Nothing irks a professor or admissions advisor more than reading a paper, only to find that the basic directions have not been followed. The best college essays follow the instructions perfectly. Many admissions officers will not even consider essays that have not followed all directions. You can do this by showing you did the essays for free, citing all of your resources appropriately, and cross-checking your finished product against the directions of the assignment to ensure you have completed the assignment accurately.
Don’t turn off the reader
Great! You have a finished product! Now, make sure that your paper does not do any of the following things which are sure to turn off the reader and either hurt your grade or your admissions chances.
Unsupported claims – using words like, “always,” “never,” “every,” etc. is a sure way to make your paper more dramatic than it needs to be.
Tone – don’t talk down to the reader
Distractions – don’t use a lot of unnecessary punctuation like exclamation points, special fonts or smiley faces.
Wordiness – don’t write exceptionally long sentences or paragraphs because it will be hard for the reader to dissect what you are saying.
Students – writing an SAT Essay is not that hard. Sit down; take a deep breath and let’s put the SAT Essay into perspective. Your parents are all in a tizzy about this because back when they took the Verbal section of the SAT exam, there was no essay. It was all “multiple choice.” To most of them, the prospect of writing an essay is terrifying. They need to chill out. Writing the SAT Essay isn’t such a big deal. Here’s why:
A) 70% of the Writing Section of the SAT still consists of multiple-choice questions; the SAT Essay counts for only 30% of your score on the Writing Section.
B) In 25 minutes, no one reasonably can expect you to write a masterpiece.
C) The College Board has stated for the record that the two people grading your essay have only three minutes to determine your score.