The Ivy Coach Daily

September 5, 2011

Redundancy in College Essays

Redundant college essays can really hurt your chances for admission to highly selective colleges. Don’t write about the same thing in the personal statement as you do in the activity essay (photo credit: John Phelan).

College applicants to highly competitive colleges need to avoid redundancy in college essays. While you might think this is a no-brainer, you might be surprised how many college applicants write about the same thing in their personal statement as they do in their activity essay and supplemental essays. This is a terrible idea for so many reasons not the least of which is you’re missing out on a chance to show a whole different side of yourself to college admissions counselors!

If you write about tennis in your personal statement (you shouldn’t as you should avoid writing about trite topics like playing sports), don’t then do yourself the double disservice of writing about it in your activity essay. If you write about painting in your personal statement, don’t then write about sculpting in your activity essay. Show another side of yourself. Peel that onion! Surprise college admissions counselors. They just finished reading your personal statement in all likelihood. And even if they didn’t, they jotted down a note or two on it. Don’t think they forgot what it was about. Don’t bore them with more of the same. Take a chance. Listen to Kelly Clarkson. Make a change. Breakaway. Write something different!

While you’re thinking about college essays, check out our blogs on College Essay Mistakes and College Essay Pointers.

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