People who will be reviewing the essays written are extremely skilled and experienced with a number of years of screening of candidates behind them. As such, they are quick to spot mistakes in essays and quickly reject applications based on them. A candidate can in no way afford to make an error when writing an essay, especially not a common one which the reviewer will quickly spot.
Here are 10 of the top mistakes that candidates make when writing essays. These mistakes happen to be quite common and a candidate must ensure to proofread and carefully review content before making a submission.
1. Failing to address the question
This is one of the most commonly made mistakes across different types of essays. It must be remembered that most schools tailor the wordings of the question in order to test the ability of candidates to follow instructions. The twist of words may be quite subtle and candidates will need to carefully understand what is being asked for before jumping into writing. The most beautifully written essay will be of no good if it cannot address the question being asked.
2. Writing a generic essay
An essay that is written as part of an application to a school cannot be a generic essay. Every essay that is written should be well crafted while addressing specific topics related to the theme of writing that make the essay stand out. While the topic may prove to be a generic one, writing in a fashion that does not really appeal to the reviewer is a mistake that candidates must definitely avoid.
3. Title of the essay
The title of the essay should always reflect the contents of the writing and this is something which is quite often overlooked by candidates. Another common mistake that candidates make is of using some other author's title. Titles of an essay should always be imaginative, engaging and relevant.
4. Using credentials or parts of a resume in an essay
A misguided notion that many applicants have is that if they cram in a lot of their credentials, they will be given higher preference. This results in a lot of essays turning out as chronicles of achievements of applicants. This should always be avoided. A reviewer will look at the resume of a candidate if credentials are needed. The essay is a wonderful chance for an applicant to express individuality and this chance should not be wasted writing things that can be learnt elsewhere.
5. Using inconsistent tense in writing
This proves to be one of the most common mistakes across all forms of writing. Usually arising out of long or complex sentences, candidates need to be consistent with their tense of writing. Writing in any tense is fine, as long as it is consistent.
6. Summarizing instead of analyzing
An essay is also one of the ways to judge the analytical skills of a candidate. Reviewers do not wish to read summaries of topics that they are experts on. They would much rather read the different analytical opinions that a candidate may have. While it may be necessary to summarize in some instances, an essay should never just be a summary. Analysis and individuality should always be expressed.
7. Quoting instead of paraphrasing
Candidates should always try paraphrasing rather than quoting. Quotes should be perfect if used and quoting somebody else's words should always be avoided unless a candidate cannot express the thought any better themselves.
8. Using a negative tone
It is broadly accepted that successful individuals are forward looking and of a positive nature. Even negative incidents and failures offer valuable teachings and this is what should be stressed on. Candidates should avoid using a negative tone. The ideal tone for an essay should be energy filled, optimistic and fair minded.
9. Grammatical and spelling mistakes
A candidate writing an application essay cannot afford any grammatical or spelling errors. Even if an essay is brilliantly written with a lot of engaging content, grammatical and spelling errors will keep distracting the reviewer. Proofreading and getting an essay checked by a friend are recommended before submission.
10. Writing what others want to hear
This is not just an insincere approach, but it is also one that is used by many and reviewers are aware of this. Reviewers are always on the lookout for fresh and engaging content that pleasantly surprises them.
When writing an essay for an application procedure, extreme amount of care must be provided to write error free. A school receives thousands of applications every year and any essay that has errors in it will quickly be rejected. Candidates must ensure writing passionate essays while avoiding the common mistakes one makes in writing.
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