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Application Essay Writing:
Essay Clichés

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Lesson Four: Style andTone
Top 10 Essay Clichés

According to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, a cliché is "a trite phrase or expression," "a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation," or "something that has become overly familiar or commonplace." The last thing you want in your essay is any of the above. Clichés make your writing appear lazy, your ideas ordinary, and your experiences typical. Arm yourself with the list below and eradicate these and other clichés from your writing.

1. I always learn from my mistakes

2. I know my dreams will come true

3. I can make a difference

4. _________ is my passion

5. I no longer take my loved ones for granted

6. These lessons are useful both on and off the field (or other sporting arena)

7. I realized the value of hard work and perseverance

8. _________ was the greatest lesson of all

9. I know what it is to triumph over adversity

10. _________ opened my eyes to a whole new world


Go!Move on to Lesson Five: Introductions and Conclusions

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.
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