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
Most students who are successful in the leadership scholarship application process are those who are beyond the “idea” stage and have begun planning or implementing their ideas. Planning may include activities such as making contact with involved persons, scheduling and organizing meetings, recruiting volunteers or participants, writing a mission statement, or getting elected to office. The scholarship committee members need to be able to imagine you in action.
Below are some questions to think about as you develop your application essay. Use these and other questions you identify about your own learning and leadership goals to help you develop an integrated statement. Essays that are merely a list of separate answers to these questions will not be competitive.
- What does leadership mean to you?
- What experiences have informed these understandings?
- How will your activity and your role in that activity deepen your thinking about leadership?
- What activity do you propose to undertake with this scholarship? (Be specific)
- What is your unique role in this project – how does your individual initiative and creativity shape your project?
- How does this project or activity provide a way for you to develop as a leader?
- What do you hope to learn through your involvement in the activity you describe?
- How does your activity foster this learning?
- How does this learning connect to your larger educational and/or life goals?
- What do you hope to know, be able to do, or become as a result of your experience with your proposed activity?
- How will you know you have achieved these goals?
- What difference will accomplishing these goals make in you and your role in a community?
The writing of a Mary Gates Leadership essay calls for a balancing act between describing your ideas on leadership and personal development as well as the project or idea that you are using to move your leadership development forward.
Here are some components that we have found make for a compelling leadership essay:
- There is a clear and consistent voice of the writer that lets the reader connect on a personal level.
- The essay is organized well with a natural flow between sections and is not cobbled together.
- The reader has a clear sense of what the writer feels about leadership on a personal level.
- Readers also have a sense of how the writer identifies themselves as a leader even to explaining why they are not comfortable with the word leader.
- These thoughts on leadership are tied to personal narratives and experiences within the essay.
- There is a clear description of the project or set of ideas within which the leadership experience will be framed. Your essay gives the reader confidence that you have thought carefully about how to approach the project, have the necessary support to carry it out, and that the project will be challenging but ultimately do-able (at some level).
- The writer describes how they know they will have accomplished what they are setting out for themselves both personally and concretely.
- There is mention of how this project/process is connected to the writer’s ultimate goals.
- The essay explains clearly how the mentor was chosen and why.
- There is also a clear sense of how the partnership will evolve through the project.
- The reader is left with a clear understanding of the passion that the writer feels about their leadership project and is excited to meet with them to learn more!
Essays should be no more than 1,250 words (approximately 4 pages, double-spaced, in 12 point font or equivalent
size, standard margins). One additional page may be included for references, images, and/or figures, if applicable.
In an interview, committee members will ask you to expand upon your essay. Some real questions that committee members have asked in the past include:
- What do you need to learn as a leader?
- Is this “project” something that this community wants or needs?
- How are you planning to work with others? With your mentor?
- What do you hope to learn through this project that you didn’t gain from your previous Mary Gates leadership project?
If you are planning to reapply for a Leadership Scholarship after an unsuccessful attempt, you must get feedback on your application. A member of the review committee is available to provide that feedback and looks forward to the opportunity to talk with you about your proposal. Even if you are not reapplying, we strongly encourage you receive feedback since you may find it valuable to hear what aspects of your proposal or interview could be improved if you are planning to apply for other scholarships, graduate school, grants or even a job.
To receive feedback on your application or interview, contact the person named in your letter. If you have lost that information, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.