While I won’t guarantee that your essay will end up in the first category, I will say that you follow my advice in this article, your essay most assuredly won’t end up in the second. Read on to find out what makes an essay bad and to learn which college essay topics to avoid.
I'll also explain how to recognize bad college essays – and what to do to if you end up creating one by accident.
The primary way to screw up a college essay is to flub what the essay is about or how you’ve decided to discuss a particular experience.
Badly chosen essay content can easily create an essay that is off-putting in one of a number of ways I’ll discuss in the next section.
Still other bad topics indicate that you're unaware of or disconnected from the outside world and focused only on yourself, which is a problem since part of the point of college is to engage with new people and new ideas, and admissions officers are looking for people who can do that.
Sometimes, even if the experiences you discuss could be the foundation of a great personal statement, the way you’ve structured and put together your essay sends up warning flags.
This is a problem since college-ready writing is one of the things that’s expected from a high school graduate.
Another way to mess this up is to ignore prompt instructions either for creative or careless reasons.
The essay is the place to let the admissions office of your target college get to know your personality, character, and the talents and skills that aren’t on your transcript.
So if you start with a terrible topic, not only will you end up with a bad essay, but you risk ruining the good impression that the rest of your application makes.