Contractions In College Essays

Contractions In College Essays-49
So imagine you were describing your story to a teacher that you liked and felt comfortable with.You wouldn’t talk like you were speaking to your high school principal, but you wouldn’t be quite as relaxed as you’d be if you were just talking with your friends.

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It’s possible to be too informal in a college essay.

It shouldn’t sound like you’re talking to your best friend (and it shouldn’t be written like a text message).

OMG ur nvr gonna believe this but EA deadlinez r rly close. And when you’re (not your) in a rush, it can be really tempting to write in shorthand, power through to the end and kiss your essay goodbye.

But as scary as the approaching deadline may seem, now is the BEST time to slow down, check your work, and avoid careless errors.

That’s fine in academic work when you’re being asked to argue in support of a position, but in a personal essay, you want to express more nuanced thinking and explore your own clashing emotions. One of my favorites from when I worked in admissions at Duke University started out, “My car and I are a lot alike.” The writer then described a car that smelled like wet dog and went from 0 to 60 in, well, it never quite got to 60.

Another guy wrote about making kimchi with his mom.There are a handful of little everyday words that people mix up all the time because they sound exactly the same (to, too, and two, for example).We totally understand how, when you’re quickly typing out a draft, you might type the wrong word without even thinking about it, but these are the kinds of errors that can make an admissions officer scratch his or her head.Here’s a good way to strike the right tone without being too informal. For everything you write in your college essays, ask yourself, “Would I say this to someone else?” No athlete in the history of high school athletics has ever said the words, “I personally feel very fortunate to have participated in varsity athletics because it has taught me the value of committing to my goals." If you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it in your college essays. Pretend you’re describing this story to a teacher you liked and felt comfortable with.Informal language is also welcome when it comes in dialogue if it helps you capture the way a person speaks and acts.It’s all a matter of degree, and deciding which risks are worth taking for the sake of your story.How can I possibly comb through every word and weed out every error?” The truth, dear students, is that you may not be able to catch every last mistake, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.Too formal: “I found chemistry to be a particularly challenging subject, as my natural academic strengths lie with writing.” Too informal: “Chemistry is stupid.I’d pretty much rather write 10 papers in my English class than do one problem set in chemistry.” Just right: “Chemistry and I just don’t get along.


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