College Essay Help: Last-Minute Tips

Truer words were never spoken.

Truer words were never spoken.

Though many of the big admissions deadlines have come and gone, there are still a fair number of regular decision dates coming up in the next week, along with rolling dates for larger schools. Have you put yourself behind the eight ball with your powers of procrastination? Wishing you'd started this writing already? Can I say I tried to warn you?

When rushing through your last-minute work, the main thing to avoid is show-stopping human error. Check for misspellings. Ensure that you are referring to the correct college if you are using its specific name. Don't let poor formatting drift into your final draft.

Most importantly, don't write just to fill the page. Content is king with these things, and it's important that every sentence you choose to include be there to support the overall idea you are trying to convey about who you are and what you can do. Don't treat a one page essay as a "one page essay," treat it as an essay about "the time I went to summer camp and discovered I love the ropes course" or something specific that gives insight into your character. When there are irrelevant details crowding your essay, the reader can tell, quickly, and it makes it easy to stop paying attention, which is anathema for short-form writing like this.

Remember our previous tips about the potential rewards of choosing an original concept and committing to it. Never be afraid to show off something that makes you, you unless that special something basically makes you look like a criminal. And if you are a criminal, well, remember our tips about not bragging.

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