay is to reflect the individual’s personality. However, a scholarship essay includes the interests of the organization that offers a scholarship.
  • Moreover, the length of a scholarship essay is usually less than 500 words. But college essays can exceed up to 650 words.
  • Prompts for college application essays are broader in contrast to scholarship essay prompts.

Scholarship Essay Format

A standard  scholarship essay format  follows the below-given pattern.

  • Font can be Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, and Verdana
  • Font size must be between 10 to 12pt
  • Use 1.5 or double line spacing
  • There should be an indent before each new paragraph
  • Margin size should be one inch on all sides
  • Long scholarship essays must include your last name and page numbers on the top left corner.

Formatting the essay shows the committee that you have understood and follow the proper instructions. No matter how great the content of your essay is, it is of no importance unless you format it correctly. Thus, it plays a vital role in drafting a perfect scholarship essay.

How Long Should a Scholarship Essay Be?

Usually, the length for a scholarship essay is 450-500 words. This is the standard word count that helps the committee members to review thousands of applications on the same topic.

How to Start a Scholarship Essay?

Follow the below-mentioned steps to start a scholarship essay perfectly.

1. Plan Your Essay

The first thing is to make sure that you are not writing the essay in a hurry. Give your essay the required time to make it the best. Waiting for the last minute to draft an essay will surely affect the quality. Thus, it is better to plan your essay.

Create a calendar containing the deadlines and requirements of your scholarship essay. It will help you make sure to have enough time for brainstorming and proofreading the essay.

2. Know Your Target Audience

Know your target audience before starting writing. Here, your audience is a scholarship committee. To produce an amazing scholarship essay, understand what they are looking for in an essay. Also, find out their expectations of an ideal candidate and make sure you fit into that picture.

However, do not sacrifice your voice and personality to cater to their expectations. Instead, focus on your strengths and modify them to become the ideal applicant.

Furthermore, make a list of keywords and important points that you want to include in your essay.

3. Read the Scholarship Essay Prompts Carefully

The foremost step before starting an essay is to read the essay prompts carefully. Moreover, it also requires the candidate to follow the correct scholarship essay format and word count. Also, double-check to make sure that you are responding to all the parts of the prompt thoroughly.

4. Choose a Topic of Your Interest

Try to choose a topic of interest instead of a topic you feel you should write about. This will reflect your personality and excitement in your writing piece. Similarly, choosing a topic that bores you will likely bore the audience as well.

5. Consider Reusing an Existing Essay

Some scholarship essays use the same essay prompt. Similarly, they also have questions that can be answered in the same way. Therefore, you can reuse an existing essay to write a new one.

How to Write a Scholarship Essay?

To write an exceptional scholarship essay, follow the simple steps given below.

  • Consider the Essay Questions

The first important step in writing a scholarship essay is to consider the following questions.

  • Why are you applying for a specific scholarship?
  • What makes you an ideal applicant among others?
  • How do your beliefs and passion align with the organization’s interests?
  • What are your career goals, and how are you planning to achieve them?
  • What possible contributions will you make in the chosen field?
  • What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your life?
  • How did you overcome the challenges, and what lessons have you learned from them?
  • What are your strengths?

The next step is to develop an outline for your scholarship essay. Make sure to arrange and design it in a way that is simple yet effective to the judges.

The following is the basic outline structure of a scholarship essay.

  • Scholarship Essay Introduction

The introduction of your writing decides whether the essay is worth reading or not. Thus, it should be very strong and convincing to make the committee stick to your essay.

The main purpose of the introduction is to give a quick preview of what your essay is about and why it is worth it.

The very first thing is to state your name and the place you are applying to. Next, choose a powerful hook to engage the admission officers. It must be followed by a sentence that gives the reader something to look for.

There should be unanswered questions to make them curious. But, in return, they have to continue reading to find the answers.

Moreover, other tips for writing a compelling introduction paragraph are as follows:

  • Try to keep it precise and clear.
  • Follow your hook with a strong thesis statement.
  • Provide relevant background for the chosen topic.
  • Try to avoid clichés.
  • Convince the audience that your writing piece is worth reading.
  • Scholarship Essay Body Paragraphs

The main body is the longest section of your scholarship essay. It must include all the information and answers that the scholarship committee is looking for. Discuss the following essential elements to draft the body paragraphs.

  • Obstacles -  Mention the challenges of your life, and discuss how you overcome those challenges. It will give a dimension and meaning to your essay. Similarly, it is beneficial for the writer to connect with the audience emotionally and sensibly.
  • Achievements, Strengths, and Motivations -  Focus on your achievements and strengths that helped you deal with your life’s obstacles. Also, mention the motivations that encouraged you to work harder.
  • Educational and Career Goals -  Briefly write about your current educational goals, college, field of study, long-term career goals, degree, etc. Then, discuss why you need financial aid and how it will help towards your goals.
  • Real-Life Experiences -  Add real-life examples and experiences to make your essay attractive. Present any relevant, inspirational incidents well. Moreover, if you are stating facts, quote them in the light of real-world situations and your personal experiences.
  • The Tone of Your Essay -  Writing a scholarship essay requires you to present your perspectives and ideas. Therefore, try to keep your tone positive and inspirational. Also, mold your stories and incidents into learning experiences for others.
  • Scholarship Essay Conclusion

Conclude your essay in a manner that will leave a mark on your readers. For example, do not repeat the information that you have provided in the body paragraphs. Instead, highlight the need for financial aid and your ability to use it in the best possible way.

Also, discuss what lesson you have learned from your weaknesses and past experiences. Then, explain how they have helped in your personal growth.

Similarly, you can also review and restate your introduction to your conclusion. Again, it is an effective approach to make the reader feel more connected.

Scholarship Essay Outline - Template

After developing a detailed outline, start writing your essay. Make sure to follow the proper outline format and cover all the key ideas. Focus on meeting the instructed word count. Also, try to be concise and to the point.

Ensure that the scholarship essay sounds like your voice and answers the essay prompts correctly.

Take a break after completing your rough draft. Then, use the fresh mind to rewrite your sentences to make them perfect.

After finishing the writing process, check and proofread your essay thoroughly. Go through it several times and look out for any spelling, punctuation, or grammar mistakes. Also, use the correct words to impress the committee.

Keep an eye out for missing or too many commas or other typos. If you notice repetitive terms, take help from the thesaurus to find acceptable replacements.

Having someone else proofread your work can also help in refining it even more. With this, you can determine the clarity of your point. Similarly, you can also identify whether your context makes sense to the overall idea or questions the reader.

Lastly, refine your final draft by incorporating valuable feedback and suggestions.

Scholarship Essay Examples

Here are some winning scholarship essay examples for you to understand better.

Describe the Financial Need for the Scholarship - Example

Scholarship Essay for Financial Need - Example

Scholarship Essay About Yourself - Example

Scholarship Essay About Career Goals -Example

Scholarship Essay About Why I Deserve The Scholarship - Example

300 Word Scholarship Essay - Example

Scholarship Essay Prompts

Below given are some interesting prompts and topics for you to write an amazing scholarship essay.

  • The Person Who Influenced My Views
  • The Goals I Will Achieve in 10 Years
  • What I Do Best, My Biggest Success
  • Learning From the Best: How My Science Teacher Changed My Life
  • My Inspiration
  • The Destiny in My Hands
  • The Doors I Have Opened
  • My Adoption: A Chance at a Whole New World of Possibilities
  • My Part-Time Jobs Efforts In High School
  • Role Models Who Set the Course for My Future
  • How Experiencing the World Has Changed My Life?
  • Thinking Outside the Box: An Ambitious Future
  • My Family Members - Key Driver Behind My Academic And Career Successes
  • How I Graduated From College While Living Beyond The Poverty Line

Scholarship Essay Tips

Follow the writing tips given below to make your scholarship essay stand out.

  • Your essay should follow a narrative structure.
  • Outline your essay initially when you are in your planning phase.
  • Make sure your outline describes every aspect given in the instructions.
  • Have a special and critical eye for grammatical errors.
  • Present yourself in an inspirational way.
  • Emotionally connect with the reader by quoting real-life experiences and lessons.
  • State your accomplishments without bragging about it.
  • The transition between the paragraphs should be explicit and clear.
  • Use simple and concise language throughout the essay.
  • Use words you are familiar and comfortable with while writing your essay.
  • Try to give a unique story.
  • Shape your essay’s structure according to your prompt.

We know most students want to get enrolled in high studies but are unable to pay for college. Thus, they work hard to receive scholarships. For this, they are required to write an impressive scholarship essay.

There are cases when you need to submit an essay in a few hours. However, it is not always easy to write an essay quickly, no matter how fast you are. If you are unsure about your skills to write a good scholarship essay, take help from an essay writer at MyPerfectWords.com.

We understand that urgency is the primary concern of college students. Thus, we provide the top essay writing service that guarantees well-written essays in no time. 

Our professional paper writers have advanced degrees from US-based institutes. We will guide you through our best knowledge and excellence. Simply contact our college admission essay writer, and we will deliver your assignment on time. 

Similarly, our college admission essay writing service never compromises on the quality. Instead, we assign the subject specialists to produce a relevant, precise, and to-the-point writing piece.

Just follow a simple process to place your order and get a convincing scholarship essay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use your college essay for scholarships.

You can use your college essay for a scholarship. Just edit it to fit the scholarship you're applying for and provide new insights that will make them say yes! Some prompts are similar, so writing from scratch isn't necessary- reuse what's already there instead of starting fresh every time. 

Do scholarship essays need a title?

If you're uploading an essay as a Word or PDF document, you can provide a title. However, this is typically unnecessary unless there are specific scholarship essay style guidelines. 

Can you copy and paste scholarship essays?

Don't copy-and-paste responses from other applications. It is important to take the initiative and write your own scholarship essay to impress the admission committee. 

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

People also read

Scholarship Essay Format - Samples & Writing Tips

Scholarship Essay Examples That You Can Learn From

Common Scholarship Essay Prompts

Share this article

Keep reading

scholarship essay writing

We value your privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience and give you personalized content. Do you agree to our cookie policy?

Website Data Collection

We use data collected by cookies and JavaScript libraries.

Are you sure you want to cancel?

Your preferences have not been saved.


  1. Points of academic writing

    scholarly essay meaning

  2. 003 Thesis Definition Essay Example Brilliant Ideas Of Help Nativeagle

    scholarly essay meaning

  3. Academic Essay Structure Tips [Writing Guide]

    scholarly essay meaning

  4. Academic Essay Examples

    scholarly essay meaning

  5. Academic Essay Examples

    scholarly essay meaning

  6. The definition of academic. What Are Some Examples of Academic Skills

    scholarly essay meaning



  2. Essay

  3. essays are 😀😘🥰

  4. Essay Topic #essay #topic

  5. Essay meaning in hindi//Essay ka hindi arth kya hoga//Essay को हिन्दी में क्या कहते हैं||

  6. 5+1 Simple Steps To Ace Your Next Research Essay (Undergraduate Level)


  1. "What Is an Academic Essay?"

    - Writing Center "What Is an Academic Essay?" Academic Essays July 27, 2020 - by Erik Esckilsen Overview (a.k.a. TLDR) Different professors define the academic essay differently. Common elements: Thesis (main point) Supporting evidence (properly cited) Counterarguments

  2. Essay Structure

    Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.

  3. Overview

    Introduction Scholarly writing is also known as academic writing. It is the genre of writing used in all academic fields. Scholarly writing is not better than journalism, fiction, or poetry; it is just a different category.

  4. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation. There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements.

  5. What is scholarly writing?

    What is scholarly writing? Browse: All Groups Topics Scholarly writing requires a different set of standards than other types of writing. In scholarly writing, you will want to avoid bias, incorporate evidence, and create a strong argument. Scholarly writing requires concise, precise, and clear language.

  6. How To Write A Scholarly Essay

    Define the problem and clearly state your position. While gaining the readers' attention is essential, letting them connect with the problem immediately you have their attention is necessary. At least if you want to keep their attention, they have to connect with the problem that you are trying to proffer a solution to. ... The last part of a ...

  7. Google Scholar

    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions.

  8. What Is Scholarly Writing?

    What is Scholarly Writing? Scholarly writing is also known as academic writing. Both terms imply that it's a type of writing used in academic institutions. It doesn't make it better than other types of writing, as it's just a style that academics use for knowledge sharing. It can be intimidating at first for the presence of all the rules.

  9. Scholarly Definition & Meaning

    scholarly: [adjective] of, characteristic of, or suitable to learned persons : learned, academic.


    containing a serious, detailed study of a subject: a scholarly article / book / work / journal A scholarly person studies a lot and knows a lot about what they study: a scholarly young woman SMART Vocabulary: related words and phrases Types of education abstinence education abstinence programme abstinence-only academically adaptive learning CAL

  11. What is an academic essay?

    Chapter 1. Although the definition of what an essay is can be broad and include both formal and informal styles of writing, in academia an essay is most commonly considered to be a relatively short piece of non-fiction writing explaining the writer's perspective on a topic or argument. In academic writing, this perspective will almost always ...

  12. Scholarly Paper

    Definition: Scholarly paper is a piece of academic writing that presents original research or analysis on a particular topic. It is usually written by scholars or experts in a particular field of study and is intended for an audience of other scholars or researchers.

  13. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays.

  14. How to Write an Academic Essay: Format, Examples

    In a nutshell, an academic essay is a structured form of writing students face in school, college, and university as a part of their curricula. The most common purposes of such writing are to either present some new pieces of information or to use existing facts and knowledge to deliver specific ideas.

  15. Scholarly Paper Step by Step Guide: Tips and Samples

    A scholarly paper, aka scientific paper/research or scholarly article, is a piece of academic writing that studies a specific topic and is published in academic journals. As the name suggests, it's the type of writing researchers, scholars, and all those people from laboratories wearing white coats do. It sounds a bit scary, doesn't it?

  16. What Is Academic Writing?

    Academic writing is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications. You'll encounter it in journal articles and books on academic topics, and you'll be expected to write your essays, research papers, and dissertation in academic style.

  17. JSTOR Home

    Harness the power of visual materials—explore more than 3 million images now on JSTOR. Enhance your scholarly research with underground newspapers, magazines, and journals. Explore collections in the arts, sciences, and literature from the world's leading museums, archives, and scholars.

  18. Summary

    Summary. Summary is indispensable in preparing for and writing an argumentative essay. When you summarize a text (or describe visual material), you distill the ideas of another source for use in your own essay. Summarizing primary sources allows you to keep track of your observations.

  19. What are Scholarly and Non-Scholarly Sources

    Scholarly journals often publish essay-length scholarly book reviews, which include citations to other sources; Scholarly journals are published relatively infrequently, usually quarterly (once every 3 months), semi-annually (twice a year), or annually (once a year). Use the points above to evaluate the scholarly nature of internet sites.

  20. Academic writing

    Academic writing or scholarly writing is nonfiction writing produced as part of academic work in accordance with the standards and disciplines of each academic subject, including: Reports on empirical fieldwork or research in facilities for the natural sciences or social sciences,

  21. How to Write a Scholarship Essay

    A resume of your achievements. A lengthy opinion piece about the essay topic. An essay featuring a negative tone that puts down others. If appropriate, you can briefly address how the scholarship money will help you achieve your educational goals. You should also end with a brief thank-you. Prevent plagiarism.

  22. Scholarly Definition & Meaning

    Scholarly definition, of, like, or befitting a scholar: scholarly habits. See more.

  23. Scholarship Essay

    Create a calendar containing the deadlines and requirements of your scholarship essay. It will help you make sure to have enough time for brainstorming and proofreading the essay. 2. Know Your Target Audience. Know your target audience before starting writing. Here, your audience is a scholarship committee.