What should I avoid in my college essay?

What should I avoid in my college essay?

Often, we hear about the “Do’s” of college essay writing… What about what not to do? Here are four helpful tips regarding things you should avoid doing during the writing process. 

  • Burying the lead.
  • The closest distance between two points is a straight line, so don’t wander around trying to find the point! Your POV, or the “point” of your essay should be made extremely clear within the first paragraph. Readers don’t want to find out what your essay is about until paragraph four, let them know quickly! Hook them in so that they’re excited for what’s to come. 

  • Using a $10 word when a $5 word is available.
  • Don’t try to sound too smart or fancy with your wording, just say what you mean! Ask yourself if it’s written simply enough that one of your friends would be able to fully comprehend it the first time through. When in doubt, keep your writing style simple, clear, and authentic to you. 

  • Sharing everything everywhere all at once.
  • Zero in on one main message instead of sharing lots of different things about yourself. Focus on one main takeaway for readers to remember you by. Remember, this essay is not an autobiography, it’s a snapshot of you! 

  • Reciting the homepage of your dream school’s website.
  • Show them that you’ve done your research. Dig deeper and highlight specific programs, classes, and even professors that you are interested in. Map out for them how your specific goals for the future align with unique opportunities offered by the school (i.e. niche clubs, leadership opportunities, etc). Lastly, show them what kind of person you’ll be on campus!

    Finally, and arguably the most important piece of advice…Don’t start at the last minute! Give yourself time to fully flesh out your ideas and allow mentors and peers to read it and give their feedback. Give your ideas the time to grow. 🌱

    Remember that the hard work is already done! Now highlight those accomplishments with with a snapshot of the best version of you, not a flowery autobiography. Allow ESAI's College Admissions Tool to help you brainstorm ideas, map out a plan, and revise the final product.
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