Not sure what may go wrong in your college essays? This article will explain the important things you must consider to avoid writing a failed essays.
DON’T DROP OUT IDEAS BEFORE YOU COMPLETELY SURE
Whether you realize it or not you are a cyclone full of rich ideas waiting to be tapped, you are a treasure truest of golden nuggets begging to be plundered, you are filled with favorite flowers just waiting to be…..
YOU GET THE POINT!
You have a lot of ideas, just need to give yourself time to get them out of your brain and onto the page where you can access them, tune them, move them around and admire them. This goes for brainstorming, free writing and even story sculpting and editing. Give your enough time to consider everything on the page before you toss anything.
DON’T TRY TO PUT THE IDEA WHICH IS UNCONVENTIONAL VERSUS REAL
So your life isn’t like a bowl of all organic food, Big Deal! And who cares that you were not able to figure out how to arrange the science story of the volcano accident into its series of high coozes. Admission officers value quirk in the essay if it serves the purpose. In fact, they would prefer to get to know the real you. The you who cares about the animals and art and find a way to combine those interests. You don’t have to be wired and neither do your essays.
You just have to YOU!
DON’T WRITE THE ESSAY ABOUT ANYONE ELSE INSTEAD YOU
It makes sense that when presented with the challenge and writing an essay about your intangible quality you will feel compelled to focus on the person who has influenced your life outlook and philosophy. May your grandmother taught you how to live in a moment as an 8-year-old to still drive and do the tango at his club. Perhaps your father loves Mathematics since you fired him to involve in your robotics projects when you were a kid which later on evolved into one of your greatest passions. Writing about the people who have a great impact on you is absolutely fair game. Just make sure the emphasis of your essay is not on your mother, your brother or your piano teacher but on your relationship and its effect on you.
DON’T REPEAT THE INFORMATION
Admission officers have plenty of lists to read, they are scanning your transcripts, reviewing your activity list and accessing your family background and history. We mention this to our students many times but it bears repeating. The essays must reveal something that cannot be gleaned from your transcripts or test scores. It is the only chance you will have to speak to the admissions office directly and in your own voice. So you should push beyond highlighting your academics and after-school activities and dig into the need of who you are as a human. If you are a varsity soccer player who spends most of the time kicking balls down the field it is natural to talk about all your accomplishments in it but try to push beyond the basic recap.
Why are you such a successful soccer player?
What does your ability to make a winning play on a sprained ankle say about your level of determination?
Where else does this resolve show itself in your life? Reach to define those intangible qualities that make you an interesting person. Someone with an admission officer wants to have a conversation with and let the resume and test scores speak for themselves.
DON’T TELL ADMISSION OFFICER WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW INSTEAD SHOW THEM
Are you fun and creative or resilient and kind?
Do you have a passion for the things you do?
The best way to communicate these kinds of qualities is to craft stories that illustrate these points. If you think you are resourceful, maybe you should write about the time when you turned a spilled paint into an abstract set design for your last school play. What does this story say about your positive attitude and your creativity? Beating a reader through events that communicate something about your inner qualities is much more convincing than a mere declaration of your strengths.
SO DON’T BRAG, LET YOUR STORY DO THE TALKING INSTEAD.
DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT
You might be one of those people who look around their peers and thinks that I don’t do any of those things which they are doing. I am boring.
But remember, you are not boring, you are awesome!
You are probably humble and having a natural gift of identifying and celebrating the talents of others. So what if you haven’t been to Spain, who cares you can’t dance. Something lives biggest lessons are found in the smallest moments and humble achievements. Don’t put yourself down and hide your talent under the power of doubt, comparisons and dirty sock.
Give yourself some credit. We know you deserve it. Also, knowing the life experiences regardless of what they are, will not make the college essay shine. It’s the voice and the heart of the writer that add the true magic.
DON’T BE NEGATIVE
A great American poet once said, “No one likes a party pooper”. Whether you are talking about the moment of failure or a moment of triumph. A funny story or the sad one, positivity is the essential component of the college essay. As you know you have seen in your academic and extracurricular endeavors attitude is everything. It is what drives success and just as importantly, it’s what makes people want to be around you. If a situation has some heavy thoughts and consequences related to it, try to also access the bright side of the story. Don’t give any reasons to the admission officer to doubt your most awesome. Let’s make sure that your essay leaves the reader with the feeling that you are the kind of person who would make any day brighter, not darker and who always looks for the good over the bad.
DON’T ADD EXTRA CONTENT JUST TO REACH UP TO THE WORD COUNT
The common app suggests submitting an essay of 500-650 words and well you have to get your story under 650 words to fit in that fun little application text box, you shouldn’t feel pressure to fit that upper limit. In fact, 500-550 words can be more than enough to tell your story if you follow our earlier tips on being economical with your language. Under no circumstances would we recommend you to add more words to make it up to 650. Worry about your story first. If you feel that you have expressed well, no matter what the final length, you can wear your unique word count as a badge of pride.
DON’T MISS THE PROOFREADING
So you went on the month-long archeological date to excavate your memories and milestones for your brainstorm, hunger down to the submarine layers for free write to 72 straight hours and perform the pain-taking surgeries to pluck the best pieces from those free writes and arrange them with care. You’re done, right? WRONG!
There is no substitute for good old-fashioned editing once you have a near-final draft in place.
Walk away from your essay for a day or two and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. Comb through the essay slowly and methodically, looking for the errors your eyes learn to skip over. Also, having the trusted advisor scanning your essay for final errors is always a good idea. Someone who hasn’t memorized your essay like you probably has, will catch the extra spaces, missing articles and misuse the apostrophes. Is there anything worse than reading the essay just after you submit the button and you will realize that there is a double AND. No, it isn’t.
So don’t take any chances.
We don’t think that we have to mention this to you but we are going to mention it anyway.
Seriously, don’t do it!
DON’T COPY OTHER PEOPLE’S WORK, IT’S DISHONEST AND IT’S UNETHICAL.
Also, it sells you and your talents short. We know you are an interesting intelligent person who can write your own college admissions essay. An admission officer wants to read what you have to say. We hope this isn’t the case but if you have been tempted to copy someone else’s work, know this, admissions officers can sense when your work is not your own.