What Are the Most Common Mistakes on College Admission Essays?

July 4, 2018 | GradeMiners
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Essays for college application is increasingly gaining prominence as a way to identify ideal candidates for admission into universities and colleges. This is how admission offices get to learn about the students in relation to whether they are a good match for the college. However, while there are stellar college applications that are worth publishing, there are others that so cringe-worthy that colleges wonder whether the writers have ever stepped into a classroom. There are also some writers who make some widespread errors that compromise the readability and coherence of their writing thereby compromising their university chances. This article outlines some of the most common mistakes to avoid in college admission essays. Let us look at some of them:

  • Ignoring the audience

One of the most common mistakes students make in all forms of writing in academia, and in college applications in particular, is not writing with the audience kept in mind. In any type of writing for academia, paying attention to the audience ensures that the language and style used is suited to that audience. For admission essays, your target audience is members of the committee looking through applications. As these are professionals who have to go through tons of papers, your writing must capture their attention, besides being easy for skim reading.

  • Ignoring formatting and word count requirements

One of the main areas assessed in an admission essay is your ability to follow instructions. Many prompts for such papers specify the exact number of desired words. Some students tend to get excited about the writing, thinking that they can include every point they consider important, without any consideration for word count requirements. If the prompt asks that you produce a 250-to-300-word essay, do not try to submit 500 words. In fact, most online applications may not even accept your submission if it exceeds the stipulated limit. In cases where only the upper limit is stated, do not stress yourself when your paper appears too short, as long as you have effectively communicated your points. Be concise and clear, leaving out irrelevant ideas and clichés.

Regarding formatting requirements, most students tend to ignore such instructions as spacing, pagination, fonts, and running heads. The ultimate result is an essay that looks unprofessional and lazy. In some cases, the prompt will include information on the requirements. If not, choose a formatting style commonly used in your target discipline. There are many styles you could choose from, including MLA, APA, Turabian, or Chicago. Please note that a good application essay uses legible fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, 12 point. It is also recommended that you use double spacing throughout the paper.

  • Straying from the topic

Another common mistake when writing college admission essays is to stray from the topic or prompt. Poorly chosen content often leads to text that is off-putting. The application paper is where the admissions officers get to know you for the very first time, including such attributes as personality and writing skills. Your choice determines whether you have enough material to write and whether your writing is interesting. Pick something that you can relate to, and which you find significant. Choosing a bad topic can send the message that you are a boring person or that you are disconnected from the outside world. Once you have identified a topic, do not stray away from the prompt.

  • Overreliance on spell check programs

Most students also tend to depend too much on spelling and grammar check tools. While these applications could help you detect some misspelled words within your text, they come with some major flaws. Just because your words are properly spelled does not mean that they have been used appropriately.

  • Overly relying on the thesaurus

When writing for college application, you may be tempted to use jargons and wide words to impress your readers. Please don’t. While a rich vocabulary is a desired requirement, too much jargon takes away from the flow of the paper. In fact, you risk using the language inaccurately. The admission committee has hundreds of applications that they need to go through, and do not have time to look for a dictionary every time they come across a complicated word. Furthermore, if you write using vocabulary that is much higher than is reflected in your English grades and scores, it may send the impression that the work is not your own. In any case, how many teenagers do you know who use plethora in their daily communication?

  • Failing to carefully proofread your work

A major flaw in most admission essays is the existence of grammar and spelling mistakes. Most students hardly leave time to edit their work. Proofreading requires a critical approach, and it may be a good idea to take a break before returning to read make changes. You could also get a friend or family member to help. The feedback they provide should help you develop the final draft.

Writing for college admission requires careful planning, formatting and editing. These skills take time to develop and execute effectively. It is understandable that, even with the tips provided here, you may still be unable to produce a quality essay on time. Never shy away from seeking professional assistance.

If you feel that you lack the skills or the time needed to complete your admission essay on your own, feel free to order for a custom essay from top writing services like GradeMiners.com. The service hires top writers with master’s and Ph.D. qualifications and takes them through strict processes to ensure competence. If you choose to get your paper from this service, you are guaranteed a quality paper on time.

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