bad common app essay examples 2024-2025

By | June 16, 2023

bad common app essay examples 2024-2025

bad common app essay examples 2024-2025

bad common app essay examples 2024-2025

Crafting a compelling Common App essay is an essential part of the college admissions process. While it’s crucial to learn from successful examples, understanding what makes a bad essay can be just as instructive. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of bad Common App essay examples, exploring common pitfalls and providing insights to help you avoid them. By examining these examples, you can gain a better understanding of what not to do when crafting your own essay.

Exploring Bad Common App Essay Examples:

  • Clichéd Topics and Generic Themes: In some cases, applicants choose overused topics such as the big game, mission trips, or a grandparent’s influence without offering a unique perspective or personal insight. These essays lack originality and fail to stand out among the numerous applications.
  • Lack of Self-Reflection and Depth: An essay that merely recounts a list of achievements or experiences without delving into personal growth, introspection, or lessons learned can be considered weak. It’s important to provide thoughtful reflection and showcase your ability to critically analyze and connect your experiences to your personal development.
  • Inadequate Structure and Organization: Essays that lack a clear structure or coherent organization can be confusing and difficult to follow. Ensure that your essay has a logical flow, with a strong introduction, well-developed body paragraphs, and a concise conclusion that ties everything together.
  • Grammatical and Spelling Errors: Poor grammar, punctuation, and spelling can significantly undermine the effectiveness of an essay. It is essential to carefully proofread your work to avoid distracting errors that may reflect negatively on your writing skills and attention to detail.
  • Overuse of Thesaurus and Flowery Language: While it’s important to demonstrate a good command of language, excessive use of a thesaurus or flowery language can make your essay sound artificial and inauthentic. Focus on clarity, conciseness, and using your own voice to effectively communicate your ideas.

Resources for Understanding and Avoiding Mistakes:

To gain further insight into the common mistakes made in Common App essays, you can refer to the following resources:

  1. College Essay Mistakes to Avoid by IvyWise ( This article highlights common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid when writing college application essays. It provides valuable guidance on how to approach essay topics, structure your writing, and avoid clichés.
  2. “Admission Matters: What Students and Parents Need to Know About Getting into College” by Sally P. Springer, Jon Reider, and Marion R. Franck: This book provides comprehensive advice on the college admissions process, including tips for writing compelling essays and avoiding common errors.
  3. Essay Writing Tips and Mistakes to Avoid by Accepted ( Accepted offers an array of resources, including articles and blog posts that provide insights into common essay mistakes and tips for improving your writing.


  • Analyzing bad Common App essay examples can be a valuable learning experience. By understanding the common pitfalls and weaknesses found in these essays, you can avoid making similar mistakes in your own writing. Remember to choose unique and meaningful topics, provide thoughtful reflection, maintain a clear and organized structure, prioritize grammar and spelling accuracy, and use language that reflects your authentic voice. By learning from the shortcomings of others, you can craft a strong and compelling Common App essay that effectively showcases your unique qualities and experiences.

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Read Also: Universities Admissions Centre (UAC)

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