9 Mistakes in Writing College Essays Students Often Make

essay mistakesAside from searching for an excellent college essay application sample, it is also wise to find a terribly-written essay to learn what mistakes you are likely to make and that you should avoid. Reddit is a good online platform you can get such an essay. You can also check out several other discussion forums on college issues.

All these horrible essays do not mention their authors. However, it is not important as long as you learn from those mistakes so you do not make them in your essay. Ensuring your essay is free from common grammatical mistakes and structure errors will not assure top position. However, why subject yourself to the shame if you can avoid it?

Avoid Inconsistent Tense in Your Sentences

Your essay needs to be in UK English. However, getting the right tense for your essay can be a challenge. Think about the time your essay events will be set and stick to it until the end. For example, if you decide on present tense, all your sentences must be in the present. Do write some in past tense, past perfect, past simple or future tense. If you do, you will be violating fundamental language rules for essays. If you write something that you are not sure of, get your dictionary and seek clarification. Search for essay samples online to get an idea of how your essay should look before getting down to writing.

Always Add Analysis to Your Main Ideas

Your paper should not be a summary of your topic. Ensure that your essay for admission is objective. To do this, you need to analyze each idea you present. In academic circles, any statement you present in an essay or assignment needs to be accompanied by evidence or support. At the same time make it personal. If you mention an established idea from a published book, add your opinion to it. In short, you need to justify why you have chosen to mention a specific statement to be part of your essay.

Don’t Use Direct Quotes or At Least Avoid Using Too Many in Your Essay

Though it is not wrong to use in-text citations in your admission essay (an excellent one may get the reader’s attention), it is always advisable to express yourself in your own words. If you must use direct quotes, the best thing to do is to start with an intriguing quote carrying your main theme then switch to paraphrasing. However, it is always best to refrain from using direct language because of plagiarism which is a serious copyright violation.

Complete Your Sentences to Avoid Leaving Your Reader Hanging

A complete sentence must contain a subject and a verb. However, most times students forget one or the other. Remember that a college essay does not use the same language as that used in blog articles or magazines. Therefore, obey all the rules of grammar you learned in school. You may use whichever sources you prefer. However, limit your style to academic writing requirements.

Personal statement essay from essay4me

Choose Right Topic; a bad Topic Spoils Your Entire Essay

Every essay begins with topic selection. Your topic needs to appeal to the college admission board. Your starting paragraph should state the main essay idea precisely. That is to mean the reason you are applying to the institution.

If you decide to talk about your life experiences, it is always better to focus on the positive experiences that your failure. Talking too much about your failures will make you come off as a person condemning their fate. If you decide to write about a specific past failure, focus more on how it turned out to be a learning experience.


  • Your top personality attributes
  • A suitable life experience to substantiate your point
  • Mention your relevant skills
  • Don’t leave out any experience you possess that you think the college will appreciate

However, be careful that you end up talking about everything. An admission essay should not elaborate your whole life but only experiences relating to your topic and choice university. Don’t write about your worries concerning campus life and living independently in college or your routine activities. If you have an interesting or uncommon event that has helped shape you, add it to your essay. Lastly, don’t write about personal experiences alone. You could say that you intend to meet other people to get more experiences.

Avoid Contractions: Use Formal Language

Use words in their entire form. For example, the word “don’t” should be written in full as “do not.” More examples include “can’t” which should be “cannot,” “shouldn’t which should be “should not,” “isn’t” which should be “is not” and so forth.

Write Only Relevant Content in Line with Your Topic

Avoid going off-topic unless you are talking about a famous person’s experience that inspires you. Strictly follow your chosen topic. The admission board is only interested in you. Therefore, if you need to shift the focus to something else, state how it relates to you. Apart from those applying to an Arts school, try not to write about a single example. Your essay will be flat and dull. Think of another excellent example to include.

Do Not Make It Too Offensive: Your Reader May Come from Any Background

Avoid coming off as too aggressive. You need to support your claims with verifiable facts keeping in mind that there are other opinions. Do not make the admission officer argue with you. Instead, draw their attention to your aspirations. Be positive in your speech while remaining neutral in your tone.

The best advice is to avoid discussing controversial subjects such as religion, race, abortion, the death penalty or politics as you cannot predict how the admission board will take it. Finally, do not write about the negative attributes of your college of application even if you have evidence to boot.

Write, but Do Not Forget to Proofread and Edit Your Essay

You may request for online essay assistance if you need your admission essay to be written or edited by a professional. Also, read your final copy many times to make sure no mistakes are left. You can also pass your essay through plagiarism and grammar Apps to critically scan it for errors.

Go through your thesis statement a second time to assess if it still sounds sensible to you. Get yourself a reliable writing guide to ensure your essay is in the correct structure. Now, go through an essay that has been successful to see if there is anything it shares with your essay. Request others to critic your paper. Change anything that is not clear.

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