4 Signs That a College Application Essay is “Dead on Arrival”

Is your teen stuck writing their college application essays? Are you wondering how you can help your teen creatively write great essays?

The beginning of August marks an important milestone in the college admissions process: the Common Application opened on August 1st. If your teen is a rising senior, now is the time to buckle down and start, or finish, working on the college essay portion of their applications. 

At this point, your teen should have a final list of colleges they are applying to, and they should know exactly what essays they are writing for what schools. If your teen has not completed these first few organizational steps, don’t panic. Take the beginning of this week to hone in on getting organized, and your teen can start writing by the end of the week.

If your teen is ready to begin writing, they may be struggling with how to write a college application essay as the style of writing is a little different than a normal essay for English class.

Because every college application essay is different, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what your teen’s college application essays should look like. However, what we do know is what your teens college application essays shouldn’t look like

Here are 4 signs that a college essay is guaranteed to flop:

  1. Too general
  2. Too wordy
  3. Too arrogant
  4. Too many “I” statements

Take a look at this example:

“In college I plan to live a well-rounded existence, helping others while maintaining my academic excellence. I hope to find a profession where I am closely relating to others, particularly children. I know my closely-knit family and my deep faith have given me an advantage in life, and I feel that many individuals have not been as fortunate as I have. I hope to expand the opportunities for others, and expect that the College of the Best and Brightest will help me reach my goals.”

This essay is vague, wordy, and lacks variety in sentence structure, exemplify how your teen should NOT write their college application essays.

At Total Writing Enrichment, we can offer your teen the personalized guidance necessary to pinpoint exactly what should be in their college application essay. We help teens identify their personal insight and what sets them apart from other applicants while parents can stay stress-free.

If you want more tips, tricks, and secrets on cracking the college admissions essay, subscribe to our email list by scrolling to the bottom of this page. You can also head to our Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay in the loop! 

Have a fabulous week!

Moira ♥

*Moira Ritter is a junior at Georgetown University and looks forward to contributing her writing skills to Total Writing Enrichment this summer!

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