10 Essay Starting Red Flags - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

10 Essay Starting Red Flags

It’s college application season again. Most high school seniors are now staring at packets upon packets or essay applications to write. While it is always easier to refer to a professional essay writer through an academic writing service, like custom-writing.co.uk, just so the paper will be written the first time correctly, there are always going to be instances when the students will want to try writing the essays themselves. The problem is that they may not always know what mistakes to avoid when starting the develop the essay response.

There are always certain topics to discuss and avoid in the discussion because some topics should be discussed, and others should not be presented in the application due to the negative impression is might leave of the student. For example, not being an active participant in school activities will not affect your extracurricular essay provided you have other after-school activities to replace it. There is no need to inform the reviewer about a lack of school activities. Submitting homework late or not at all a few times during the school year also doesn’t count as a neglectful student, it shouldn’t be mentioned in the application essay either.

However, there are some major discussion points for the essay that could be considered red flags and should be dealt with delicately when presented to the reviewer in the essay. Some of these red flags are:

  1. Low Grades – nobody is expected to be a straight-A student throughout high school. In most instances, it is fine to pass the course simply. However, if the low grade is in a subject related to the major you wish to enroll in, it would be best to explain the reasons behind the low grades. Now, I am not saying that getting a B in one grading period should be a cause for concern, that is just part of the student’s learning curve. However, getting D’s all semester in Chemistry when you want to enroll in the school of Pharmacology is of concern to the reviewer.

The Work Around: Explain why the grade doesn’t reflect your ability to perform in this academic field because to the reviewer, it certainly looks like you are in over your head.

  1. Change in Academic Interests – If you used to take regular classes, then, as evidenced by your grades, you decided to take AP classes for a year or so, then switched back to regular classes, this will flag you as an indecisive student in the eyes of the reviewer.

The Work Around: What were the underlying causes for your see-saw enrollments? If you can deliver a justifiable cause, the red flag could work to your benefit.

  1. Instances of Suspension – If you tend to be caught for skipping out on classes, getting into trouble regularly for say “bullying” a classmate, or cheating during a major exam and being kicked out of school for it, then you have a very serious red flag that may be difficult to justify.

The Work Around: Difficult, but still justifiable if the essay is handled professionally.

  1. Gaps in School Attendance – Catching the 24-hour flu bug and skipping school for two days isn’t a major concern for reviewers. However, missing out on three months of school because you developed a serious illness is something a member of the admissions committee must know about. Specifically, the admissions officer needs to understand what the illness was (or any other reason), how it affected your grades, and how you bounced back.

The Work Around: Portray yourself a go-getter instead of a slacker who just “gets by.”

  1. Questionable Academic Information – This topic relates back to academic honesty. Don’t pretend to be someone If you were part of a group project that developed a butler robot, then say you were part of the team, don’t pretend to have done it alone. Remember, you will be asking for recommendation letters from your teachers, so the content of the letter and your statements need to consistent. If it isn’t, then the reviewer will tend to believe you aren’t going to be an academically honest student at their university as well.

The WorkAround: Make your participation sound exciting without too much embellishment.

  1. Exaggerated Information – You know that the university takes note of volunteer activities in related causes for your chosen college major. There is no importance to say that you had worked for free 100 hours per month.Impressive, but factually wrong, nobody can volunteer more than 40 hours per week, and the reviewer will double check that information.

The WorkAround: If it sounds impressive to a student, it will be exaggerated to a reviewer. Keep the information within the realm of reality.

  1. Embellished Claims – If you spent the summer working as a kitchen helper at the local diner, don’t suddenly turn the information into an “Executive at Café Tartare.”False information relates to the exaggerated information claim. Don’t make the position sound more glamorous than it is because, in the information fact checking and vetting, the truth will come out.

The Work Around: tell the truth. If the reviewer checks the information and discovers the embellishments, he just might decide to erase your application too.

  1. Recommendation Letter Problems – If you know your teacher isn’t going to be inclined to give you a rave review as a student, don’t have daddy write the recommendation letter for you. A quick interview with the said professor could end your application process.

The Work Around: Talk to the teacher beforehand and explain the situation. Then ask whether the schoolmaster would be willing to give you an academic assist by writing a reasonable recommendation letter instead.

  1. Be Positive Always – When presenting your personality on paper, avoid using a defeatist attitude in the hopes that the reviewer will see through it and acknowledge what a diamond in the rough you are.

The WorkAround: Balance the negative with the positive interpretation of your personality. Reviewers value personal stories of personal growth and realization leading to a matured mindset.

  1. Trust the Reviewer – Just like Santa Claus, he knows when you are telling the truth and when you are lying. Always lean towards the side of being truthful in a positive manner because he wants to admit you into the university, he needs to understand whether you fit in the academic setting of the university.

The Work Around: Be honest with yourself as you write the essay. That will help you achieve a proper and truthful application essay.

If, as a student, you feel like these ten red flags will be difficult for you to overcome, don’t feel defeated. Personal statements for college application essays can be developed for you. However, you must know – if you need professional assistance, there are many specialists, who are willing to help and provide a student thoroughly planned and written essay.


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