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College Essays: Eight Grammatical Blunders to Avoid

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❶It is so easy, when writing an essay in Microsoft Word , to simply accept the standards of the spellcheck tool, which operates robotically regardless of context.

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What Excellent College Essays Have in Common

Write as if you are talking to the reader. I think that the best advice I have ever received about writing came as a result of attending a writing conference. A publishing executive said at the beginning of her talk, "To write easily and well, simply be yourself.

Be natural; write as if you are talking to your reader on paper. You can do the same with your college application essays. Remember, the purpose of answering the application questions is to help the college admissions officers get to know you.

What better way of doing that is there than to write as if you are talking to them? Offer readers a story. When I attend college admissions conferences, I almost always attend sessions on application essays, where college admissions officers talk about what they look for. Inevitably it is revealed that they love reading applicants' personal stories and anecdotes. Frankly, the stories can be about anything ranging from a conversation with a grandparent, to the best or worst day of your life, to a special talent or involvement or something that changed how you think.

Stories help illustrate points that you may be trying to make to your readers and help show more about who you are as a person. Every child in every family has stories about themselves. If you have trouble coming up with some, try having a brainstorming session with your parents at dinner some time.

Use the first person. Many writers tell me that in order to write authentically, they had to unlearn a lot of what they were taught in school. Among their most important "unlearnings" was to limit using third person pronouns he, she, they, it , and start using the first person, I. Because college admissions people want to hear about you, you need to write in your own, unique voice. And that means saying such things as, "I have loved numbers ever since I was a little kid.

My mother tells me that at the grocery store, I would sit in the cart and add up the item prices she placed next to me to see if I could come up with the same amount as the cash register. Be specific, descriptive and offer plenty of details. Skillful writers say that the key to alive, good writing is to "show, not tell. Since I was very young, I have spent a lot of my time rescuing, raising, caring for and loving them.

It is so easy to fall into writing something that ends up saying nothing or is trite. To not do that, keep in mind the following:. Rather than saying, "I like working with people and want to save the world," how about saying, "I joined the Diversity Club at school because I wanted to get to know students from different cultures, learn about their families, religion, traditions and even their food.

I also wanted to find out how we are alike and unalike. I believe that when people really get to know one another, they have a better chance of getting along. Make sure that your essay is free of spelling, grammatical mistakes and improper use of words. There are few things that negatively stick out more on college applications than errors. It also takes time to write a really good college application essay. Yes it would save time, and can save time, but only under certain circumstances.

See, many colleges will ask for similar questions or essay prompts to include with your application. Who is your biggest hero? Why do you want to attend this college? Reusing the same essay is just fine. That might mean just a few edits here and there, or it may mean overhauling your essay, or simply writing a new one. Be wary of submitting something too generic to multiple colleges. You still want to make each one feel personalized. Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!

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Home» Getting In» Questions & Answers» Can I Reuse the Same Essay On a Different College Application? Can I Reuse the Same Essay On a Different College Application? Follow us on. Writing a college essay? Using real sample college essays that worked will give you a great idea of what colleges look for. Learn from great examples here. Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work.

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10 Tips for Writing the College Application Essay International students can use a vacation term in the U.S. or abroad to take a break from full-time studies. See More. 6 Terrific Pieces of Advice for Writing College Application Essays. and may result in you're getting a rejection letter from a college. College essays can reveal a lot about how you think and.