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~ DOs and DON'Ts of the College Essay

Some colleges require a personal statement while other colleges may present a question and ask for a response. Some colleges don’t require you to write an essay. A great application essay will present a vivid, personal, and compelling view of you to the admission staff. It will round out the rest of your application and help you stand out from the other applicants. The essay is one of the only parts of the application, which gives you the opportunity to express yourself. Check out these tips before you begin.
 
DOs
Keep your focus narrow and personal: Your essay must prove a single point or thesis. The reader must be able to find your main idea and follow it from beginning to end. Try having someone read just your introduction to see what he or she thinks your essay is about.
 
Prove it: Develop your main idea with vivid and specific facts, events, quotations, examples, and reasons. There's a big difference between simply stating a point of view and letting an idea unfold in the details.
 
Be specific: Avoid clichéd, generic, and predictable writing by using vivid and specific details.
 
DON'Ts
Don't tell them what you assume they want to hear: Most admission officers read plenty of essays about the charms of their university, the evils of terrorism, and the personal commitment involved in being a doctor. Bring something new to the table, not just what you think they want to hear.
 
Don't write a résumé: Don't include information that is found elsewhere in the application. Your essay will end up sounding like an autobiography, travelogue, or laundry list.
 
Eliminate unnecessary words:  Don't forget to proofread Typographical errors and spelling or grammatical errors can be interpreted as carelessness or just bad writing.
 
This article is based on information found in The College Application Essay by Sarah Myers McGinty and www.collegeboard.org