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While writing all sorts of essays is a challenging task in itself, college essays take the level to a nightmarish ordeal. Your college essay cannot just be informative or creative. It should be the perfect blend of conciseness, information and creativity. Now, hitting all the right notes can be tricky if you do not know how to write a college essay. You need to learn the art of putting thoughts using fewer words while ensuring the essence remains intact. The practice of concise writing will teach you to present ideas comprehensively while keeping them meaningful to make an impression on your professor. The internet is awash with generic tricks that tell you how to start an essay and how long a college essay should be. But not many tell you how to write a good college essay that ticks all the right boxes. To that end, here are some excellent tips for teaching you how to write a college essay concisely and creatively.
Most professors complain about how students use vague words to express an idea in an essay. Since your college essay comes with a word limit, do not make the mistake of beating around the bush while writing the piece. Cut to the chase by eliminating all ambiguous words. Furthermore, most professors consider complex sentences unnecessary and a sign of your inability of writing comprehensively. To keep your essay concise, use phrases.
At times, you will find words the meaning of which are already inferred. For example, writing that you had breakfast in the morning is redundancy. You will have to understand that breakfast itself means a meal eaten in the morning. Such redundant words can reduce the quality of your writing. Therefore, you must make sure that every word in your essay contributes to the message you want to convey. Choose your words wisely so that the string of words enhances a sentence's meaning instead of adding dead weight.
There is a reason why your grammar book had so many chapters, each focusing on one part of the speech. Treat your college essay as the place to implement the grammatical knowledge you have gathered in all these years. Instead of writing repetitive sentences, use conjunctions to cut down useless words. This will help you present your message in a compact way while giving you the chance to exhibit your creative writing techniques. Also Read - Tips for Writing College Application Essay
An essay lets you showcase your vocabulary and express your ideas using literary devices. Writing a college essay is already a difficult task. But writing a piece without repeating cliches is very difficult. All of us tend to write the intensifying modifier "very." Now, you must understand that very isn't a literary degree. Overusing it may reflect the fact that you know limited vocabulary. So, stop using very before adjectives if you want to impress your professor. Search up the lexicon (a better word for the commonly used dictionary) and replace very difficult with a better word like taxing or Herculean.
There are some words that modify a noun without contributing to the meaning of a sentence. You must avoid these phrases, also known as modifiers, at all cost. The essence of a sentence will remain the same with or without a modifier. So, it is better to eliminate such redundant phrases and save your word count. That said, there will be cases when a phrase might be necessary to link a sentence with a previous one. But differentiating a phrase from a modifier can be tricky. In that case, try using sentences that sound perfect even without such phrases.
At times, we use words together which mean the same. Such words are known as examples of pleonasm. For example, saying ‘reply back’ makes no sense since reply itself means answering back. Although these extra couple of words might not make much difference to the word count of your college essay, they can surely affect the quality of your piece adversely. This is why reading your essay many times after writing it is an essential step to eliminate redundant pairs.
When you write a sentence in passive, the sentence becomes more confusing. However, sentences written in the active voice are easily understandable. Excessive use of passive voice can also digress the reader from the subject to the object. Since that is not your motive, try to avoid passive voice as much as you can unless in cases when the doer is not clear. Moreover, the passive voice uses up a lot of words. So practice using active voice more to keep your college essays succinct and impactful.
Take this sentence as an example – It is the 5-paragraph process of an essay that is the best example of the perfect format. Notice how we have used an expletive form of it + be-verb in the above sentence. Now, doesn’t the expletives complicate the simple meaning of the sentence? Although an expletive lets you stress the meaning of a sentence, overusing it can add verbosity to your college essay. So, try to avoid expletives as much as you can to keep your essay simple and readable.
Parting thoughts- Writing creatively using limited words while expressing your ideas accurately in a college essay is considered a mark of excellence. A concise essay can engage readers, not to forget that it will most definitely fetch you a good grade. In stark contrast, a college essay that crosses the word limit can lead to marks deductions. So, use the above tips to write the perfect college essay. And if you are looking for help with college essay ideas or essay topics, seek help from our writers right away!
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22 Mar, 2021
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