Writing a college essay can be a challenging task, but it can also be exciting. College essay writing tips usually list a million things you should do, which can be overwhelming. This list gives you some don’ts – things if you are careful not to do your essay should at least have a chance.

Don’t use the same essay over and over. We call these “utility essays.” It is very clear to an admissions officer when the same essay is getting recycled or is generic. College essay writing tips tell you that most colleges want the same thing, but this does not mean to send the exact same essay to a bunch of schools. Personalize your essay and you will get great results.

Don’t write a history report. It is one thing to show the reader that you have done your research, but it’s another thing to regurgitate information that is already out there. The whole point of a college essay is to show the reader who you are, so make sure if you are talking about an event or an era that you are describing what it means to you.

Don’t seem bothered by the college essay. College essay writing tips tell you the same thing over and over, and writing a college essay can be redundant. View this as an opportunity to control a part of your application process. SAT scores and GPA aside, this is the part of your application that you control, so be excited.

Don’t throw it together. Appearances do matter. You would not show up to a job interview in jeans and a t-shirt, so do not package your college essay that way either. You will not get into school simply by having a great-looking college essay, but it certainly won’t hurt.

Don’t forget the thesis. So many college essays seem like they are rambling. Don’t let that happen to you. Have a clear thesis that is easily identifiable, and you will have a great outline for the rest of your essay. Follow college essay writing tips on how to make a clear thesis and the structure for your essay will be wonderful.

Don’t ramble on. Yes, most college essays have a word count, but unless they require a minimum, the word count is really just a guide. If you are a concise writer, than be true to that and don’t use fillers just to meet a word count. Believe me, admissions officers can tell when you are writing just to write.

College essay writing tips are typically focused on all of the things you should do for a perfect essay. Follow these tips on what you should not do and you can avoid many of the simple mistakes other people make.


College Admissions Officer