Tips on Writing a Community Service Essay

Sometimes, you may need to write a community service essay when applying to a college or scholarship. In this case, your goal is to write an essay that will explain the impact of your work and impress the audience. In this article at blog we decided to help you with this challenging task, so check out our tips and write a memorable essay that will stand out!

A Community Service Essay: What It Is and Why You Need It

Community service essays describe your volunteer experience and explain its impact on your community. Such essays depend on the requirements of a specific application, but they always focus on the work you did and explain how others could benefit from your effort.

Most often, students need community service essays in the following situations:

  • College application
    Some colleges require applicants to provide community service essays. You may also want to include it in your personal statement.
  • Scholarship application
    Some scholarships are available for students who have a certain community service experience, and sometimes, community service essays help schools decide who should receive a scholarship.
    An example of colleges that provide such scholarships is Green Mountain College. Their scholarship is called “Make a Difference Scholarship.” It includes a room, full tuition, and board for students who demonstrated their significant impact.

Getting Started

We are going to consider the writing process in detail so that you can understand how to write a community service essay step-by-step.

1. Know the requirements

First of all, you should read your prompt and make sure that you know all the necessary requirements. Pay your attention to the application deadline, length requirement, the necessary structure, and the main purpose of the essay.

2. Brainstorm ideas

Once you’ve figured out what your task is, think of what you’re going to write. We recommend that you answer the following questions:

  • What activity has meant the most to you?
  • Why did you decide to participate?
  • What is your favorite memory?
  • How have you helped others?
  • How has this experience changed you?
  • Did your community service change your plans for the future?

There’s no need to answer all of these questions, but the more questions you answer, the more ideas you get.

Writing the Essay

The structure of the essay depends on the requirements of the chosen school or scholarship. For example, your essay may provide an overview of your volunteering activity or be devoted to a particular experience. You may write about your personal growth or your contribution to the community. No matter what the structure of your essay is, make sure that your essay is memorable and explains what impact you’ve made.

1. Hook your readers

Your first goal is to make your readers interested in your essay. This is where you need a strong first sentence — “hook.” For example, you can start in the middle of the action. Start with impressive experience. It may be a story about you building a house, teaching kids, or rescuing animals. Such an introduction will certainly make your essay memorable. If you just say “I volunteered at a pet shelter for two years,” it will be a general statement which is unlikely to impress your audience. On the other hand, if your essay begins with a story about you rescuing a sick puppy, your readers will want to read more.

2. Discuss your work

Now that your readers are intrigued by the hook, tell more about your community service experience. Write about your work, how you started it, how long you participated, and what your main duties were. This way, you’ll quickly provide the context and let your readers understand the specifics of your community service work.

3. Add details

The details about your community work will make your experience more specific and memorable. For example, don’t just mention that you’ve volunteered at a nursing home. Describe how you read Mrs. Brown her favorite books, or how you’ve seen Mr. Smith win at bingo. Add specific details and describe activities. Such details allow you to show instead of telling.

Your details also serve as evidence and so support your claims. How exactly did you help? What did you achieve as a volunteer? A specific story allows your readers to imagine the whole situation and makes your essay unique.

4. Show your personality

It will be hard for you to get a scholarship if your readers realize that they don’t know much about you after reading your essay. Your community service essay is an opportunity to demonstrate your personal strengths, To do this, you have to support all your claims with examples. Tell your readers about your teamwork skills and leadership qualities.

5. List your accomplishments

Once you’ve given examples of your work and described your community service in detail, start to wrap up your essay. A great way to do this is to list your accomplishments. Explain the overall impact of your community service, and be specific. Don’t worry about bragging, just explain your impact clearly. You can make your essay even better if you provide numbers. For example, tell your readers how many people needed your help, or how many hours did you work. Explain the importance of your work and the significance of your contribution. This is a very important part of your essay, so don’t be afraid to provide all the necessary details. Explain all the events, describe the working process, and do what you can to help your readers imagine a clear picture of your community service.

6. Discuss what you’ve learned

We also suggest that you describe the impact of the community service on you at the end of your essay. How did this experience impact your personality? Do you understand others better? Did your values change? Be honest and describe your feelings in detail. Don’t try to persuade your readers that this experience changed your life if it didn’t.

When writing about the impact of your community service on your personality, you’ll also need to support your claims with examples. If there was a particular situation that changed the way you think about some important issues, describe this situation, and be specific.

7. Write a strong conclusion

We’ve already mentioned how important a strong introduction is, however, your conclusion is no less important. It must be clear, memorable, and impressive. A good way to finish your essay is to restate the impact your community work had on your personality. Remind your readers why your work was important and how you helped others. In addition, you may tell about your plans, if you want to continue to work in this area.

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