The Dos and Don’ts of Writing a College Essay

The college essay is a crucial part of the application process, and can make or break your chances of getting accepted. The essay is your opportunity to show admissions officers who you are beyond your grades and test scores. In this post, we’ll go over the dos and don’ts of writing a college essay that will help you stand out and impress admissions officers.


  1. Choose a topic that showcases your personality and interests. Admissions officers want to get to know you, so choose a topic that allows you to do that. Whether it be a personal experience, a hobby, or an issue you feel passionate about, make sure the topic is reflective of who you are.
  2. Be specific and personal. Instead of writing a general essay, use specific examples and anecdotes that show admissions officers who you are as a person. This will make your essay more interesting and memorable.
  3. Write in your own voice. Your essay should be written in your own voice, not that of someone else. Admissions officers want to get to know the real you, so be yourself and let your personality shine through.
  4. Proofread and edit. Make sure to proofread your essay multiple times and edit for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. A well-written essay is important in making a good impression.


  1. Don’t recycle essays. Each college application should have a unique essay, tailored to the specific institution and its values.
  2. Don’t use clichés or overused phrases. Avoid using phrases or ideas that have been overused in college essays. Admissions officers read thousands of essays and can spot a cliché a mile away.
  3. Don’t use big words or complex language. It’s important to use clear and simple language in your essay. Using big words or complex language can make your essay hard to read and understand.
  4. Don’t exceed the word limit. Be mindful of the word limit and make sure to stay within it. Going over the word limit can make it seem like you are unable to follow instructions.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can increase your chances of writing a standout college essay that catches the attention of admissions officers and sets you apart from other applicants. Remember to be true to yourself and let your personality shine through in your writing. Good luck!


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