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College Application Essays Help
Lesson Four: Style and Tone

College Application Essays Help

Introduction

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:

Lesson One:
Tackling the Question
Lesson Two:
Brainstorming a Topic
Lesson Three:
Structure and Outline

Lesson Four:
Style and Tone
Select One:
Sentence Variety
Word Choice
Verb Tense
Transitions
Essay Clichés

Lesson Five:

Intros and Conclusions
Lesson Six:
Editing and Revising
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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