To make the college essay writing process easier for you, here is a simple and straightforward list of what to do and what not to do when you begin.
Do stay within your word limit
The online application won’t accept essays that are under 250 words or over 650 as stated before. Your essay must stay within the word count limit. The ideal word count for your common application essay is between 500 and 650 words.
Do keep your story about YOU
The college wants to learn more about you, not your friends or relatives. This is your chance to show who you are. Bring something new to the admissions committee about “you.”
Do write in your own voice
Use a conversational tone that is very engaging. For example, imagine you’re sitting across from your best friend as you share your story. How would you tell it?
Do engage your reader
Keep your essay focused and specified with one message that is determined utilizing an active voice. Your essay needs to be engaging. Make sure every sentence in your essay contains conversational transitions. Short sentences are more forceful and direct, and will make those 500 words interesting to the reader.
Do show a knowledge of the college and its programs
When writing about specific things pertaining to the college you’re applying to, use details you have learned through campus visits or your own research. This shows your interest in the school. You can share this knowledge by mentioning specific classes, professors, places of interest, or things happening on campus. Colleges appreciate students who are more likely to enroll, and showing them you know something about their school sends the right message. It shows you’ve done your homework!
While it is important to reflect on how you have faced adversity, it is not important to embellish on your high school track experience. Don’t fill your essay with every single personal accomplishment. You want to highlight yourself without sounding like a braggart.
Don’t be redundant
Don’t mention your grade point average or standardized test scores. Your application already includes that information. Avoid writing about anything that already appears in your application. There is no need for redundancy.
Don’t rely on spellcheck
While it’s important to use spell check to find common mistakes, you will catch more mistakes when you read your essay aloud. It’s also a great idea to ask for feedback on your personal essay from a family member or a close friend.