You may or may not be having trouble getting off the ground with your application essay, but when it’s time for the polish, here are some basic language rules to keep in mind:Never use the word that when referring to people; i.e., “He is the person that….” People are referred to as who or whom; only things are that.
Even though it’s a first person essay, don’t use the word I to start more than two consecutive sentences unless doing so for emphasis or dramatic effect.
Don’t use the word interesting, because it just isn’t an interesting word. It’s one of the most overused words and it doesn’t tell anyone, well, anything.
Be careful about using the word myself. “I found myself….” It is not only trite, but it’s actually difficult to find yourself anywhere. You either are, or you aren’t.
Use “If I were“, not “If I was“. The Fiddler on the Roof gets it right, “If I were a rich man….”
The active voice is always preferable to the passive voice. “He gave me” is better than “I was given….”
Although the essay is reflective, don’t use the phrase, I remember.
Twos and threes are not the same. When it’s just the two of us, it’s between, but it’s among the three or more of us.
Be careful with the word unique. Very little in life is unique, but sometimes it is special.
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