Academic essays are supposed to be composed in formal English.Contractions are applied in informal writing and speech and mostinstructors don’t approve their application in essays, especiallyapplication essays. Contractions should also be avoided injournal and business articles.
Using contractions in app essays
College application essays are a personal statement where youneed to convey who you are to the admissions officer. So, on onehand, the more contractions you use, the more likely you will beable to present yourself as a person you really are.
On the other hand, college application essays should use correctpunctuation and grammar except in the cases where the use ofgrammatical contractions is appropriate. For example, when acharacter in an essay needs to speak in an informal way, you canuse contractions. However, do not use poor grammar in general.Your readers will find it off-putting and they will be puzzled bywhether or not you used the contractions intentionally or out ofignorance.
How to use contractions in college essays
Students are taught to write like they talk. This often meansthat you need to rely on contractions to convey the verbalmessage to your audience. It is a challenge to write a collegeessay using contractions because academic writing is a formalwriting where contractions are frowned upon or even prohibited.However, there are exceptions and knowing how to applycontractions in college essays effectively will improve yourwriting skills and your confidence.
When to use contractions
Use contractions in the following cases:
- Check with your instructor about the writing rules. Someteachers follow the rules of formal English all the time and makeno exception no matter what the task is. So, in order to get agood grade, you need to follow the rules of your teacher.
- You can use contractions when you are paraphrasing someone’swords or quoting them directly in your essay. Using quotes isimportant to capture the manner of speech of the writer. Thinkabout what would be lost if you remove contractions and make thelanguage smoother in your quote.
- You can use contractions in essays where you are allowed towrite in the first-person style. These personal papers includedescriptive and narrative essays as well as example andcomparison-contrast essays. When working on a personal essay,contractions reflect the way you really speak.
- You should use contractions consistently throughout yourpaper, especially within the same proposal.
- Check the tone of your words. If you wish to show enthusiasmit may be better to say “It’s great!” instead of “It is great.”
Tips on writing college admission essays
There are many tips on essay writing. However, the best ones arethe following:
- Begin as far in advance as possible
- Insert a story from your real life
- Engage the reader at the beginning
- Concentrate on one point about yourself
- Do not try to impress anyone
- Don’t try to follow the five-paragraph essay format
- Follow a familiar and more casual style
- It is best to write on every day topics
- Do not list your activities and accomplishments
- Show your firmness by sharing a problem your faced and solved
- Make your essay personal
How to write college admission essay
Start the process by reading the prompts to understand what youneed to write about. After that determine what it is you want toshow about yourself in your essay. Keep in mind that theobjective is to showcase your writing abilities as well asdemonstrate your target schools something unexpected and uniqueabout yourself that they would not have learned about you fromyour application. Think of a topic that will help you stand outamong other applicants. It doesn’t have to be impressive, it canbe something interesting about yourself.
Starting college application essays
Prompts help you find a subject you can apply to show somethingabout yourself. Think about different ideas for subjects and lookfor stories or real-life moments from your past that you canshare with the audience and show your unique characteristic,quality, main value, or talent.
It is best to start your entry sharing a real-life experience ora situation that demonstrates the point you are making aboutyourself.
Is it allowed to make stuff up in your college essay?
It is not worth wasting your time making up things for yourcollege app essay for the following reasons:
- First this is absolutely unethical.
- Second, it will only hurt you because the whole point ofessays is to assist universities and colleges decide whether ornot their college is the best place for you. If you give falseinformation about yourself, they won’t be able to figure outwhether you are the best fit for their learning goals and needs.
- Third, admissions officers read thousands of essays and theycan spot an essay that tells lies. Write in your authentic voiceand style and use the words that will reflect you the best as aperson. Very often little flaws and imperfections about you willmake you the most likable candidate to colleges.
Some of the best college essays include stories from real lifethat are amusing and entertaining because a student shared somekind of a problem that was funny. However, writing a comedysketch should not be your goal. This usually backfires. If thereis a situation in your life that shows something unique aboutyour character or personality and it happens to be funny, use it.Write it as it is and let the story speak for itself.
Using stories in college essays
When you are writing a college app essay, using stories is thebest way to impress the admissions committee. There’s nothingbetter you can use to show the reader something about yourselfthen by talking about something that happened to you in the past.
Stories are entertaining and they are the best hooks for theentry in your essay. The attention of readers will be drawn whenyou are going to tell about a story or something that happened toyou. It is recommended to start your paper with the story fromreal life. This way, your paper will be engaging and specificinstead of boring and general. So, remember that if you want toshow a point about yourself there’s nothing better than usingstories.
When preparing a personal essay, you want to use your everydaylanguage to convey the main point to the readers. However, thereis no need to apply to actual expletives. If you are describing astory where someone swore and it is important to convey thatmoment, find a different way to let the audience know about it.
Coming up with the college essays topics
A great topic is the one that assists you to show one of yourmain characteristics or qualities. Brainstorm the situations andmoments from your past that show that quality or characteristic.
Also try to think of any problems or difficult situations youhave faced. These experiences are often a great topic to show howyou manage to solve the problem and what you learned from them.
You don’t have to write about catastrophes however they may workas well. Problems include various mistakes, challenges, changes,failures, phobias, etc.
What colleges look for in your essay
One of the main things schools use essay for is to helpadmissions officers distinguish applicants from each other.Without essays, they can see only your grades, test scores, andlist of activities and achievements. Thus, essays are importantto show something original about you.
Schools use essays to determine whether you are the right personfor them, as well as learn more about your character andpersonality. Also, they want to see your writing skills, howinteresting you are, how you value learning and thinking, whetheryou have a judgment, and how likable you are.
Writing about failures
You can write about your failures in your essay as long as youmake it clear that you have conquered them successfully and learnsomething useful for yourself. Writing about failures can make astrong essay. Do not make any excuses, instead offer anexplanation. Devote most of your paper talking about how you gotout of that situation, what you have learned, and how it made youstronger.
Importance of application essays
Many colleges and schools state that essays are very important intheir admission procedure. However, it is impossible to know whatpart they played in rejections and acceptances on an individuallevel.
Admissions officers often say that essays are the only instrumentthey have to learn more about the applicant’s character andpersonality. It is especially difficult to know the candidates’personality in the most competitive schools where almost allapplicants have near-perfect extracurricular activities, grades,and test scores. So, essays are the only factor that helpdistinguish candidates from each other.
When writing an essay, you should not worry about how much itmatters, instead write the best possible essay to stand out amongother candidates and give your potential school a clear sense ofyour individuality.
Essay grammar mistakes you should avoid
When submitting your college application essay, make sure it isfree off the following errors:
- Missing apostrophes
- Confusing “it’s” and “its”, “your” and “you’re”, etc.
- The use of singular articles before plural nouns
- Failure to agree verbs and nouns
- Failure to use the right tense
- Split infinitives
- Misuse of me and I
- Too many contractions
- Incorrect application of semicolons
- Ending a sentence with a preposition
- Poor use of the word “get” or “got”
- Too many exclamation points
Writing an essay bluntly
Your college application essay should be written with the use offamiliar tone and casual voice. Try to write more like you talkapplying everyday language instead of using a more formal toneinherent to academic essays. However, do not use too manycontractions.
Describe your personal experiences to demonstrate what you wantto show about yourself to your target colleges and then giveexplanations what you learned in the process. You can be candidand direct about your stories and how you felt during them.
Avoid trying to sound too smart. Stick to the truth, be sincere,and share your thoughts. Once you’re done, go back and edit youressay to make sure it is perfect in the flow and tone.
Make comparisons to personalize your essay. Also use similes andmetaphors to make connections to your personal life. When comingup with referencing similes and metaphors do not worry about theword count. It is much easier to take the unnecessaryredundancies and cliché phrases out rather than improvise inthem.
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