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How To Notice Errors In Application Essays

Your application essays are very important, and nothing will ruin your chances of getting accepted faster than common grammatical or spelling errors. Basic errors will reflect poorly on your writing skills and suggest to the application committee that you are either careless and don’t bother to double check, or that you don’t have the education required to do well in their institution. Either way, it is an unattractive trait that can be easily avoided. The nice thing about spelling errors, mechanical glitches, or punctuation errors is that they can be easily corrected or edited and don’t require a great deal of content-related revisions. In order to notice errors in application essays, complete the following steps:

  1. Proofread
  2. Start with simple proofreading. Don’t rely on spell check to catch everything and certainly don’t read the content on your screen once. Read your essay out loud. This will help you catch a variety of errors you would have skimmed over when reading. The reason being, you know what you intended to say, so when reading your mind will tell you exactly what you intended to say, and not necessarily what you typed. By reading out loud, you are forced to see what you typed, not just what you intended. It may also be useful for you to print several copies and mark with red pen, just like in school. Having the tangible paper and reading through it out loud can work wonders for your editing and proofreading process.

  3. Eliminate Waste
  4. Read through your paper and look for unnecessary words or phrases. Then get rid of them. You don’t need qualifiers in your essays like “In my opinion” or “I believe that”. Just get right down to the point.

  5. Improve Your Vocabulary
  6. Don’t use the thesaurus feature on your computer to make your paper sound smarter. The suggested words do not always fit the context of your essay. Check to make sure you don’t overuse modifiers like “amazing” or “awesome”. Expand your vocabulary by reading and integrate the new words you learned.

  7. Be Thoughtful
  8. Don’t waste the reader’s time with gaps in your reasoning. Readers will not be fooled by a slew of words meant only to hide the fact that you don’t have sufficient information. Get rid of vague thoughts and replace it with research.

  9. Repetitiveness
  10. Stop saying the same thing over and over.

  11. Slang
  12. Check to make sure you are not using words that are only appropriate with your close friends. Get rid of acronyms or abbreviations you would use in a text message.

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