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Tips to Take Your Essays to the Next Level

Students are in the thick of college essay writing and editing right now. I’ve compiled some of my favorite tips to help you craft the best possible essays. Good luck!

Be Concise

Never use three words when one will do. This is a lesson I first learned in my high school senior English class. It is one of the most powerful techniques to take a good story and make it compelling and powerful.
Check for extra even’s, actually’s, in order to’s, and other filler words. If it doesn’t add to your narrative, cut it out. You should go through your essays with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure every word earns its way onto the page.

Skip the Clichés

If something sounds cliché, it probably is. People sometimes think that clichés make you sound smart. In fact, they make you sound trite. Skip them at all costs in your college essays.

Try Peer Editing to Take Your Essay Up a Notch!

Active Voice

This is critical! Get rid of all the was, is, are, and were verbs. Replace them with action verbs.  This transforms a ho hum essay into something that excites the reader.
Which sounds better?
I was hesitant due to being afraid that I was going to fail.
Fear of failure paralyzed me.

Action Steps

  1. If you haven’t started your essays, start today!
  2. Give yourself plenty of time to edit AGAIN and AGAIN.
  3. Ask a friends and parents to edit your essays looking for clichés, passive voice, and extraneous words.

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