College Application Essay: Dos and Don’ts

Dos and Donts Your college application essay is one of the few parts of the admittance process that is completely in your control. Before the hectic school year starts, use the remaining weeks of summer to work on your essay. Here are 10 tips:


  • Be yourself
    • Admissions wants to learn about you, not the “perfect, ideal” student.

  • Show who you are
    • Paint a picture for your reader.

  • Be specific
    • Demonstrate your story with detailed examples, not generic clich├ęs.

  • Keep it concise
    • Use less words to tell more.

  • Proofread
    • Grammatical errors are distracting. Re-read and revise multiple times.


  • Blend in with everybody else
    • Steer away from a topic they’ve already read over 100 times.

  • Write your resume
    • This is the opportunity to become a real person, not just a list of words on paper.

  • Try to take on too much
    • Choose a single thesis and keep focused on it from beginning to end.

  • Repeat yourself
    • Each and every word counts.

  • Embellish your story
    • Stick with simple, straightforward language.


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