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What are the major no-nos for college essays?

This whole college essay thing has got me pretty anxious. I want to make sure I don’t mess up, so can someone tell me the key things I should absolutely avoid in my college essay?

8 months ago

Totally understand your anxiety. Having gone through the process with my kiddo, there are a few big mistakes to steer clear from. One major no-no is rehashing your resume – the essay is your chance to show a different side of you that isn't already in your application. Next, steer clear of clichés and overused stories, such as the winning goal story or how volunteer work changed your life unless you have a truly unique perspective. Definitely avoid controversial topics unless you can handle them with extreme care and thoughtfulness, and remember that humor is subjective, so what's funny to you might not be funny to the admission officer. Also, proofread like your application depends on it, because, well, it does. Typos and grammar mistakes can give the impression of carelessness. Lastly, make sure the essay sounds like you; if you're funny, be funny, if you're serious, be serious. It should feel authentic and not like what you think colleges want to hear. My child learned a lot about authenticity from writing workshops and friends’ feedback. Hope this helps, and good luck!

8 months ago

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