Facebook Tweet Pin Email Most applicants — whether applying to med school, law school, business school, or any other grad school or college program — need to deal with rigid character or word limits when writing their college essays or personal statements.
You may 90 causal essay topics out thinking that you have verbose to write, but generally, once essays begin college, they find they have too much to being To keep within those pesky word limits, you need to make being you keep your writing succinct.
Check your verbs.
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Poor usage of verbs creates verbosity. Effective use contributes to concision.
Allen Regar What are some do's and don'ts for the admissions essay? That said, you need to write enough so that the readers admission counselors can see your skill as a writer and thinker. As a result, my love of basketball will make me a better business major. This happens more often than you would think.
Verbose: She is going to be applying to ten medical schools. Verbose: I came to the conclusion… 5 words Succinct: I concluded… 2 words Minimize use of the passive college. Verbose: Experience A has been complemented by experience B.
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Choosing a thesis topic
You ask a few teachers — and recommendations are submitted. You write your college essay… and you are the only one who can determine if it is done. Is your essay complete at words? Are 2, words too long? Colleges generally do not specify word limits for college essays, but is there a perfect number? What is the perfect college essay length? Many college admissions and prep books recommend a word admission essay — but other college preparatory programs often recommend words. Guess what? They are both wrong. You cannot put an exact number on the perfect college essay. The best essay length is determined not by word count, but by these five criteria on "How to Write the Best Admission Essay. If the essay isn't going to talk more about those other jobs, there's no reason to bring them up. Revised Version If the author deletes that middle sentence, the passage is much stronger. It also cuts and combines the first and third sentences to remove wordiness. Image by Allen Grove When writing your admissions essay, be careful to avoid overusing flowery language sometimes called purple prose. Too many adjectives and adverbs can ruin the reading experience. Strong verbs, not adjectives and adverbs, will make your admissions essay come to life. When an essay has two or three adjectives or adverbs in every sentence, the admissions folks will quickly feel like they are in the presence of an immature writer who is trying too hard to impress them. Example of Flowery Language Keep track of all of the adverbs in this short passage: The game was spectacularly wonderful. I didn't score the defining goal, but I did manage dexterously to pass the ball to my amazingly talented teammate who adroitly kicked it between the goalie's desperately reaching fingers and the rigid frame of the right-hand corner of the goal. The majority of adjectives and adverbs especially adverbs can be cut if the verbs the action words of the passage are chosen well. Revised Version Compare the overwritten example above to this revision: The game was close. I won't receive credit for our win, but I did pass the ball to my teammate who kicked the ball into the narrow space between the goalie's hands and the upper corner of the goal post. In the end, the victory was really about a team, not an individual. The revision focuses more on making a point, not melodrama. Image by Allen Grove For better writing, focus on using strong verbs. Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your college admissions essay: you want to grab your readers' attention and keep them engaged. Lots of adjectives and adverbs often make prose seem wordy, fluffy, and over-written. Strong verbs animate prose. The most common verb in the English language is "to be" is, was, were, am, etc. Without doubt, you will use the verb "to be" multiple times in your admissions essay. However, if the majority of your sentences rely on "to be," you're sapping your essay of energy. Example of Weak Verbs The passage below is perfectly clear, but keep track of how many times the author uses the verb "is": My brother is my hero. He is the person I owe the most to for my success in high school. He isn't aware of his influence on me, but he is nonetheless responsible for much of what I have accomplished. Every sentence in this short passage uses the verb "to be. Revised Version Here's the same idea expressed with stronger verbs: More than anyone else, my brother deserves credit for my achievements in high school. I can trace my successes in academics and music back to my brother's subtle influence. The revision replaces the bland verb "is" with the more engaging verbs "deserve" and "trace. Image by Allen Grove It can be difficult to learn to recognize passive voice in your essays. Passive voice is not a grammatical error, but overuse can lead to essays that are wordy, confusing, and unengaging. To identify passive voice, you need to map out a sentence and identify the subject, verb, and object. A sentence is passive when the object takes the position of the subject. The result is a sentence in which the thing performing the action of the sentence is either missing or tacked onto the end of the sentence. Here are a few simple examples: Passive: The window was left open. I mentioned using humor as a possible "do" in the section above, but use humor selectively. Unless you're very clever with it, the script for a stand-up comedy routine probably won't make the cut and may not even seem very funny. Don't ramble! Don't stick in irrelevant information just to pad the essay. When you're doing your final editing, remove irrelevant information that may have crept in. Don't repeat things you've already said unless you're doing it very deliberately for a certain effect. Don't accidentally mention that another institution is your absolute favorite, top choice! This happens more often than you would think. See number 6 above. Make sure the essay is about you. Don't write about illegal activities or situations which put you in a bad light. The first paragraph of your essay should grab the attention of an AO so that they automatically want to read more about what is going on. Your should Write with you own personality and characters. This is your essay not others, be a real person. Look things from a different angle will make you stand out from rest of tons of essays. Be logical and clear. Do not write your essay especially your PS in the last minute so that you have plenty of time to revise and to think. Some humor is fine but don't go too far with it. Don't write too much on your achievement, in stead, you should focusing on how to let AO see your accomplishment from your words. DO make sure that your own personality shines through. Colleges look at the personality of each student as well as their qualifications. This is your chance to show them who you are, not just what you've done! DO proofread! Over and over again. DO have someone proofread your essays! Don't be afraid to ask for help on wording and style either, just make sure that your voice is always the one being heard, not your proofreader's. DO use the first person. Colleges want to hear about YOU. This is very different from an academic essay. DON'T use a form essay! Colleges can tell when you weren't thinking about them specifically as you wrote your essay and were just casting a really wide net. Especially if you put the wrong colleges name on the essay! DON'T put the wrong school's name in your essay! DON'T use too many exclamation points- you want to seem passionate about something, but exclamation points are informal, and too many can seem overly frivolous. DO write about something you truly care about. If it is a death that changed you, be specific. How exactly did it affect you? How did it truly make you who you are now? Furthermore, there must be something unique about your story because it is YOUR story. Show them that it is truly you that is coming out through the words. Don't choke up the beautiful roses of your garden story with weeds of verbosity. It doesn't sound interesting, and the officers will probably read at least 50 other essays like this. Have a great start The start of your essay will set the tone for how the rest of what you write will be interpreted. In this case, put them first. Start your essay with a bang, and end it with a bang. If there is any point that has to be boring, or wordy, leave that for the middle.