C’Mon Man! — Essay Edition

I Admit It!  This blog series has likely worn out its welcome so this will be the final C’Mon Man! blog, and it deals with everyone’s favorite: the essay.  Now, there are no shortage of Admit It! blogs on essays (everything from great and not-so-great opening lines to tricks of the trade) so I’ll try to make this one short and sweet.  Think of it as a bit of a blooper real for the essays we reviewed this past cycle.

An essay that focuses on your blankie

  • C’Mon Man!  This topic is a bit on the immature side and is not likely to portray you in the best of lights.

Opening your essay with, and I quote, “I was raised in a loving hoe.”

  • PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD!  Notice the bold and the shouty capitals.  C’Mon Man!  We have definitely discussed the importance of proofreading before.  If a first impression is everything, this isn’t a good one to make.

A two-page essay with no paragraphing

  • This one’s for your English teachers, C’Mon Man!  We know you were taught about paragraphs.  They’re kind of important.  It’s so important, not only to proofread, but also to print preview your application online so you can see how it will look when submitted to us.  After all, the essay is used in part to assess whether you’re ready for college-level writing.  Plus, our eyes kind of hurt when we read essays that are page or multiple-pages-long paragraphs.

A one-paragraph essay

  • No we’re not repeating ourselves.  Now we’re talking about essays that are actually only a few sentences long.  We don’t think a good essay needs to be 500 words but it probably needs to be more than 50.  C’Mon Man!  Effort, or lack thereof, can definitely be discerned in cases such as this.


Essays are only one part of our process, but they are an important part.  It’s your voice, it’s your story, it’s you.  Give them the consideration they deserve.  After all, you don’t want your essay to be in next year’s blooper real.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission

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