Don’t Fall For These Myths About College Application Essays

college application essays

Flickr user Justin Berman

Your college application essays play a major role in your admission but with so much misinformation about what to include in their essay, it can be confusing to sift the facts from the myths.

These are some of the more common myths surrounding college application essays.

Myth 1: You must try and pack as much information as you can about yourself in your college essay.

Truth: Your essay will have far more impact if you pick just one significant detail or event in your life and talk about how that incident shaped your life or influenced your choices.

Myth 2: Essays that are funny, shocking, or unusual in some way stand out and make an impression with the reader. 

Truth: Your essay needs to stand out for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. An essay that is thoughtful, genuine and provides some insight into who you really are is more likely to stand out for the right reasons. You don’t need shock value to be memorable.

Myth 3: The bigger the words you use in your essay, the more impressive it will sound.

Truth: The admissions officers will not be assessing your essay based on your vocabulary. The message your essay conveys is more important than the words you use. When creating your essay, stay focused on your core message and keep the tone conversational. It’s okay to use big words, but don’t overdo it.

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