Common College Essay Mistakes: Word Choice
Over the last couple of weeks, essay review season has really started to pick up at College Coach. We’re diving into drafts each day, providing both the big picture ideas and the small-scale tips to help students find success with their college application essays. Our past blog entries have focused more on the big picture: how to approach the “failure” prompt from the Common App; ways you can effectively use the Additional Information section; brainstorming through writer’s block. Today I want to focus on the smallest of issues with college essays: the words you choose to use.
Write Like You Talk
Most students who come into my office have normal vocabularies. There’s a big word dropped here or there in reference to an idea they’ve discovered in school—maybe it’s existentialism or photosynthesis or even spectrophotometer—but multi-syllabic mouthfuls are rare when I’m just chatting with a student about what he cares about and why, and that’s the way it ought to be.