Dos and Don’ts in Writing College Application Essays

College Essays Can Give a Glimpse into Your Soul

While student grades and test scores are clearly top factors in admissions office decisions, application essays often play a role that is pivotal. Like nothing else, essays give admissions readers an actual sense for who you really are as a person and student. Some say these are typically a “glimpse into the soul.”

Most colleges require a minumum of one essay as a part of these applications; some require two, three or even more. Ranging in length from just a couple words to 1, two, or three pages of content, essay questions in almost any free-response section associated with college application is highly recommended a chance to make a impression that is good.

At the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s (NACAC) yearly conference, college admissions deans have admitted repeatedly that poorly written essays can “do in” a student with top grades and test scores. and that essays that are great sometimes turn the tide toward acceptance for a student with less-than-stellar grades and test scores.

These same deans have offered sage advice about the dos and don’ts of writing college essays.


1. Write revealing, concise essays that inform, enlighten and amuse.

2. Present yourself as genuinely humble, modest, perhaps even self-effacing.

3. Be yourself.

4. Answer every single facet of the essay question as best you are able to AND within the character/word limit provided.

5. Come across as mature, positive, reflective, intelligent, down-to-earth, curious, persistent, confident, original, creative, thoughtful and hard-working.

6. Demonstrate proof of your having knowledge that is real a college and its particular many resources, including courses, programs, activities and students.

7. Write on something that is counterintuitive you are a football player who is totally into poetry, a young woman who is a computer or physics geek, a macho guy who wants to be an elementary school teacher about yourself, e.g.

8. Compose pay someone to write my paper an essay, give it to others to see and edit, and then do one last edit that it is done before you declare.

9. Use a variety of words to explain something or someone, e.g., Charley, my pal, my buddy, my schoolmate, he, him.

10. Explain what has to be explained, such as an illness, a learning disability, a suspension, a one-time bad grade, a family tragedy, an important challenge you have had.


1. Write too much, ramble on, convinced that more (words) is better. It isn’t.

2. Brag, boast, toot your horn that is own come across as arrogant.

3. Write what you think college admissions people want rather than everything you really think.

4. Go off currently talking about what you would like to say rather than what the relevant question asks AND ignore the specified character/word counts.

5. Run into as immature, negative, superficial, shallow, a phony, glib, a slacker, insecure, whiney, disrespectful or judgmental.

6. Give the impression that you know little about a college by writing trite, inaccurate or inconsequential reasons for having it.

7. Make something up about yourself merely to impress the admissions readers.

8. Write an essay and contemplate it done without searching for punctuation or grammatical errors and having it edited by at least one person.

9. Make use of the words that are same and over, e.g., my pal, my buddy, my pal, my pal, my friend.

10. Make excuses for anything, including a grade that is bad an infringement of rules, a suspension, whatever.

Application essays are an excellent opportunity for you really to show admissions offices who you are really, in what ways you imagine, how good you perform, and also your love of life.