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Suggestions to Essay Writers

Kitsumi 4 / 97 16  
Jan 3, 2013   #1
I've only commented on 28 essays so far, but many share the same issues. I don't know if this is the right thread to post here, but I really want to mention it.

1. Don't use contractions. E.g. "do not" instead of "don't", "I am" instead of "I'm", etc.

2. Variety is the spice of life. Vary your vocabulary, use the thesaurus if you have to. Just don't put the same word twice, it gets repetitive.

3. Alternatively, you can use the rule of three. You can use it to repeat the same word/phrase/sentence starter three times. You can only repeat it three times, no more no less.

4. You. Yes, you. i know you want to feel like you're reaching out to the reader, but don't put the word "you", "your", "yours", or any other form of "you" in your essay. It's informal.

5. What is it about this specific university? Most university prompts are similar, stuff like "How you can contribute to _____ uni", or "How will you interact at ______?" Give specific things about the university. Does it have a special program? Is it awesome (and if so, in what way)? If I were to substitute another university's name into your essay, would the essay still make sense? If it does, the essay is too general.

6. DO NOT CAPITALIZE. It is extremely informal and a pain to read.

7. Run-on sentences are extremely long and tiring, and they aren't good for your paragraphs because they are super long and contains way too many ideas, which really need to be separated into different sentences, one for each idea or two, and they are obvious in that if the sentence is longer than two lines, then it is probably a run-on sentence.

I hope this helps.

kabal 9 / 61  
Jan 3, 2013   #2
Thanks for bringing this up.
I pretty much the first 2 mistakes in my essay, but number 5 is hard to correct. Can you PLEASE tell me what you think about my WHY CHICAGO ESSAY.
OP Kitsumi 4 / 97 16  
Jan 3, 2013   #3
Number 8: Indent or put a space between your paragraphs. This way they don't look like a jumbo wall of text.
Number 9: Parallel verb tenses. If you used -ing for the first part of the sentence, chances are you need to use -ing for the second part.

Elaborating on number 5: Is there a particular teacher that is plain AWESOME????? If so, put their name in your essay. That'll make it look like you researched the university thoroughly. Use rate my professors for ratings.
rainee 1 / 2  
Jan 3, 2013   #4
Addressing number 4. Instead of "you" use words such as "one" or "an individual"

Also to add to rule 3, use different words. Make use of a thesaurus and remember not to repeat the same thought more than twice. And if twice, in different paragraphs and in a different way.
nono824 2 / 3  
Jan 3, 2013   #5
It helps a lot!!!

English essay is difficult to me : ((
OP Kitsumi 4 / 97 16  
Jan 3, 2013   #6
Elaborating on number 8: First impressions are as important, if not more so, than actually reading the essay itself. After all, an admissions officer have to read through hundreds, if not thousands, of essays. So, when I am faced with a gigantic wall of text, I am not extremely encouraged.

English essays will get better as long as you keep writing and improving them. May I suggest read some english books for leisure? You'd be surprised at how much easier writing becomes after reading a bunch of good books.

Number 10: Spell out your numbers. You are probably writing a formal essay, and that means you need to write out your numbers. As in, one, two, three, four and five. Not, 12345.
OP Kitsumi 4 / 97 16  
Jan 4, 2013   #7
Elaboration on number 1: Do not use contractions, unless you're quoting somebody who speaks with contractions. People generally speak with contractions, and expanding the contractions makes the speaker sound stiff and unnatural. If you want the person to sound like they are emphasizing their words, then expand the contraction as usual. In other words;

Every part of the essay - no contractions
Quotes from natural sounding people - contractions
Quotes from angry people/people who are emphasizing their words - no contractions
Daniella741 - / 4  
Nov 28, 2016   #8
Thanks a lot for your little reminders for us. I found your thread really helpful. I always forget the rule about the long sentences.
Rich Monte 2 / 94 2  
Dec 23, 2016   #9
8. Use technology - modern browsers have auto-spelling corrections so take advantage of that by fixing misspelling mistakes BEFORE you post an essay here :)

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