Essay Writing—Before You Start

Planning your Fellowship or Scholarship Essay

Read the essay question very carefully. Typically, essay questions are comprehensive and fairly open-ended. If you addressed all points thoroughly, your essay could go on for pages. Identify the most important points of the question–the points most relevant to you–and concentrate on those.

How to Begin your Essay:

  1. Organize your thoughts and make an outline.
  2. Just write. Do not be concerned with the prescribed length of the essay. At this stage, you want to include everything. It is much easier to delete than to add.
  3. Look at the binders of essays submitted by past UR fellowship applicants.
    For access to the binders see Ann Robinson or the Director of Fellowships in the Fellowships Office, Dewey 4-209B, M-F: 9-12, 1-5.
  4. Identify faculty members who are willing to advise you and assist you as you write your essay.
  5. Consult with the Fellowships Coordinator throughout the process.