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Essay Humorous Blunders

Having worked with seniors on more application essays than I care to remember, I’m always amused to see what level of thought (or lack thereof) aspiring college frosh are putting into their personal statements.  That’s why I got such a big kick out of Bloopers from College Admissions Essays, billed as “Bloopers from College Admission Essays From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Growing Up.”

As the article notes:

Caught up in the hurly-burly, helter-skelter and hugger-mugger of college applications, a student aspiring to enter Bates College once wrote, “I am in the mist of choosing colleges.” The admissions departments at Bates and Vassar Colleges have compiled a list of bloopers from their admissions essays:

Here are a few examples:

– If there was a single word to describe me, that word would have to be “profectionist.”
– I was abducted into the national honor society.
– In my senior year, I am serving as writting editor of the yearbook.
– I want to be bilingual in three or more languages.
– I have made the horror role every semester.
– I want a small liberal in the northeast part of the country.
– Bates is a college I can excell in.
– I am writing to tell you that I was very discouraged when I found out that I had been differed from Bates.
– I am thinking of possibly transferring to your college. I applied as an undergraduate but was weight listed.
– I first was exposed through a friend who attends Vassar.
– I would love to attend a college where the foundation was built upon women.
– My mother worked hard to provide me with whatever I needed in my life, a good home, a stale family and a wonderful education.
– Playing the saxophone lets me develop technique and skill which will help me in the future, since I would like to become a doctor.

There’s more, if you care to keep laughing. However, if you would like to see what truly excellent college application essays look like, check out my real-life examples on College Confidential.

Essays are no laughing matter, though. One more suggestion for all you aspiring applicants: Get Harry Bauld’s great little book on essays. You can see what I think of it here.

Regardless of how you approach the task of writing your college application essays, please . . . don’t become a star on America’s Funniest Essay Mistakes. That’s one show that’s been running entirely too long.

Failing to use a punctuation mark, using it in the wrong place, or failing to proofread is one of the most effective methods of transforming a great piece of writing into something that sucks.

These absolutely delightful examples of the way in which punctuation can completely change the meaning of an intended message, are cringeworthy, but brilliant. These guys deserve medals for turning otherwise dull and mundane signs into something that we can all have a laugh at. Proofreading really does matter!


Perhaps this explains the unemployment rate?


You simply must…


Just what kind of venue is this?


Was this guy adopted?



A comma between the words “black” and “baby” may have avoided the possibility of the poster being branded racist… or dumb!



These crazy animal fetishes simply have to be put to a stop.


Is it a proofreading mistake, or are they just being honest?


That would make an interesting sequel to “The Hangover”.



Thanks for clearing that up.



What strange cult is this?


Sounds like a great offer.


Just tell someone.


She is whatever she says she is…


It’s not really fresh, but we like to pretend it is.


It’s not really clean, but we like to pretend it is.


Pregnant children? Was this in Walmart?


Hannibal Lecter’s version of the famous bumper sticker.


No, no need for that comma.


So go ahead, do what the hell you want.


Is this guy the 20th “Dad” to come along?


Open Sunday’s what? Will she object?


When in New Zealand…



This may be the catastrophe to end all catastrophes. Although I do share his dislike of emos.

Need help with your written English? Check out Vappingo’s professional proofreading services.

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