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Nine Style and Grammatical Errors to Avoid In Your College Admissions Essay

College admissions essays are an important part of your admissions packet. As such, they should be written with care and tailored to the questions posed by the institution to which you are applying. Basic stylistic and grammatical errors reflect poorly on you and should be avoided. A listing of common errors on the college admissions essay follow:

1.Poor Proofreading. Proper proof-reading takes time. Do not rely on on-screen reading. Read your writing aloud to catch errors.

2.Unnecessary Words and Phrases. These are things that sound good but are meaningless like “in my opinion.” When you make a statement in your essay, do so without these qualifiers.

3.Poor Vocabulary. Do not rely on the thesaurus feature of your computer. It may suggest words that are not correct in the context of your writing. Work on improving your vocabulary and making sure you understand the full meaning of words you use.

4. Lack of Thoughtfulness. Gaps in reasoning waste a reader’s time. Vague generalities are sometimes used to mask a lack of thought and research.

5.Repetitiveness. When a writer says the same thing over and over, it appears that she or he doesn’t have much to say.

6. Colloquialisms and Slang. Learn that the kind of writing that’s appropriate when texting friends isn’t appropriate for other contexts.

7.Little Sentence Variety. Check the beginnings of sentences and be sure that there are not too many that begin the same way. Watch overuse of pet phrases or words.

8.Long Paragraphs. Question your writing if it is one long paragraph.

9.Absence of Clear Introductions, Transitions, and Conclusions. These things are necessary.

College admissions offices pay attention to your ability to express yourself in a clear and fluid fashion. A consciousness of good writing style and proper grammar is a must for your admissions essays.

David Dickson is an admissions counselor with Top Test Prep which offers test prep tutors and tutoring programs and can help you gain admission to your top boarding schools, colleges and grad schools. Call 800-501-Prep to learn more about the admissions program.

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