BRING YOUR WRITING TO LIFE
Much of the following information on writing the college essay has been taken from two fine books on the topic. Purchase them at your local book store or find them in your school media center!
Bauld, Harry. On Writing the College Application Essay. New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1987.
Mason, Michael. How to Write a Winning College Application Essay. Rocklin, California: Prima Publishing, 1994.
Here are some suggestions for bringing your college essay (or any writing) to life:
|Tell a Vivid Story|
|Use Sensory Details|
|Create a Metaphor|
|Use Action Verbs|
|Use Concrete Nouns|
|Use Adjectives -- SPARINGLY|
|Create an Interesting Lead
IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
TONE: The mood grows out of the subject and the writer's authentic feeling about it.
Compare these three possible lines:
Diction is word choice. You can improve your diction by consulting a dictionary and a thesaurus; however, you must make certain that the word you chose is appropriate for your intended meaning.
In addition, do not "inflate" your language
--but DO learn more words. Use specific vocabulary --
Use transitions to glue your ideas together
and clue your reader as to what is coming next!
The words who, which, that, and what often swell a sentence with "blubber." Use them only when necessary.
The words there and it are often unnecessary.
Be alert for fatty uses of the word thing.
Fat: The thing I'm interested in is gymnastics.
Trim: I'm interested in gymnastics.
Avoid lazy use of is, am, were, was, are, and the others forms of the verb to be. These can cause "ugly sentence spread."
Become, get, do, make, and have are weak verbs. They do not generate motion or action.
Be sure to use the active voice.
When you are trying to get your prose in shape, needless restatements oversuff a sentence.
Fat: My brother is an honest person. That's a quality I respect in him.
Trim: I respect my brother's honesty.
Proofread for Mechanics!
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