Risky College Essays That Worked

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Try to lighten up the essay with a clever metaphor, a well-placed witticism, or a little self-deprecating humor. The essay that is filled with bad puns or off-color jokes will often end up in the rejection pile. Your primary task is to answer the essay prompt thoughtfully; the smile you bring to your reader's lips is just a bonus (and a tear can sometimes be effective too).

Many students have been rejected for failing to take the prompt seriously and writing essays that end up being more foolish than clever.

Also be sure to check out these tips for the 7 personal essay options on the Common Application, this ​​advice for improving your essay's style, and the sample essays.

Many college applicants make the mistake of trying to include all of their accomplishments and activities in their application essays.

On the flip side, exceptional application essays can help students with marginal scores get into the schools of their dreams.

The tips below will help you win big with your essay.

Such essays read like what they are: tedious lists.

Other parts of the application provide plenty of space for you to list extracurricular activities, so save your lists for the places where they belong.

Remember that you don’t know who will read your essay or how they will feel about such topics. Similarly, avoid controversial or hot-button topics. These especially include politics and religion, which can be very polarizing subjects.

Other examples include abortion or any hotly debated current event.

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