Mistake #5: Picking an inappropriate topic. In an attempt to be clever, many people resort to self-deprecation and paint a less than flattering image of themselves.
Mistake #4: Making an essay into a resume. Students want to impress the reader so much that they completely ignore the essay prompt and make the essay into a list of their accomplishments. Your application covers this area, use the essay to reveal more about who you are, not what you’ve done.
Mistake #3: Overt praise. If you are sending a school an application, they will simply assume that you want to attend. You don’t have to profusely compliment the campus and faculty – it might come across as insincere.
Mistake #2: Proofread! You CANNOT edit your essay too much. Write several drafts and edit each draft thoroughly for syntax, grammar, spelling, and general structure. Admissions officers will immediately discredit you for making petty errors.
Mistake #1: Not answering the question. The admissions committee uses certain essay prompts for a specific reason – they want you to answer it! So beware of steering away from the point and running off on tangents.