Do’s and Don’ts of College Essays

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Dos

  1. Use some appropriate humor as an added flare.
  2. Talk about education, tolerance, or change.
  3. Be analytical and talk about the big picture.
  4. Read other essays written by previous students. Use them to see how creative other applicants were.  
  5. Add something to your application rather than repeating things you have told them elsewhere. 
  6. Show the three magic words: Passion, Authenticity, and Initiative.

And Don’ts

  1. Make the essay another resume or a brag sheet.
  2. Talk about when you were very depressed or self-destructive.
  3. Read other essays to copy them! 
  4. Discuss a time when you were dishonest.
  5. Use your essay to complain about people or circumstances.
  6. Depend on clichés to add style to your essay. (They do the exact opposite!)
  7. Write a sob story with no point other than to make it a sob story.
  8. Go beyond the word limit of 650. (The application won’t let you anyways.)

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