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5

Mistakes to Avoid While Writing College Essays

When you are writing your first college essay for admissions you might feel as though your head is in a spin. They are usually very different to essays you would have written in the past. There are a couple of mistakes to avoid when you are writing your college essay.

Copying someone else’s essay

This is flat out cheating, and it is not tolerated in any college. If you copy someone’s essay there is a very high chance that you will get caught. When you are caught your essay will be rejected straight away, and so will the persons who you copied off. Your application will be binned as soon as any plagiarism is sensed.

Overusing a thesaurus

If you rely on a thesaurus for many of the words in your essay you may find that you don’t sound like you and that the essay doesn’t flow right. Sometimes you may find a word which you think is great, however you have used it incorrectly which will lose you marks. Be yourself and take your time, the words will come.

Focusing on someone other than yourself

If you are writing the piece about yourself you will not want to focus too heavily about other people. It may be the case that your uncle is a professional footballer, or your Nan has fantastic war stories; however the college tutors want to get to know you. You can feature other people but only if it discloses a little about your personality or how the experience with the person helped you to develop and grow.

Avoiding the question

If you have to write an answer then the question needs to be the focus of your essay. Write it in big letters on a piece of paper and keep looking back at it every few paragraphs to remind yourself what you need to write. Make sure that you understand the prompt too. You don’t want to write about something completely off topic because you are not sure what the question is asking. Once you have written the essay get someone who you trust to read it and tell you if you have answered the question.

Using the wrong school name

You may be sending the same essay to several schools, which is fine. However you must remember to change all of the school names in the essay. This shows that your work is sloppy and indicates that you do not care enough about the college to proofread your essay. You’ll be forgiven for a typo, but I very much doubt that they’d like to hear you would rather go to another school.

Having too much help from others

It will be great to have someone to read over your essay; however you need to draw the line to stop your work becoming theirs. If your reader is over editing you may lose your voice, tutors like to hear a raw 17 year olds take on life and thoughtful opinions. Take advice by all means, but you don’t have to act on it if you don’t feel that it is right for you.

Your college admissions essay is one of the most important essays you will write. You should remember to take your time, relax, and write what you think and feel. Have a few proofreaders or course, but remember not to lose your voice.