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The ‘Write’ Stuff: Four College Application Essay Mistakes to Avoid



As you begin to plan for your senior year — and all the milestones that come with it — there’s likely one task on your to-do list that feels more daunting than the rest: college application essays.


Whether you’re just getting started with writing or are ready for final reviews, we’ve compiled some common mistakes you’ll want to avoid throughout this process.


Don’t skimp on the introduction

You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, so use a strong introduction to draw readers into your story. Striking the right balance between using creative language and effectively teeing up the rest of the essay shows your skills as a writer and can help you stand out from the crowd.


Don’t edit in a silo

Even professional writers seek feedback from others, and being open to input from those in your circle — whether they’re teachers, family members, or friends — can help elevate your essay from good to great. (Our team is happy to be part of your circle, too!)


Aside from editing for content and structure, don’t forget to proofread your essays. We can’t stress this enough, and we recommend not relying solely on spell check. Read your essay out loud to catch any mistakes or awkward grammatical moments that your computer’s editing tool may have missed.


Don’t use clichés to tell your story

Love is blind, ignorance is bliss, and clichés — while easy to include — can distract readers in a hurry. Admissions staff read thousands of essays each year, so putting in the extra effort to make yours stand out from the crowd can go a long way in helping you get into your dream school.


Remember: Your essays should be authentically you. To help structure them, learn more about our proven 1:1 coaching process, including the use of key messages.


Don’t wait until the last minute

Most students apply to college from early fall through January of their senior year. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait until fall to start thinking about your application essays. Set yourself up for success by working on practice essays throughout the spring and summer to ensure you’re ready when it’s time to hit submit. Trust us: Future you will thank present-day you!


We’re here to help

The MN College Essay Coach team is passionate about helping students achieve their dreams through stronger, more engaging college application essays. Explore our programs or reach out with questions about how we can support you on this journey!





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