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Liz O'Neill

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The 7 Worst Types Of College Admission Essays (Slideshow)

Posted: 11/23/2010 8:06 am

College applications are a horrible agony no one should suffer once -- let alone eight to 10 times, as many of today's high school students do. But for every tortured student, there's a tortured admissions professional, sifting through an entire forest of paper, looking for an essay that doesn't scream with gimmick. If you're struggling to write a decent application essay, research writing tips before you get started.

Otherwise, just avoid these terrible examples.

The Cringe-Inducing Metaphor Essay
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College applicants abuse metaphor like a piñata. With oddly passionate exposition, they describe the fine qualities of random nothings: roller coasters, beanbag chairs, Chunky Monkey ice cream, Taylor Swift’s new album, the McRib sandwich and their grandmother’s knitting basket. This goes on for three to five paragraphs. Then, in a stunning conclusion, the essay reveals that all along -– all along! -– the object has been a parallelism to the applicant’s own character and disposition. Fascinating? Not so much. Even if you firmly believe your best traits align with those of a socket wrench, force yourself to express this gift in some another way.
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