The Ivy Coach Daily

October 23, 2012

Writing Style in College Essays

So scan through your college essays. Do you start at least one sentence with “however?” Maybe you start a paragraph with the word. Don’t do that. See if you can reformulate the sentence without this superfluous word. We bet you can. You’d be surprised just how unnecessary such words can be sometimes. Just because your English teacher encouraged you to use such words, that doesn’t mean you should — especially in the highly selective college admissions process.

Does that mean that your college essays should be so colloquial that they’re grammatically incorrect? No. Absolutely not. There is a way to be colloquial — conversational — without being grammatically incorrect. The rules of grammar still apply to your college essays so don’t try and formulate your own grammatical style. That won’t work. Just try and veer a little bit from the stringent rules of your high school English teachers as their advice is often not helpful when it comes to college essays.

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