Three Last Minute Essay Tips

It’s already the end of October!  If you haven’t submitted your application essays yet, you may want to give them one last look-over with these three tips in mind:

1. Count the number of times you say “I” – can you cut it in half? Don’t get us wrong. Your college essays are all about you, so you definitely have to use “I.” However, students can go overboard. Use your creative noodle to transform your sentences into something that sounds a little less egocentric.
2. Circle every verb in the essay to check for tense hopping. We don’t care what tense you choose, but be consistent.
3. Eliminate ambiguous pronouns. Every time you have “it” or “they” or “this” or “that,” etc., make sure the sentence clearly spells out what you are talking about.* For instance, if a sentence says, “My parents told the cops they had misjudged my behavior,” what is the ‘they’ referring to?* Parents or cops? It’s unnecessarily confusing!
*We realize that there are some dangling prepositions here. Check out some soul-satisfying commentary on this oft-maligned grammatical construction by clicking here.
Keep working and try to get those applications submitted as soon as you can!