9 Tips for Writing a Contest-Winning Essay

When you are in school or college, you have to write dozens of essays for your classes, which can be pretty draining and challenging. But, the everyday curriculum isn’t the only place where essays can give you trouble. Apart from it, this form of academic writing is widely used in exams and, of course, contests where the stakes might be pretty high.

So, how do you win such a competition? In this article, we will share with you the top nine tips for success!

black and white typewriter on white table

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If the stakes of the contest are pretty high, but you don’t have time or inspiration to write, don’t let this tiny problem get in your way. Don’t forget that there is always a possibility to request professional help, and it’s okay. After all, everyone knows how hard it can be to craft a top-notch essay.

All you have to do is to reach one of the expert writers from WritePaper.com that will write a killer essay for you in almost no time. This way, you will save your own time and energy for other things that matter. At the same time, you will boost your chances of success!

This is a secret trick that not everyone knows about. But it really works. So, don’t miss your chance!

Read the Rules Carefully

If you decide to engage in writing a contest essay yourself, here is the first winning tip - take enough time to study the rules carefully. After all, it is impossible to outdo the competitors without knowing what you actually need to do.

The key things to pay attention to include the contest’s deadlines, main theme, eligibility requirements, required character or word count, criteria for judgment, and any other conditions you must follow in order to avoid disqualification. Never start working on your text before you know all the rules. Overlooking even one tiny detail could mean an automatic loss. So, be very careful.

Make a Checklist

While reading the contest’s rules should go without saying. Here is a tip you might’ve never thought about - organize the key regulations and requirements into a separate checklist and keep it at hand while writing.

Having such a checklist will prevent you from forgetting some core requirements and failing. Later, when you finish your paper, you should go over this checklist, cross out all the requirements that you’ve met, and check if there is anything you’ve missed. Use this tip to maximize your potential for winning.


Once you are aware of all requirements, it is time to get to work. But don’t rush to start spilling your ideas straight on paper. Instead, take a moment to brainstorm.

Create a distraction-free environment, find your inspiration, and start juggling those ideas. During your brainstorming session, be sure to note down every thought that crosses your mind. Don’t attempt to polish or organize your ideas at this stage. Instead, just let them flow and finish when you feel like you’ve noted down everything you could think of in terms of the given theme. Then, move on to the next stage.

Map Out Your Ideas and Pick the Best

When you have a list of raw ideas as a result of your brainstorming, it’s time to organize and evaluate them. Judge every idea impartially. Your task is to determine which one fits the contest’s theme best. But, that’s not all.

A perfect topic for your essay should not only go in line with the contest’s rules but also be engaging, resonating, and unique. In addition, it should provide you with enough space for writing an informative yet creative and attention-grabbing essay. So, choose wisely.

Pro Tip: If you hesitate and can’t make up your mind, feel free to ask someone for help. It can be a teacher, parent, or friend. Anyone whose opinion you trust and value. Ask them to look through the list of topics and say which one they find the best.

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Win Over Readers With a Killer Hook

A hook, which is the opening sentence of your text, is the first thing that readers will see and, thus, it can determine whether they will want to read the whole thing or not. So, in order to get the first prize in an essay contest, you need a truly killer hook.

Find a way to pique the reader’s interest. You can use a quote, question, joke, or any other trick that could grab their attention. Just remember to keep it original. Don’t go with generic and cliche phrases because that’s what judges see way too often. Instead, use your hook as a chance to showcase your creativity and get your work to the top of the pile.

Proofread, Revise, Repeat

One big mistake many students make when preparing their entries is writing their final draft right away and submitting it after just one round of editing. But, the truth is that such an approach doesn’t work even for very experienced writers. So, if you really want to ensure success, be sure to write and proofread your first draft and make enough revisions until it looks flawless.

Also, try letting your work rest on the desk for a day or two after the final round of editing and get back to it with a fresh mind. Often, after doing so, you will see even more areas for improvement.

Make Your Entries Pop

In a nutshell, the key to winning any kind of competition is to stand out from the crowd. But, sometimes, simply finding a resonating idea and doing your best to write with style and personal voice is just not enough. Many other talented applicants also want to win. In such high competition, it won’t hurt to use some secret tips to make your entries pop.

What are these tricks? It can be pretty much anything. To name a few tricks, you can try adding a dash of humor, inner rhyme, coined words, alliteration, a clever play on words, a touching story, etc. Any of these tricks can spice up your essay and make it stand out from the crowd. So, don’t be afraid to experiment!

Be Your True Self

Finally, there is one more contest-winning tip we have for you. Regardless of the main theme of the contest, judges most often are looking for writers who share something personal in their works. So, it is important to stay your true self and let the story reflect your unique personality. If you do this, your essay will turn out truly convincing, engaging, and touching.

The Bottom Line

To some students writing contests can seem to be an almost unbearable challenge. They believe that winning in such a competition is only possible if your writing skills are at the level of top-rated professionals.

But, that’s not true.

Although skills and talent do matter, there are many other factors affecting your chances of winning. So, all you need is to know which way you should go, and you will be able to ensure success. Use the tips from this article to get on the right track and create a jaw-dropping essay for your next contest!