The Ivy Coach Daily

October 2, 2011

College Essay

Don’t spoonfeed college admissions counselors what you think they want to read in your college essay.

In each college essay, make sure that you’re not spoonfeeding college admissions counselors exactly what you think they want to hear. It’s easy to think about not spoonfeeding them what you think they want to hear and nodding your head in agreement. It makes good sense. But it’s another thing to actually not do it! Too many college applicants are college essay spoonfeeding culprits.

You think you’re not a college essay spoonfeeding culrpit? Let’s double check. What’s wrong with these sentences?: “I love to learn. Sitting in calculus class is often the most riveting hour of my day. When Mrs. Wright scribbles numbers on the board, I find myself smiling to myself that I get to study numbers for free each day!” Ok, if you don’t see what’s wrong with these sentences, you’re in pretty bad college essay shape. Do you really think a college admissions counselor is going to buy this? Do you really think anyone would believe that calculus is really the best hour of your day? No way! Not even if you really do love math.

In a line, show don’t tell in your college essays. Don’t tell us how much you love calculus. Demonstrate your love of calculus by sharing an anecdote that will less overtly hang a lantern on your mathematic passions. You may think we’re kidding, but students really do submit essays featuring sentences like in the aforementioned paragraph. There really are spoonfeeders out there. Be sure you’re not one of them.

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