An essay gives you the chance to demonstrate and explore a particular subject to convince the reader that you can present a logical essay. A well-written essay requires a good knowledge about the topic, meaning that you need to do extensive research on the topic. It is necessary to find evidence that will support your essay claim to convince the reader’s. Leadership being a broad topic gives the writer the opportunity to explore many ideas. A good essay needs to start with an introduction, the introductory paragraph needs to address what is to be covered in the essay, in this case, its leadership.
Essay on leadership at times may require the writer to reflect on how he has demonstrated some of the leadership traits in the past. The writer needs to organize his thoughts before deciding what to write. Even if you have not worked in any organization, you can talk about your experience at the family level or as part of a volunteer group when reflecting about your leadership experiences. Once you identify the area of focus, you can start organizing the essay according to the essay standards with the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. It is important to develop an essay outline that will guide you when writing the essay.
How to start
A professional essay introduction needs to presents the topic to be discussed using descriptive words that will attract the reader’s attention within the first sentence. To develop a good essay on leadership, using your personal experience will grab the reader’s attention, alternatively, you can start with a hook by mentioning a great leader from history who has inspired many people.
The writer can sue her experiences. The introduction needs to grab the reader’s attention the paragraph should contain three to four sentence introducing the topic. An essay introduction needs to include a thesis statement. A thesis statement is one sentence that describes leadership.
Example of introduction:
“Leadership is a common term that is easy to describe but can be difficult to implement, leaders can be found everywhere including our families, among friends, at work or within the community. To be a good leader, one needs to possess certain characteristics, which I have come to learn through experience. Having experienced one of the worst catastrophes, I discovered what it meant to be a leader. Having been left alone at home with my younger siblings when the floods swept our house, I realized that as a leader I need to make allot of sacrifices to ensure that everyone is safe.”
How to write the body
The body paragraphs of an essay contain three main paragraphs, with each section elaborating on the topic. The body paragraph contains examples and evidence to justify the essay claim. When describing the main points of the essay the points should be given a new paragraph. At the beginning of each paragraph the reader need to be able to relate it with previous paragraphs; therefore, transitional words will help to enable the essay flow.
Each body paragraph needs to have a topic sentence that links the program to the main theme of the essay. Each of the body paragraphs needs to present a different argument about leadership and evidence to support why the topic is of interest. The first body section should contain strong argument supported by examples, which should be at least five sentences long.
A good essay body needs to use anecdotes that will boost the argument. For example, if the thesis sentence emphasizes on qualities of a good leader the essay body needs to provide example of some of the important traits of leaders and how it impacts on the organization. In the body paragraphs, use the information gathered during research to justify some of the leadership qualities .The body paragraphs need to have transition sentences for the readers to easily connect the essay ideas. The information gathered and some of the leadership experiences can help develops the body of the essay.
Example of body paragraphs:
First body paragraph
“There are many different leadership styles, despite the different leadership approaches, leaders are common characteristics. One of the most important features of a good leader is being prepared to leader. A good leader needs to have adequate experience and knowledge to have confidence in leading people. It is not surprising to find many people who are in leadership, but are not prepared to take active role in leading people.”
Second body paragraph
“Being prepared to be a leader requires a set of skills, the best leaders are those who embrace open communication and encourage feedbacks. Leaders need to communicate effectively for everyone to understand what is expected of him. A good leader needs to be patient and thinks through before making any decision. To be a good leader means to think analytically by reviewing the whole situation before making any conclusions. It is equally important for leaders to build trust among his followers, this will enable them to feel part of the team.”
Third body paragraph
“A leader requires more skill than just communication, a good leader is one that is open minded, meaning that he is open to change. This is one of the most difficult characteristics leaders want to adopt. Most leaders feel that they have adequate knowledge hence they know everything. Accepting changes for some people would mean being incompetent. However, an effective leader needs to embrace changes to avoid resistance among the subordinates.”
How to conclude
Conclusion if the last paragraph in an essay, meaning this is the last chance for you to convince the reader about the topic. A good conclusion should rephrase the thesis statement at the same time summarize the main essay points that supported the essay claim .The conclusion ties up the whole essay, therefore, it should reinforce the thesis statement, but not introduce any new ideas that were not part of the main points discussed in the essay. Since the conclusion presents the final remarks, the author needs to persuade the target audience why the issues need their attention .Therefore persuasive language needs to be applied in the concluding paragraphs to have resounding ideas that will give the readers something to think about after reading the essay.
Example of conclusion for a laws of life essay:
“There are many characteristics that make a good leader. However, leaders who succeed unique exhibit characteristics like having a positive outlook towards the situation and being open minded. A good leader needs to have good communication skills and should exercise patience before making any decisions. Leadership is about being ready to lead people by taking appropriate action.”
Example of Outline
- Hook: overview of leadership and your leadership experience
- Thesis statement
First body paragraph
- Discussing leadership: qualities of a good leader
Second body paragraph
- Characteristics of a good leader
- Having experience and knowledge to have confidence in leading people
Third body paragraph
- Being open minded
- Having good communication skills
- Rephrasing of thesis statement to call for action
- Summary of qualities of a good leader
Hayley Capp, winner of the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship, shares her top tips on how to write a winning scholarship application essay.
There is no one way to write a winning scholarship application. If you gathered together all the scholarship entries that have ever won a prize, you would find it difficult to identify what made them the same. Each would offer a distinctive style employed by the author; a unique insight into his or her past, present and future aspirations.
This uniqueness is the key, and the first point to remember when you pick up your pen to write. Make your scholarship application essay exclusive to you, personalize it, delve deep into your passion and drive to study your subject, and create a response that could only ever relate to you. It is this individuality that stands out, and that’s exactly what catches a judge’s eye and defines a winner.
I won the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship, so will base my guidance on my own thought process when shaping my application essay. However, the basic principles that I highlight with this example can be extracted and applied to other scholarship essay writing processes.
1. Read and re-read the essay statement you are being asked to respond to, and identify the key themes.
From my own example, the essay statement was: ‘Where I have demonstrated responsible leadership, or innovation, and how it made a difference either in my community or in my work’. I identified the key themes as ‘leadership’ and ‘community impact’.
2. Understand the meaning of the key themes.
After identifying the key themes, it is important to understand what each of these ideas really means, beyond the initial level. For instance, I acknowledged that the meaning of ‘leadership’ involved identifying the effects my leadership had – the actions taken and results achieved under my leadership – and not simply describing the position I held and my responsibilities. The more depth you bring to your understanding of the meaning of each theme, the more examples you will be able to identify to demonstrate your abilities.
3. Fill your scholarship essay with keywords/synonyms of keywords used in the scholarship statement.
Using the keywords from the scholarship statement throughout your essay will demonstrate your commitment to addressing the question being asked. For instance, I made a special effort to ensure references to ‘leadership’; ‘innovation’ and ‘impacting communities’ ran throughout my essay.
4. Make an engaging start to your essay.
If you are struggling to start your scholarship application essay, why not include a quote or statement that relates to your intended course, and which you can later link to the main body of your text. Showing wider knowledge and aptitude for your subject will help convince the judges that it is a worthwhile investment to support you in your chosen course.
5. Understand the criteria used by the scholarship committee to evaluate application essays.
Based on my own experience, I have outlined what I believe to be the key criteria used by scholarship committee judges for evaluating scholarship application essays on the themes of leadership and community impact. My advice would be to address all of these areas in your essay, whether the question explicitly asks for it or not.
What to include in scholarship essays about leadership:
- The extent of the leadership experience and degree of accomplishment. What were the results? Did you manage to grow a society from 10 to 100 members through your tenure?
- Why you got involved in the leadership experience. What was your initial inspiration and how did the experience make you feel? This is a very important aspect as it allows you to show your sincerity and demonstrates your passion.
- What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them? Inspirational stories of perseverance despite adversity make readers (especially judges) want to help you succeed. It also shows that you have great leadership qualities: the ability to adapt to new situations and the determination to not give up.
- What did you learn?How did these lessons shape you as a leader? Every experience brings new lessons and personal growth opportunities and the best leaders are humble and realize this. Speaking about these lessons indicates that you have truly reflected on your experiences and that you understand what leadership is. (In other words, you know that leadership isn’t just about getting a title like “President” or “Executive Director”.)
- What does this mean for the future? A scholarship isn’t just an award; it’s an investment in your future. So if you plan to continue being involved in your particular leadership activity in the future, tell the judges.
What to include in scholarship essays about community impact:
- How much time did you dedicate to the activity? The scholarship committee is likely to be looking for applicants who made a fairly long commitment to a community activity.
- Why was it important to you? Joy from helping others? Excitement of trying something new? Opportunity to form relationships with others? Having a genuine reason helps build a convincing essay.
- Why was it important to the community? Ask the question: What would be different for your community if you didn’t do what you do? It is most important to show that you recognize the real needs in your communities, and act to address these.
- What did you gain yourself through giving to the community? It is important to show that you understand how through giving, you end up receiving more in the end. Sharing what community service has taught you and how it helped you develop demonstrates that you have truly gained from your participation and suggests you will continue doing so in the future.
My final point of advice when writing your scholarship application essay or cover letter is to really show that you know who you are. What are the relevant past and present experiences that demonstrate your abilities and where are you headed? Use carefully selected language to emphasize your passion, ambition and enthusiasm and remember to adopt a positive mindset, in which you believe in all the great things you have done and plan to continue achieving in the future. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would the judges?
You can browse our various scholarship listings here, and QS also offers its own scholarships. Also, you can download our free guide for more advice on how to find scholarships to study abroad.
Hayley Capp is the winner of the 2013 QS Leadership Scholarship. Covering up to US$10,000 of course fees for a graduate program, the scholarship is awarded to the applicant best able to demonstrate his/her ability to use entrepreneurial and leadership skills to make a positive impact on a community.
Want more content like this?Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.