Scholarships that require essays offer you the opportunity to stand out from the pack and make an impact on the reader. If an essay is ever optional, always, always include it! By choosing to ignore a request for an essay, it shows the application-committee or reviewer you really did not want to put the work in. You are writing this essay for money; it’s worth the time and effort you put into it. (It is unwise to write one essay and copy/paste it for all the scholarships you are applying for.)
The essay section of a scholarship is your only chance to distinguish yourself from the rest of the applicants. You may be just as qualified, or perhaps even less qualified, than others, so this is your time to shine and let them know why YOU deserve this scholarships.
What will distinguish yours from all the others? Perhaps you deserve this scholarship, but other students probably do too. What makes you different from the masses? Put some time into thinking about what you’re going to write and always have someone else read it. A second opinion, third, or even fourth will likely bring you plenty of valuable feedback. Ask your teachers, coaches, managers at work, your friends. The more feedback you can get, the better off you are.
The body of the essay should support the main topic of the essay; make sure to give examples and explain why you are qualified. Avoid repeating yourself using the same language. Personal and specific examples create a story that may draw in the reader and create a memorable impression. Using generalities is not convincing; they may be applied to most people and do not create a unique impression of you.
To conclude your essay, restate your main point, although do not use the same language word for word. Using a future-tense may be appropriate. If you choose to use a quote or a poem in your essay, choose wisely and be selective; it may be perceived as cliché or unoriginal, or even inapplicable.