5 Mistakes College Essay Writers Make

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Want to go to your top-choice school? Writing a great essay is key. Make sure you know what mistakes to avoid:

1. Don’t be someone you aren’t: Not everyone can be president of the class, editor and chief of the newspaper, or the leading scoring on the lacrosse team. Find the real you. What are you good at? What are your successes – no matter how small? If they are important to you, they are significant.

2. Don’t over compliment: Schools don’t want to hear about their “impressive” professors or the “state-of-the-art library”. They know this already. (That’s why you are paying so much tuition.) They want to hear about you and why you want to go there – what programs, majors, courses prompted you to apply?

3. Don’t write with the thesaurus next to you: Talk people talk – the greatest journalists use language that someone in seventh grade can understand. SAT words don’t cut it here. Use simple, expressive language.

4. Don’t use humor if you aren’t certain it really works: You can’t take a chance that admissions officers won’t find it funny. Humor is difficult to pull off unless you’re a natural.

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