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College Search Tip #3: Proofread Yuor Essay!

Today's college search tip is to make sure you proofread your essay carefully and ask someone to edit your work before hitting submit. A common mistake found in application essays are typos--these can hurt your chances of getting in. So make sure vocabulary is strong and grammar usage is correct. (In yesterday's video, Julie discussed how to sell yourself to admissions offices. Monday she talked about how to prepare yourself to study in the U.S.)

Q: What is a mistake you've noticed in admission essays?

A: "From time to time, unfortunately, there’s, you know, one or two every application season where they’ve forgotten to proofread effectively and caught those, you know, little mistakes. And they’re little in terms of, you know, it was just one word, but it can make all the difference in your application.

In terms of the essay, I think that it should be noted that we’re not looking necessarily for something tragic or traumatic or just earth-shattering. Not every student has access to that story. Not every student has had something earth-shattering happen to them and that’s okay.

I always encourage students to just speak from the heart and tell the story that they’re familiar with. Be reflective, think critically about their experiences that they have had and connect that to an academic experience and what their goals are. So, it’s not so much about the content of the story, but really getting into the mechanics of the story. Grammatically, your vocabulary has to be strong and it has to be fluid writing. But also, just communicating whatever story you have effectively."
Check back tomorrow for Julie’s final advice about how to find the school that serves your goals the best.

This story was first produced by VOA Learning English.