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What's your instructional text for scholarship essay questions?

We're making some revisions to our scholarship applications and wondered if anyone would be willing to share their instructional text for essay questions. Specifically, instructions about grammar, punctuation, proofreading, answering questions thoroughly, formatting in paragraphs, etc. No matter what instructions we give, students don't seem to follow our directions. We'd love to see samples from others. Thanks!



  • We do things differently. For starters, I don't even call this section of the application an "essay," as that can intimidate many applications. (We use "Personal Narrative".) We also don't score their 'essay.' We use the information to learn about the student's barriers, accomplishments, and/or aspirations, but we aren't scoring their essay. Here are the instructions:

    Please note that your Personal Narrative is not about how good of a writer you are. In fact, don’t even try to use flowery language. Just tell us what your goals are, why that’s important to you, and how you are going to achieve them.

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