BY FREDDIE TUBBS
Your college essay is critical to your application. Besides being well written, it should also offer insight about who you are and is a part of your application that you have complete control over. Obviously you don’t have to be a great writer to write a good essay. The essay is not a “writing test” but more a “thinking test” So you should spend time making sure that your thoughts and ideas are correctly and clearly displayed on paper.
To help you do this there are some very common mistakes that you should avoid at all costs:
- Not being yourself
Your essay is your opportunity to show the admission officer who you are. Students often think that they need to be who the admissions officers want them to be; but, in fact, the admissions officers are looking for original thoughts and they want you to be you. Be honest and you will find it much easier to write an essay.
- Choosing a topic that you don’t care about
Many students end up writing about something that sounds good and intelligent but that it’s not meaningful to them. This is a mistake, you should always write about something that is important to you. If you write about an issue, be sure to pick one that you truly care about and know something about. You’ll probably score extra points if you can describe how you have done something related to the issue.
- Not planning
You should spend as much time thinking about what you will write as actually writing words on paper. Take advantage of tools such as Grade On Fire or UK Top Writers, writing communities that offers you quality writing guides and professional advice to help you plan your writing.
- Not answering the question
You always need to answer the specific question asked from a college. If you’re using the same essay for many colleges, you need to edit the essay so that it answers the question being asked. You can use the online tools State of Writing, Ox Essays and Big Assignments to help you edit your essay to fit the college requirements.
- Forgetting who your readers are
You should always remember whom you are writing for. Admissions officers are adults who have a more conservative view of what’s well written and appropriate than your friends. Your spelling, punctuation and grammar should be polished to perfection since admissions officers will be looking at this carefully. Also check your essay length using Easy Word Count to keep a count of your words and characters and make sure you get your citations accurate and well formatted with Cite It In.
- Not getting any feedback
Ask anyone that has been through this process to read your assay. It can be your parents, teachers or counsellors. The more people read your essay the easier it is to identify what can be edited out, what needs to be explained better, or how you can improve your work. You can also use tools such as Elite Assignment Help to get expert writing help to improve your application and essay.
- Forgetting to proofread
It’s essential that you thoroughly proofread your essay. Check spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors. You can use proofreading tools such as Dissertation help and Write my paper to help you perfect your writing and editing, and for quality writing guides.
Remember that the essay is a crucial piece of the application. It can certainly help your chances of being accepted where you want. However, you also need to have everything else in your application in place as well. To have a chance at getting accepted at the college of your choice you need to take time to work on the application form, recommendation letters, and interviews. Remember that you are taking actions now that will affect the next four or more years of your life. It’s worth committing and making the effort. When you feel like your application is ready you can use the Hemingway App, an editor tool that highlights lengthy, over complicated sentences and common errors that you want to avoid when editing your college application and essay. It allows you to paste your content into the tool and it will analyze it sentence by sentence.
Freddie Tubbs is an eLearning project manager from Fort Myers, Florida. He works
as a language researcher at Best Australian Writers and is a contributing author at