GrantMe's Essay Editing Completion Scale

First of all, congratulations on submitting your first-ever essay! You're probably here because you're wondering, "Why did the editor grade my essay and what does it mean?" Our essay editing team follows a set of standards to what constitutes a winning essay. We have designed the completion scale to help our editors and you assess how close your essay is to being ready to submit!

There are five steps on the scale, with each number indicating the top areas you can focus on to take your writing to the next level. It is not meant to only assess grammar and structure. Instead, we hope to help you determine how to best address the writing prompt and showcase your character!

What criteria is the completion scale based on? 

There are 7 core elements of a winning essay. Editors always make sure that your written work contains these elements (if applicable). Each completion metric score rating indicates whether your essay includes these elements.

1.  A compelling Hook 

2. The use of STAR structure

3. Powerful volunteer examples

4. Elevated diction

5. Direct and concise writing

6. Connecting your impact

7. The use of the STA(R)² model

GrantMe Essay Editors mainly focus on structure and content. We encourage students to make sure that their spelling and grammar are in check before they submit! Feel free to download Grammarly and use it as a tool for a quick and easy scan before you submit your essay for editing. To know more about the 7 core elements of a winning essay, visit this page!

Does that mean I have to write all of that in a single essay?

Most of the time, yes! Most scholarship prompts ask about your volunteer contributions and leadership roles, hence our suggestion to use the STAR structure. In cases where the application is more extensive, use STA(R)² to provide a well-rounded profile! However, if the prompt does not require these details in your work, the essay editing team will only emphasize applying the other 5 elements.

So, where can I find my score?

At the bottom of your document, your essay editor will indicate your completion scale score along with a comment that sums up their edits. Use your score to determine what to focus on most and to give you an idea of how much more time and work is needed to complete your awesome application!

Now, why have I received a score of…


The editor may have noticed issues such as:

  • run-on sentences, passive voice, unnecessary verbs, clichés
  • absence of a hook
  • going off tangent from the topic 
  • unclear essay structure or unorganized thoughts
  • absence of some elements of STAR and/or STA(R)² structure
  • missing descriptions of leadership role or volunteer work
  • word count being far below the maximum limit (lack of content)

Review your work and try to avoid these issues to strengthen your essays!


This time, the editor may have noticed these issues with your work:

  • a couple of sentences answering the prompt with some meandering to other topics
  • disconnected or irrelevant hook
  • missing elements of the STAR and/or STA(R)² structure
  • essay structure not being solid due to some sentences answering the prompt and others veering away from the topic, and/or unorganized thoughts
  • vague descriptions of leadership role or volunteer work


Here, the editors may have noticed:

  • comprehensible sentences but weak construction, like repetitive phrases or words and unnecessary words (instead of "for the reason that," you can just say "because")
  • good hook but needs more fleshing out to reveal your character and relate to your topic more
  • vague descriptions of Actions or Results (STAR structure)
  • weak usage of some elements of the STA(R)² model
  • missing introduction or conclusion
  • Under or over the word/character limit by more than 50 


When you receive this score, the editors saw:

  • comprehensible sentences with a few missing a word or two, rendering the thought incomplete and unclear
  • coherent sentence structure but needs more variety so it won't sound redundant
  • diction that can be further elevated
  • grammatical errors, like subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement, punctuation, and capitalization
  • word/character count above or below the maximum limit by less than 50


This score means your essay or other writing submission has been fully edited and is complete! 🎉 Your editor may have left some small suggestions to polish up your essay, but at this point, you can go ahead and submit your application!

What does the editor mean by "Please leave your completion metric details here so that our editors can see your progress"?

You may notice that, aside from leaving suggestions on your Google Doc, there will be a paragraph at the bottom of your document summarizing the editor's suggestions. This paragraph includes your completion score!

When you resubmit your essay, the next editor checks this information so the team's edits are also coherent and united. So make sure to leave that paragraph to guide the editors in providing you ample feedback!

You can also help the editors provide cohesive feedback by making your revisions directly to the edited essay. You can do this by clicking the little checkmark in the top right-hand corner of their comment when you want to “accept” and “resolve” their suggestions. If you decide you don’t agree with their suggestion (It’s okay! It won’t hurt our feelings!) then you can click on the little “X” in the right-hand corner of the comment box. 

Making your revisions directly to the edited essay (as opposed to completely deleting your essay and rewriting it, or adding a “second draft” to your document) allows the editors to track your revisions and progress in order to give you an appropriate completion metric score.