Five Mistakes Your Making in You're College Essay

It’s essay season, and as a teacher/writer/mentor/older brother I spend a lot of time looking at essays. Here are five things I’m tired of telling (and will continue to tell) my students:

1. Stop using two spaces after a period


Okay, I’ll admit, I used to be a two-spacer. At some point my English teacher told me two spaces were better than one. It wasn’t true. Why? Because one space is just fine.

Farhad Manjoo explains in this article why using two spaces is a crime.

Someone else explains in this article that goes into some seriously extreme detail about spacing, why Farhad Manjoo is a hoofed mammal of the horse family with a braying call.

2. Stop using “your” when you mean “you’re” and vice versa


And bonus points if you noticed when I made the your/you’re mistake above.

3. Stop using textspeak

u textspeak.jpg

Really? In your college essay? Stop it. (Exceptions: when the use is ironic or in quotes.)

4. Stop confusing "loose" and "lose"


Look at this carefully. Loose rhymes with moose. Lose rhymes with booze. Those shoelaces are loose. Did he lose his shoe?

5. You have permission to stop using the words “veritable cornucopia"

That’s all.

Break in case of emergency! Click here to learn how to write your college essay in one night!

Writing a Why Us essay? Check out this three-part series on writing the best Why Us essay for your dream school.