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How to Write the National Honor Society Essay + Example
National honor society: four pillars and essay, five tips for writing your nhs essay, nhs essay example, time well spent.
What do former first lady Michelle Obama, actor Chadwick Boseman, singer-songwriters Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, and baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. have in common? They were all members of the National Honor Society (NHS).
As you apply for membership in this national organization, remember NHS membership is based on meeting criteria in four areas that the NHS calls its four pillars: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character .
The first pillar, scholarship , requires that a student earns a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent. Many high schools set a higher GPA bar for their school’s chapter. If you meet your school’s academic requirement, congratulations, you’ve passed the first hurdle.
Now it’s important that you carefully complete the application and write a compelling essay. Most high schools require students to write a 300-500 word essay that showcases their commitment and accomplishments in the other three pillars.
Service refers to the contributions you make to your school and or community on a volunteer basis, without receiving any compensation. For your most significant service activities, be sure to explain why you choose to support certain organizations and why you chose specific roles.
Showcase your leadership in your school and or community while working with or for others. Remember, stating that you are the captain of a team, president of a club, or supervisor of a shift does not prove that you are a leader. A leader makes things happen, sets a good example, and inspires others to give their personal best. Clearly state why you were selected to hold a leadership position and how you effectively lead. There are many successful leadership styles. Communicate your unique brand of leadership.
Character is how you conduct yourself with high standards of honesty, reliability, and respect for others. Many attributes define good character, and they all reflect a personal commitment to ethical and compassionate interactions with others as well as how you treat yourself. Results are only part of the story. How you achieved them is critically important to communicate.
Think about how many NHS applications your school counselor reviews each year. Not every student who completes an application is selected for the honor. So how do you make your essay stand out? Here are five strategies:
1. Make it Personal and Individual
Your application form provides the facts about the scope and range of your involvement and contributions to your communities. Be sure that you write your essay in a way that brings this data to life. A compelling essay enables the reader to feel a strong connection to you. Express your unique values, aspirations, and priorities. State the motivation behind your choices and the trade-offs you’ve made. Be honest about challenges and what you have learned through your mistakes. And be sure the tone of the essay sounds like you and nobody else.
2. Share Your Stories
People love to hear and remember stories, not simply facts and figures. Express themes and points that you want to share by relaying stories that bring these concepts to life. Stories can be poignant, funny, suspenseful, or surprising. Any approach that makes a reader want to continue reading is a great one.
3. Be Humble and Bold
Many students find it hard to express their hard-earned accomplishments without sounding boastful. Proudly stating your achievements without sounding brash is possible and important. Clearly state your motivations, your challenges, your vulnerabilities, and your mistakes to mitigate any concerns.
4. Follow Tried and True Essay Guidelines
Channel all the advice you’ve received over the years about how to write a great essay. Do you have a clear thesis around which you have organized your thoughts? Compelling topic sentences to hook your reader? Strong supporting sentences to back up your reasoning? Have you avoided clichés? Do you vary your sentence structure and word choice? Does the text flow and keep the reader engaged? Last, but not least, have you checked and double-checked your grammar, punctuation, and spelling?
5. Draft, Edit, Edit, Edit, Polish
Writing is an iterative process so give yourself the time necessary to land on the best approach for explaining why you are deserving of the NHS honor. There are many ways to tackle an essay. Try a few to determine which is the most effective. Then, when you determine the best approach and are satisfied with your latest draft, share it with someone whose opinion you value.
Looking for someone to read over your essay? Check out Collegevine’s free essay help ! Our peer review system will help you get feedback from other students so that you can improve your NHS essay and college essays.
While there is not a single template for a strong essay, here is an example of an NHS essay written by an 11th-grade student who was accepted into NHS.
Success is not only about improving yourself, but also about improving life for others. While my GPA shows my commitment to academics, how I spend my time and conduct myself outside of school reveal my commitment to making the world a better place, consistent with the values of the National Honor Society.
For the two years my grandfather lived in a nursing home, each weekend I took my dog EJ to visit him. I witnessed first-hand the healing power of animals as EJ lifted his and the other residents’ spirits. Because of this experience and because monkeys are my favorite animal, when I heard about Helping Hands (HH), the only organization in the world that raises capuchin monkeys to be live-in assistants to people with spinal cord injuries, I reached out to volunteer.
Both in the summer and during the school year, I assist the trainers. Monkeys begin training when they are teenagers. It typically takes three to five years until they are ready to be placed with a person. My first job is to clean the cages of 60 monkeys. (Not my favorite responsibility.) I also prepare meals and construct and distribute dexterity “toys.”
While not glamorous, my work is critical to the success of the initiative. The physical support the monkeys provide is unbelievable. They turn pages of books, scratch itches, pour water, and retrieve dropped items… Most importantly, I have seen the life-changing impact a monkey’s companionship has on a partner, including a college-age student confined to a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury from hockey.
In the spring, summer, and fall I also volunteer at Gaining Ground (GG), a non-profit that grows organic produce to donate to food pantries, shelters, and meal programs. When I volunteered at a local food pantry, it struck me that recipients receive mostly canned and packaged food. I think it is important that people in need receive fresh fruits and vegetables, and I enjoy the physical work of weeding, harvesting, cleaning, and packing produce.
Soon after I began volunteering at GG, my rabbi gave a sermon about the working conditions of tomato farmers in Florida. (It reminded me of Grapes of Wrath, and I couldn’t believe inhumane practices continue.) Her sermon motivated me to support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers by distributing postcards urging Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop to only buy tomatoes from farms that agree to fair wages and human rights. Both chains have now agreed, showing that a little effort by many people makes a difference.
Last, I believe a story is the best way to explain my “behind-the-scenes” leadership. At the annual nighttime football game, one of my soccer teammates (not someone I hang with) was drunk. When our principal came over to the bleachers, my teammate’s friends fled. Concerned that my teammate would fall and hurt herself, I brought her outside the stadium, called her parents, and waited with her until they came — without worrying about social retribution. Despite getting grounded, she thanked me for my help.
I would be honored to be recognized by NHS for my service, leadership, and character. Thank you for your consideration.
The time you invest in composing an effective NHS essay will help you when you’re ready to write your college essays! Essays are important components of applications to selective colleges. Getting into NHS is also an honor that may boost your application at some schools. Remember, you can estimate your chance for acceptance using Collegevine’s free chancing calculator . This tool will factor in your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and more to calculate your odds of admission at hundreds of schools across the country.
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
May 1, 2023
How to Write an Impressive National Honor Society Essay: Examples and Tips
Membership in the National Honor Society is a prestigious achievement that recognizes exceptional academic achievement, leadership, service, and character. But to earn this distinction, students must first write an impressive essay that demonstrates their qualifications and sets them apart from the competition. If you're ready to take on this challenge and earn your place in this esteemed society, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll provide you with expert tips and real-world examples of successful essays that will help you craft an essay that showcases your unique strengths and accomplishments.
Are you a high school student with a passion for excellence, a track record of leadership , and a burning desire to make a difference in your community? Are you ready to join the ranks of the best and brightest students in your school and beyond? If so, the National Honor Society may be the perfect fit for you. But before you can don that coveted NHS sash, you'll need to write an essay that will knock the socks off the selection committee.
No pressure, right? Well, don't worry, because we've got you covered. In this article, we'll provide you with expert tips and real-world examples of successful National Honor Society essays that will help you craft an essay that's worthy of your many talents.
We'll cover everything from the essential elements of a strong NHS essay to tips for effective writing and editing. And hey, if all else fails, you can always bribe the selection committee with cookies. (Okay, maybe not. But it's worth a shot, right?) So grab a pen, fire up your laptop, and let's get started on your path to NHS greatness!
What is the National Honor Society?
National Honor Society (NHS) is an organization that recognizes and encourages academic achievement while developing the essential qualities of leadership, scholarship , service, and character in high school students.
NHS is an invitation-only organization that recognizes students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service, and character. Membership in NHS is a significant achievement and serves as recognition for students who have worked hard to excel in their studies and to make a positive impact in their school and community.
In this essay, we will discuss the importance of leadership, scholarship, service, and character, how to apply for the NHS, and tips for writing an impressive NHS Essay.
Leadership is an essential quality that the NHS recognizes in its members. Leadership involves the ability to motivate others, take initiative, and work collaboratively towards a common goal.
Leadership can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, such as leading a team, organizing an event, or advocating for a cause. NHS values leadership because it is essential for achieving success in academics, personal growth, and community involvement.
To demonstrate leadership, NHS requires that applicants have held leadership positions in their school and community. This can include serving as a team captain, organizing a community service project, or leading a school club or organization.
However, it is important to note that leadership is not limited to formal positions of authority. Leaders can emerge in any situation, and the NHS recognizes that leadership can be demonstrated in many different ways.
Scholarship is another important quality that the NHS recognizes in its members. Scholarship involves a commitment to academic excellence, a desire for knowledge, and a willingness to engage in intellectual pursuits. Scholarship is essential for success in higher education and for developing the skills and knowledge needed to make a positive impact in society.
To demonstrate scholarship, NHS requires that applicants have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, NHS values scholarship beyond just grades. NHS recognizes that scholarship involves a desire for learning and intellectual curiosity. This can be demonstrated through taking challenging courses, pursuing independent research projects, or participating in academic competitions.
Service is another essential quality that NHS recognizes in its members. Service involves a commitment to giving back to the community and making a positive impact on the lives of others. Service is essential for developing empathy and compassion, and for building strong and supportive communities.
To demonstrate service, NHS requires that applicants have completed a minimum of 40 hours of community service. However, NHS values service beyond just the number of hours completed. NHS recognizes that service involves a commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
This can be demonstrated through volunteering for organizations that align with personal values, initiating community service projects, or engaging in advocacy work.
Character is the final quality that NHS recognizes in its members. Character involves a commitment to ethical behavior, honesty, and integrity. Character is essential for building trust and fostering strong relationships with others.
To demonstrate character, NHS requires that applicants have a positive disciplinary record and a recommendation from a teacher or school administrator. However, NHS values character beyond just avoiding negative behaviors.
NHS recognizes that character involves a commitment to doing the right thing, even when it is difficult. This can be demonstrated through acts of kindness, ethical decision-making, and demonstrating honesty and integrity in all aspects of life.
Application and Membership
To apply for NHS, students must meet the minimum requirements for leadership, scholarship, service, and character. In addition, students must complete an application, submit a personal statement, and provide letters of recommendation.
The application typically includes basic information such as name, address, and GPA. It may also ask for information about leadership positions held, community service activities completed, and academic achievements. The application may also include short essay questions to allow students to showcase their strengths and accomplishments.
NHS Essay Guide
If you are looking to write an NHS essay, here is a guide that can help you craft an impressive and professional essay:
Understanding the NHS pillars
The National Honor Society is based on four pillars: leadership, scholarship, service, and character. Before you begin writing, it is important to understand what each of these pillars means and how you have demonstrated them in your life.
Brainstorm your accomplishments
Once you understand the pillars, make a list of all the activities and accomplishments that you have achieved in each of the pillars. This could include things like holding a leadership position in a club, achieving academic excellence, volunteering in your community, or demonstrating integrity and honesty in your personal life.
Write a rough draft
Once you have your list of accomplishments, begin drafting your essay. Start by introducing yourself and explaining why you are interested in joining the NHS. Then, use specific examples to demonstrate how you have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, service, and character. Be sure to use strong, descriptive language and avoid vague statements.
Edit and revise
Once you have a rough draft, take the time to edit and revise your essay. Read it out loud to catch any awkward phrasing or grammatical errors. Make sure that your essay is well-organized and that each paragraph flows smoothly into the next. Make sure to remove any unnecessary information or repetition.
Be Humble and Bold
Many students find it hard to express their hard-earned accomplishments without sounding boastful. Proudly stating your achievements without sounding brash is possible and important. Clearly state your motivations, your challenges, your vulnerabilities, and your mistakes to mitigate any concerns.
Once you have edited and revised your essay, get feedback from others. Ask a teacher, parent, or mentor to read your essay and give you their honest feedback. Use their feedback to make any necessary changes and to strengthen your essay.
Write a strong conclusion
End your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your achievements and explains why you would be a good fit for the NHS. Thank the reader for considering your application and expressing your excitement about the opportunity to join the NHS.
By following these steps, you can write an impressive and professional NHS essay that demonstrates your commitment to leadership, scholarship, service, and character. Remember to be specific and use strong language, and get feedback from others to ensure that your essay is the best it can be.
Tips for Writing NHS Essay
The National Honor Society (NHS) is a prestigious organization that recognizes high school students who have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service, and character.
Being a member of NHS is a significant achievement and can provide many opportunities for personal and professional growth. To become a member of NHS, students must apply and write a personal statement. In this section, we will discuss some tips on how to write an impressive NHS essay.
Step 1: Understand the Purpose of the NHS Essay
The purpose of the NHS essay is to demonstrate to the selection committee that you possess the qualities of leadership, scholarship, service, and character. The essay is an opportunity for you to showcase your achievements, skills, and experiences that align with the NHS values. The essay should also highlight your personal goals and how being a member of NHS can help you achieve them.
Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas
Before writing the essay, take some time to brainstorm ideas. Think about your achievements, experiences, and skills that align with the NHS values. Consider examples of how you have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, service, and character in your school, community, or personal life. This will help you to organize your thoughts and create a clear and concise essay.
Step 3: Structure Your Essay
The NHS essay should have a clear structure that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should provide a brief overview of the essay and grab the reader's attention. The body of the essay should focus on the four NHS values: leadership, scholarship, service, and character. Use examples and anecdotes to demonstrate how you have demonstrated each of these values.
Step 4: Be Specific and Concise
When writing your NHS essay, be specific and concise. Use specific examples and anecdotes to demonstrate your achievements and skills. Avoid using general statements that could apply to anyone. Also, be concise and avoid using unnecessary words or phrases. The essay should be clear and easy to read.
Step 5: Show, Don't Tell
When writing your NHS essay, it is essential to show, not tell. Instead of saying that you have demonstrated leadership, provide an example of a time when you led a team or organized an event. Use descriptive language to paint a picture of the situation and show how you demonstrated leadership.
Step 6: Be Honest and Authentic
When writing your NHS essay, be honest and authentic. Don't exaggerate your achievements or skills, but also don't be too modest. Be genuine and let your personality shine through in the essay. This will help the selection committee get to know you better and see why you would be an excellent fit for NHS membership.
Step 7: Proofread and Edit
Before submitting your NHS essay, make sure to proofread and edit it carefully. Check for grammar and spelling errors, and make sure the essay is well-organized and easy to read. You may also want to have someone else read the essay and provide feedback. This will help you to identify areas that need improvement and ensure that your essay is as impressive as possible.
Writing an impressive NHS essay requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. By following these tips, you can create an essay that showcases your achievements, skills, and experiences and demonstrates why you would be an excellent candidate for NHS membership. Remember to be specific, concise, honest, and authentic, and to show, not tell your achievements and skills.
Here is an example of a personal statement for your NHS: “I am thrilled to submit my statement for consideration as a potential member of the National Honor Society. As a student who is deeply committed to the ideals of leadership, scholarship, service, and character, I believe that I would be an ideal candidate for this prestigious organization.
In addition to my academic and extracurricular pursuits, I believe that my personal qualities make me an ideal candidate for the National Honor Society. I am a natural leader who can inspire others and work collaboratively toward a common goal. I am also highly organized, disciplined, and self-motivated, which allows me to juggle multiple responsibilities and stay on top of my commitments.
Above all else, I believe that my commitment to character is what sets me apart as a candidate for the National Honor Society. I believe that integrity, honesty, and respect are the foundation of all meaningful relationships, and I strive to embody these values in everything that I do.
Whether I am working on a group project with my peers or volunteering in my community, I am always mindful of the impact that my actions have on those around me.
In conclusion, I believe that I would be an ideal candidate for the National Honor Society based on my academic achievements, extracurricular activities, personal qualities, and commitment to service and character. I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to apply for membership in this esteemed organization, and I look forward to contributing to the National Honor Society in a meaningful way.”
NHS Essay Examples
Essay example 1.
As a dedicated student, committed volunteer, and aspiring leader, I have always strived to make a positive impact in my university and community. The National Honor Society has always been an organization that I have admired and respected, and I am excited about the opportunity to join such a prestigious group of individuals.
Throughout my bachelor studies, I have been actively involved in various extracurricular activities and clubs, including serving as the president of the university sports society. In this role, I have organized numerous fundraising events, community service projects, and volunteer opportunities for my peers, inspiring them to take action and make a difference in our community.
I have also served as a mentor and tutor to underclassmen, providing guidance and support to help them achieve their academic and personal goals.
Academic excellence is something that I have always prioritized, and I have worked hard to maintain a good GPA throughout my university career. I have taken on challenging coursework, including honors and Advanced Placement courses, to further develop my intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills.
As a member of the National Honor Society, I hope to continue to challenge myself academically and inspire others to do the same.
I believe that giving back to my community is not only a responsibility but also a privilege. I have volunteered at various local organizations, including the food bank, animal shelter, and community garden, and have helped to raise money for numerous charities.
Additionally, I have been involved in a peer mentoring program that offers guidance and support to students struggling academically or personally.
Integrity, honesty, and respect are values that I hold dear, and I strive to demonstrate these qualities in everything that I do. I have participated in various character-building programs, including the school’s conflict resolution program and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program, which have helped me to develop strong communication and problem-solving skills.
I believe that my commitment to these values will make me a valuable member of the National Honor Society.
As a well-rounded student and active member of my community, I am excited about the opportunity to join the National Honor Society. I am confident that I have demonstrated excellence in leadership, scholarship, service, and character, and I look forward to further developing these qualities as a member of this prestigious organization. Thank you for considering my application.
Essay Example 2:
Dear National Honor Society Selection Committee,
I am honored to apply for membership in the National Honor Society, as I believe that this prestigious organization aligns with my values of leadership, scholarship, service, and character. I am confident that my academic achievements, community service, and leadership experiences demonstrate my commitment to these values and make me a strong candidate for membership.
Throughout my high school career, I have demonstrated leadership skills in various extracurricular activities and organizations. I have served as a captain of my school’s varsity basketball team for two years, where I have not only led my team to multiple championships but also served as a role model for my teammates by demonstrating a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and sportsmanship
Academic excellence is a top priority for me, and I have consistently maintained a high GPA throughout my high school years. I have taken on challenging coursework, including Honors and Advanced Placement classes, to further my intellectual curiosity and challenge myself.
Furthermore, I have actively participated in academic competitions, including the National Science Olympiad, where I have won multiple medals and awards.
I have always been passionate about serving my community and making a positive impact on the lives of others. I have volunteered at various local organizations, including the food bank, homeless shelter, and community garden, where I have helped to feed the hungry, care for the less fortunate, and create a sustainable future.
Furthermore, I have served as a mentor and tutor to younger students, providing guidance and support to help them achieve their academic and personal goals.
Integrity, honesty, and respect are values that I hold dear, and I strive to demonstrate these qualities in everything that I do. I have participated in various character-building programs, including the school’s peer mediation program, where I have learned effective communication and problem-solving skills.
In summary, I believe that my leadership, scholarship, service, and character make me a strong candidate for membership in the National Honor Society. I am excited about the opportunity to further develop these qualities and contribute to the mission of this esteemed organization.
I thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to the opportunity to represent the National Honor Society with honor and distinction
In conclusion, the National Honor Society is an esteemed organization that recognizes high-achieving students who demonstrate excellence in the pillars of leadership, scholarship, service, and character. Writing a brilliant NHS essay requires thoughtful reflection on your accomplishments and an ability to effectively communicate how you embody these pillars in your life.
By following the tips and guidelines provided in this article, you can craft an impressive and professional essay that showcases your dedication to these pillars and your potential as a valuable member of the National Honor Society.
If you're ready to take the next step in your academic and personal journey, we encourage you to apply to the National Honor Society. As a member, you will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful service projects, connect with other high-achieving students, and further develop your leadership skills.
Don't let this opportunity pass you by - take the time to write an exceptional NHS essay and join the ranks of some of the most accomplished students in the country.
So what are you waiting for? Start crafting your NHS essay today and take the first step towards achieving your goals. We wish you the best of luck in your application and hope to see you among the distinguished members of the National Honor Society.
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By utilizing these tools, you can save time and energy while still producing top-notch work. By following the steps outlined in this blog and using the features offered by Jenni.ai, you can master the art of writing NHS essays and achieving academic and professional success.
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National Honor Society (NHS) Essay Examples & Expert Advice
July 8, 2023
Every year, high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors write National Honor Society essays in the hopes of becoming a member. It’s certainly an admirable recognition. Joining the ranks means partaking in an interscholastic tradition alongside future movers and shakers. Past National Honor Society (NHS) members have consisted of Olympians, astronauts, senators, neurosurgeons, Nobel prize winners, Navy admirals, and more. Some of the more celebrity-famous NHS-ers include journalist Katie Couric, writer, and comedian Tina Fey, and poet Robert Warren Penn. Former first lady Michelle Obama, of course. Even Taylor Swift joined the NHS in high school. You can bet her songwriting skills came in handy for the National Honor Society essay. Intimidated? Don’t be. View our NHS essay example below as well as our more general advice for the National Honor Society essay.
Before composing your own NHS essay, you may want to ask yourself, “Why should I join NHS ?” Your answer to this question will help determine if, and how, you should craft a relevant NHS essay.
The NHS in Brief
It all began with a high school principal in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who founded the National Honor Society in 1921. Today, this hundred-and-two-year-old society boasts local chapters in all 50 U.S. states and territories. It also has chapters in American and international schools abroad. Membership, open to select high school students, can open doors to interesting service and leadership opportunities. In fact, service and leadership form the cornerstone of NHS.
The one million plus students who participate in the NHS yearly have service and leadership in common. That’s because the NHS requires demonstrated community service, and demonstrated leadership. It also requires a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (though this number varies depending on the chapter) and demonstrated good character. You’ll want to check your local chapter’s specific guidelines when beginning the NHS application.
Other reasons to join the NHS include gaining access to the NHS network, an array of college planning tools, and the chance to apply for hefty scholarships. These perks naturally make for a competitive acceptance rate. So, the best way to make your application stand out involves crafting a stunning NHS essay. Here’s how.
Quick Tips for Drafting the National Honor Society Essay
1) Structure your NHS essay around the NHS Pillars: Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character. A high GPA acts as an indicator of your “scholarship”, or dedication to academia. This pillar must appear in your essay as well, in the form of impeccable writing skills. Demonstrate your service and leadership through the content of your essay. In other words, service and leadership form the action, or plot, of your essay. Finally, infuse your character throughout your essay, by showing how your behavior indicates your values and integrity.
2) Write from your heart, and make your NHS essay personal. The most memorable essays rely on a sincere writing voice and contain personal details. But note that by “personal,” I don’t mean you must share your deepest secrets. Rather, ground an event in your own experience by incorporating your emotions, thoughts, and sensations. This will make your essay unique to you.
3) Weave together a story; don’t make a list. As you tell your story, pull from your strongest experiences. Perhaps you have a handful of leadership and service roles. Pick only a few that say something about your interests and personality, and develop your story by threading these ideas together. While a list might look impressive, a story will come across as better crafted and more captivating. If, however, none of your service activities seem significant enough to single out and describe on their own, weave these activities together through a theme. For example, the theme could be how you overcame shyness to lead.
Quick Tips for Drafting the National Honor Society Essay, Continued
4) Mind your audience. In this case, your audience is your school’s faculty member who’s taken on the role of chapter adviser. You may want to meet with them ahead of time to let them know you’re applying. This initiative on your part will look impressive. Moreover, you can ask in person what they look for in an NHS essay. Certainly, they’ll want to know how you stand out from the other applicants. So, you’ll also want to keep your competition in mind. As with college application essays, the tone of your NHS essay should be polite, formal, and charismatic.
5) Brainstorm, draft, edit, and repeat. A National Honor Society essay isn’t written overnight. Once you have your initial ideas down on paper, return to the page for a round of editing. Ask yourself where you can expand and where you sound redundant. Look for common threads and themes to enhance. Create transition sentences between paragraphs. Revise your conclusion. Next, show your essay to someone you trust. Their feedback will indicate where your essay excels and where you need to improve.
NHS Essay Example
My grandmother, or Ma-Maw , was the kind of generous busybody who made six different pies for her granddaughters’ birthdays. She invited everyone on the block, so nothing went to waste. Once, when we both went to shovel up the last slice of pie, she laughed, and said, “ noblesse oblige .” She often spoke French, a Louisiana French foreign yet familiar to me. I didn’t think to ask what she’d meant. Did she think I was noble? Was that why I got to scarf down the last of the cherry pie?
Ma-Maw died the summer before I entered high school. I missed her terribly, long after my parents sold her house. Receiving her redirected mail felt like a blow. So many newsletters from Friends of the New Orleans Public Library! Since I loved books as much as Ma-Maw, I opened these up. Inside, I read about a partnership program, Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR). They needed in-person volunteers to tutor second- and third-graders in reading.
Before I knew it, I was cracking open vocabulary books twice a week with a kid named Harper. When I wasn’t tutoring, I was lesson planning, going over Harper’s writing journal, and scouring shelves for more early reader books. This got me thinking about literacy in New Orleans. 39% of high school students my age have the reading level of a 5 th grader—or worse. Harper lived in a part of town that didn’t even have bookstores. Would she keep up her reading once the tutoring was over, despite the odds? I also thought about representation and accessibility. If Harper had more books about people like her, and if those books were all over the place, and easy to take home, would things change?
NHS Essay Example, Continued
Due to this newfound interest in advocating for literacy, I decided to build a Free Little Library (FLL). To do so, I needed help. That spring, I founded a school club, Reading the World, and convinced 8 members to join. Together, we dismantled one of Ma-Maw’s kitchen cabinets and incorporated other used materials to build an upcycled stand that could fit 20 books.
Next, we got in touch with the program Read for Color, which helps make BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other diverse and marginalized voices heard. I believe their initiative parallels our own, which is to provide a diversity of voices through language itself. Our FLL features books in Cajun French and Creole and works in translation. With permission, we installed the FLL outside Ma-Maw’s old home. For its inauguration, our club invited the local organizations Youth Empowerment Project, One Book One New Orleans, and Read in Color. We plan to collaborate with these groups next year.
Now a sophomore, I’ve continued literacy advocacy by volunteering at Alliance Française events. This has given me new ideas about how to run Reading the World. I’ve added monthly book club events. Furthermore, every club member tutors a STAIR student. Finally, we’ll visit local senior homes at Thanksgiving and Christmas and read to the residents.
Ma-Maw would be happy to hear I won the L’Union Française’s Prix d’Excellence this year. She’d be even more thrilled to see how I’ve shared her love of reading with my community. Now I understand noblesse oblige : if you believe you are someone of noble character, then you must act accordingly. This NHS motto was easy for Ma-Maw to follow. She gave everything and led by example. I plan to follow in her footsteps. It would be an immense honor to do so through the National Honor Society.
NHS Essay Example, Dissected
This National Honor Society essay succeeds for many reasons. First, the student structures her essay around the theme of language and literacy. (Perhaps she also captains her softball team and volunteers for the Red Cross. But the student has correctly judged that these elements would distract from her story.) Rather than list her achievements and service, the student builds every element into a journey. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It shows how the student evolved to be someone who wants to make a difference. The ending completes the story by circling back to the beginning, through the idea of “noblesse oblige.” The student also manages to state clearly her thesis: she deserves acceptance into the National Honor Society.
This student’s story also centers around an emotional current, that of the student’s grandmother. The reader wants to invest in the story more because of this emotional aspect. Literacy is clearly not a random activity, but a meaningful one for the student. Including a role model allows the student to avoid bragging by transferring her praise to her grandmother.
Finally, the tone of the essay is formal (“It would be an immense honor”). Meanwhile, the unique voice of the student comes through (“We both went to shovel up the last slice of pie”). She accurately cites the names of the organizations she’s involved with and uses specificity (such as her grandmother’s kitchen cabinets) to draw the reader in.
Finished Your National Honor Society Essay?
Hopefully, you found our NHS essay example to be helpful. Now, feel free to check out our list of academic contests for more ways to boost your academic profile.
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With a BA in Literary Studies from Middlebury College, an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Translation from Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Kaylen has been working with students on their writing for over five years. Previously, Kaylen taught a fiction course for high school students as part of Columbia Artists/Teachers, and served as an English Language Assistant for the French National Department of Education. Kaylen is an experienced writer/translator whose work has been featured in Los Angeles Review, Hybrid, San Francisco Bay Guardian, France Today, and Honolulu Weekly, among others.
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Ace Your National Honor Society Essay with These Tips
Entering the National Honor Society can be a student's dream and requires devotion, good grades and expanding your interests into social activities, sports, and volunteering in your community. The NHS application is a sumptuous procedure and you'll need to compose an appropriate national honor application essay to get accepted. This essay will generally work as a recapitulation of your academic history, your dreams, and aspirations and your future plans. It is a decisive part of the application and needs to be written super carefully, with flair and method.
In fact, most chapters of NHS require an essay as part of your application for membership. The philosophy behind the essay varies; it might be a broad overview description of your academic achievements so far or work as a response to a specific question set and then insert your personal touch. Difficult as it might sound, the essay is, in fact, an opportunity to develop your full personality and convince the committee that yes, you are worthy of their attention. This means that acing it is a big step towards your goal to be accepted at the NHS, and there are tips to help you in the process.
Understand the philosophy behind the essay
Before even starting to write the essay structure, it is important to fully understand the philosophy behind the essay. In general, the NHS concept is based on four pillars: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Define the criteria and prepare your thesis to meet them all. Make sure you make some preparatory notes of all your scholarships and grants, activities that would show the leader in you (i.e. captain of the school football team) and list all volunteering work you have done in the past. Remember to explain why volunteering to the specific cause is important to you and makes you passionate in your side notes-you will need them as you proceed writing the essay.
Then tell your personal story-in writing
Your life story is what makes you unique and the NHS appreciates personal journeys that are built with dedication and passion at a young age. Think of the essay as an introduction of who you actually are, where to do aim to go and then try to communicate it efficiently. Building the essay around a general idea will also help you focus; for example, if your passion is getting to college to acquire a Math Ph.D. then focus your writing on jour personal journey with Math in high school-your Grades, extra work assignments, and awards. If animals are your passion, volunteering in an animal's shelter can show your devotion to later become a vet, so work your way around it.
Introduce yourself in a professional yet unique way
Perfection is a matter of balance-and your essay should be an example of both professionalism and flair in equal doses. Don't reinvent your writing style in the process or try to experiment with writing styles that are not you. Be clever yet professional. If you are generally a funny person, add your touch with a funny intro, if your style is more academic, and then keep it simple and clean. What is important is that the style expresses your personality as much as the content and that both assist your final goal-to be accepted in the NHS.
Talk in detail about your grants and scholarship achievements
The NHS aims to include the best of the best and provide them opportunities for the future so you have to convince them you belong to the elite. Again, make a list of your grades, awards, and scholarships. Then structure a big part of your writing around them-but in detail. Speak about the grants or scholarships you won, the Physics award or about being top your class in the first semester-in this process, the more the better. Excelling in activities outside school is also important but keep that separate-your academic life should be your primary focus here. You can also list prestigious classes you attended or name the teachers you have worked with and helped you obtain your top grades-in this section, the more is the better.
Include your non-academic achievements and activities
The next step in composing your essay is to include all your community or volunteer work, your activities and hobbies. Don't just list them-the idea here is to showcase your character traits and full personality. Again, the NHS is focusing on leadership, service, and character so structure them in order to meet those criteria. Where you the captain of a sports team? Did you do volunteering work at your city's animal shelter? Or participated in the theatre group at your school? Write them all down and then describe your character and qualities through them. Creativity, leadership and a collaborative manner within a team all work in your favor so don't be shy to mention your problem-solving qualities or focus on your best moments.
Acing the essay doesn't require you exaggerating on your achievements—the board members are well seasoned and can see past an essay whose focus is to impress. The key here is to be sincere-present your qualities and then mention your flaws. Make note that yes, you do have flaws but you are working to better yourself constantly. This is the kind of devotion that can make your flaws even work in favor of your application if presented correctly. Mentioning, for example, that you are a perfectionist but you are working to leave space for more creativity in what you do cannot do you harm—on the contrary.
Structure it appropriately
Writing a long essay is an arduous task—what makes a great one stand out and grasp the attention of the reader is structure. Decide what the focus of the essay should be and then structure all your information accordingly. The focus can be your love for a specific class or your future aspiration to be a lawyer and what you do to help you get there. Start from academic achievements, then pass to grants and scholarships, then mention your non-academic activities. Double-check you are following the structure in a way that your essay is clear, easy to be read and that communicates your message. This uniqueness will also make you stand out from the crowd and be remembered.
Introduce your paper in a clever and catchy way
Another great tip is to introduce your paper in a clever and catchy way; pick a life incident that you feel is important and then develop the whole essay around it. A trip with the boy scouts, a school incident or you starring at the school play can work well if you find the right angle, the one that will showcase your devotion and wit. You can also write about your experience working with a particular teacher or on a particular project that you loved. The introduction is where you can both catch the attention of the reader and evolve your full essay after it, so be creative. Again, balance is key, so never lose sight you are actually writing a well-structured NHS essay and not the intro of a novel so stay focused throughout your writing.
Write a killer conclusion
You have written all the boring stuff, elaborated on your academic qualities and presented your community work; now it's time to close the essay with a killer conclusion the board will remember. This, in fact, is the part where you can become more creative and show that you are also good at communicating your message so use whatever you feel best represents you. A school incident where you show your values or leadership qualities can work and so can your aspiration to enter college and get the job of your dreams. More of a creative type? This is the place where you can use a famous person's saying that best represents you and elaborate on it-or a moment in your school life that has defined you.
Proofread it, and then again!
Proofreading is key; you just can't convince your readers you are a straight-A student with spelling mistakes, and even the smallest of them can very well ruin an otherwise perfect essay so be focused and double-check everything. Then have a member of your family, your teacher, or a professional editor to check it again for mistakes you can spot by using automatic spell correctors. A crown is different from a crowd but it's hard for the spell checker to spot what you are trying to say, so be extra careful. Make sure the essay flows effortlessly and that you don't exaggerate on promoting yourself—this can be alienating and not work on your favor. Be perfect but be yourself along the way.
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National Honors Society Scholarship Essay Example on Being a Strong Candidate
Why do you feel you are a strong candidate for selection to the nhs how do you personally define scholarship, leadership, character, and service, and how do you exemplify these qualities.
The National Honor Society is an exceptional organization that allows students to help the needy, children, the elderly, and nonprofit organizations. I would be excited to join such a society because of the limitless opportunities it would present to me. Joining NHS would allow me to grow as a person and do as much as I can for others. In my years as a student, I have shown great examples of scholarship, leadership, character and service that I believe would qualify me to join this prestigious society.
As Wikipedia defines it, the word “scholarship” means “academic study or achievement; learning at a high level”. I consider myself a great scholar because I strive for excellence. I always aim to be the best in everything I do. As for effort, I make sure to fill my schedule with the most rigorous classes I can handle. I have taken all honors classes since the beginning of high school, and I aim to continue taking honors and AP classes in the future to reach my true potential as a student. I have also been on the honor roll since freshman year at my local high school, which demonstrates my eagerness to perform at the highest level I can. I believe that all students should try their best in everything they do, as I have demonstrated. As a scholar, I believe I am qualified to join this society.
In addition to being a scholar, I can definitely be considered a leader. Recently, I was invited to participate in the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. This invitation indicates that I place emphasis on standing out from the crowd and demonstrating my unique qualities. For example, I cofounded an Indian dance club at my high school. This club is important because it is the first dance club at my school. It allows members of all ethnicities and races to enjoy and learn Indian dance, thereby promoting cultural diversity. In addition to school-related activities, I also bring my passions to the outside community. One example of this is my role as a youth leader at the temple that I regularly attend. This position allows me to explore my interest in Hindu mythology with other members. I am able to translate this attraction into classical dance, skits, lectures, and musical instruments that help young members embrace their cultural identity.
I consider myself to have a great character to join NHS. I embrace all ethnicities and celebrate the differences within everyone that ironically bring us closer. I have a positive attitude that comes in handy when communicating with others. I definitely believe in the idea that each person shapes his or her own destiny. This means that I recognize the importance of always doing my best so that I may shape my life into what I want it to be.
Finally, I have helped my community by volunteering in the medical field. I spent the last summer working at a home for the elderly, where I was able to listen to life stories, participate in activities -- be more specific, and learn about working in the healthcare field. Volunteering is a valuable experience that has helped me become a better person. I look forward to continuing my volunteer work in the medical field in the future.
Because of my abilities and experiences as a student, I believe I can be considered a strong candidate for the NHS. I have demonstrated the scholarship, leadership, character, and service qualities necessary to join the society. I hope to be considered for placement in this prestigious organization.
Original Source: College Confidential