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As it has been repeatedly highlighted, essays are one of the most important ingredients of an undergraduate application to top and Ivy League Universities. While there is no one set formula to write award winning essays, there are some do’s and don’ts which can help you add much value to your essays.

  • Don’t have a boring Introduction: One of the most common mistakes students make is that they start off the essay by repeating the question itself and as a result are unable to grab the attention of the admission officers. A strong and interesting introduction grabs their attention right from the start and gives a good impression.
  • Don’t choose a topic you can’t relate to: When you are presented with a variety of choices for the essay topic, only choose a topic that you can relate to. Don’t try to choose a topic thinking that the admission committee will like it more. All topics are given equal weightage, so you don’t have to worry.
  • Don’t try to be someone else: Do not try to present yourself in the way you think the admission committee would like to see you. You will be surprised to know that the admission officers hardly have preconceived expectations and are only looking forward to knowing the real you and your unique qualities.
  • Don’t talk too much: Students have a tendency to highlight all their accomplishments in a single question. This is a BIG NO. You need to be direct and answer what the question asks. For example: If you have been asked to describe your academic achievements in a 400 words essay, highlight only that. Don’t try to fit all other achievements in this question. There will surely be other essay questions or parts of application which will let you highlight the other achievements, but don’t try to do this in a single question.
  • Watch the tone of your essays: The tone of your essays should well balanced. While it remains essential to be yourself in the essays, you should remember that the admission officers are not your friends. While no one wants you to sound formal like a professional, you shouldn’t be too informal either.
  • Always proof read: Once you are done with the final draft of your essay, proof read it thoroughly to make sure it is free from any grammatical errors.