Although I’m mostly known for my writing, I also do a bit of proofreading and editing. And the most common thing for me to proofread at this time of year is a college application essay.
Now, I’ve been looking at those essays for over twenty years – basically, since I was a high school senior myself. Back in the day, we had to type their final drafts onto our applications, of course.
I’ve seen some wonderful college essays, and some terrible ones, in my time. I’m going to offer a few tips based on my experience. These tips apply to college application essays, but also to applications for scholarships, internships, and even many assignments.
I will not cover proofreading – which you can often get assistance with from a teacher, parent, or guidance counselor. If you proofread your own essays – and you should do so first, even if you are going to get help later – just make sure you wait at least a day or two after writing the essay to do the proofreading. Otherwise, you will likely not notice your errors.