Have two or more people read your essay before you send it in.

They don’t have to be smarter than you, or better spellers than you, or anything like that. But you should never send in an essay that hasn’t had at least two or three sets of eyes other than your own look over it. They will help you catch errors and other imperfections like the ones we’ll talk about below. Here’s a point that should shock you: about 85-90 percent of scholarship essays we receive come in with errors of some kind: spelling, usage, grammar or punctuation. Put another way: if you can send in an error-free essay, you rocket yourself into the top 10% right from the start. Hand yours over to a couple of friends and have them help you out.

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