Five Application Essay Mistakes to Avoid

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Five Application Essay Mistakes to Avoid
Not Approaching the Essay Strategically: Your essay should be customized for
your personal situation. You need to consider what an admissions officer is going to
think about you (based on the content of the rest of your application) before he or
she starts reading your essay. What type of personal qualities does this particular
school look for in its students? How do your grades and test scores stack up to
other applicants? Can you afford to play it safe with this essay or do you need to be
aggressive in order to get noticed? Is there some deficiency in your application you
need to address? These are only a few of the questions you should ask yourself.
Ask them before you begin writing your essay and again when you are finished
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Submitting an Essay that Contains Grammar and Spelling Mistakes: Sending
an essay you didn't take the time to proofread will not endear you to a college.
Proofread your essay at least twice and ask a friend, relative or teacher to do the
same. You may even want to hire a professional for this. Whatever you decide to
do, make sure the essay you send to the college of your choice is mistake-free.
Using the Essay to List Your Accomplishments: Your high school transcript will
tell admissions officers about your academic accomplishments and extra-curricular
activities. Use the essay/personal statement to highlight positive qualities that may
not come across in the rest of your application.
Using an Inappropriate Tone: The tone of your essay is at least as important as
its content. You want to portray yourself as someone who will contribute positively
to campus life and to the reputation of the university. You also want to portray
yourself as someone who will benefit from the type of education the institution you
are applying to offers. Some good tones are: introspective, inquisitive and lightly
humorous. Tones you should avoid include: arrogant, judgmental, argumentative
and self-pitying.
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Using Inappropriate Language: This should go without saying, but every year
students submit essays that contain profanity and language that is extremely
insensitive and politically incorrect. Keep that type of language out of your essay! It
reflects poorly on you as an applicant and a writer. Also, keep slang to a minimum.
Always keep your image in mind when writing. If an admissions officer is offended
by the language in your essay, it's a safe bet it will end up on the rejection pile.

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