From Essay Edge

Application Essay Writing:
Style and Tone

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The application is a lifeless thing--a few sheets of paper and a few numbers.  The essay is the best way to breathe life into it. - Admissions Officer

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…

Select One:

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.