Lesson Four: Style andTone
Over the years, our editors have seen some amazing stories become dreadfully boring and some ridiculously dry topics transform into an exciting read. The culprit (or hero): writing style. Witness the advice of some admissions officers:
Use a conversational style and easy-to-understand language to project a genuine, relaxed image.
Make sure that your essay is readable. Don’t make us work. Give your essay momentum-make sure that the parts work together and move to a point, carrying the reader along.
Don’t bore us. More often it is the monotonous style, and not the subject matter, that makes these essays dull.
A large majority of the corrections made by our editors fall into one of five categories: sentence variety, word choice, verb tense, transitions and essay clichés. If you weren’t paying attention in English class, here’s a refresher…
From Essays That Will Get You Into College, by Amy Burnham, Daniel Kaufman, and Chris Dowhan. Copyright 1998 by Dan Kaufman. Reprinted by arrangement with Barron's Educational Series, Inc.