How to Format an Essay - Complete Guide ( Update) | EssayPro


essay style

The article accurately describes each kind of format style and is a great guide to each type of commonly used reference. One thing in particular that I would like to re-emphasize is that an essay without structure is not an essay at Tia Moreen. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic. Academic Writing Style. It is important to note that knowing about the process of essay writing and how to structure an essay is important; however, knowing about the appropriate style and conventions to use in your writing is equally important. Academic writing is structured, formal and objective.

Essay Writing: Writing: Academic Writing Style

You may have an amazing story to tell for your college application essay, but your writing is going to fall flat if it doesn't use an engaging and effective style.

Wordiness is by far the most common stylistic error in college admissions essays. In most cases, students could cut one-third of an essay, lose no meaningful content, and make the piece much more engaging and effective. Wordiness comes in many forms with essay style different names—deadwood, repetition, redundancy, BS, essay style, filler, fluff—but whatever the type, essay style, those extraneous words have no place in a winning college admissions essay.

The near repetition of the phrase "the first times I set foot on the stage" saps the passage of energy and forward momentum. The essay spins in place rather than taking the reader on a journey. Not only is the revised passage much more effective, essay style, but the author has cut 25 words.

This may prove important as the writer tries to tell a meaningful story within the application essay length limits. Watch out for vague and imprecise language in your college application essay.

If you find that your essay is filled with words like "stuff" and "things" and "aspects" and "society," you essay style also find that your application ends up in the rejection pile.

Vague language can be removed easily by identifying what exactly you mean by "things" or "society. When you mention "things" or "aspects," be precise—what exact things or aspects? What endeavors? What abilities? What things? Also, essay style writer could essay style much more precise than "activity.

In this case, the revision actually adds words to the essay, but the additional length is needed to clarify the point the applicant is trying to convey, essay style. Instead, they diminish the essay's message and reveal the author's lack of creativity.

The author is writing about her brother, a person who has had a major influence on her life. Instead of her brother sounding like "one in a million," the applicant has presented phrases that the reader has heard a million times.

This new description of the applicant's brother truly does make him sound like someone who is worth emulating. Most college admissions essays are first-person narrativesso they are obviously written in the first person. For this reason, the very nature of application essays raises a particular challenge: you are being asked to write about yourself, but an essay can start sounding both repetitive and narcissistic if you use the word "I" twice in every sentence.

In essay style example, the writer uses the word "I" seven times in three sentences. Of course, nothing is wrong with the word "I"—you will and should use it in your essay—but you want to avoid overusing it, essay style.

Many applicants aren't fully comfortable writing about themselves and highlighting their accomplishments, and they've also been trained by high school teachers not to use "I" at all when writing an essay. A college admissions essay, however, absolutely needs to use the word "I, essay style.

When you use the word multiple times in a single sentence, it's time to rework the sentence. Digression isn't always wrong in a college admissions essay. Sometimes a colorful aside or anecdote can help engage the reader and enhance the reading experience.

However, in many cases digression adds little to an essay other than extraneous words. Whenever you deviate from your main point, make sure the deviation serves a legitimate purpose in your essay. The writer's mention of "other jobs" does not enhance his point about Burger King. If the essay isn't going to talk more about those other jobs, there's no reason to bring them up. Note that this revision does more than cut out the digression.

It also cuts and combines the first and third sentences to remove wordiness. When writing your admissions essay, essay style, be careful to avoid overusing flowery language sometimes called purple prose. Too many adjectives and adverbs essay style ruin the reading experience. Strong verbs, not adjectives and adverbs, will essay style your admissions essay essay style to life.

When an essay has two or three adjectives or adverbs in every sentence, the admissions folks will quickly feel like they are in the presence of an immature writer who is trying too hard to impress them. Keep track of all of the adverbs in this short passage:. The majority of adjectives and adverbs especially adverbs can be cut if the verbs the action words of the passage are chosen well. For better writing, focus on using strong verbs, essay style. Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your college admissions essay: you want to grab your readers' attention and keep them engaged.

Lots of adjectives and adverbs often make prose seem wordy, fluffy, and over-written. Strong verbs animate prose. The most common verb in the English language is "to be" is, was, were, am, etc, essay style. Without doubt, you will use the verb "to be" multiple times in your admissions essay.

However, if the majority of your sentences rely on "to be," you're sapping your essay of energy. The passage below is perfectly clear, but keep track of how many times the author uses the verb "is":.

Every sentence in this short passage uses the verb "to be. The revision replaces the bland essay style "is" with the more engaging verbs "deserve" and "trace. It can be difficult to learn to recognize passive voice in your essays. Passive voice is not a grammatical error, but overuse can lead to essays that are wordy, confusing, and unengaging.

To identify passive voice, you need to map out a sentence and identify the subject, verb, and object. A sentence is passive when the object takes the position of the subject. The result is a sentence in which the thing performing the action of the sentence is either missing or tacked onto the end of the sentence. Here are a few simple examples:.

In this passage describing a dramatic moment in a game, the use of passive voice robs the passage of its dramatic effect:. The passive voice is not a grammatical error, and there are even times when you will want to use it.

If you are trying to emphasize the object of a sentence, you may want to put essay style in the subject position in a sentence. For example, let's say a beautiful year-old tree in your front yard was destroyed by lightning. If you write about the event, you probably want to emphasize the tree, not the lightning: "The old tree was destroyed by lightning last week, essay style.

The lightning may be performing the action strikingbut the tree is the sentence's focus. Expletive constructions involve a couple of stylistic errors—they are wordy and employ weak verbs. Many but not all sentences that begin with "it is," "it was," "there is" or "there are" have expletive constructions.

In general, an expletive construction begins with the empty word "there" or "it" sometimes called a filler subject. In an expletive construction, essay style, the word "there" or "it" is not functioning as a pronoun.

That is, it has no antecedent. The empty subject is then followed by the uninspiring verb "to be" is, was, etc. Phrases such as "it seems" produce a similarly uninspiring function in a sentence. The resulting sentence will be more wordy and less engaging than it would be if written with a meaningful subject and verb, essay style. Consider, for example, these sentences with expletive constructions:, essay style. All three sentences are unnecessarily wordy and flat.

By removing the expletive constructions, the sentences become far more concise and engaging:. Note that not all uses of "it is," "it was," "there is," or "there are" are expletive constructions. If the word "it" or "there" is a true pronoun with an antecedent, no expletive construction exists.

For example:. In this case, the word "it" in the second sentence refers to "music. The following passage has no grammatical errors, but the expletive constructions weaken the prose:. The revision cuts just six words from the original, but those small changes create a much more engaging passage. Keep in mind why a college is asking for an essay: the school has holistic admissions and wants to get to know you as a whole person.

Grades and standardized test scores will be part of the admissions equation, but essay style college wants to know what it is that makes you uniquely you, essay style. The essay essay style the best tool you have for bringing your personality and passions to life, essay style. An engaging style is essential for this task, and it truly can make the difference between an acceptance letter and a rejection. Share Flipboard Email. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college.

Updated September 20, essay style, Consider this brief example:. I have to essay style that theater did not come naturally to me, and I remember that I felt remarkably self-conscious and nervous the first few times I set foot on the stage. Consider how much tighter and more engaging the passage is without all the unnecessary language:. Theater did not come naturally to me, essay style, and I felt remarkably self-conscious and nervous the first few times I set foot essay style stage in the eighth grade.

My best friend had talked me into auditioning for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Although short, the follow passage is far from precise:. I like lots of things about basketball. For one, the activity allows me to develop abilities that will help me in future endeavors, essay style. Consider the greater clarity of this revised version of the passage:, essay style.

Not only do I find basketball fun, but the sport has helped me develop my leadership and communication skills, as well as my ability to work with a team. As a result, my love of basketball will make me a better business major, essay style.


Tips for Improving the Style of Your College Essay


essay style


The Purdue University Online Writing Lab serves writers from around the world and the Purdue University Writing Lab helps writers on Purdue's campus. If you sometimes get feedback from your instructors that you need to “tighten your prose” or “look at your word choice,” you may need to work on your writing style—the way you put together a sentence or group of sentences. Part of the problem with style is that it’s subjective. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader. Successfully structuring an essay means attending to a reader's logic.