These are all a great thing to look out for when you're proofreading your essay. I’ve had so many students make the dangling modifier mistake, in addition to the faulty quotation mark punctuation. But you should find comfort that even published authors make the same mistakes! Everyone needs help with their grammar sometimes, especially since it often takes a new pair of eyes to spot typos, because yours have already gotten habituated to your words.Read More
Overusing adverbs (basically, essentially, actually) means that your verbs are not strong enough on their own. Wordy phrases and fragments slow down your narrative. Pedantic words like “myriad” and “plethora” should only be used if you know what they mean - otherwise you come across as someone disingenuous who used athesaurus to sound smarter (something admissions officers can easily see through.)
Inspired by Karyn, here are a few more things I would add to your admissions essay checklist for before you submit:Read More
You spent months perfecting your essay, going through multiple revisions and edits. You've cut the cliches and got it down to word count. You've finessed the opening and closing lines to eye-catching perfection. Everyone from your counselor to your mom's cousin twice removed has proofread it and given it their seal of approval. Maybe you've even hired a guru or two to give it the professional once (or twice) over.
Now all you have to do is click submit, right? And then you'll breathe the sweet victory of completion.Read More
Most high schools focus on teaching you the academic essay: you know, thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, and a closing paragraph summarizing the above. There is a pretty exact formula you have to stick with and not much room for creativity. Your tone is overly formal and you are expected to cite and analyze texts for a unique argument and conclusion. The good news: You spend 4 years learning this academic skill, which is helpful and will be what you are expected to write in college.Read More
When writing the essay that *may* determine the rest of your life, you may be tempted to embellish a little. You're competing with SO MANY OTHER KIDS that you think you need to sound that much smarter and well-read. The best writers use big words, right?
1) Ignoring the Supplemental Essay Questions
A common mistake is providing the same generic answer to the supplemental "Why do you want to go to this school?" question. Admissions officers have told me that if you can copy and paste your answer to every school, you're doing it wrong. The answer has to be personalized to each school: mention specific professors or majors unique to the school or something you discovered on your campus tour. Experts in Forbes second that opinion.Read More
In honor of last night's Halloween shenanigans, let's talk about terrifying mistakes not to make in your admissions essay. As someone who helps students brag about themselves for their admissions essays, I’ve realized there’s a fine line between impressing someone and irritating them. So what do you do when the cover letter practically begs you to be #blessed all over the place? Check out our killer tips for wowing their socks off without turning them off.Read More
Whatever your politics, you can agree that presidential debates can bring out the best in people—or the worst. Some people onstage look calm, educated, and even presidential. Others look mean-spirited, angry, and even unstable. So what does that have to do with the admissions essay? Republican or Democrat, you have to come across as LIKABLE in your personal statement. Based on countless interviews with admissions officers, that is the #1 quality they look for when making the decision to accept you or not. So how do you that exactly?Read More