Stay on topic.

In other words, exclude any unnecessary information that has nothing to do with your essay. Everything in your essay should be relevant to the topic at hand. We receive bad examples of staying on topic every day. They’re the essays that start like this: “My name is Jane Doe, and I was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania on July 3, 1986. My mother is a dental hygienist and my father is a mortgage broker, and I have two brothers and two sisters. I attend Kennedy High School, where I am a senior.”

Unless you’re somehow going to tie that information into some critically important part of your essay, the committee doesn’t care a lick about any of it; instead, it sounds suspiciously like you’re trying to fill up space on the page and nothing more.

Unless you’re bringing up things like your birthplace, parents and siblings in order to shed light on your unique upbringing – as in the old “Tobacco Road” song that goes, “I was born in a trunk, momma died and my daddy got drunk and left me here to die alone” – then info like this is a waste of space and a waste of the committee’s time. We call it “commodity information.” Everyone has a birth date, a school and a hometown, and unless yours have some sort of special significance, leave them out of your essay.

1 thought on “Stay on topic.”

  1. Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

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