This is the second part of last week’s post. College Essay Guy continues with Three More Mistakes (for a total of six) Even Excellent Students Make on Their College Essay. Let’s read what he has to say.
Here are some more mistakes to avoid on your college essays next fall:
1. WORKING ON THE DETAILS BEFORE THE CONTENT AND STRUCTURE ARE SOLID.
Work on your essay like this: first content, then structure, finally details.
For content, ask yourself: Am I telling my deepest story?
For structure, ask: Could the order of my story events be more dynamic?
Both of these take some time to figure out. Understand exactly what your story is and how you’re telling it instead of worrying about whether to use the word “sated” or “satisfied” in the final paragraph.
2. ASSUMING THE ESSAY DOESN’T MATTER THAT MUCH.
Your essay matters. In fact, it can make the difference. Will it get you into Harvard if you have C’s and D’s? No. But it can make the difference between you and someone with comparable grades, test scores and extracurricular activities. If it didn’t matter, colleges wouldn’t make you write so many of them.
(If you’re wondering how these essays are evaluated, two college admissions officers—from USC and SMU—offered their feedback here.)
3. NOT ASKING FOR HELP.
Got a close relationship with your counselor or English teacher? Great. Use this person.
An older sister you trust? Ask her.
In fact, you can even ask your parents. As I wrote on my site, they can be a great source of help in brainstorming ideas for your essay and in offering honest feedback after you’ve written it.
No idea where to start and need help?
Click here for a free step by step process.
And if you’ve got more questions, feel free to contact me.