4 Common Writing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)
Writing Mistake 1
You should think of your admission essay as a pre-interview. Therefore, your writing should convey the tone you would use if speaking to an admissions officer in person. Slang and bad grammar should not be found anywhere in your personal statement. In addition, you should avoid straying away from traditional essay formatting. Although constructing your essay as a poem or top 10 list may stand out among the crowd, such creative formats will make it seem that you do not take your application seriously.
Writing Mistake 2
Lack of Evidence
The saying “show not tell” holds true in admissions essays. You will make many assertions about your skills and competence in your essay. However, your essay will appear superficial and insincere without direct evidence supporting your statements. For example, you may wish for your reader to know that you are a responsible person. However, stating “I am a responsible person” is not the most effective way to convince your audience. Instead, you should tell your audience about a time in which your demonstrated responsibility. The story will allow your reader to also experience that moment. This will result in a more interesting essay that engages the reader.
Writing Mistake 3
Lack of New Information
Your personal statement is an opportunity to share information about yourself that is not evident from the rest of your application. Therefore, do not waste the opportunity talking about your grades or test scores. Your personal statement is the time to share what makes you unique. Although the application process can be stressful, the personal statement is a time where you can relax slightly and showcase your personality.
Writing Mistake 4
Avoid using words that you do not use in your everyday life. Repetitively using large and obscure words will not make you seem more intelligent. Rather, it will just look like you overused your thesaurus; and the result will be an essay that is unpleasant to read. The flowery prose that may have delighted your creative writing professor will not be greeted with the same enthusiasm by the admissions committee.