Do's and Don'ts of Writing Your College Essay
DO start early. Leave plenty of time to revise, reword, and rewrite. You can always improve.
DO read the directions carefully. Answer the questions as directly as possible. Express yourself as clearly as you can.
DO tell the truth about yourself
DO show your best side. You might have overcome some adversity, worked through a difficult project,or profited from a specific incident. A specific focus is more interesting than generalizations.
DO feel comfortable in expressing anxieties. Everybody has them, and it’s good to know that an applicant can see them and face them.
DO tie yourself to the college. Be specific about what this particular school can do for you, and what you will bring to their student body. Your essay can have different slants for different colleges.
DO speak positively. Negatives tend to turn people off.
DO reveal yourself in your writing and about your greatest assets and achievements. You should be proud of them.
DO write in your own “voice” and style.
DON’T repeat information given elsewhere on your application. The committee has already seen it, and it may look as though you have nothing to say.
DON’T write on general, impersonal topics such as global warming. The colleges want to know about YOU.
DON’T exaggerate or write to impress.
DON’T use the personal statement to excuse shortcoming. It will only draw attention to them.
DON’T use clichés or a flowery, inflated, or pretentious style.
DON’T go to extremes-too witty, too opinionated, or too “intellectual”.
REMEMBER……………………………………………..The personal statement is yours. If it looks like Madison Avenue, the admissions committee will probably assume that it is your mother or father’s work.
A “gimmick” essay rarely goes anywhere. The committee may be amused, but unimpressed.
Write a serious essay, from the bottom of your heart, in the most mature manner possible. The following examples are essays taken from REAL ESSAYS THAT WORKED by Fiske and Hammond. They will help you understand how to write your own essay.