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Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Admissions Essays


The admission essay is an important part of any college application. Some schools do give more weight to the essay than others, but all admissions officers do base their decision off of the essay to some degree. Even if you have a high GPA, the essay provides an easy way for you to distinguish yourself from the other thousands of applicants who have similar grades and activities listed on their application. Ensuring you write an admissions essay that works will help to increase your chances of being accepted.

To help you out, we have put together this easy list of do’s and don’ts for writing your admission essay. Following this simple list will help to ensure that you to get it right the first time.


There are a few simple ideas you can use to help you get the essay right on your first attempt. Here are four things you should do:
1. Brainstorm for ideas before you write. Choose the idea that best fits you, and on a topic that you feel will be unique to the other thousands of essays that the admissions officers will read.
2. Choose a topic that is specific. Doing so will allow you to go in-depth into one idea rather than trying to cover a broader topic with a short essay. The more in-depth you go, the more unique your essay will be to you.
3. Write multiple drafts of your essay and get feedback on each one from a parent or friend. Working this way will help to ensure that you cover the topic well, and give you the chance to choose the best of your work.
4. Write as well as you can and edit the document (get help if needed). Use a mixture of sharp adjectives and smart wit, without sounding too terse, verbose or (SAT word)‚ ostentatious.


Along with the things you should do there are also a few things that you shouldn’t do. Here are four things to avoid:

1. Don’t choose offensive topics. Topics that may be offensive are those that surround religion, racism, and even personal opinions on world issues can be offensive to others. You won’t be doing yourself any favors if your essay leaves the admissions officer feeling offended or angry.
2. Don’t let anyone else dictate the topic of your essay. You can get help brainstorming if you want, but don’t write about someone else’s chosen topic.
3. Don’t write a negative essay. The more positive you are with the topic, the more enjoyable the essay will be to read. Avoid negative topics, and negative ideas within the body of the essay.
4. Don’t be arrogant or pedantic with your writing. The admissions officers will see it, and arrogance will work against you in the admissions process.
Following these simple guidelines when you write your admissions essay will help you to get the right start for an acceptance into a top school.

Ross Blankenship is an admissions consultant and admissions expert. He is also the Founder of Top Test Prep which provides SAT, ACT Prep and college admissions counseling. Call (800) 501-7737 for more information on these programs.

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