5. Choose topic ideas that “sound good” but have no personal connection to their lives
The knee-jerk reactions of most students when it comes to answering College Admissions essays, is the assumption that sounding unique and exotic will impress Admissions officers. In fact, they assume they know exactly what will impress this complete stranger(s) reading their content. What ends up happening is they end up creating a well written essay that sounds sterile, devoid of personality and frankly, boring.
4. Use vocabulary that “sounds impressive” but actually is distracting from their message
Yes, big words! Students typically view college admissions essays as a way to show off their impressive vocabulary. Yes, we know you’ve been studying long and hard for those SATs, but this isn’t the space to reveal how robust your vocabulary is. In fact, it comes off as insincere, because it’s very easy to read when the writer is using words that they aren’t comfortable using in other circumstances.
3. Use passive language instead of active language
Ah - those pesky adverbs that find their way in a slew of sentences. Conveying the importance of critical moments in your life, loose its power when the subject of the sentence does not perform the action stated by the verb, as needed in active voice. Too much passive language (where the subject is acted upon by the verb) in admissions essays makes the writer appear aloof and distant from their own experience.
2. Believe that their personal experiences aren’t good enough to write about
Time and time again, students end up writing the wrong story. They minimize the most important experiences in their adolescent lives, because they think it’s not good enough to impress an Admissions officer.
1. Fail to reveal themselves in their content
I can’t count the number of times I’ve read early essay drafts, that left me wondering, whose story I just read? The number 1 mistake students make when writing college admissions essays is that they fail to see it as an opportunity to reveal themselves. Admissions officers aren’t impressed with your expansive vocabulary, your volunteer experience or your most challenging life moment, if within those topics, you fail to show them who you actually are.
Avoid these mistakes at all costs, while drafting your college admissions essays. And look out for my next post on 5 Winning Essay Writing tips!