college essay mistakes

College essay mistakes

Nuggeteven if the essay prompt asks you to write about someone or something else, keep in mind that the underlying aim is for the admissions committee to learn about you. Common application essay mistakes and how to avoid students trip over common obstacles in their college application essays.

For example, many students can’t see beyond the superficial prompt to construct an essay that positively communicates their personality and passion.

Learn how to avoid these and other damaging an independent college admissions consultant, i read many application essays and see many common application essay mistakes.

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The common application, as well as many individual college applications and supplements, give students a choice of essay topics.

If the application requires more than one essay, select distinct topics and subject areas so the admissions people get a broader, and more complete, picture of you.

If you are an athlete, for example, try not to write more than one essay about the question.

If you are asked to describe your reasons for your interest in a particular school that you are applying to, make sure your essay addresses the particular features of that school that appeal to you and explain why.

If there is only an upper limit, don’t stress if your essay appears too short.


While few applicants are genuinely altruistic, most colleges are turned off by students who appear more focused on what the school can do for them, rather than how they can benefit from the education and at the same time be a contributing member of the campus community.

A good way to catch mistakes is to read your essay very slowly and out ’t overlook the mundane.


Some of the best and most memorable essays are based on a simple conversation between people.

Some essays of this type center on a moment of enlightenment or illumination when the writer views life from a new perspective and/or gains new the volunteer trip.

Dedicated community service over a period of time can be a strong topic for an application essay.

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The admissions committee relies on essays to learn additional things about you such as your initiative, curiosity about the world, personal growth, willingness to take risks, ability to be self directed, motivation and ability to make the most of a situation.

In short, use your essays to showcase a side of you not visible from other parts of the the entire application.

Many applications, especially for some of the more competitive schools, are complex and require multiple essays and short answers. For example, if you have five key areas you wish to cover, and there are five essays, try to strategically focus on one area in each ’t fall in love with the thesaurus.

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Worse yet, if your essay vocabulary is at a much higher level than what would be expected from your english grades and sat/act scores, it may appear that your essay is not your own work.

While self doubt is generally undesirable, a bit of humility can be well received, especially in an essay about overcoming uate the positive.

Drawing attention to weakness in an essay is generally not a good idea, unless you were able to overcome a weakness, and make it a strong ead carefully.

Don’t let your eagerness to submit an application cause you to overlook careless mistakes.

An impressive essay generally contains a strong opening, well organized content, and a powerful closing.

If your essay lacks structure and seems to ramble, chances are it won’t impress the reader. For example, one student wrote an excellent essay about a horrible first day of school, but forgot to include that he had just moved to town, from halfway around the world, and was struggling with english.

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